This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Reviewed work(s): Source: SubStance, Vol. 10/11, Vol. 10, no. 4 - Vol. 11, no. 1, Issue 33-34: Books: On and About (1981/1982), pp. 3-25 Published by: University of Wisconsin Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3684529 . Accessed: 26/10/2012 03:27
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
University of Wisconsin Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to SubStance.
Nine Classics ofJapaneseArt
EasttoWest) (FromFloatings from
2 The 100 Views of Fuji byHokusai The first page in westernbooks is the last inJapanese books, and vice for problems when one wantsa work to travelfrom which makes versa, made Americaneditionof one civilization to the other. I have a carefully the 100 Viewsat my disposal. They follow each other in theiroriginal order, provided you turn the pages fromback to front.Problemsarise, however, as soon as an illustrationextends onto a double page. Let's imagine a sequence of single plates. The Japanese order: . . . 87654321 willbe reversed in the westernedition: 12345678 .... If, however,the first image in the 100 Views, the sublimegoddess who givesbirthto and nurturesthe flowersand trees,takes up only one page, the second, the thehermit Yen, and apparitionof Mount Fuji, coverstwo,as do thethird, fifth covers one on The a clear day. fourth, only page, though.So as Fuji will have to give us the not to destroythe double pages, a westernedition woodcuts in the followingorder: 1, 3 and 2, 5 and 4, 7 and 6, 8. Plate number 5, therefore,will immediatelyfollow plate number 2. On the other hand, whenever a double page is made up of two independent images, the order of the woodcuts will be exactlyreversed. The overall however: with the right-handimage composition will be transformed, whatshould be on the outside willcome in the center, comingon the left, will and the originalcenterwillbe tornapart. The seams of the diptychs cease to function.
These thoughtsset me to dreamingof a Franco-Japanese book, printed in both scriptsand combiningthe look of each. The vertical Japanese textwould read fromleft-handpage to left-handpage and the French
Sub-Stance N0 33/34, 1982
The firstpage in Japanese books is a left-handpage. therefore.as I turn over the sublime goddess. I spot the tip of Mount Fuji extendingbeyond the frame. I'll only see stupified spectators without knowing what they're looking at.It makes sense thatmythoughts the Hokusai.lifting of on a clear and that.horizontally. and the two of them make up 100 pages. many aspects.the hermitYen's cane extendingbeyond the frame. Just as Hiroshige's 53 Stations actuallyconsistof 55 plates. wooden sandals without being able to knowingwhose theyare. the 100 Views number 102. 30 in the second.The first published at almost the same time. The author might have considered them to be complete.depending on whetheryou'reJapanese or French.As I lift that.being the most manoeuverable and easiest to transport. Now. Since descent.they doubtless had the greatest influence on European art when communicationswere reopened withJapan.but moreover. what we discover firstis always a right-handpage. lifting westernedition. western leave out done theymay be. the righthalf is what we firstnotice as we leaf volume through.looking forone image underneathanother. images. fornot onlyare the 100 Views most recentof all the classics that I've selected. In the first of the original edition of the 100 Views.withthe coming and going.4 Michel Butor ones.the pilgrims' Hokusai (we realize as we studythese details) made fulluse of the possibilitiesoffered him by the look and feel of Japanese books. in western editions. When it comes to double pages.The whole volume worksdifferently. sent a short chapter and its translationwiththe necessaryillustrations. hillsidesand boats without I with two since end and relatively place them. when I liftthe sublime goddess. woodcuts. Each double page would preon the right-hand text. 41 in the last.each of these volumes numbers 25 double 50 and. and the books' These chapterswould followeach otherin both directions pages could be turned fromleftto rightor rightto left. inevitably howevercarefully reproductions.in 1849.the it. the year of his death at the age of 90. . countingthe titlesilluminating themin a top corner: 31 in the first twowere volume. leaving aside the introductory text. right before the rape of Japan by Commodore Perryin 1853.in 1834 and 1835. In a tip Fuji day. and in particularby thisone. oscillation.since the thirddidn't followthem until 14 years later. up independent finally.pilgrimsdescending Fuji. floatingbecoming all the strongerthe betteryou navigate in the were inspiredbya book by otherculture.
'"And. he supports some bonzes. but by all he's bad). all sortsof happiness . The farmer on his horse and.The holyman is moved bythesearguments: "I'll give you back your rice.calmlyfingering his Buddhist prayerbeads. on an perched high theyfindthe holyman. his hearthardened by his success.which are representations are not only 101 or or mass of clouds are? 100 Views there snowpile 102.don't we see it twice?And don't the double pages withseparate titlesformdiptychs.What complains: "everyonethinks willbecome of myfamily? of itback?" The bowl Can't you give me a little seems to smilein itsgilding. .by the way.after passing ravines.There of like a his bowl company golden (lying dog at his feet).we can make out the granary. Finally.perpetuallyengendered wheneverwe leaf throughthese pages. The farmerapologizes and I'm rich.takesoffin pursuitof hisescaping granary. the maples are losing their red leaves. Fuji reflected marshes. in the impressivecliff. have paled somewhat since the XIIth Century.and fogs. of course. in theJa-oi are the wrestlers. At a distance. accompanied by a few jumps whichis now on foot. throughmany forests. the points seen beside the mountain . whose overall compositionadds a third Fuji to the tworepresentedon eitherside? And thecharactermarkingthe number8 of and. 7 The Origins of theMountShigiMonastery A rich farmer(his house is wonderfully detailed .won't take no foran answer and decides. etc."With the publicationof the thirdvolume (50 woodcutsas well).Japanese Art 5 "views. withit.refusedone day indications. the tour of the eightborders atop Fuji? And the very charactersof the name Fuji. The bowl (shiningwithgold amidstthe lightcolors that.isn'tit already a representation the view from over virtue of its two brushstrokes (the Fuji by Fuji eight peaks of Shinano. to to fillthe magic ricebowl thatthe mountainhermit had sentall byitself beg foralms. servants to And all the more so above the Such a mountains. birds. The doors stillslammingbehind. The goddess on the first page is its personification. to the amazement of the entirehousehold. cranes. small of itjust as much as the boats. half-hiddenamong the rocks and clouds.but myonlywealthis myrice. repeated 92 times?And all the metaphors. to one of the . I need so little to live on. and enabling us to imagine even more.thatched roofs. high long way go! since the granarywas able to cut straight across the gulf. to take away the whole granary. it fliesoffover the watersof the sea or of a lake.while the men we're followinghave to keep to all the twists and turnsof the road! It's autumn. causing a greatwind thatlifts up theclothingof the peasantson the shores. but hundreds of others.we can make out the storeroomsinside.our men reach the hermitage. And in the next to last image.the dark blue having mostlyturned gray). where is the figure 100 to be found? Fuji is approached in so many different ways that it's very hard to say that any given image doesn't and so representit.
