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On Incompatible Aspects in the Style of Japanese Design: referring to a New Development in Phenomenology

Kaname, Mariko ; Maeda, Shigeru ;


The style of Japanese design is often said to contain two incompatible aspects: a traditional affective style, and a contemporary style consisting of a highly technological or mechanical appearance and a popular “kawaii” appearance. On the one hand, the maintenance of a classical style inherited from traditional Japanese arts (e. g. Kagura, Noh, tea ceremony), religion (e. g. Shinto or Buddhism), and classic literature (e. g. The Tale of Genji ) may be identified in Japanese design. On the other hand, the sophisticated “beautility” realized in Japanese industrial products and the “kawaii” look of Pokemon monsters have become icons of modern Japanese culture. Often introduced as an example of a contemporary Japanese artist, Murakami Takashi depicts many “anime-looking” characters while emphasizing their “flatness,” an element considered central to Japanese traditional paintings. In fact, he actually studied Japanese-style paintings at the prestigious Tokyo University of the Arts. This coexistence between the two supposedly incompatible aspects made Murakami’s art famous. In this manner, the two aspects coexist within actual artworks and produce their unique value; however, how this coexistence is possible has yet to be examined theoretically. By examining classical Japanese artworks and poems, we will attempt to show that the incompatible aspects really have a single origin, for which a new development of phenomenology constructed by Gernot Böhme and his concept of “Atmosphäre” will be able to provide an account for.


Palavras-chave: japanese design, shareable attitude, patternization, affectiveness, phenomenology,


DOI: 10.5151/despro-icdhs2014-0016

Referências bibliográficas
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Como citar:

Kaname, Mariko; Maeda, Shigeru; "On Incompatible Aspects in the Style of Japanese Design: referring to a New Development in Phenomenology", p. 157-162 . In: Tradition, Transition, Tragectories: major or minor influences? [=ICDHS 2014 - 9th Conference of the International Committee for Design History and Design Studies]. São Paulo: Blucher, 2014.
ISSN 2318-6968, DOI 10.5151/despro-icdhs2014-0016

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