June 3, 2016

2593 JAPAN - Thunder God

Ogata Kōrin (1658-1716) was a painter of the Rinpa school, which flourished in Kyōto, Nara, and Ōsaka, i.e., the political and cultural triangle of ancient Japan. He broke away from all tradition and developed an original and distinctive style, both in painting and in the decoration of lacquer. The characteristic of this is a bold impressionism, which is expressed in few and simple highly idealized forms, with an absolute disregard for naturalism and the usual conventions.

He is particularly known for his gold-foil folding screens, greatly influenced by his predecessors Hon'ami Kōetsu and Tawaraya Sōtatsu. Among his works is Wind God and Thunder God, a copy of Fujin Raijin-zu (Picture of Wind and Thunder Gods), an work in two panels by Tawaraya Sōtatsu. The gold foil background makes the painted figures stand out while acting as an effective decorative element in itself. The gold foil also acts to produce a sense of unlimited depth.

The god of lightning, thunder and storms in the Ogata Kōrin and in Japanese mythology is typically depicted as a demon-looking spirit beating drums to create thunder, usually with the symbol tomoe drawn on the drums. He was created by the divine pair Izanami and Izanagi after the creation of Japan. There is a legend which says the eight lightning gods were charged with protection of the Dharma by the Buddha. This kind of syncretism is not unusual in Japan.

About the stamps
The first stamp is part of a series of definitive stamps, about which I wrote here.

The last stamp, depicting an electron microscope, was issued on August 30, 1986, to mark the 11th International Electron Microscopy Congress, Kyoto.

Ogata Kōrin - Wikipedia
Raijin - Wikipedia

Sender: Akiko Watanabe (direct swap)
Sent from Kyoto (Kansai / Japan), on 26.05.2016

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