On the Discovery of the Origins of Art in Japan!

Who would have thought that modern Japan continues to lavishly cultivate a really "primitive" type of art? The human hand is the principal tool! Reeds are bound together to create artistic forms. A gigantic "Land Art"! What mysteries do these geometric megastatues reveal to us? Japan's previous 200-year isolation kept many extremely interesting phenomena from Westerners. The Shinto reed art, now documented by Nold Egenter, is certainly one of them.

Basically, the book challenges the idea that Japan's art was of a high order from the beginning. Primitive art! The book asks a very provocative question: Do the marked esthetic traits of Japanese culture have their roots in its peasant and village underlayer? Another astonishing aspect: the works of art are burned very shortly after they come into existence. Gigantic art-destroying happenings! How could these perishable forms survive down to our days? And finally, what is most bewildering: These technological fossils of art are sacred! They are considered to be tangible reflections of Shinto gods.

Nold Egenter meticulously studied this puzzling art for years, traveled throughout Japan to document it and researched this living tradition in approximately 100 villages in central Japan. A fascinating book! Over one thousand pictures! A wealth of drawings, plans and photographs illustrates Japanese reed-art in minute detail. Primeval art? It seems so. The birth of esthetics! The book is not only an important discovery in the world of art; it is also a fundamental contribution to architectural anthropology and to cultural research based on the origins of human settlement.

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