Japanese art and atmospheric depictions of light

Japanese art and atmospheric depictions of light

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Japanese artist Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915) often utilized various angles of light in many of his highly acclaimed art pieces. This delightful aspect of his art continues to appeal today.

Hence, the atmospheric angles created by dawn and dusk – and the mysteries connected by twilight in mythology – generated a lovely atmosphere for several esteemed art pieces by Kobayashi. Witnessing dawn and dusk is very rewarding concerning the altering skyline – while Kobayashi equally adored the atmospheric feeling of nightfall.

On the Minato City website (Prominent People of Minato), it says, “He (Kobayashi) went through a period of upheaval during the Meiji Restoration as a shogun’s retainer and became an art student in 1874...His outstanding works include “Tokyo Shimohashi Ame Uchuzu” (Rainy Scene at Shimohashi Bridge in Tokyo) and “Kudanzaka Satsukiyo” (May Evening at Kudanzaka).” 

Famous art pieces of landscapes depicting Minato City by Kobayashi include “Shiba Zojoji Nicchu”(Daytime at Zojoji, Shiba), “Toranomon Yakei” (Evening Scene at Toranomon), and “Takanawa Ushimachi Oboro Gekkei” (Hazy Moon at Ushimachi, Takanawa).

Initially, Kobyashi sought the status quo during the infancy of the Meiji Restoration (1868-1912). Thus he joined forces opposed to the revolutionary changes of the Meiji Period. However, in the realm of art, Kobayashi adopted a different approach because he was open to the changes within his art.

Naturally, with Kobayashi belonging to the new world of the Meiji Restoration, including regional wars – he also focused on military angles to war. Overall, he produced countless pieces of stunning art that continue to attract people today in modern Japan.


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