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By Yuko Kikuchi

Conceptualised in Nineteen Twenties Japan by means of Yanagi Sôetsu, the Mingei move has unfold around the globe because the Nineteen Fifties, developing phenomena as assorted as Mingei museums, Mingei connoisseurs and creditors, Mingei retailers and Mingei eating places. the idea, at its center and its version through Bernard Leach, has lengthy been an influential 'Oriental' aesthetic for studio craft artists within the West. yet why did Mingei turn into so rather influential to a western viewers? and will the 'Orientalness' perceived in Mingei conception be not anything greater than a fantasy? This richly illustrated paintings bargains debatable new facts via its cross-cultural exam of a variety of fabrics in jap, English, Korean and chinese language, bringing approximately startling new conclusions bearing on eastern modernization and cultural authenticity. This new interpretation of the Mingei circulation will entice students of eastern paintings heritage in addition to people with pursuits in cultural id in non-Western cultures.

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Extra resources for Japanese Modernisation and Mingei Theory: Cultural Nationalism and Oriental Orientalism

Sample text

As in England, Germany, Sweden, Russia and India, ‘art of the people’, ‘art and beauty of life’ and ‘peasant art’ were among the most important concepts of Japanese modernisation. This new concept gave a vision for modern democratic Japan. 117 Many works expressing this modern vision were published: Minshú Geijutsuron (Art of the People) by Kató Kazuo (1919), ‘Minshú Geijutsu no Igi to Kachi’ (The Significance and Value of Art of the People, 1916) and Seikatsu no Geijutsuka (The Beautification of Life) by Honma Hisao (1925).

It was maintained by the people appointed by Ruskin until 1938 when it was sold into private hands, but it still exists as St George’s Farm. 137 Ruskinian peasant art movements in Japan Ruskinian ideas of guild and social reformation triggered the questions of moral conscience to the Japanese intellectuals of a privileged class. The Shirakaba group was a typical example of those who seriously appropriated Ruskinian ideas in their social activities. The Shirakaba group, after reading Tolstoy whose ideas were also greatly inspired by Ruskin, came to believe in idealistic humanism, equality and freedom among individuals and struggled to come to terms with their nobility and privilege.

137 Ruskinian peasant art movements in Japan Ruskinian ideas of guild and social reformation triggered the questions of moral conscience to the Japanese intellectuals of a privileged class. The Shirakaba group was a typical example of those who seriously appropriated Ruskinian ideas in their social activities. The Shirakaba group, after reading Tolstoy whose ideas were also greatly inspired by Ruskin, came to believe in idealistic humanism, equality and freedom among individuals and struggled to come to terms with their nobility and privilege.

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