Wednesday 26 June 2013

Classical yet innovative

Spirit of Japanese culture is sometimes difficult to explain for Western people. We often prefer "asymmetry" rather than "symmetry" that is more naturally understood beauty.
This mind is related to the fact we appreciate "imperfection", like "IZAYOI" moon rather than the full moon.
Or, it is reflected on tea bowls patched with gold, which adds more "scenery" than they are perfectly made.

And this favor for "imperfection" seems to relate with "transition of time".
For example, Japanese drawings tell stories from the right side to the left side.
They do not reflect just some "scenes" of a certain moment.
This may be come from we have distinct seasons that change one to another.
So, we love something transitory.

Asymmetry is seen in various ways, like distribution of stones in rock gardens, shelves of SUKIYA-style old houses, and even in the gate of shrines (TORII).
Did you know that right and left pillars of the gate is not the same diameter?
Behind the gate is the shrine, and so, if you come and face the gate from outside, your left hand-side (geometrically, the west-side) pillar is wider than the right hand-side (the east-side).
I have heard from this fact from my friend who once was working on left-right asymmetry of the fish, such as sword fish.

I attended Neuro2013 last week, and visited FUSHIMI-INARI located southeast to Kyoto Station, just before coming back to Sendai.
It is really amazing that hundreds of gates, i.e., TORIIs, are lined up in a row.
Each TORII, the gate, is the donation from people who wish something like happiness or health or treasure.
There is a notice showing who donated each gate, and it seems the gate is regularly turns over, replacing a rotted one by a newly donated one.

It is like a passage to a world of different dimension.....
And I suddenly realized this is really modern and innovative even though each gate itself is just a classic old style.

No comments:

Post a Comment