« Stuff You Missed in History Class

SYMHC Classics: Hokusai

2020-01-11 | 🔗

We're revisiting our 2015 episode on Hokusai, who lived during a time when there was not a lot of contact between Japan and the West. But even so, he drew some influence form Western art, and Western art was greatly influenced by his own work.

Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Here's the thing. Saving money with Geico was almost better than playing pick up basketball because there's that guy who joins your game He never passes the rock he Certainly, bricks theories, and who can we have you and then put his hands up and say no foul, no foul, with Geico its ease. the switch and save on car insurance. No, need to fake an ankle sprain because you're, absolutely exhausted so We can save with Geiger. It's almost than sports Happy Saturday, everybody
I wanna go, we talked about Morocco should keep shoe, and in passing we mentioned Japan's Atto period and the work of cats who she got Hokosa. That episode came away back in twenty fifteen, so it seemed like a good time to share it again, and especially since it also connects to our fairly recent episodes on the mysteries of the color blue, and we kick off this episode with a talk about a trip to the Boston Museum of fine words to see the contents of a time. Capsule were temporarily on display there, as well as an exhibition on Hokosa. That was running at the time. Of course, that visit was Tracy made to the bay was also back twenty fifteen. Those things are no longer on display. Please don't go and ask to see them. They will look at you. Confusedly apply, there's, there's plenty of other stuff to see at the imitation. Do you want to go, but not those particular things anyway?
enjoy welcome to stuff you missed in history glance. Production of I hurried use how stuff works, allow and welcomed the asked Stacy. Meanwhile, fry the tunnel. Went to the Museum of Fine ART Boston and saw that time, capsule that have been pulled out from the cornerstone of the old State house. I had three things on my to do list on that trip. There was that time capsule there, good glimpse Adam and Eve, which was alone from a museum and Biennale, and there was huge exhibition of artwork by the japanese artist, best known as CAT Susa Hokosa. and in addition to that, to do as they went up also seeing lots of Leonardo Da Vinci.
Sketches and some world were one propaganda, posters and a whole series of voters inspired by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan and twenty eleven. So just give you a sense of how many amazing things there are at the Museum of Modern ART in Boston. If you ve never heard of him, whose thy you will probably still recognise his most famous work, which is the wave off kind of Gaza, which is better known as the great wave. This is the one that shows re little boats in the shadow of an m, an enormous menacing, offering wave with Mount Fuji shown in the background, Hokosa lives during a time when there was not a lot of contact between Japan in the West, but even so he drew them influence from western art, and then western art was later greatly influenced by his own work and from others of from the time period when he lived. His career was also extremely long and diverse, and his work was just prolific this
Action of work at the empathy in Boston is huge, and the temporary exhibition of it is so big that we actually have to take a break from looking at it and go eat and come back because of the enormous volume of actually describes its collection of japanese art as the largest and finest outside of Japan. So Hokosa here we are going to talk about today. Hokosa I was born in echo, which is now Tokyo in seventeen sixty, and he lived during Japan's at o period. Also called the tunnel our period. The auto period lasted for about two fifty year starting in the early, sixteen hundreds hoagie size, grew directly from a number of social changes that took place in Japan during this period. The period before the Togo Guy came Power was known as the single coup period, and it was also Nick
aims the warring states period because it was marked with war, unrest and strife. The Togo Gower took several steps to try to secure their power and prevent o returned to this state of perpetual conflict once they were in power. The first was the Tokyo guy was Shoguns band Christianity and expelled all Europeans from Japan, except for the Dutch. such were exempt because they haven't tried to convert the Japanese, but even dutch contact with Japan was limited, as was Japan's contact with its nearer neighbours of China and Korea. The second was that the Togo, however hired the feudal lords, who were known as the daimio who ruled Japan's provinces in their stead, maintain two residences one was an echo and the other was back in their home province. Time. You were expected to travel back and forth between these residences, while their families state an echo full time. There
incidences of the time you were expected to be lavish and opulence and when they travel back in between their home provinces and echo. They were expected to do so at luxury and with a large retinue of mostly unmarried samurai that ulterior motive to all this, but Google, it and at o always had an eye on the damn use, families which basically function as a tacit threat to their safety, to keep the damn you line and in addition to all of that, they had to spend how much money on these multiple residences and travel back and forth that the Daimio could never afford to reason army to challenge the Togo is power, so was sort of a way to keep everybody in line. And is assigned to this plan was not entirely successful. In sixty fifty one. A group of Ronan or masterless samurai tried to orchestra. Coup against the took a Gower even
The daimio were employing quite a lot of samurai. There were many others who were effectively out of work once the warring states period was over. However, these requirements that were placed on the daimio affected life for other people in and as well number one people were travelling a lot. Even though Japan was having much contact with the rest of the world travel. Then its own borders really became its own industry. Five mm Your highways connected echo to the rest of Japan and these were lined with places to rest, eat, arrange transportation by things and make religious observance is the most. One of these was the talk. Idaho road also called the Eastern See road and connected meadow to Kyoto. Before going on to Osaka and although the daimio travelled these roads at great expense, ordinary. People were also using them.
