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Pictures in Words - Words in Pictures. Entangled Mnemonics in Kyoto in the Late 15th Century

Höller, Beatrice

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Beatrice Höller carefully analyzes the distinct and multivalent word-image relations rendered on three inkstone cases created in late fifteenth century Kyoto.

The exquisitely designed cases are not only well known; with each one designated as an “important cultural property,” there has been research by lacquer specialists in terms of stylistic, material, technical or poetic and historical aspects. The author focuses on the multiple socio-cultural layers of meaning by employing a number of notions, concepts and paradigms, including “cultural memory”.

The inkstone cases were all created during or after the rule of Ashikaga Yoshimasa (1449-1473, d. 1490), the eighth shogun of the Ashikaga House, who is known for his penchant for cultural pursuits rather than military prowess or political cunning. His rule and legacy is also characterized by one of the most devastating civil wars in Japan, the so-called Ōnin War (1467-1477), which destroyed the capital of Kyoto completely. It marked the beginning of a vast and destructive civil war that ended only after roughly one-hundred years towards the close of the sixteenth century. This era of martial strife caused unprecedented social upheaval and saw the construction of new cultural centers outside Kyoto, as well as novel forms of performing, visual and martial arts. It is the latter aspect of the fifteenth century, along with retired Shogun Yoshimasa’s taste and cultural pursuits, and an approach that involves processes of identity formation through poetic allusions and their material re-interpretations with which this book is concerned.

The author describes, analyzes, contextualizes, and historicizes the inkstone cases in each of her chapters from a new angle, digging ever deeper into layers of meaning, interpretation and contextualization whilst addressing and exploring different concepts. At the same time, she delves into material and visual properties, the poetics of the intricately rendered classical poems and their multiple levels of interpretations, along with the local and spiritual dimensions of the iconographies rendered or implied, which constitutes an immensely important aspect during this period of military and political conflicts.

Document type: Dissertation
Supervisor: Trede, Prof. Dr. Melanie
Place of Publication: Heidelberg
Date of thesis defense: 18 July 2017
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2020 07:41
Date: 2020
Faculties / Institutes: Philosophische Fakultät > Institut für Kunstgeschichte Ostasiens
DDC-classification: 100 Philosophy
700 The arts
710 Civic and landscape art
740 Drawing and decorative arts
750 Painting and paintings
793 Indoor games and amusements
890 Literatures of other languages
900 Geography and history
930 History of ancient world
950 General history of Asia Far East
Controlled Keywords: Japan, Lackarbeit, Bilderrätsel
Uncontrolled Keywords: Rätsel, Mnemotechnik, Poem, Kyōto, cultural techniques, Kunstgeschichte, Kulturtechnik, image and word, ashide, reed-script, cultural identity, entanglements, inkstone case, warriors culture, suzuribako, dry garden, Muromachi, entangled mnemonics, Kokinwakashu, Mt. Otoko, cultural memory, Nanboku-chō, Japanese garden, Ryōanji Temple, kare sansui, sakuteiki, Garten, kami, chakujin, ritual, play, Ashikaga authority, Ashikaga Yoshimasa, non-duality, cognitive memory, Ashikaga narrative, kanpaku, tenrei montai, tenrei buntai, word spirit, asobi, Fujiwara Michinaga, Five Inkstone Cases, Higashiyama, Ōnin War, Daikakuji Temple, Mt. Kasuga, Mt. Shio, Mt. Saga, poetry, lacquer, Kōami, Minamoto, Igarashi, 作庭記, 春日山硯箱、嵯峨山 硯箱, 塩山硯箱、硯箱、東山文化、漆、葦手、室町、蒔絵、古今和歌集、山水, 幸阿弥家、足利家、 幸阿弥道長、 能阿弥、相阿弥、五十嵐派、 足利義満、 足利義政、 応仁の乱、大覚寺、南北朝時代, 君が代、藤原道長、平緒、着陣、関白、遊び、あそび、源、万葉集、勅撰集、まつり、ふるみち、差しでの磯に、篆隷文体, 雑体書、 東山殿御物、慈照院義政公五面硯之記
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