Tensho Shūbun

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Religious expression through a form of art and its process of creation provides mankind with aesthetic enjoyment, a means of communication, and a show of devotion to one’s faith. Art has been associated with religion since prehistoric times. Paintings created of past events can help elicit a feeling of devotion to one’s art and faith that can be lost over time. Art throughout the ages has become a powerful voice for the expression of religious beliefs. When it comes to the art of Christian Europeans and Asia’s Buddhism, both share narrow perspectives when it comes to their subject matter. The earliest Christian related images were based on symbols of faith, such as the fish associated with Jesus, while in Buddhist art there were the iconic…show more content…
Tenshō Shūbun was believed to have been born during the 14th century in Omi Province of Japan (Mason 225). He settled in Kyoto, which was considered at the time to be the capital city. As Tenshō Shūbun grew older, he became director of the court painting bureau, which was established by the Ashikaga shoguns. In 1423, he was chosen by members of the diplomatic mission to go to the Kingdom of Joseon which was located in what is now Korea (Mason 225). Throughout his life, Shūbun associated himself with the Zen Buddhist temple known as Shōkoku-ji. This temple enjoyed a close relationship with the Muromachi government, since many of its supporters were members that belonged to the prominent Ashikaga family. When he was younger, Shūbun studied painting under the famous artist Josetsu, who was a Chinese immigrant (Shimizu 88). Soon Shūbun became influenced by Chinese Song Dynasty masters such as Ma Yuan and Xia Gui. Because of these influences, his style became an intermediate step between early Japanese artists who imitated these Chinese models (Keene 106). Tenshō Shūbun is most notable for the development of the Chinese style of suibokuga ink painting (“Painting the Wind” 366). Suibokuga ink, which roughly translates to ink washing, is also known as a literai painting. Shūbun showed his devotion to his paintings by depicting important figures that portray good fortune and the natural

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