Shimotsuma Shoshin (Japanese, 1551 – 1616), Noh Mask, Momoyama period (1568-1615), late 16th century. Carved wood with painted decoration. 8 5/8 x 5 3/8 inches. Made in Japan. Purchased with the J. Stogdell Stokes Fund, 1970. Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Artist Unknown, Pair of Flutes, Japanese, Edo period (1615-1868), 18th century. Made in Japan. Lacquered bamboo, cherry wood bark, ivory. Flute 1: 15 3/4 x 1 3/16 inches; Flute 2: 14 9/16 x 13/16 inches. Purchased with funds contributed by Andrea M. Baldeck, M.D. Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Banura Shōgo (Japanese, 1901 – 1982), Writing Box. Japan, Showa period, 1930-1940. Dry lacquer (kanshitsu) base in dark green, with deep red lacquer edges, designs in gold and raised lacquers (taka-makie), interior with gold and silver scattered flakes (nashiji). 8 1/2 x 7 1/2 x 12 5/8 inches. Made in Kyoto, Japan. Gift of Jeffrey Cline and William Knospe in honor of Frederick R. McBrien III. Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Yokoi Kinkoku (Japanese, 1761-1832), Catching Fish under Willows in the Rain. Edo period, c. 1800. Ink and colors on silk, mounted as a hanging scroll; fitted wood box Exclusive of mount: 44 3/8 x 16 3/8 inches Made in Japan. Partial purchase with funds contributed by Maxine and Howard Lewis, and partial gift of Sondra Milne Henderson in honor of the memory of Anne d'Harnconcourt, 2009. Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Artist/maker unknown. Dish with Design of Fish. Japanese, Edo Period (1615-1868), c. 1700. Glazed porcelain with underglaze decoration; Kutani ware; "Blue and White."7/8 x 8 1/4 inches. Made in Japan. Gift of R. G. Rincliffe, 1969, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Pleasures and Pastimes in Japanese Art
January 9, 2010 - Fall 2010
By JoAnn Greco
Looking for insight into a culture? — take a closer look at how it plays. And one way to do that is to examine the objects used in such pastimes. For the Japanese, who elevate everything to art and who accompany the art of making that art into a highly-detailed set of rules (i.e. the "way" of tea, of flower arranging, of ceramics), the mono (things) associated with relaxing and hobby-making range from fishing to drinking sake. Even the higher arts — such as performing in Noh theater (the Japanese have a great tradition of staging these stalwarts in little towns with ordinary farm folk assuming the classic roles) and writing poetry (also not just for professionals) — merit consideration when examining this oft-rigid nation at ease.
The objects in this lovely exhibit, then, range from paraphernalia associated with the tea ceremony — ikebana materials, incense games, and pottery — to musical instruments and sake vessels. Also on hand is an ancient card game based on one hundred classical poems and played out in celebration of the New Year, and a host of Noh masks and costumes. A stunning 17th-century hand drum, crafted of black and gold lacquer on wood, works wonders in capturing many of the traditional elements of Japanese craft in one gleaming form. It may be small — it stands just 11 inches high — but it sure says a lot.
For more information, please visit: The Philadelphia Museum of Art