society. Under the Turco, Gallo became divided into four classes. There were warriors farmers, artisans and merchants, and even though the merchants were technically at the bottom of the pile says they just sold the work of other people rather than creating work of their own. A lot of the merchants became quite rich Japan, because home to a thriving middle class. Thanks to all of these different industries and the increased commerce that was coming with people travelling everywhere and maintaining multiple residences. in Edinburgh vision. Damn you and their large retinues of samurai tipped the gender balance within the city spawning another industry. One of pleasure entertainment to cater to their interests. This whole world of fashion luxury and amusement became known as the floating world or Keogh the
really wealthy merchants and artisans had access to the floating world as well, but also spawned a whole school of art, called it a key away or pictures of a floating world, and these are basically pictures paintings and would block prince of things like pleasure, districts, cortisone geisha, tea houses, kabuki actors, that sort of thing and they were hugely popular among the growing middle class. It was in this school of art that Hokosa I trained as an artist and we're going to talk about how that training came, bout after a brief word for I'm a sponsor Jackie, so you having found a little Patrick's work. They hardly yeah two year old son age. I'm really sorry! I have to go, though unleashing a car, so I gotta get all those dealerships you now you should get the roadway rode out it lets you LISA Car went from your phone book. Oh wow, that's really cool
but you know I still have to go in to negotiate rates and keep track of those taxes and fees. Sorry, but no you don't roto does all that for you to the applied discounts calculate all the fees, the taxes. The price is right clear as day shoe at Ispra equal. They even deliver the Cartier House. It's amazing. They deliver your house well. Well, I get to my house, then thanks. My great advise Gray Party welcomes the future of car lazy gives you access to hundreds of cars from dealerships all over your area online or on the roadmap. We give you crystal clear pricing that includes discounts. Taxes in fees will even deliver the car right to your house, so hit the road the easy way with road out fell to return to Hokosa. Specifically, We know a lot more about his professional life and about his personal life. There's a fair amount of contradiction when it comes to the details of his biography, thanks to
AIDS and the fact that a lot of knowledge of it survives the day is kind of glee, from a wide range of sources like introductions. He wrote to his own books and notes from other artists that were compiled well after his death, he was born column Laura, okey tato. He had an uncle the Knocker Jima YE say who was a mirror polisher? This was actually a prestigious position, His mirrors at the time were mainly made from bronze rather than silvered. Glass mirror polishing require the special inexact set of skills and hope. Assize uncle had no heir to train to take over this position so hope his eyes uncle adopted him. And later on. Reflections reflections, lenses and optical effects would become a huge part of hope. A work hookers I started writing and drawing the age of six, and these are two skills that are really connected quite closely and japanese culture thanks to the use of country and written language later,
focus. I would also say that anyone who could write could also draw, and he would create these paintings that were basically built up from a series of written words it Unclear whether Hokosa, I just didn't, want to be a mirror, polisher or whether he didn't get along with his uncle or whether he correctly concluded that bronze mirrors. We're going to go out of fashion but regardless as a team, he did not pursue his uncles line of work. He worked instead, publisher and lending library, and he worked as a block over making blocks for would block prints. And though he demonstrated a talent for art at a very young age and his uncles position meant he could get access to the Shoguns official painters. Hocus as formal education in art didn't actually start until he was nineteen. He joined the studio of cats who cow essential UK away artist in seventeen. Seventy nine Catacausis, some shows specialty was, would block Prince of Kabuki ACT,
where's, while working in consequence studio Hokosa signed his prince Shun rule, which is a combination of a character from his teachers, name, plus an additional care and this was traditionally how art students would sign their work with like a character from there teachers, name plus another character of their own choosing. Hocus I worked with the, to cower school until seventeen. Ninety four and these years are known as Hokosa shewn row period. During this period He also illustrated about fifty books and he made would block prince of a lot of subjects that were common in the UK a school, although little painting work survives from this period its clear that he studied painting at the catacombs school as well hocus? I also started experimenting with western style vanishing point perspectives in his work during this time, and that's a theme that would we if it later on financial died,
