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Imitation and Creativity in Japanese Arts

From Kishida Ryusei to Miyazaki Hayao

Imitation and Creativity in Japanese Arts by Michael Lucken
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The idea that Japanese art is produced through rote copy and imitation is an eighteenth-century colonial construction, with roots in Romantic ideals of originality. Offering a much-needed corrective to this critique, Michael Lucken demonstrates the distinct character of Japanese mimesis and its dynamic impact on global culture, showing through several twentieth-century masterpieces the generative and regenerative power of Japanese creativity. Choosing a representative work from each of four modern genrespainting, film, photography, and animationLucken portrays the range of strategies that Japanese artists use to re-present contemporary influences. He examines Kishida Ryusei’s portraits of Reiko (19141929), Kurosawa Akira’s Ikiru (1952), Araki Nobuyoshi’s photographic novel Sentimental JourneyWinter (1991), and Miyazaki Hayao’s popular anime film Spirited Away (2001), revealing the sophisticated patterns of mimesis that are unique but not exclusive to modern Japanese art. In doing so, Lucken identifies the tensions that drive the Japanese imagination, which are much richer than a simple opposition between progress and tradition, and their reflection of human culture’s universal encounter with change. This global perspective explains why, despite its non-Western origins, Japanese art has earned such a vast following.
Columbia University Press; February 2016
272 pages; ISBN 9780231540544
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Title: Imitation and Creativity in Japanese Arts
Author: Michael Lucken; Francesca Simkin
 
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ISBNs
023154054X
9780231172929
9780231540544