Japanese art and Sakai Hōitsu (1761-1829): Buddhist monk and sublime art

Japanese art and Sakai Hōitsu (1761-1829): Buddhist monk and sublime art

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Japanese artist Sakai Hōitsu firmly belongs to the Edo Period and one can imagine his way of life. This relates to art, culture, literature, and religion. Equally important, the imagination focuses on the simplicity of life and the ticking clock of time when conjuring up Hōitsu.

Of course, this is based on Hōitsu becoming a Buddhist holy man in 1797. Hōitsu also lived a life of solitude during his last two decades on this earth. Therefore, he surrounded himself in the world of art, culture, and literature – while cherishing the seasons.

Buddhist chants and nature became a way of life year after year. Hence, the clock ticking at a slower rate based on meditation, solitude, the study of nature, and the written words of holy Buddhist scriptures.

In the realm of art, Hōitsu not only produced stunning art but he also revived the work of Ogata Kōrin (1658-1716). This is based on carefully reproducing the elegant work of Kōrin based on passion.

Hōitsu dabbled in the art of Kanō, Ukiyo-e, Nanga, and other art forms. However, he would finally focus on the world of Rinpa art.

Hence, Hōitsu fused the scriptures of Buddhism with his love of art and literature. Therefore, despite the last two decades of his life being blighted by poor health, he was free to focus on Buddhism and cherish the cycle of life.


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