in seventeen. Ninety two and two years later, for reasons that aren't completely clear Hokosa I left the school and stop using the name shun row. He found it. Position. Now the tower right, family hired him to train their son, whose father an artist had died. Hokosa I was allowed to use. The name saw three, which was the name of the deceased other until his was ready to assume his role as air and leader of the family school. The town Riah family apparently had quite a bit of wealth and status. So while he was with them, Hokosa had access to the best paints, inks and other art materials and for for years, he produced a lie. A number of privately commission, Prince known as Saudi Mono, as well as a number of paintings working with privately commissioned Prince gave hope, is thy some artistic freedoms he didn't have before
you didn't need to worry about sticking with less expensive printing inks, because the plant runs themselves were much smaller and everything was being paid for by his patrons alot. Of these works were commissioned by poetry, clubs as accompaniment for playful works of poetry. Because of this work in peace, the commission's Hokosa developed friendships with many prominent poets and other well known figures and he seems to have been quite financially prosperous during his sorry period as well. It wasn't it. Spring of one thousand seven hundred and ninety eight, when the tower riot are assumed control of the family school that Hocus I gave up on the stool rename and begin working under the name Hokosa Turkey Maza. He would continue to choose just name from time to time after this point, which is pretty common practice among artists in the meadow period, but the name Hokosa as the He really became recognised for people
I'm so well known under that name that, even as he used other names, he would often add Saki, no Hokosa or the former Hokosa eye to his works. So the artist formerly known, as prince after leaving the Tower Riah family. He also experimented with a lot of forms of art. Besides the standard prince paintings and book illustrations that had made up a large portion of his work before her in a board game depicting a journey from echo to several pilgrimage sites and back again, he also created puzzles and a deck of playing cards based on the tale of dingy. He produced books of his own, including manuals on how to draw any publish, sketchbooks known manga healthy me lots and lots of dire aromas. These were in get illustrations that were printed on one flat sheet, or maybe too really need in a lot of them and they were meant to be carefully cut out. And then assembled with the cut piece of standing up vertically, which create a three dimensional seen many.
These were extremely complex and detailed. One of the prince and the innovative exhibition is one of these unkind and working from a copy of it, curators try to create an assembled version to kind of a company it, so you can see the flat one as it was printed and the assembled one it took them. Multiple tries to get it to we mentioned before that. We don't know a great deal about hooker size, personal life, about what we do know is that he experienced a series of tragedy starting around eighteen, twenty, his old. Daughter had married one of his students and they divorced in eighteen, twenty six hooker I became very, very ill, and a year later, his wife died. His and Sun son of the daughter who had divorce did something the details of what actually, it was, are unclear, but whatever it was led Hokosa into some really huge financial problems his, Their daughter, on the other hand, was named cats who she got. Oil and
She became a wonderful artist on her own and its possible that she helped her father with some of his work. I actually Originally wanted to do the episode on her because she seems to have been quite a character who loved Saki quite a lot, and she would sometimes substitute one of the characters in her name for one meaning drunk instead, when she signed her artwork, but, unfortunately, we know and less about her and have way less of a body of work to drop round to talk about cats. You she got way than we do about her father and its possible. But all these tragedies and the lack of money that followed were what spurn Hokosa into making his most famous work of art. Thirty six views amount Fuji as it suggest there are thirty, six prince each featuring mouth Fuji in some way and the great wave is one of those worrying spit fit in well with a trend that was rushing through depend at that point, which was sets of full sized landscape prince. That worked together as a series.
