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Most powerful pre-modern battle scene in Japanese painting

 
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lordameth
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:46 pm    Post subject: Most powerful pre-modern battle scene in Japanese painting Reply with quote
The Heiji Monogatari Emaki scroll depicting the Night Attack on the Sanjô Palace is certainly one of the more well-known Japanese paintings out there depicting battle.

But the Museum of Fine Arts, in its book mfa highlights: Art of Japan, alleges that the scroll is "universally considered the most powerful battle scene in all of Japanese art."

I adore the museum, and know personally the woman who wrote this; my intention is not at all to disparage the museum...

But as I gather there are a number of people here with a greater fondness for and love of paintings of battle scenes than the vast majority of art historians and museum curators, I would be curious as to people's thoughts on this. Is there any particular folding screen painting of Sekigahara, Nagashino, or Kawanakashima that stands above the rest?

Images and information on the Heiji scroll can be found at:

*the MFA website
*http://learn.bowdoin.edu/heijiscroll/
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Bethetsu
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I found the section of the screen of the siege of Osaka that showed the aftermath of the battle very gripping. It shows especially the plight of the fleeing populous. I did not see the screen itself when I visited Osaka Castle several years ago, but there was a video presentation of it.
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Tatsunoshi
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Having seen dozens of battle scenes (in person and also in various books, the best being the Rekishi Gunzou book of battle screens) I would say a good case could be made for the Heiji scroll. You have an Emperor being kidnapped-people's heads getting cut off in graphic detail-court nobles being slaughtered-a flame attack-women hiding from the carnage in wells-groups of scruffy, tough looking warriors-and it's on a smaller scale than later battles, giving it a greater air of intimacy.

Some of the Shimabara rebellion scrolls and woodcuts are awfully intense as well.
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lordameth
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
That's definitely one of the things I was thinking about... the emaki format being more intimate. While you could examine the fine details of a byobu painting given the opportunity to get that close, it's not quite the same sort of experience.
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kurosuke
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tatsunoshi, can you please give the full name of this Rekishi Gunzou book of battle scenes, or the link to it at Amazon (or any other place)?
I'm hunting for such books...
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Tatsunoshi
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Here you go, although it looks like it's out of print. If you live in Japan, you can get it from an Amazon Marketplace seller, though.
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