Returning via another route in the company of the farmer and his entourage. herds of surprised doe. The servants on foot.leave it! My bowl willbringitback foryou. the edges of the scroll. withit. withnoses up in the air. but then . even if the entirework is unrolled in a verylong display case.over pines. like those old sheetsof glass that people used to slide into magic lanterns. after many hours perhaps days .ridges. the foggygulf. perhaps.whetheralone or with a select circle of friends. the viewer. Each can be grasped at a glance. "To seek advice of the monk up there? How absurd!" Paying no heed to these jeers.all the sacksfileout of the granaryin good order and flyoffafterit in one splendid movement. At everyconsultationor presentation. follow "Where are gray theygoing?"thecrowd asks." To the ringingof thebowl.over rooftops. finallyreaches the hermitage.It's impossibleto see the whole image at once.A normal book is bound to brutally chop these fabrics up. and cherry trees. whichhas stuckclose to the hermitageand. The othersappear continuously. You have to re-unrolland reroll them withat least as much care to put them away. You have to recapitulatein reverse the whole journey you have made.The nobleman mounts his bay horse and his faintly officer mountsa dark bearded first one.6 Michel Butor servantswho rushes up to load the first sack: "Leave it.They're like slides thatcan be projectedone aftertheotheronto a or illustrations screen. the horizontalscrolls can be placed into two broad categoriesaccording to theirhandling. as theirteaching. a nobleman and his entourage greet some monkswho have arrivedin an ox-drawncarriage.on the road. the troop falls in line and.constitutes thenucleus of the present-daymonastery.would have to decide upon a particular sectioningand stop his unrolling with one hand and rolling with the other. They're rivers: you can go down them at leisure.you have to go back upstream.They could just as wellbe prints fora western-style book. In some. The presence or absence of written textaside. .as well. It was surprisedin the midstof itswork (a servantwoman is stillin the process of pickingan eggplant in the vegetablepatch) by the sacks.and this is their disadvantage. even at the risk of coming back to scrutinizethe details. In the courtyardof a palace.come back once more to settleon the foundationsof the granary.The outcome of theirconsultationis immediately clear: theymustbe off.and ravines. the images are clearly detached from one another. maples. we come upon the farmin a fitof merriment.
far higher than the birds in flocks.of the dimensions introducedby the possibility of overlappingin Eitoku's flowerand bird panels. and then more.thegame of go.reproduced todayby partof the Imperial Palace in Kyotowithitswalled-inclumpsof bamboo. thanksto the hermit's to bringthe cure.mountainforests .He tellsof his fabulousjourney throughthe clouds: he has come fromso far away and flownso high over fields." In the sumptuousdwelling.theeyesand ears of the in the folds of mountainsshowingus thatall is more Earth. .An entirewing is set on pilingssimilarto those at Kiyomizu-dera.and of therole of color underneath the text of The Biography of Ippen in giving tonalityto the images that followit.writing. however. of the arrangementof flowers in Korin's Plum Trees. as ifitwere castingitsshadow enlarged in the fog.of the longevity.As a last resort. of water in the Daigo-ji fans.of fabricsin ThePortugueseinJapan. of the symbolismof Togan's crows. The delegation setsout once more.of the doubling of the main pine treein each group. . holes in the rocksall throughSesshu's greatscroll..But high-ranking a suddenly heavenlymessenger.animal and especially human anatomies .mouthpiecesof the fluteof ages in whichthe travelerhimself becomes the melody.in order.whirl-winds or less slowocean or flames. Thus.he had managed to speak of anything but. the prince is ill. of the four scenes of childrenparodyingthe fourrefinedpastimes.The officers barelyturnto listento theambassador'sreport. all is desolation.which curtainsof fog reveal to us more fully.almostas high as the heavenlymessenger over gulfsand birds in flight ." "Go back down to your masterand tellhim thatall I can do is beseech the beneficentpowers along withhim.and reaches the hermitage.in the decoration of the Tenkyu-in. we beg you to forgivehim. If he has given you cause for reproach. he spoke of the trees in the 53 Stations.we have come to plead withyou. apropos of Tohaku's screens. music. arriveson a wheel of thunder.ridinghigh merits. They thank the holy man and assure him of the prince's protection. and painting.. of the strangeanatomies .The author's name had been scratched out. We have triedall the doctorsand the prayersof the most famous monks.Japanese Art 7 "In the palace below. with the two large cranes able to disappear . Referringto these same 21 Classics.dressed in flamingrays and holding a swordwitha handle made of lightning.symbolsof as ifthiswere the secret(one of the secrets)of all the rest.with tightly flexed musclesand claw-nailsin the 100 Views. he spoke.thatchedcottages. I dreamed last nightthat I was reading a book entitledFloatings from East to West.
A littlefartheron (you have to know the way). Fortunately. sleeps thereone night. where the gueen lies ill in spiteof all the herbalbrews that the wise men are bringingher and all the prayersbeing offeredin the temple next door.From here. the nun sets up a pantry. panied by servant. She goes on alone. and spots a hermitage where she thinksshe sees her brother. The sea king'sminister him and invites to his ger palace in thedeep. She warm can take refreshment. they the boots that he lent her. the splendid ceremonyin the Korean temple to celein his reed study brate the queen's recovery. And Gengyo.They won'tbe in want of anything. reaches the learnsin a dream what splendid templeof Amida. seen frombehind. He leads her his black has lent dwelling.the viewover theworldat one and the same time overwhelmsand calms.The willowsdon't have any leaves yet. The littleflute player. it's him! Whatjoy! It's a wonderfulhermitage: so much space for storingscrolls and sutras and for commenting them.It's stillfaraway. She feels minisculein the midstof immensity. The messenger'sarrivalin China.She setsoff. Gengyo alone could perhaps be of help. where Gengyo has gone to hear the teachingsof the best risesfromthewatersto meetthe messenhermits.and livestock sold. little.but the red plum treesare beginningto blossom. Here's another pious and generous family. peasant back gives up. 9 The Story oftheKegonSect of Two Patriarchs There's rain fallingon the cave where Gengyo and Gisho are asleep.listeningto the echoes of thismeditation. wending his where them to horse. the dogs are restless.Time She crosses a sea of clouds.fowl.8 Michel Butor an old nun. And. A cat is keeping where it'swarm.Here's Gengyo meditating and copyingover the books he most highlyesteems. though. halfhidden byclouds: the roofof a granary. peasant the and rest.he presentshim withthe scrollson whichthe secrets of the cure of the queen of Silla are written. Time passes. Then the meeting with Gengyo. Her servantshows her the way. Now they'reback on the road again . On a mountainin winter. The Korean messenger's boat is sailing towardsChina.And on the other side. but then abandons her.And we can be sure thata certain golden bowl willalwayskeep it full.She calls him.The craggyisland where a saintlyhermitis meditatingamidst tigers and bamboo trees. a compassionate her a is way. on another island. path to take. There. accomamidstragingtorrents. in the presenceof his submarinemajesty. passes high above stormsrollinglikedragons under her feet. His futilestop at a sumptuous templewhere no one can decipher anythingwhatsoever for him.cloth. Yes.And the anxiousness in the princely palace. at last.The king'smessen- .in sandals.She talkswithsome wild animals. who is are begging in a noisymarketplacewhere fish. passes. accompanyingGengyo as he plays on hisJapanese zither.Littleby thenun learnsthereis a greattemplein the region. so they send a messenger off to him.
