Japan: The Shaping of Daimyo Culture, 1185-1868

Yoshiaki Shimizu, Editor National Gallery of Art $80 (402p) ISBN 978-0-8076-1214-9
Overshadowed by shoguns and fierce samurai, the daimyo were feudal warlords who controlled Japan's provinces for much of the medieval and early modern epochs. Daimyo culture refined and reshaped samurai traditions; the warlords, whose collective self-image called for mastery of the arts of peace, took nature painting, calligraphy, handscrolls and the tea ceremony to new heights of expressive beauty. Daimyo warriors practiced Zen meditation and wrote poetry, following the example set by General Yoritomo (1147-1199), feudal lord of Kamakura, who later assumed the title of shogun. The cult of Bushido, the ``way of the warrior,'' was led by daimyo chieftains steeled by Confucian precepts of dedicated service. This breathtaking album catalogues an exhibit now at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.the first U.S. show devoted to daimyo culture. Shimizu, a Princeton professor, provides extensive comments on the plates which depict armor, silk brocades, masks, religious sculpture, ceramics and props for the Noh theater. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1988
Release date: 12/01/1988
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