Another of these Syria that you may have heard of is hero. She gazed fifty three stations of the Tokyo road Hokosa himself also did a series on this. visions of the Tokyo road bed Hiroshima gave became more famous, then than Hokosa eyes. Did there Six views about Fuji was also inspired by prussian blue ink, which was newly available in Japan and known as Berlin Blue, their electorate huge demand for artwork that use the color blue and while the public clay Word for azure, yea or prince done entirely and shades of blue Hokosa. Using the blueprint for the outlines on his landscapes, which have traditionally been black, and he also use them for prints of birds and flowers. Hokosa use. Lots of blue and his work in general during this craves for blue and some of the prince and the thirty six views about Fiji in their first edition printing are almost entirely blue, as people became less enamoured with the color blew. The same blocks would then be
to prevent new editions of these works, but with more colors in them, so they weren't, quite so overwhelmingly blue after the success, of the thirty six views amount, Fuji, Hocus. created, just an enormous number of landscape prince, but around eighteen before thousand four eighteen, thirty five. He ran into some trouble with his publisher and the deed, else. As is often the case with his story are unclear, although it seems as though a publisher that he'd been working with on several de volume books of Prince suddenly went bankrupt and consequently, later books that were supposed to come out went unpublished with this problem. With his publisher, hooker size, commercial output really dropped tremendously. Japan was also hit with an enormous economic depression from eighteen, thirty three day, eighteen, thirty seven and that dried up demand for hooker size, work, and his studio and its contents were destroyed in a fire in eighteen, thirty, nine, in spite of all this,
and of the changes in the market for our work. Hokosa continued to be tremendously creative rights through the end of his life. He experimented with paintings and festival floats and he designed a sculpture. He died in eighteen, forty, nine at the age of ninety by the japanese method of counting and eighty nine by the western method. He said, he'd be a truly skilled painter. If you live to be a hundred, and at that point it out just an enormous body of work, a lot of it just extremely playful. He spare mounted with new ways of approaching our work. He made all of these creative strides, but he was like ya, think just live to be a hundred, then I you're, really skilled, painter till ten more years would get me they, so he be drew and painted so many things. But so much of his work was in the form of wood, black, prince and working
talk a little bit more about how these prints were made and also about how Hokosa later influenced western art after another brief word from a sponsor, I cleared out my whole data LISA Car the whole day, yeah first, We need to study. I have some flashcards here, too old, releasing vocabulary. Sequoias me price costs, money factors, disposition is you do not need to know all this to LISA a car, but I gotta negotiate a good deal here. Look Yes, it's the roadmap you go through and take the car you want Then they give you a tailor prices crystal clear. They ve already pie dish ants, negotiated a low rate and included all taxes and pleased. Then they deliver party, your house both, but what about the acquisition? yes Ryan them to do you even know what an acquisition VIII is no, but I think it's on the next card. There
Welcome to the future of car leasing. With the road map you can choose from hundreds of cars writing your area. We give you crystal clear pricing that includes discounts, taxes in fees and once you decide what cartilage will even drive, it writes your house. It's easy. It's clear! Its roto So often when we talk about visual artists on the show we're talking about people who made each piece of art as one thing, though painters and sculptors and potter's textile artists, they make it work. Art and while you can see pictures of that work of art or maybe make prince of it, there's only one original like you go to a museum and you see the Mona LISA there's one of it. That's not the for one of Hokosa primary media, the would block print hocus eyes would block prince include all the typical subjects of the
lucky a school as well as waterfalls, birds and flowers, dragons, ghosts and monsters. Fish lanterns it goes on and on and a huge range of subjects. Printmaking isn't unique to Japanese but in the auto period in particular, with black prints were a very popular form of art in Japan. First, the artist would create the picture than a black cutter would put that picture face down onto the wooden block, secure it there and vat, very, very carefully cut out the block along the lines of the artwork. A black and white work can use just one blind, but for a color work. The black harbour would take an impression about original carving to make a different block for each layer of color to make the actual prince prince many print makers. Inked, the blog lay paper over it and they rubbed the back to transfer the ink onto the paper. This may printmaking a collaborative collective form of art