) But no. how come you drew this stop sign?" Since reading proceeds in Japanese from rightto left.I can make out thegistof it. One morningthese young ladies challenged each other to a paintingcontest.we have the thatgoes fromrightto leftin the feelingwe're accompanyingeverything scrollsand meetingup witheverything thatgoes in the other direction. Repeated fourtimesover.The other monks'jealousy. "How come you drew a spider?" asked her friend. I first fourteen When to for the went time. We're in a successivepresent. They were supposed to draw the Sun. I spenta pole."This is clear in the absolutely storyof the theftof the scrolls. Its directorhad a charmingfiveyear-olddaughter.(Thereis an excellentJapanese departmentat the University of Geneva.She managed to jabber a bit in the language of the land betterthan her parents. All thebuildingswe'llenterand doors we'll pass throughwillappear to us obliquely. though.But thereare so manyobscure pointsin thedetails! Of course.Here a fewof themgive us the reversediagonal: in other words.Gengyo'snew studyon a foundationof blue rocks.who had made a round.fromthe upper rightto the lowerleft. We're withslightvariations study repeated . I preferto make use of myignorance in puttingto paper the story thatthesescrollsmake me imagine.it even mixes in withthe images to give us the main characters' words.Everynormal diagonal line can be interpreted as the expression "then"or "afterwhich. It doesn't matter.a story that. yearsago. perfectly "And you. In the firstunrolling.Japanese Art 9 ger brings him a thank-yougift. who was more or less her contemporary.in dire necessity. Lots of textin these scrolls.Gengyo rewritesthe text.where the messenger's all too zealous servant is pilferingthe precious copies whilea dog howls to denounce him. The Frenchgirlmade a yellowspot surrounded by eight dazzling rays.without making a single mistake.which he knows by heart and which the messenger may take away. Withthe help of variousbooks and catalogs. as in modern comic strip bubbles or medieval phylacteries.who got along verywellwiththe cook's daughter. we're on a search. will perfrombeyondthe a freshness haps have an amusing flavorof incongruity. red spot on the whitebackground.we'll have the impressionof reenteringthem when we roll the scroll back up.when Gengyo's is four times in itsfurnishings. I could have had themostimportant passages translated. where I teach.for readers fromthe archipelago who know the real one. Japan few nightsin Tokyo at the Franco-JapaneseHouse.
Gisho meets PrincessZemmyo.is packinghim a trunkfullof wonders. The wind rises. The imperial palace where. Gisho decides to go back as soon as possible. At the port. the expressions"now" or "meanwhile.and mists.thanksto all sortsof thingshave happened in a verybrief Gengyo's intervention."or even "beforehand. . though. beginning Gisho'sjourney is going to freeus. (It would be better. Out of despair. She can't help stoppingfromtimeto timeto weep.she turnsinto a huge dragon and. But he's alreadygone. already a littlefamiliarwitheverything we may pay attentionto different details thatthe sequence of eventshas made particularly but everything is seen in termsof theverbal important. tieseventstogether countryside loosely. by a magnificent rock.The cityat the edge of the sea.10 Michel Butor motionlessthen.and the princessthrowsherself into the watertojoin it.but the way is drawn.therefore. thewayarchitecture makes for greater precision in establishinga chronology.as the one at the palace) in order to gathera fewessentialrevelations.) Similarly.Thus. and after going into a temple (the garden of whichis decorated witha rock that'snot as big. We see that. The tunes of itsorchestra are drowned out by the sound of the waves. that's what these books are for. The grottonear a torrentwhere our travelersare tormented by a terrifying nightmare. An entire era has come to a close. Hubbab in the port.beyond theblue bridge. The queen's illnessis over. Here's Princess Zemmyo who.rocks. Here's Gisho's departurewitha companion and twoservants. The red sun over a little island near the shore.to talk about it a bit more. This indicatesa long-lasting is drawn present.to the greatfright of her entourage. while Gisho. of course.The reverse diagonal is equivalent. But then. The embarkation.Some buildingsare in almostEuropean-styleperspective:thatis.The boat settingsail. But timegoes by. we're that has taken place.withitscurves. she throwsout the packed trunk.who fallsmadly in love withhim. sees thatthe boat has already reached the open sea.she.rushesat fullspeed to theport. to aspects of the perfect. the lines of theirsides meet in the distance. The princesssets out. sinceall is decidedlyunwellin the kingdomof Silla. Of course. But the news from Korea is pressing. Stronger and stronger waves carryher presenttowardsthe boat. havinggot wind of her lover'splans in her palace (a wingof whichbathes in a pool alive with all sorts of fish and birds amidst the flowers). Too late: The boat has already liftedanchor. Here's the arrivalin China." We come at the end of the second scroll when we leave the upon it strikingly thanksgiving ceremonyin the Buddhist temple.in the middle of the storm.When we roll the scrollback up. at the of the fourth door closes an earlier state from which the scroll.butjust as remarkable. space of time. The messenger on horseback. itwon'tbe mentionedany more.
The path we're onnades.A torrentsnakes among the crystalline rocks. but we meet up withit again farther doubt aftera long detour. withluggage. In a nearbytown. ravines. I spentthe summer teachingat a language school in Vermont.Rather a . And all of a sudden we see a village.skimmingover a hill withtwisting At our feet. One of them is sure to agree to take us across.thisChina reinvented of some paint and the stroke of a brush.wanderings. There was splashing near the shore.Is he coming back towardsus afteran immense detour behind the cliffs.I've been wantingto therefore.And on a bridge we meet up withour travelerfroma whileback withhis little who has lefttheirbags at an inn. There are bistroswiththeirsignsfloating in the wind and lotsof boats at anchor withtheirfolded sails. under a sandalwood cover. We over the surely losing fly rooftopsof the little old pines and a few plum trees city. Fresh leaves everywhere. another village with tile roofs under the willowsand among the reeds. The road down. The windows are open and have awningsto protectthemfromthe already strongsun.theirspools of rope.a fold-outreproductionof thegreatscroll.An homage to China.with double-roofedbuildings decorated withdolphins or phoenixes and coltrees. gathersup and admires thetrunkof presents. followshis masterclimbingthroughthe rocks. You'd thinktheywere houses in Europe.Japanese Art 11 the dragon moved. During myfirst stayin the United States.cornices. Sesshu has rolled years of pilgrimage. time: thatchedroofs. two villages even: the one below is more like a small city. following at the twist put thisrememberedChina intowords.Since then. afterrestingin the buildingwhose rooftopwe can just make out in the fog? That must have been almost two monthsago.theirdryinglaundry. no zigzags and moves away. and forests. He's had time to get there and settlein. but not to any site or temple in particular. withthecommenfromleftto rightand.along a steep wall. taryrunningunderneath the images. greatly carries back and it to safe harbor in the onto her loads his Zemmyo ship of elements. He's going to leave again and reach the shore of a lake. of in midst the unleashed calms the greatest 10 The Great Scroll bySesshu loaded down A fewtreesto the rightof a path where a youngservant. Farewell.twenty yearsago. Is he reallythe same one? How servant. can we tell? He's walking in the opposite direction.and surprises into the shell of his return. the one above is behind stilltransparent must lead to the latter.a small publisher who specialized in Japan had put out.a real villagethis already in bloom. of necessity the yearbackwards.
