Monday, November 7, 2011


by Nakamichi Yuhto

In the past, I blogged about Nihonga, ( but I didn't think viewers understood how good they were because we could not see the fine detail of good Nihonga works unless we see them by our naked eyes.  But or because of it, I need to bring this up.  I am dedicating this blog to my son because of his birthday this week.  He loves Katsushika Hokusai's (not Hiroshige as I typed before) "The Great wave," and I have tried to explain to him in the past, but most of Japanese culture and arts are difficult to explain in words.  Anyway, I want to let him and all of you know this different genre of art that is similar to western paintings.  I just don't want you to miss the greatness  of it.  It is the reason Nihonga will not go away as long as Japan exists.  

"A Phantom Summer"  by Sawano Sinpei

When I entered into a room of oil paintings, the smell made me a bit dizzy.  I don't know if any of you have felt that before.  Maybe some of us are sensitive.  I love oil paintings, too, but I don't like the smell.  One good thing about Nihonga is probably no smell.  

I'm unsure how to read the name of this artist, but my guess is Kyokusi Akira.  I could be wrong.  The title is "Afterglow." 

It could be coincident, but several people near me who were buying postcards and photos picked the same one as I did.  I think we did because of our fond memory of the lights in Japan growing up.
I have to write about Japanese experience in lights along with texture and other details someday.  There is a lot of study done in some of those details to my surprise, and I've learned that Japanese are using the result in business like textile industry and so on.  It's very interesting area of study.

                                                     "For Tomorrow" by Niikawa Miko

                                           "The Memory of My Classroom"  by Itoh Yasuo

I stood in front of this nihonga for a long time and admired it.   I stared at the dovetails of the desks and chairs.  And the grain of the wood and softness of the light coming in.  I was in my classroom, too.


Sharon said...

I sat in a schoolchair much like this, remember closeness and congeniality, so unlike and better than classrooms of today.

keiko amano said...

Hi Sharon,

What a surprise! Thank you for dropping by.

I'm glad the photo has connected you to your dear memory. I wish you could see the real one. It is very large painting like the size of a large door. I like it so much I bought several postcards. When I return to Red Door Poetry Club, I'll bring one for you.

Rebb said...

Keiko, These are such stunning photos. The first one is my favorite. It is tranquil and peaceful. I like the scent of linseed oil that we smell in oil paints. Too much makes me not feel very good. Thank you for sharing these gorgeous works of art.

keiko amano said...


I used to visit the art club daily when I was in high school. The scent of linseed oil? I didn't know the name of oil. Last Sunday, the smell made me exit the room. I think the chemistry of my body changed.

keiko amano said...

Correction: The author of the famous "The Great Wave" is also well known Katsushika Hokusai. I don't know why I wrote Hiroshige. I've updated that info. in this blog.