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Maruyama Ohkyo's Paintings in Daijyoji Temple, Kyoto
2008-08-10
Maruyama Ohkyo's Paintings in Daijyoji Temple, Kyoto
IMG_5113 room day
Last August I was lucky to film Nippon Art Tour for NHK TV on the Edo era artist Maruyama Ohkyo's (1733–1795; 円山 応挙) works. His paintings are beautiful!
Maruyama Ohkyo on Wikipedia:
IMG_5070 on wall
We found these scrolls in a Kyoto antique shop whose owner loves Ohkyo so much that he has trouble parting with his collection. After looking through a few dozen paintings I could see why: they are GREAT! I was also hooked. In search of more of his masterpieces, we hopped on this cute open Torokko train in Sagano, Kyoto city and took it to Ohkyo's birthplace, Kameoka city. Torokko Train
IMG_5014 train
This is a great ride among mountains and over rivers and gives you a chance to see the landscape that inspired Ohkyo. From Kameoka you can take the express train to Kasumi where the Daijyoji Temple is located.
Daijyoji Temple
I LOVE DAIJYOJI TEMPLE! The whole complex was designed and its dozens of sliding doors painted by Maruyama Ohkyo and his apprentices. It took them eight years to complete it and it shows: it is magnificent! Look at some of the photos but please keep in mind that my poor shots really don't do justice to its beauty:
IMG_5152 Daijyoji at night
The fascinating aspect of these fusuma sliding doors is that once you open them, you see other paintings in other rooms. Imagine a whole bunch of spaces interconnected by sliding doors, all painted on both sides. As you move the fusumas, the view changes and the number of combinations are almost endless. It is like being an artist yourself: you create a space, a view, a three and two-dimensional puzzle that doesn't need figuring out. Of course you are also part of a dialogue with nature and Ohkyo, too. You see the surrounding gardens, mountains and other buildings, you hear insects, smell the tatami and the flowers in the garden. It's wonderful! Japanese architecture is truly part of nature and one of the greatest places to feel that is here, at Daijyoji Temple. I highly recommend you all to visit! The priest, Mr. Yamasoba is from Osaka and he's not only knowledgeable about Ohkyo but he's also very funny. He said his three kids were not paying much attention to either Ohkyo or him. Ouch!

Later on, as we were trying to buy some cold drinks at a convenience store, our director noticed that she had lost her wallet. We filmed at a few different locations, including a couple of rice fields, towns, temples and it could have fallen out of her bag just about anywhere so there was no way to trace our steps back. She filed a report with the local police box or koban and asked them to call her if they had found it. Sure enough, she soon got a call that someone had found her wallet, brought it to the closest koban and the policeman took it to the police station nearest to our location. Please check out this photo of what was returned:
IMG_5030 money
All her credit cards and over 40,000 yen or roughly 400 US dollars were inside her wallet. Nothing was missing! I just love Japan! There are so many honest people and the police service was fabulous, too. I hear that this kind of thing happens here all the time.
Now back to Maruyama Ohkyo: IMG_5126 Monkeys

For those who live outside Japan, please see your local TV guide for broadcast times of NHK TV's Nippon Art Tour: Maruyama Ohkyo, which is supposedly shown on the following days and times abroad:
8/5(火)5:15, 8/8(金)7:15、8/10(日)11:15、8/13(水)16:15、8/20(水) 6:15、8/21(木)10:15
And some sad news: this and most of the other hundred or so NHK TV shows that I have made ---please check category for Judit Kawaguchi's Reports---are unfortunately not broadcast in Japan. We are making them for the foreign market. Who is watching? If you are out there, please mail me! I used to believe that many people outside Japan enjoy our shows, but now I'm wondering if that is indeed true. For example, my friends in the US just mailed me that TV-Japan in the US doesn't televise this Maruyama Ohkyo program in August. I asked my NHK directors and one checked and found that: " The Ohkyo program is shown on NHK World, but not on NHK World Premium, which is part of cable TV in some countries." One needs an additional satellite dish to see NHK World. Having regular cable is not enough.
NHK International
Basically it seems that only people who live outside Japan and purchased a satellite dish that can transmit only NHK World broadcasts can watch these programs. Yet the NHK International website boasts that 57,000 TV programs have been produced by NHK International and are shown in 129 countries.
NHK World TV
That's a lot of shows! Again, who is watching? Because people living in Japan can not see these fabulous TV programs, either. Seems strange since NHK is the Japanese national broadcaster and their shows are produced from money collected from people living in Japan, not outside of Japan. People living in Japan are required to pay a yearly mandatory subscription fee of 15,500 yen per year per TV set for regular NHK two channels and 26,000 yen per year including BS. For these prices, only programs made for a national audience can be viewed, not those produced for international broadcast.
The Japanese government also heavily supports NHK, from taxes collected from us. I must check on the exact amount! I was told by NHK directors that all programs are produced only from subscription fees because NHK doesn't want to be controlled by politics. Government funding is only used for advertising, they said.
Summary: People in Japan pay for programs they never get to see. People outside Japan pay for cable that does not include many of these NHK programs, either. If one lives outside of Japan and purchases a separate satellite dish and I guess, pays a separate subscription fee, one can see NHK World broadcast. Some programs produced by NHK International are included in local cable programs abroad. In a nutshell: the vast majority of NHK International TV programs are only seen by a handful of people.
This is all not very clear but I guess that is NHK's vision, or at least how I see it. Please send us your questions, ideas, opinion! Thanks for your support! Judit

【2008/08/11 12:12】 | HOW TO COMMENT | トラックバック(0) | コメント(0)
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