but we won't reach it thisway. He had to become capable of opposing totally motionof the hand. once again we come upon our traveler.to unroll. witha pagoda. It's the image of the land where we are not. The ferryman takes us to his village nestled among haystacks. What a horizon! It's the immense estuaryof a river. However high we climb. a far-off citywithits below the a mountains and fantastical temples.our memory from another year? Haven't we already passed through these parts. knotty ever. There was splashingnear the shore.On the horizon. the equivalent of that vast tree trunk.Already harvestedrice fields.one on top of the other.12 Michel Butor talisman allowing one to unfurl. the sharp outline of the mountains. on" forestedhills. For this.our masterand his master.in different mood. It's the fantasmaof all seasons can goria of the West.We'll have to aim foritfrommuch farther away. .but neitherFuji nor capitals.unless it's ourselves that we're meeting up with.withanother riverirrigating them.bells ringingin theircorners.once again. We land in a cove.He had to struggleto get thisfar. crossings.he had to steal all the secretsof the mastersfromacross the moods to this different sea. though. Now the breeze swellingour sails is so swift it'sas ifwe were slidingover a frozensurface.in a different another knot in our journey.An arbor awaitsus wherewe can have some tea. At a bend.We must be nearing the centerof the world.And here's a violently hollowed out shore. Maybe he's who we'll become.the snow is all gone.or to thelightpaintcomplementat countryside. climb up and down through stair-shaped tunnelsthatlead us to discoverthe bowels of the Earth.or snatch of horizon whatsoempire fromany rock.just like so many others?But we've never seen thisprovincebefore: it'seven more mountainousthan the last one. thisescalade of the sky. across whichthereis a roundlyarched bridgewhere.and a spire rivalingthispeak. Beyond the foggyplain. Maybe we're his servant. to thatcolor of ink.The traveler greets us as we pass by. withseven roofs.We've had to struggle.in order to give the impressionof an ever-changing It its and different with resting-places. comingfromelsewhere?Isn't this weather. speeds. More temples.We're nearing a famous pleasure-ground. we meet our companion and his servant.trails. There must be a party.restingas he sits and chats with his servant. beyond bridge over a But is other side of these islands and the main branch the tributary. His servant is probablyasleep at an inn.You can smellthe odor of the ocean.and throughit the contemporaneity be won. ing it. would be easy to single out 53 stationsor 100 views. we'lljust circlearound it.
It took theinspiration of Providence for him to thinkof sending the food thathe wanted her to have throughthe stomachsof his monks.people were hurrying There must be a party. the water. You'll try tojoin in at the feastsof humans. and even the roofsof the houses are getting covered up with snow. in general their hungerlastsso long thattheydespair of ever touchingany food thatisn't . The leaves grow redder and redder. at the dynasty). The high slopes were alreadywhite.Bear manage to catchthe splatters in mind thateven Mokuren. with an enormous belly.Fires roar in the kitchens.people hurryabout on The guestscongratutheirdonkeysor on foot. Fires roared in the kitchens. an animal. late one another.There was splashing near the shore. veteranof the first siege at Ting-Tung (in China under the Ming in December of the 18thyearof the Bummei era (1486). one of Shaka's ten great disciples.for the fog farther. are alreadywhite.The withpeople. Windows were closingone by one. simply. Only the pine needles were keepingtheirdark green.but we arrivein timeat thisgreatcity where. In whichcase. well sheltered from the risingwind.thus enabling her to eat her fillat last. We were under was closing in and the first thewingof the mountainand. whose delicious flavoryou remember. snows were upon us. You'll be reduced to lapping up the few drops leftby the feet of travelerscoming to wade across.spindly limbs. chances are good you'llcome back as a starving phantom. 11 The Six Paths If you're not reborna demon or a man.To get any we had to hurryto climb these stairsin the ravines. Leaves. The skygrowsblack behind the peaks.and all thatwas leftwas to waitfor the opening of the firstbuds of the plum trees that we'll see again someplace else. a jagged spine. age of 67.couldn't feed his motherwhen she became a starving phantom.Japanese Art 13 On the path on the other side of the water. The skywas growingblack behind the peaks. bushy hair perpetuallyfalling over eyes thatare popping out of your head like shinymarbles. And if it does happen thatthe providentialpowers sometimes take pityon these phantoms and shorten their miseryby taking themalong towardssome heaven or. since mostof the houses are actuallycaves.in a pavillion.or a god. a hollow chest. their preserve purityfor betterbeings than you. by authorizingsome saintly monk to throw them rice meant for human beings. The high slopes withitsramparts.a dragon. Then we make out a signaturetraced in the snow on the spotless fields: "painted by Sesshu Toyo.we can enjoy a lastpale rayof sun in thecompanyof our guide. and fangliketeeth.you'll attemptto slake your thirst but you'll be chased away by spiritskeeping watchto at riversides. On the pathon theotherside of villagesquare was swarming about.hoping to snatcha few but you'llonly bitesof theirmeals." Now we have to roll the scrollback up again. There must have been a party. when theysprinklethe funeraltablets.
these flayers. as you know. Here's the hell of excrementsfor people who have behaved in vile ways. Here's the hell where cheatersare forced. persecutors many images brought back from the 18 parts of hell. slashers.you'll be reborn a man.our existence reflects.themostbeautifulflamesof all Hell. and the magnificent flames. amidst vicious laughter. You didn't know about these neighing demons. Here's the hell where wicked women are lacerated by wolves with lava spit.we have also been men.and invalids.Here's the hell of and devoured blood where are puss by enormous horpoisoners' eyes nets. dealing withthe theme of the six worlds of unhappiness thatwe can be reborn into and that.lice.for there is hell in Japan.Who would ever wantto be born ifhe had any suspicionof this? And yet.And our rare momentsof truejoy don't make us lose our tasteforthe sad compensationsattachedto our misfortune.look at this parade of cripples.not so verylong ago afterall.at everyinstant.nightafternight.Here's the hell where theivesare crushedin a cast-iron Here's the hell where cruel people are picked apart by gleefultorturers.insomnia. These scrollsbelong to groups (parts of whichhave disappeared). and could have been born animals - . sties. and thehell of livecoals.thatclingto theirhair and bitethe napes of theirnecks. and the veryworstthatcould happen would be foryou to be rebornas a demon. and therecan be paradise only withthe knowledge of hell.and other And there were before. but. Who of us has been freeof colics. Search your dreams: weren'tyou a demon in a previousexistence. If you're verylucky. nervous tics. that conditioncan be a hell.The liquid shitthey'reimmersedin is swarmingwithlarvae .14 Michel Butor foul. and isn'ttherea violent desire wakingup inside you to bite and flay?I've put hell in the centerof hard to open withmy thisJapaneseparadise. by fireyroosters. And we have been animals. But just think: these torturesare nothing compared to those undergone by those verydemons whose sole comfort is to tortureyou. the gate of whichI'm trying ramblingsabout the classics. and nightmares?And all around. And here's a hell where demon-dogs and phantom-scavengers lap up and savor blood out of wounds. and that'swhatwe remain. and where people who've been hell of stoned toss and turnunder a showerof flint. to measure exact amounts of flame under the threefoldsurlygaze of an bell ageless harpy. Here's the hell where arsoniststryin vain to flee a showerof burningashes fallingfroma pitch-filled sky.they look like thoseof maybugs .toothaches.we have notonlybeen demons and phantoms. doddering idiots.
