Art and the Inaka: Yamamoto Kanae and New Conceptions of Modernity in Rural Japan [thesis]

Margaret Bryan
Yamamoto Kanae (山本 鼎, 1882-1946) is credited as the founder of sōsaku hanga (The Creative Prints Movement) in Japan as well as the developer of nōmin bijutsu (The Farmers' Art Movement) and jidō jiyūga no shōrei (The Children's Free Drawing Movement), all of which have retained lasting social and cultural legacies up to the present day. However, while some scholarship exists on his work with these individual projects, there is a paucity of research connecting these seemingly disparate, yet
more » ... y thematically entangled, movements. This thesis divides Yamamoto's career into three periods-his time in Paris, Moscow, and Ueda-looking at how his experience in Moscow particularly informed his complex ideological approach to art. The discussion of his engagement with Russian folk arts and thinkers acts as a stepping stone to construct a broader understanding of moments of transcultural exchange between Japan and Russia at the turn of the twentieth century. By examining Yamamoto's life and work within the context of his contemporaries and concurrent political and cultural events, this thesis seeks not only to provide a comprehensive English-language monograph of the artist's activities, but also to use this analysis as a case study to discuss broader issues concerning local-translocal relationships in rural art and negotiating urban-rural binary frameworks that persist in contemporary arts discourse. The examination of these kinds of bifurcated structures through the lens of Yamamoto Kanae explores means of dismantling them as the field continues to work towards more nuanced ways of framing global art history. iii
doi:10.22215/etd/2020-14251 fatcat:wzwtmlcjurgklbxeaapk6ozhd4