Japanese Buddhist art and Kaō: Fourteenth-century art and the Middle Kingdom
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The Japanese painter Kaō Ninga belongs to the world of the fourteenth century. Hence, this Buddhist holy monk imbued high culture and religion within his art. Therefore, immediately you can feel art, Buddhism, cultural dimensions, and ideas.
Artistically wise, the early Muromachi period is said to resemble aspects of his art. Yet, Kaō was equally influenced by the Kamakura period (1185-1333). This relates to the changing nature of Buddhism, high culture, and other dynamics fused within his art.
Kaō delightfully created art with minimalist detail but blended with passion. Similarly, his quick brushstrokes provide a lovely angle where the outcome comes alive.
The Middle Kingdom (China) impacted on many aspects of his life. This relates to art, Buddhism, gardens, high culture, and philosophy. Of course, internal Japanese angles were fused and altered aspects of ideas emanating from the Middle Kingdom.
Overall, Kaō lived during a period where the Kamakura period, Muromachi period, and the Middle Kingdom all impacted on his life. Equally, the holy words of the Buddha and the world of Zen ticked to an artistic beat.
Hence, the convulsions in his later life of the Nanboku-chō period – just like earlier times of conflict that led to the demise of the Kamakura period – were kept at bay. Therefore, Kaō represents the artistic, Buddhist, and cultural angle of one side of the mirror – compared with conflict and the power concentration of military elites.
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