sheetsof templeswhere he seeks information. So the starving phantoms In barnyards. everyphantom ofhislute. gods and demonspass by from How can we withstarving Aboveall. Tattered writing marshes. stand come out of it. forthem. a samourai passing by with his escort on a hermitageon the mouna cemetery.a house thatpeople are leaving. .cherrytrees. horseback. little boats. they patience. likemen misfortunes must abouttheir there havebeenscrolls incombat. and everything Remember thetimewhenwe werephantoms. theinner torment what a relief! Fora few instants over. in the music a that he out. often ofprey itwith that beasts with sucha stench dogs.or even.Thisleavesthem too often succeedin and tearthemto pieces.a phantom fingering And whilethe from mother-waters. is fit wait with sniff. and foremost and. and bones.a plum treein flower. old papers. And while friend delights thing spits whatever a phantom toswallow stands might guardnexttohisear ready watch over nostrils.and nowand then we ofa sigh weare gods.first navels. crawl in sewers and and latrines. gleefully dreaming celebrating on thelook-out.menand women. poor villages. mist.we could I givetorediscover one ofthescrolls havebeenborngods. to he can the what ready lap up tocatch in so as lies wait master a starving makesmerry.whileeveryone is of his and the wicked bonze.Butas soonas a childcrouches will subside.dogs near a thatchedcottage.accordbattling dying dragons combat and capable they say.JapaneseArt 15 . beads. they through alleyways.they may extremely crawlfordaysand daystowards a grave. sorrows. a child going off after an adventurer monk. 12 TheBiography ofIppen theMonk on the pink silkof childhood.forthelength sometimes of divine the surest towards deliverance. everygarbage. armpits.Whatwouldn't about the misfortunes of the gods? Would a modern-day Japanesebe also been gods. In the air aroundus. ofcourse.rice paddies. mustbe begun all over again. path partake timeto time. it'sswarming phantoms. forever and feeling great joy. though. unextinguishable thing they travel and fine their senseofsmell hasbecome tuned. sewagefarms. jealous demonscomeup from calming and make themvomit.in their perpetual ingtowhat supposedly of savinghumanbeingsin distress. isjoyfully ever forget this?As soon as a childis born. profits. They over and fight also hauntpoorly Theysavorthecarrion keptcemeteries. crotches.But whenever they gather hell in their theburning bellies.Youngand old.other trees in bloom. us? we have of that for Remember: capable reinventing . But with even moreluck. his prayer waits crouched.columns of characters.
gloss. bridges. placards hangingover rice paddies to scare away birds. dale. mist.silk.a well-sinker. another house that people are of cranes. a village square with rice tradingand cloth trading.a waterfall. trees. declaration. day after day.angrysoldiers.the weathergetting bad.someone to followthecrowd.the mound where the fatheris buried. a stable. tain.two goats fighting.talk.snow on rocks. a brutal downpour. oxen. grass. a monkeyon a chain. dancing in a circleto the sound of a littledrum.16 Michel Butor of ducks over the river.the conversationof the two bonzes. autumn leaves.explanationson the silk.theboyhesitating leaving them.a of swans. up between palisades.a falcon. talk. legend.the hesitantinterpretation of a dream.winterlandscape. grass.a flight hill the magnifiand and surprises. tie the ribbon. all classes of societywere flockingthere. rock stairways.so delightfully colored on the dissolvingsilktraveling the years. snow on rooftops. another temple. a path going mist.a flight of whiteheron.storms.a streamthatlittleboats carrying numerous pilgrims are going up. reeds.mountains. the weather.story.rosywhitesilk. another templeamong the yet ravines. a neighing horse. the temples on the mountain tops. Writingon the blue-green silk of patience.farmland. sentences. thenonce again begin unrollingtherose purplethen green . shapes of monks that you can make out throughthe translucenceof shades or paper-covered windowframes.autumn leaves.so delicately worn silk. the years. Roll it up again and take the nextscrollout of the lacquer box: Then writing on deep purple silk.thenwriting on ocher yellowsilk. dizzying paths.the seashore. solitude.theweather.day afterday. a warrior having his hair clipped. giftbearers. beggars outside the drawnon the walls.snow on wickerback-packs.twistedtrees. gloss. an immense temple that people are leaving.mountains.Put the scroll back in itslacquer box. bamboo forests. monks legend.a flight leaving.and wanderingmusicianwithhis lute. the umbrellasof monks runflight of foliage on the dark backning for shelter.the temple by nightwiththe ladder over the ravineleading to the hermitage above. on the story.in the village square an officer whose escortis chasingaway vagrants. pious women with their big hats. but the inhabitants of the regionbringall . some deer beside a rushingstream.explanations. the young leaves of willows.dogs.beach birds. far-off sails.a farm that people are leaving. sentences. a furnace. and yet another templejust before a streamfishermen are going down. dogs fighting. beggars sleeping with dogs underneath the floor of a comfortablemonasteryor on the veranda. storms.a multiplicity ground of forests. the house of a richman who is eating. on haystacks. torrents by cent temple withitsoutbuildings.clematisclimbinga wall of braided reeds. the mother withher baby.Roll itback up.a littlelanding.anothertemple.on reeds.
