Beautiful Pictures by an American Artist in Edo period

19世紀にRobert Frederick Blumgaが描いた江戸の風景、飴屋
I found some beautiful paintings in Edo period (1600-1866) by a Western artist named Robert Frederick Blum. His colorful paintings of Edo period could describe living ordinary people’s lives or visual scenes in those days Japan, which were kind of hard to convey with photograph.
The picture above entitled ” 飴屋(ameya)” portrayed a peddler who selled candy to the children on the street. He was breathing into the candy like a g lassblowing to shape it into a bird or other animals. The children were waiting for emerging a tiny artwork from his fingers in the end while gazing intently. They are very cute! It is interesting that every girl gave her younger sister or brother a piggyback ride. Caring them seems to be children’s routine job in the time.

It is said that Robert Frederick Blum, a 19th century painter, had desired to go to Japan some day, since he was inspired by Japanese cultures at the Philadelphia Expo in 1876. 14 years later, in 1890, he was invited the third Domestic Kangyo Expo in Ueno Japan. It made him decide to stay Japan for three years and had drawn many paintings filled with an Edo period atmosphere.

19世紀にRobert Frederick Blumが描いた江戸の花市場
The Picture of “花市場(Hana ichiba=flower market)” portrayed a flower seller wearing “chonmage” who had a smoke taking time out from his business, or the women shopping around for the flowers. According to different records, the Japanese people of the day loved flowers very much. They would plant many flowers in their tiny yard or enjoyed to put potted plants and Bonsais on the veranda.

rovert frederic the picture book
Beautiful pictures made by an American artist in the Edo period
http://japan.digitaldj-network.com/articles/25212.html

Robert Frederick Blum
Robert Frederick Blum (9 July 1857 – 8 June 1903) was an American artist born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was one of the youngest members of the National Academy of Design, was President of the Painters in Pastel, a member of the Society of American Artists, and the American Watercolor Society.
He visited Japan in 1890 and spent three years there. He had been interested in that country and its art for many years.
A Daughter of Japan, drawn by Blum and William Jacob Baer, was the cover of Scribner’s Magazine for May 1893, and was one of the earliest pieces of color printing for an American magazine. In Scribner’s for 1893 appeared also his Artist’s Letters from Japan. He was an admirer of Mariano Fortuny, whose methods somewhat influenced his work.
(from wikipedia)

Asian countries’ history textbooks

The following sentence is the extracts taken from an article in the Yomiuri Shinbun on 16 December, 2008, under the sub heading of “The Japanese textbook is the most controlled of all, it neither admires the war, nor fuels patriotism” The article was written on the basis of the result of ” The comparative study of history textbooks of Asian countries and America” conducted by the Stanford University.
It says..
contrary to expectations “They(Japanese history textbooks) don’t glorify the war, emphasize the importance of the military, or describe acts of heroism on the battlefield. They are timelines that only give accounts of historical events without describing narratives.” and says that on the other hand, the textbook of one of the neighboring Asian countries obviously fuels the people’s ethnic self-esteem or nationalism, some other country’s one describes their many heroic military operations proudly, but not enough writing on the historic big events that many countries’ textbooks must reference.

For the people who have studied history at the Japanese school, it was nothing special that the content of the history textbook is the “timelines that only give accounts of historical events without describing narratives”. The Japanese have always been taught that is what is the history education all about. Conversely We are surprised that there are any kind of history textbooks else.

I think if you read this, you will know some of the truth about the relationships between Japan and its neighboring countries. There are no real right wings in Japan, but only people who became aware of the importance of caring their own country as every country’s people do.
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“The Japanese textbook is the most controlled of all, it neither admires the war, nor fuels patriotism”

There have been concerns about worsening relationships among Northeast Asian countries due to the differences in historical perceptions about the past war. The ASIA-PACIFIC RESEARCH CENTER (Shorenstein APARC) at Stanford University conducted a project of a comparative study of the history textbooks used today in Japan, China, Korea, America and Taiwan.
The result shows that Japanese history textbooks don’t glorify the war and are the most controlled of all the textbooks in the study. We will introduce the following two articles. One is the result of the study written by Mr.Peter Duus, professor of Japanese History, one of the major members of the study. Another is a summary of the study written by Mr. Daniel C. Sneider, the former correspondent of a U.S. Paper in Tokyo.

Implicit Lesson

The Japanese history textbooks for high schools have gained a bad reputation in the foreign mass media for the last 30 years. They have been criticized for not paying much attention to the responsibility for starting the Pacific War or bringing suffering into people’s lives in the regions Japan occupied. Some even maintain that the content of these books has become increasingly patriotic.
The study of “Divided Memories and Reconciliation” at APARC disclosed the fact that such criticism over Japanese history textbooks was incorrect. They don’t seem to be patriotic, instead they seem to inspire the least patriotism of all. They don’t glorify the war, emphasize the importance of the military, or describe acts of heroism on the battlefield. They are timelines that only give accounts of historical events without describing narratives…

Strange Result

In contrast, most of the East Asian countries claim in their guidelines of school textbooks that the history textbook should enhance the people’s ethnic self-esteem and national identity (a sense of belonging). This is seen as being a basic role in the history education of the country. Enhancing ethnic self-esteem sometimes produces a strange result. For example the Korean history textbook doesn’t mention the main events during the war, which the other countries’ textbooks refer to, such as the war that occurred in China in 1937, the Pearl Harbor attack and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Instead it focuses entirely on the Korean’s resistance movement against Japan’s colonial administration or their cultural development in literature. In other words Korean’s history textbook is a story of the ethnic strife’s process for liberation.

