Picturesque Takamagahara - Ireland and Japan as a Periphery

While I was doing a research on the concept of "Picturesque", I found some interesting descriptions.

As an idea of romantic appreciation of beauty, the concept of "picturesque" was established in England in the 18th century, and at that time, there was a reflection toward modern aesthetics which went too far by rationalism.

A philosopher Edmund Burke who debuted as an esthetician such as discussing the issue of picturesque thought that the experience of appreciating beauty is not simply a rational judgment, but a person's basic instinct. He thought that comparing the "system" which is created as a result of piling up ancestor's wisdom, rational intelligence of human is so small with full of defects.

Through such an aesthetics approach, Burke advocated the foundational danger of overconfidence of Cartesian rationalism and suggested the re-consideration; it will be easy for us to understand this by comparing the continental rationalism (= Cartesian) and British empiricism (= Irish Burke). Moreover, Burke is well known from his denial of French Revolution, and that is because he values not the "Social Contract" proposed by the French Revolution, but the "Fundamental Contract".

One interesting thing is that Masaru Sato, a well known Japanese author nicknamed "Rasputin of the foreign ministry" pointed that Berke's philosophy is similar to the philosophy of "Takamagahara" (translated as the "High Plain of Heaven), Japanese Shinto’s philosophy. As a Christian went through the history and politics of Russia, Masaru Sato became able to acquire this long view.

I think why Irish artists such as James Joyce and Samuel Beckett could bring cultural impacts to the 20th century European continent is that when continental rationalism came to the deadlock, the periphery, from the perspective of Rome, was able to bring the fundamental collapse to the center. Finnegans Wake, Waiting for Godot, Francis Bacon's paintings, etc... These fundamental collapse were well contextualized by the continental rationalism, and I could feel that when I saw the video installation of "Waiting for Godot" performed in Paris, in the corner of the dawn of contemporary art, as the permanent exhibition of ZKM in Karlsruhe.

It is easy to imagine that the tendency of empiricism is stronger than rationalism in these islands, which is located geographically far from of Rome, and the flow of Christianity is comparatively delayed.

Moreover, after the concept of picturesque had been established, compare to the rational, geometrical garden in France, Britain developed British style garden which tries to pursuit the spectacle of the natural beauty, and on that extension, the aesthetics of "Ruins" such as rusty gardens emerged. I think that today’s boom of industrial ruins in Japan might be a picturesque Natural recurrence with modern essence, but I think one of the prototypes of the aesthetics of ruins might be able to find in Ginkakuji temple, the symbol of Higashiyama (literally means east mountain) culture.

Shogun Yoshimasa Ashikaga transferred his royal authority to his infancy son Yoshihisa in 1473, during the harsh battle of Ounin. After the battle end in 1477, he started to create Ginkakuji temple as a retirement house in 1482.

In 1460, about 82,000 people died of hunger only in two months, and Kyoto was such as hell. In this tragic situation in Kyoto, Yoshimasa Ashikaga proceeded the aesthetics called Higashiyama, which is such as zen gardening, paintings, writings, the Japanese poem, the linked poem, the Noh music, flower arrangements, and tea ceremonies; in other words, I think that the culture of wabi-sabi had been created as an empirical aesthetics, and also the beauty of ruins.

In our time of developed media, these themes need to be considered as a transcontinental level, in multilingual arena.

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