the mist.inside.put it away. dress. haulers pull a floatof beams on the river. and explanations. a flight in of in hill the middle thethrongedmarket.more preaching.Take out. talk.offerings reachingthe temof the a river. solemn portals. roosterand a shops hen on the rooftop.then red . the prayers of monks half way up their calves in water.so intelligently arranged on the silk. a raised buildingunder the floorof whichlittle are each scamps outdoing otherat acrobatics. hard times.a templeon stilts. ple.elucidations.the years. to the at the entrance monastery.day after writing day.poor wretcheslaboriouslyfight with the crows over their pittance. the monks begin theirdance once more under a shelterof wooden boards. the monks tryto do somethingabout it by once again beginningtheirdance to the sound of tambourines. a flood.silk. geese flyoff over rice paddies where a few heron are stillfishing.silk.gloss.then on ocher yellow. a fishermanwithhis pole on the shore. Roll it back up.elucidationson the silk. story.rickshaws.a bonze passes out papers. preaching at the farm.fancy horse. commentary. people washinga horsemen. crossing roaring .grass.carriages.words on silk.big hats.then begin unrollingthe raw silk once more.sick people.columns of characters.a noble traveler'sdeparture. poor wretchesall around.declarations. tie it.the few horses are raw boned. fans. of misthalfbury a bridge over a greatriver. no doubt a tomb. beggars lean againstthe surroundingwalls.a crowded market. supplicationsof peasants.a great many offerings coming to the temple of the preaching. legend. cripples.then wandering-green a withcormorants.the wandering musician with his lute.by bydale. of blue and whitebirds. Untie the ribbon. ever more sumptuous temples. declarahouses tions.the monksonce again take up of some nuns on a square-shaped islandin the middle theirdance in front of a pool. untie.harvests. the monksonce again begin theirdance to thestriking of gongs. squeezed together tightly .oxen and horses splash about in the gutter. covered passageways leading all the way to the room where a bonze is teachingsurrounded by his disciples.thebonze bows down beforea sacred piece turning of wood.the bonze has just arrived at another temple witha pool where lotuses are blooming .the wanderingmusicianwithhis lute. the weather.people bathing in eddies.rice mustbe passed out to the hungry.preaching under a humble shelter. strips the passers-by.Japanese Art 17 sorts of provisions for a picnic lunch for the exhausted men to enjoy. and once again begin unrolling the deep purple silk.a solitaryMount Fuji high above countryside and rivers.a boat Writingon the ocher yellow. the entrance to a great temple with a bridge over a lake where swans are swimming. in a ravine.successive porticos. sentences.
ground monkey pawing intothe sea that of a greatoak.he has the feeling that these are illustrations of fables by La Fontaine .sentences. a pond bloomingwithlotusand emptying we'll cross in order to near a red porticowithitsfeetin the water:it'sthe famous temple of Itsukushima. is everybitas inimitable of Kakuyu. lay.therefore.painta crossingover an arm of sea.solitude. a flightof egret-tufted heron. faultpeculiar to foreigners.the boats.Ippen's apparitionat his tomb. repeat Amida's name. fable.faithfulness. little monklet.""amidstthymeand dew. along the ravine-broken cliffs the monks in littleboats towed by haulers.grass. foronce. there'sa tiny. shores. This work has the strangeadvantage. dry. reread. look at it again. byhilland kind of coat. It's the commonlot. with red paint.day afterday." corresponds to an attitudecomparable to his own. for us. whose verse. paintthe tearsin Ippen's eyesas he tellshisfollowers.not that he can but because the way these hares. preachings.in a large stable horses withevery dilapidated temple. Ippen's paint.silk. end. an emptydance stage. in In the shade his stable. to tellwhateverstorieswe please . listen to the stories.then perseverence-white Writing side of a sick man. sails in the mistover the sea. text.above the waves. represented. We're free.the bonze at the on green . thenwriteon theocher red silk. his it was and that he's mist.On stage in the center. as thebrushstrokes .the magnificent spectacleof court. religious yesterday. they'regoing to spread the news.but also of not being Here.the weather. and on an island or peninsula the monksonce again beginningtheirdance to the sound of gongs under the cover of wooden boards. 14 Frolicking Animals When a Frenchman comes across the firstscroll. ignoranceis not a caught up in any fixed interpretation. nearing crowd.the tearsof monksgoing theirseparate on the finalinscription ways. explanations.except thatto compete withthe figural we'd reallyhave to be able to writein the styleof La Fontaine. not only of not containingany text.18 Michel Butor . fouryoungdancers offertheirgrace to thegods.fourdancers in golden armorand red trainson a blue a stage.so vividly one of told on the rollingsilk.the musicianshidden behind draperies.horseman and his escortrun offin search of some .take up the both brushto write. in calligraphy. narration. Roll itback up. legend. monkeys. a by dale. on the a a horse chain. the silk.people who riskdrowning. an oak. commentary.we're witnessing it to the silk last Think wait for cover back. identify any particular or foxes are frogs. columnsof characthe templewhere the bonze is writing ters.latecomersall in a hurry.even how theyare placed in the landle scape "parmi thymet la ros6e.the flood of the Ippen's death in the midstof a grieving river.alas. but the preaching startsup again.
But the relationship between these beasts and men is.aftera comparison mightseem incongruous at first.veryclose.or even . religiousprejudices. restlessfowl. the chase aftera lawbreakerguilty of a crimethatmostof merry-making.human complexions under these fells.quarrelsome dogs. As for the animals off in the dedistance. sometimeswearing human costumes. inversely. in as no absurd to hint of in detect a the it's Indeed.in his Livresdou Tresor. Since theyare destined to get around all kinds of censorship.or. powerful bulls. leads us intoa totally no longer presented with human activities:cleaning. some of them are already livingon a different and that theyare as level. that of the asuras or dragon-kings. Each of theprincipalanimalsis an ideogram of a class in society.by the Hindu he calls Pilpayand dating fromapproximately the same period as the major sutras. demonstration of their effectiveness: a quintessential perfumeweaving its way throughthe slats and panels of screens and throughthe lines of edicts.disguisethemselves as animals. religiousceremonieswhere the participants. since it's easy today to trace architecture all theroutestakenbyGreek artas itcame acrosscentralAsia to influence even far-away Japanese art.since worldscommunicatedifferently pending on their time and place. Beginningwiththe seventhbook of his Fables." given many separating it's not impossible. We're faced. nonetheless.ifwe thinkof the fabulousspecies he introduceswithout any preciselinesof demarcation. If. the crowd approves.forwhom the fable writer is a slave who alwayshas the last word.even ifwe thinkwe can recognizethesame hand in itas in the first world. superior to men as men are to theirdomesticanimals. fangs and horns are to be discoveredunder such and such a face. to find seriousjustifications for it. For thisreason.and bringinginto the midstof closure a tasteof the foreignand a sense of the impermanence of power. noble horses.in particular. more informedhistoricalreflection. His or his brothers'teachingscould well have crossed medieval China and come to floweron thisscroll.we mightthinkthat.linguistic would certainly be the barriers.Japanese Art 19 who was knownas Toba Sojo and to whomthe Animalsare attributed. archerycontests. but also on the Book of the Wisdom of Kings. instead. witha kind of shortzoological encyclopedia:animals as theyare. La Fontaine's thoughtson the meaning and functionof animal-dressfablesmightwell shed some lighton these. he models his work not only on Aesop and Phaedra.and social divisions.so too withLa Fontaine. in order to trick all sortsof enemies. the miles and centuries these two this "classics. thatof the officialphilosopher.topped offby the solitary eagle who already belongs to another sphere. warrior falcons. since we have almostall been animals in anotherexistenceand manyof us shallbecome animalsonce again. just Doric the way of the Shin-Yakushi-jiin Nara. thatthe fables should cross so many mountains. Dante's friend. So thereare human facesunder thesesnouts.Brunestablishing etto Latini. If the eagle is the .We're different narrative one.according to the Life of Aesop. The second scroll. Buffon ratherthan La Fontaine. bare-handed wrestling.
