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Art and Politics of the Landscape: Tani Motokatsu (1778-1840), Ezochi and Nineteenth-century Japan

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    0520180 - OÚ 2020 RIV GB eng J - Journal Article
    Toyosawa, Nobuko
    Art and Politics of the Landscape: Tani Motokatsu (1778-1840), Ezochi and Nineteenth-century Japan.
    Japan Forum. Roč. 31, č. 4 (2019), s. 532-555. ISSN 0955-5803
    Institutional support: RVO:68378009
    Keywords : Tani Motokatsu * Tani Buncho * Ezochi * tokugawa shogunate * Ezo futaake nikki * the landscape
    OECD category: 6.5 Other Humanities and the Arts
    Method of publishing: Limited access

    This article analyses a travel record and images produced by a painter, Tani Motokatsu, who participated in the shogunate's mission to directly rule the northernmost island of Ezo in 1799. Motokatsu fulfilled his role as a sketch artist and produced numerous images of the landscape, the natural world, and the people during the six months of the journey. The article is interested in the mechanism that forced Motokatsu to wrestle with the wilderness of Ezochi. He repeatedly remarked upon his fascination with the unfamiliar landscape, noting that he could not help but 'devour' the strangely beautiful views, but what made the views so charming? By untangling his desires to depict the environment of Ezochi as truthfully and accurately as possible, I conclude that his desire for the stunning landscapes originates in his pursuit of new knowledge. The article underscores the ways cultural and artistic productions function as medium and mediator for the expansion of knowledge.
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