By Sandy Kita
Iwasa Katsumochi Matabei (1578-1650) is without doubt one of the so much arguable figures in jap paintings heritage. used to be he, as he asserted, the final Tosa (the Yamato-e school), or the founding father of Ukiyo-e, the fashion of portray linked to the city commoner classification? this article discusses either arguments.
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Additional resources for Kita: The Last Tosa
That is the question pondered in this book. Some suggestions are offered in chapter 5, but before turning to them, we need to establish ¤rst that Matabei’s reputation was, in fact, that of a master of Ukiyo-e. This is clear from the history of scholarship on him, but before examining that history, we should perhaps consider some general features of Japanese scholarship on Matabei, for these may differ from those to which the reader may be accustomed. The Myth of Japanese Language In this context, Roy Andrew Miller’s book Japan’s Modern Myth: The Language and Beyond provides a useful introduction, for many of the issues that he raises are also points of concern in the study of Matabei.
Known in Japan as Kada, the learned gentleman 33 is the Chinese god of surgery, and Ch’i Po (dates not known), or Kihaku, is another legendary physician. The ¤ve organs are the liver, heart, spleen, lungs, and kidneys, and the six body parts are the colon, small intestine, gall bladder, upper stomach, urinary bladder, and stomach proper. The points on the body for acupuncture to which Matabei refers are the meido (Chinese: ming t’ang), that is, the places where the needles are inserted. Three specialized medical terms and three references to legendary physicians, then, in two dense sentences—the sheer amount of information here suggests that Matabei was out to display his learning.
It is with an equally open mind that I seek to approach another aspect of scholarship on Matabei that has been in¶uenced by the myth of the Japanese language. If it is accepted that it is what is not said that is important in Japan, it follows that the purpose and intent of a scholarly work may go unexpressed. That, in fact, was a common assumption among many Japanese academics whom I knew in my time in Japan. These scholars thought it the duty of the diligent reader to elicit for himself the purpose and intent of a scholarly work by reading other writings by the author in question or by considering a given article or book in the context of work in a ¤eld as a whole.
Kita: The Last Tosa by Sandy Kita