If there is no officialinterpretation today of the FrolickingAnimal one. however.trees.tails like featherdusters. Moreover. foxes.then one of eagles.considerationof individualauthorsand dates notwithstanding. have been. They run like lightning.hares. or way was.a land offalcons.It's as if we had Granvilleand Daumier togetherin the same album. even if there was no point by point correspondencebetween them.segmentsare juxtaposed thatwere not intended to followone another. This is particularly still.a verypowerfultraditional not in legends or commentaries.As fortheirheads. withinthese two parts.which is made up of two parts withverydifferent subject matter and styles. partof the scrollcould be thoughtof as a commentary the other. the same spiritran all throughit. it'shard to tellwhetherthey're hoofs. but in different animals.Whatdo they see in theirflight? What paradises can theydiscernwiththeireyes which are capable of gazing on all lights?Just as far away from us. a land of roostersand chickens.we discovernew latitudes.then one of dogs. instead of placing his animals on a backgroundof rocks. It is expressed scrolls. After that. revealing on each therefore.there are tortoise-shelled theirnoses and another on theirforeheads. cats. but by the factthatthese workswhose hands and which are clearlyby different subjects seem quite different and even fromdifferent periods. Firstwe have a land of horses. though.cloven horns. witha horn on directions.thenone of cows.the dragon is the eagle in itsown realm. Its author.thereis. All thisis the dictionaryof the tangled textof our life. bottom.and little We mighttend to more like a horse or a lynx.Japan had undergone tremendous changes).speckled animals withlong necks. it'sverysimplyand in human clothing.that representing human beings keepin as this at the same ing busy disguisingthem as. them to be.20 Michel Butor falconof the altitudes.and grass. or frogs. inspiredby cluding cock fights the fable scroll. As we change altitudealong withthem.the firstshowing us human beings and theirdiversions(inand the second directly and dog fights).and that. and are in the third considered to be inseparable.ifthe earliermaster'sanimals are dressed at all. monkeys. striking scroll. . witha centuryprobablyseparatingthe two scrollsfromthatof the last (and during this completionof the first time. while.renderstheircostumeswithleaves. Perhaps they'vedeveloped fromstoriesabout rhinoceri:now they'rekirinlivingin seafoam. The author of this venerable collage certainly musthave feltthatall thisbelonged together and that.
It's easy to thinkof its calligraphyas traced in the same wonderful. the game of go. oldest knownmanuscriptof the Tale were painted byprincesresembling thoserepresentedin itlikebrothersand.You wonder ifitisn'ta suggestionput forward bytheauthor. screens. Then a of most an and. dragon. Here's a land of ibex. the "missinglink" in an atlas of monsters.it musthave takena greatdeal of timeto produce workssuch as these. even a painting should be considered to be the works of professionals. 16 The Tale ofPrinceGenji We read in the seventeenthchapter that the emperor at that time favoredthe fineartsabove all else. well. for this styleof paintingused to be thoughtof as feminine.Thanks to the images.grassy charactersas the columns of the manuscript. Prince Genji wins a paintingcontesthands down. elephants. and painting.Japanese Art 21 consider them to be completelyimaginaryif. all. thatthey would paint for each other. It's likely.therefore. only parody religiousvow.As we see. even more so. elephant-dragoncombiamazing nation. What comes nearest to these scrolls. In the midstof courtly occupations. wife.Akikonomu.is the letterin the illustration to chapter39. the game of go. the vast number of sacred texts covering .surrounded by bamboo that. sliding doors. After Chinese lions fullyas familyof tigers.that the illustrations to the writing. It was a kind of worldlyvow . thathe enjoyed viewingpaintings and.we can easilyimagine the contestsand challenges thatproduced them.when we close our eyes.have undergone fewerchanges.writing. painted remarkably excellentartist.all these different points didn't suddenly organize themselvesinto the descriptionof a giraffe.for possessingand displayinga lovelygroup of scrollscertainly broughtone And this vow not of a was the great prestige.of court painters. music.so we should also findthe act of painting. accompanied bymaterialforpaintingor writing in ink. and that their favoritesamong the young courtierswere those who painted and studied painting. One of the classic themesin Chinese and Japanese cultureis the set of the four most elegant and liberal refined amusements: music.who concludes his reportby deducing a species impliedby the previousones. byprincesses. Indeed. that he visitedher more and more frequently.whichare missingfromour scrolls. an that his was also himself.In whatremainsto us.Later on in the same chapter. and on paper decorated in like manner. Amidst flowersand butterflies. and readingoftenfigure in them. evolved in relation to real lions as the giraffes that we just saw.The leopards that follow. but its preparation.a plants.
Thus. Despite the artist's to rediscoverthe Heian period.Thus.In the scene in the same chapter where Kashiwagi. The restof it is filledwitha luxurious disorderof cloth. the Edo artistpresentsboth of the characters alone and in the center.which along withher. in many of the deof feasts. the three main characters.I read thisin Seidensticker's which is illustratedwithreproductionsof Shunsho English translation. with text. to beautifulthe objectstheywould bringwiththem be blessed. again.we. and this is why the illustrations portraits. him as not strike does worthy waywarddaughter. take up only halfof the image.and Prince Genji.only to have them covered. the famous in the retired where emperor comes to visit his passage chapter 36.Justas the textof the novel is written on elaboratelyprepared paper.from whichthe heads of fourlady'smaids are barelyemerging. which mimics. have a sumptuous mass of clothconverging And in the scene where Prince Genji is seduced by the beautyof young Kaoru. They are prominentpoints in a whirlpoolof luxuryand emotion. however.concealing them (althoughit manuscripts would have been so easy to whitewash over the profaneparts). and crystallization The charactersin the novel are the concentration in no way constitute of worldly life.once awningshave been givendetailed treatment. shades.The frequentchoice of The Tale ofGenjias such a backingis readilyunderstandableifwe realize thatthe greatsof the period considof theirsecular lives. everyeffort different he approaches the textin a completely spirit. the princess.withoutclaimingto forgetit.the retiredemperor. wonderfulway the manuscriptis composed. The value attributed to themwas in proportionto the giftthatcould be made of them. on the heads of maids. Their entrance into the religious life.loftierluxuries and emotions.it is said thateven in Amida's paradise one would be scriptions hard put to find anythingmore beautiful.often unbeknownstto itself. shortly afterthe completionof the Katsuravilla. and screens. so the entire manuscriptcan be thoughtof as an elaboratelyworked backing for the sacred text. makes an enigmaticconfessionto Yugiri. and in theleftpart.showsthat must with have been done an they eye to a religioususe afterall. ladies would work or supervise work on the most beautifulof manuscripts.22 Michel Butor of thiskind without.curtains. even because of thiseffort. For years. who is about to die.a lady would give the monastery she would cover up withher present life. Yamamoto's woodcuts fora 1650 edition. In the of illustration.in the engravingthe . In bringingit ered it to be the best representation her past splendor.That was the beginningof the Edo period.In the manuscript. even though he knows he is not his father.Rarelywere the images triggeredby the same passages as before. or to themselves cover them up.but sometimesvery consciously. if it of esteemthe more would appear all the more worthy became necessary.