Ethnocentric Description

It is probably the Chinese history textbook that describes the war in the most patriotic way. It is filled with descriptions of heroic military operations, and even suggests that it was China, chiefly the Communist Party of China, that ultimately defeated Japan. There are no references to either the war which took place in the Pacific or the importance of a role that the allied country had played there.
It also doesn’t highlight the role that the atomic bombing had played in ending the war, rather it says that the determining factors for ending the war were the general attack against Japan demanded by Mao Tse-tung and the Soviet Union’s entry into the war.
The history textbooks of China and Taiwan say that the victory in the Anti-Japanese War wiped out China’s disgrace for a century, which the Imperialism force brought on her by disregarding her rights and benefits.
The Chinese textbook also insists that China has kept on struggling for anti-imperialism even after the war against the US that it regarded as a new enemy. New China is described as the winner of the Korean war in the book, stating that they stopped the US from trying to chase “the progressive forces ” away from Asia.

(sorry if mistranslation)
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. . . .the article of the Yomiuri Shinbun
the article of the Yomiuri Shinbun

THE WALTER H. SHORENSTEIN ASIA-PACIFIC RESEARCH CENTER
http://aparc.stanford.edu/research/divided_memories_and_reconciliation/

Why Koreans not follow the international rule?

Why Korea can not obey the international rule? It just may not be a civilized country yet? They should return the Kannon statue to the Kannonji as soon as possible. This is clearly a violation of UNESCO treaty. The follow article is from the Sankei Shinbun on 14 March, 2013.

The Buddha statue theft,”stop cultural exchanging with Korea ”
Angry Tsushima, rising anti-korea

The problem of the Kannon bodhisattva(50.5cm tall) stolen from Kannonji in Tushima City, Nakazaki prefecture, increasingly undermines relationship between Japan and Skorea. Though the stature was found in Korea the Korean court has issued an interim injunction to restitution. The Buddhist world of Korea claims “The stature was looted by Wako(Japanese pirates who frequented the coastal seas of Korea and China from the 13th to the 16th century)”, but according to this theory, the most part of antiquities or Buddha stature from Korea can just regarded as a target for restitution. Now tremendous anger toward Korea surged in Tsushima that has built bridges between the two countries.

pay no heed to the history of anti-Buddhist

“It takes a lot of nerve to steal such a religious object that Tsusima people have preserved with a great care, and then they are not going to return the statue to the temple by quibbling.. This is similar way that N.Korea kidnapped Japanese people from it’s territory, isn’t this? We can only say it’s like a so-what attitude of a person who does wrong” said Tanaka, the priest of Kannonji…

Many Buddha statures made in Korea in 7th to 14th century, but the Buddha-smashing happened everywhere in Korea because Korea’s Yi dynasty established in the end of the 14th century set Confucianism as a state religion. According to legend Japanese brought the discarded Buddha statures back to Japan Being unable to stand by and watch any longer.

Temples in Tushima own dozens of Buddha statues of the age of Unification Silla, but most have burn marks or deficits. Also the statue of Kannonji, seems to be made in the Busokusa temple in the first half of the 14th century, is imperfect, without halo. The Busokusa temple was abandoned temporarily in the Yi dynasty
period. so the statue appear to bring to Tsushima during this period.

However, the Buddhist world of Korea stubbornly insists that it was stolen. On March 14 and 15 some monks of the Busokusa temple came to the Kannonji from Korea with a letter saying “We hope that the Kannon bodhisattva will return to it’s origin(the Busokusa temple) soon” and a cheap souvenir doll similar to the Kannon as substitute for real one.

Violation of UNESCO treaty

Tsushima City has invited Korean dance company and held the parade of the Korean envoys who were members of a diplomatic mission of the Joseon Dynasty. But the festival organizer Yamamoto Hiromi said “They insulted us by talking such nonsense! We would better cancel the festival” A man who live in the Koami villedge with the Kannonji said “We all get angry largely because we have worshipped the Kannon as a God for hundreds of years. Tere are some people saying that they don’t want Koreans to visit here because they are unpredictable.”

Also the other case in the past.The Buddhist scripture “Large Wisdom sutras(大般若経)”, important cultural properties, housed by the Ankokuji temple in Iki City, Nagasaki prefecture was stolen in 1994,
a scripture closely resembling it found out in Korea the next year. Foreign Ministry of Japan requested Korea to conduct an investigation of it since the Ministry thought it was strongly suspected of being the stolen one, but Korean govt reject it and surprisingly it designated the scripture as a national treasure of Korea!

It is clearly stated in Japan‐S.Korea Basic Relations Treaty and Economic Cooperation Agreement, that “claim right of property and rights have been solved completely and ultimately” . So it is violation of UNESCO Ban Treaty of the Illicit Export and Import of Cultural Property that Korea rejects to return the stolen statue to Japan…(The rest is omitted)

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/affairs/news/130324/crm13032406210000-n1.htm