When an object is introduced to a new culture for the first time, how does it transition from the status of a foreign import to a fully integrated object of that culture? Does it ever truly reach this status, or are its foreign origins a part of its identity that are impossible to overlook? What role could the arts of that culture play in adapting a foreign object into part of the culture? I propose to address these questions in specific regard to early modern Japan (1550–1850) through a black lacquered ōtsuzumi drum decorated with a gold powder motif of intersecting arquebuses and powder horns. While it may seem unlikely that a single piece of lacquerware can comment on the larger issues of cultural accommodation and appropriation, careful analysis reveals the way in which adopted firearms, introduced by Portuguese sailors in 1543, shed light on this issue.
While the arquebus’s militaristic and economic influence on Japan has been firmly established, this thesis investigates how the Kobe Museum’s ōtsuzumi is a manifestation of the change that firearms underwent from European imports of pure military value to Japanese items of not just military, but also artistic worth. It resulted from an intermingling of Japanese-Portuguese trade, aesthetics of the noble military class, and cultural accommodation between Europeans and Japanese that complicates our understandings of influence and appropriation. To analyze this process of appropriation and accommodation, the first section begins with a historical overview of lacquer in Japan, focusing on the Momoyama period, and the introduction of firearms. The second section will go into the aesthetics of lacquerware, including the importance of narrative symbolism and use in the performing arts with a particular emphasis on the aural and visual aesthetics of the drum. Finally, I will discuss this drum in the global contexts of the early modern era, which takes into account the tension between the decline in popularity of firearms as well as the survival of the drum. Pieced together, these various aspects will help to construct a better understanding of this unique piece’s place in the Japanese Christian material culture of early modern Japan.
|Commitee:||Kelly, Jessen, Suzuki, Mamiko C.|
|School:||The University of Utah|
|Department:||Art and Art History|
|School Location:||United States -- Utah|
|Source:||MAI 55/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||History, Asian Studies, Art history|
|Keywords:||Arquebus, Firearms, Japan, Lacquer, Momoyama, Noh|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be