These image deserts to what is leftto us of the work.a little hook fora nose. gives us a poignant sense of solitude. mostof the timetheycan't be seen. This is in perfect facial gathered moonlight anonymity with what forwestern is the novel's most characteristic keeping surprising readers: the factthatthe main charactersdon't have proper names and thatthe names traditionally givento themare onlynicknamesand appear where theyare generallydesignatedby their veryrarelyin the textitself. changing social position alone.Looking at theirfaces.afterwhich there's no turningback. they remain anonymous. and costumes. luxuriance.Feeling is thus diffusedover the entire surface and invades us.we know thatthe nobility have .monksmust.Yugiri.But then. but spot lips.nextto such bya greatemptytriangle. byno means appears in these plates to be a culmination. the imperialcity.likethosein n6 a little later. We have the impressionthat there's stillanother stationto go. thick twothinlines foreyes.atop femininebillowsof cloth.But theapparent goal. In the images and in the narrative. in his monk's attire. they are masks behind which the reader or viewercan place himself. even more important. a dark.are capable of tremendousexpressiveness when combined withgestures. It's absolutely necessary to figure out their functionin the scene.armsof sea. for The thin men have moustaches and hintsof beards. which. In thefragments thathave been preservedonlythe women are sometimesseen in profile. Kaoru.littlered eyebrows. all have been depicted like that. it's to be sure who each of the courtiers are who have impossible young a for concert.but in the manuscripttheyare in the corner. illustration the retiredemperor. No one is depicted fullface. Thus. in the second illustration in chapter 38.has a shaved forehead.itsfords. or Niou. customhouses. wrinkles. a restlonger than the others. though.Japanese Art 23 prince and child are in the center.poses. If you can't. itsbridges. gorges. the men are always seen eitherin three-quarters view or in lost profile. give rhythm The faces in the manuscriptof The Tale of Genji are devoid of any individualcharacterization.it's impossibleto tell Prince Genji fromKashiwagi.mostlikely.All the restof the upper left-hand of shades blowingon the veranda image is filledwiththe representation and. 21 The 53 Stationsof the Tokaido Highway byHiroshige The tripto Kyotofromthe easterncapital has all thecharacteristics of a journey of initiation withitstemptations. trials. In the first in chapter36.and nastyweather. Their features are always indicated in the same way: very high. a few and much thinnereyebrows.These masks. (circumstancesand laws oblige you to.
and then in the ancient world (China and India). buteven come back by over the pole). We're offto Europe:'that continent's landmarksshould be as useful as the archipelago's in helping us imagine paradise.and. withsheetsof fabulous color in the upper limitsof his images. The already heavenlycharacterthatJapan can take on as you move about there.and hundreds more famous places in Japan. and around them. In several in threeof them. if only in our imaginationand in the prints.we must perpetuallybegin thejourney over again.a journey takingus out ofJapan. as if it had been necessary.These six Other Views not only complement Hokusai's work. a a breaks the (Fuji.first and foremost.24 Michel Butor to live in Tokyo every other year and samourai's wives couldn't leave Tokyo without special permission). kite.and in the few through where the sky. and in the new world thathas named itselfthe Occident. and on to theotherside of the Earth.an object images.the other stationsunfold.the famous viewsof the twocapitalsradiatingaround theirboundaries could also unfold. Around these six views. This double figurewas an invitation to continuethe series: six of the Tokaido Stationsare new Views. yellow grayover Kambara in the snow.had just been put in the spotlight by Hokusai. lemon yellowover the Kanaya ford.ifwe can't get beyond thispoint. ifthe skyis blue over the Nihombashi bridge.steel over the Odawara Prussian blue over Numazu in the ford. violetover the Yokkaichi bridge in a gust of wind. representedby another mountain. If we could notonlygo all thewayto Europe. Among the officiallandmarks nearby.and as it moves about.deep blue. gray ocher and anthracite ultramarine. in the 31st.when we're already so faraway fromit.This is particularabsent.rivers.the divinevolcano seems to reappear.they'rethereto situatethe others).which is so importantin the others.theearthrisesall thewayup to thesky. and rocksplay fields.there was one whose importance. but also constitutea work withina work. sepia over Oiso in the rain. sign post) top frame.across China or theocean.orangypink.the Shimada ford. is what Hiroshige is celebratingwhen he has the most faithful colors of alleyways. at firstglance. It isn'tthe factthatwe're nearing Kyotothat'sbringingus nearer to paradise: it's thatwe're going towardsthe West. then purple and vermillion.the paper in the marginitself in ly apparent the 24th print. and so on. And that'swhy.it turnsorange over the sails in Shinagawa. pink. For. competing withthe 36 and 10 Views of Fuji. This half-circle around the mountain is the image of a half-circle around the Earth which is asking to be completed. moonlight.These 53 stationsare just the beginningof a dream journey (whichis whythe two end plates don't enterinto account . Competing withHokusai meant. a rest after which we must keep going. continually heading west(as we can todayin planes flying . is. becomes celestial.
fromthe shogun towardsthe emperor.we can make out Nagasaki. In memory of the first Japanesewho translated French into his language.can be thoughtof as a declarationof principle.at about the same distance. ritualsand the arts. with everything appearing on the traveler'sright. Hiroshige redid the 55 plates of the Tokaido almost 40 times. Before he died. of course. The first print." meaning: "I'm going to the westernparadise where Amida reigns. We know that he traveledthe route in 1831 or 1832.those plates can be arranged one aftertheother. from Translated by Terese Lyons Columbia University .whichsymbolizes paradise. over .fromthe Edo period both towardsthe almostmythof ical golden age of Heian and the open and dangerous effervescence the Momoyama period. thatFar Occident whichwas thenEurope. but.all of Japan could be seen as the image of paradise. The tremendous success of the seriesof plates hardlyexplains the factthe he spenta good part of the 20 some years thatremained of his lifebeginningit over and versionthatwas mostin demand."and also: "I'm going fromTokyo towardsKyoto. giganticscroll. the Earth was round.with its emphaticperspective. while accompanyinga shipmentof horses fromthe shogun of Tokyo to the emperor in Kyoto.Japanese Art 25 backwards (so that. the crack in theJapanese dungeon thatwestern innovations filterthrough drop by drop: firstChina. For Hiroshige.especiallysince it was the first He must have felthe was going to die too soon. There is no evidence thathe ever repeated thejourney.instead of then. fromthe existing to the idealized power of power. It's the last page of the Japanese book.in the 15th print. but the first of the French one. Hiroshige wrote: "I leave my brush in the East and go off to visitthe famous places of the Occident.Spread graduallyout fromeast to west." West of Kyoto. withoutbeing able to produce 55 variationson the 55 plates. above all.as it does during the rest of the trip.as iftheyhad been cut out of a single. from its police and administration. Mount Fuji would abruptlymove over to his left).
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.