Development of Pictures and the Rise of Edo

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Edo was the name for the old city of Tokyo. However, this also connotes the period from 1603 to 1868 when the shoguns, Japan's military leaders, were ruling the country. This was also known as the period of Tokugawa, the name carried by the shoguns. When Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa dynasty decided to locate his capital in Edo, what used to be a simple fishing village soon transformed into e progressive centre where commerce, arts and crafts flourished.


These values of suggestion, irregularity, simplicity and perishability, as Donald Keene identified them.
Suggestion or yugen is the characteristic wherein the artist suggests a hint of nature. There is no idealization of the subject but connotes a suggestion of what it is in relation to what it truly is. The artwork gives an indication of reality and does not capture the subject in its real form.
Zen Buddhism influence is reflected in Japanese aesthetics through austerity and simplicity in presentation. Perishability captures the very essence of life and nature, showing the impermanence and sadness that pervades its reality. All these elements are brought to together to constitute the Japanese measure of aesthetics in all its art forms, from painting, literature, architecture, pottery, to wood block prints. Even the tea ceremony as a Buddhist ritual is influenced by the tenets of these aesthetic building blocks which form Japanese culture.
Edo culture had a great influence in the development and adoption of these aesthetic cornerstones. ...
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