and says Hokosa himself had worked as a block carver. He had perspectives that came from all parts of this process and there is no press involved that a lot of people think of when making prince with these blocks. Print makers could make lots and lots of copies of the same work of art, which is why you can find copies of the great wave and other Oh period prince that came from those original blocks and museums all over the world, rather than just one museum in it so meant that a lot of people living at the time were able to afford to buy his work and have artwork on their walls. Hokosa work was actually at one point, even printed on papers for rice snacks, almost like could collectible cereal boxes, like that, the snack manufacturer was was hoping that people would want to buy their snacks more, so they could have more hokosa art from the wrappers in love. I wish we could get works of art with our snacks. Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in Japan on July, eighteen of eighteen, fifty three just a few years,
after hook assize death, acting on behalf of the U S government. He demanded that Japan Open trade to the west. Although Parrys fly, was small. Japan had no navy with which to defend itself, and so it was forced to negotiate Japan and the United States signed a trading agreement in eighteen. Fifty four further freebies followed most of them unequal and benefiting the other trading partners more than Japan. Naturally, this effect Japan, as a nation. Dramatically, for example, the Togo Gaulish Shogunate, fell and was replaced by an emperor focus here, is really going to stay on the artwork while Hokosa work had begun to feel, out of imperial favor, newly opened trade with the west sparked a craze for japanese art and culture fans, kimonos, screens and porcelain were in huge demand in the West diplomats, tourist and officials who visited Japan
so came home with the artwork that they bought while living there. A big part of the USA is Japanese are where collection is actually a donation from Doktor, William Stewardess Bigelow, who lived in Japan from eighteen. Eighty, two to team, eighty nine and then donated the collection of art that he acquired while there to the museum and nineteen eleven for them. who didn't acquire their japanese art and artifacts by visiting Japan. All this Lucy S M for japanese culture had the unfortunate effect of giving westerners a rather warped and stereo typical view of Japan, however, would block France and other japanese art wound being hugely influential to artists in the west as well and this our this influence became known as Japanese M Felix Breck woman, who was a french impressionist painter, found a set of Hokosa Manga in pair
in eighteen. Fifty six, he started sharing hooker size work with his artist friends and soon other impressionist artists were really seeking out and learning from Hokosa eyes are as well as the other, as well as the work of other artists from the UK away. School impressionist painters started to imitate the use of color lines and perspectives along with Hokosa is often very playful treatment of visual subjects Claude Monet, acquired about two hundred and fifty japanese prince twenty three of them by Hokosa Eye and then like Hokosa. He made a practice of painting the same thing in many angles and for many settings you can see this Your japanese influence, for example, in all, read the Toulouse Le Tax divorced, epinay Admin the Ngos, luck, partisan and a series of it things by Mary Facade there. If you
you sort of line up lots of hope, recipients and other work from the. U S school next, to lack of impressionist imposed. Impressionist work: it's pretty easy in a lot of cases, even for a lay person who's, not like deeply enmeshed in the world of art and art history. To see, I am to see that progression from this japanese art style into western art spray, fascinating, Love it. I love it. I do this well at a so, I did not know how enormous this exhibition was. When I went in there, I thought it was about half the size that it was not. I came around a corner and there was basically that entire size of what I have just seen doubled again stuff and a lot of it is really incredible. Some of it in a there's a whole, a whole japanese artwork section of the museum, and you can see at any time, even when this exhibition is not
part of it any more. But I do really like that that this artwork was printed on mass, improper and popularly consumed, and so you know lots of folks just bought prince as a matter of course, and you have all these print that are still in pristine condition.
date back to the eighteen fifty than before, in museums all over the world. I think that's pretty interesting fabulous deal. Has it has less of the concern about where that art should white, rightfully be since the same prints are also available in many museums in Japan and of a question that comes up sometimes and we're talking about art and and what is in museums around the world and working you. Thank you so much for joining us today for this Saturday classic. If you have heard any kind of email address, there may be a facebook url during the course of the episode that might be obsolete. It might be doubly obsolete because we have changed our email address again. You can now reach us at history, podcast that I heart radio, dot com and we're all over social media at missed in history, and you can subscribe to our shadow on Apple podcast, Google Podcast, the eye heart rate,
up and wherever else who was in the past, stuffy missed in history glasses. The production of I hurt radios Housetop works for more pod half for my her radio visit thy heart, radio, Appleton guests or wherever you listen to your favorite, shows. my name is Brandon Phibbs. I want you to stay away with me. Aboard APOLLO. Eleven will be covering the mission from start to finish day by day hour by hour, minute by minute, suffused with original music and fully immersive sound effects. This podcast is going to be the next best thing to actually being aboard APOLLO eleven. This is nine days in July episodes arrive every Thursday through February Sixth, listen to nine days in July. On the ice, radio app on Apple pie casts or wherever get your bike.