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Ise Shrine and a Modernist Construction of Japanese Tradition

Jonathan M. Reynolds
The Art Bulletin
Vol. 83, No. 2 (Jun., 2001), pp. 316-341
Published by: College Art Association
DOI: 10.2307/3177211
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3177211
Page Count: 26
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Ise Shrine and a Modernist Construction of Japanese Tradition
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Abstract

This essay examines the history of the representation of the Shintō shrines at Ise with special emphasis on Watanabe Yoshio's stunning photographs of the shrines from 1953. During World War II, Ise became inextricably linked with nationalism and imperialistic conquest. Yet after the war modernists seized on this symbol of the antiquity of Japanese culture as a touchstone for their designs. Watanabe's photographs were effective catalysts in the process through which modernists neutralized Ise's wartime political associations by establishing a new vision of Ise compatible with the postwar democratic rhetoric and consonant with modernist aesthetic values.

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