Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
Spring 2008, vol 6 no 1



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Nantembo (1839-1925)
Mountain Landscape

Ink on paper
122,5 x 32,5 cm

The fire on the field cannot incinerate all, The spring wind blows, everything grows.

Landscape painting in Japan has been dominated since the 14th century by Zen masters and was strongly influenced by Chinese ideals. Four-Seasons-Paintings (J. shiki sansuizu) were extremely popular and landscapes served as mirrors of permanently changing atmospheric effects thus recalling the insignificance of the own existence, whereas paintings of Scholars' Studios (J. shosaizu) were more closely related to monastic life. Such studios in the confines of the monasteries served as hermitages, as older masters' draw backs where they found silence to meditate. The secluded scholar's studio was seen as an ideal place of self-realization.


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