Shozo Sato provides a brief overview of Japanese aesthetics and explains the major differences between Western and Japanese aesthetics. He talks about the Japanese emphasis on stylization and the function of art and the artist in Japanese society. He also describes “maximum art” (such as Kabuki) and “minimal art” (such as haiku or rock garden) and the need for balance in both.
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Aesthetics is the branch of philosophy that studies the arts and, especially, the principles of beauty. Japanese aesthetics are an integral part of the country’s culture and history. There are three sets of ancient ideals that are helpful to understanding Japanese aesthetics; wabi, sabi, and yugen. Wabi is transient and stark beauty. Sabi is the beauty of natural patina and aging. Yugen is profound grace and subtlety. Japan’s modern aesthetics encompass a variety of ideas and influences from other countries.
Unlike Western theater, which emphasizes realism and emotion, Japanese Kabuki theater is a triumph of stylization and skill. Aesthetic value is very important in Kabuki theater. Actors create characters not by expressing feelings, but through movement, dancing, and vocal expression. This emphasis on style, grace of movement, and vocal coloration adds to the aesthetic value of Kabuki theater.
The importance of aesthetics in Japanese culture is exemplified in the use of costumes, scenery, props, and stage devices used to enhance plot in Kabuki theater. Kabuki costumes are elaborate and ornamental. Actors typically change their costume for each new entrance. Kabuki theater is also known for its creative and symbolic use of props. Aesthetically, beautiful scenery and creative stage devices enhance Kabuki theater. One of the most important innovations in Kabuki theater was the use of the Hanamichi or “flower path.” It is a raised walkway that links the stage to the rear of the theater for the actors to make entrances and exits.
Academic standards correlations on Teachers' Domain use the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) database of state and national standards, provided to NSDL projects courtesy of JES & Co.
We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.