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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:53606
Doc. No:TL23560
Call number:‭3281916‬
Main Entry:Pauline Ayumi Ota
Title & Author:Re -presenting the imperial capital: Kyoto cityscapes, 1755–1787Pauline Ayumi Ota
College:Stanford University
Date:2007
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2007
Page No:381
Abstract:This dissertation examines Kyoto cityscapes produced between 1755 and 1788, covering a revolutionary period in Japanese visual culture. Recently imported viewing devices and compositional strategies entered the artistic arena; interactions between the high art of painting and the low art of printed illustrations increased; and politically disenfranchised Kyoto embraced a new identity (from the nation's economic center to a cultural metropolis and tourist mecca). 1788 was the year of the devastating Tenmei fire in which most of the city burned to the ground and thus marks the closing date of this study. These decades also witnessed the decline of a number of the Kyoto's long-established industries as well as the rise of new commercial ventures. This situation in turn led to the "nouveau riche" commoner's increased sponsorship and consumption of the pictorial arts, once the exclusive domain of the elite. These new art patrons introduced a different way of seeing Kyoto into the city's visual vocabulary. This study therefore concentrates on a period in civic history in which visualizations of the city remained tied to the traditional aristocratic viewpoint (anchored by the presence of the imperial court), yet also indicated the acceptance of foreign and plebian influences. Through an analysis of selected Kyoto cityscapes produced by the imperial capital's most sought-after artist Maruyama Okyo (1733-1795), as well as those city views illustrating the most commercially successful Kyoto guidebooks, I deconstruct the narrative of Kyoto's identity as expressed in pictorial form. The dissertation is organized into five chapters with each focusing on one facet of the Kyoto cityscape experience. Chapter one considers the visual culture of the city circa 1750 and the role of the Kyoto cityscape within that culture. Chapter two centers on imported viewing devices and their accompanying (often perspectival) prints. How Okyo balanced such newly introduced compositional strategies with existing conventions to create his successful eyeglass pictures of Kyoto is the underlying question addressed by the chapter. Chapter three discusses aristocratic patronage practices, concentrating on the relationship between the social elite's curiosity about the commoner's world and Okyo's artistic style as informed by the voyeuristic capacity of the telescopic lens. Chapter four examines panoramic views of Kyoto, emphasizing the role of commercial maps in their production, as well as in their appreciation by viewers. Chapter five explores the popular consumption of Kyoto imagery as expressed in the illustrated guidebooks to the city. The analysis considers the impact of viewing implements in constructing city views for the tourist's gaze, as well as of the competitive presence of the detailed commercial map. The cross-influence between Okyo's painted cityscapes and guidebook illustrations also is discussed. With this study of the function, commission, design, and consumption of the Kyoto cityscape, my project demonstrates the shift in attitude that drove the production of these images. Artists strove to suggest representations based on active observation; patrons and consumers demanded a "true-to-life" quality that also captured the imperial capital's re-worked identity as a singular, cultural metropolis. For most people, the words "Kyoto cityscape" immediately equates to the "scenes in and out of the capital" screens genre (rakuch u rakugaizu) that arose in the sixteenth century. The quality and variety of Kyoto city views produced in the eighteenth century, long after the popularity of the "scenes in and out of the capital" screens had begun to wane, receives very little attention in the scholarly literature. My dissertation addresses this lack, placing the spotlight on the paintings and prints that reinforced venerable Kyoto's standing on the national stage.
Subject:Communication and the arts; Akisato, Rito; Cityscapes; Imperial capital; Japan; Kyoto; Maruyama, Okyo; Takehara, Shunchosai; Art history; 0377:Art history
Added Entry:M. Takeuchi
Added Entry:Stanford University