Center for Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions(CISMOR)Doshisha University

> Public Lectures > Kazzu Kinoshita’s World: A Chance Encounter with Egypt and Muslims

Public Lectures

Kazzu Kinoshita’s World: A Chance Encounter with Egypt and Muslims

Date: 2016/11/19 13:00-14:30
Place: Clarke Memorial Hall Chapel, Imadegawa Campus, Doshisha University
Lecture: Mr. Kazzu Kinoshita (Aritist)
This talk is connected to Kazu Kinoshita’s donation of a painting entitled “Nokosareshimonohe (To their Posterity)-’10 Cairo shining in the moon” to Dōshisha’s Center for Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions. Mr. Kinoshita talked about how he became interested in art as a result of an encounter with two teachers and about how he later became interested in Egypt, which cultural legacies inspired him in his art.

Since high school, Mr. Kinoshita had an interest in history and was intent upon furthering his study, though as a result of various considerations he ended up abandoning this desire and entered the faculty of art at Hiroshima University where he met his teacher Professor Saburo Takemoto. Because the faculty of art is designed to train future teachers of art, it was necessary to study various media in addition to traditional Japanese painting such as oil painting, water color, sculpting, design, and industrial arts. Yet for Mr. Kinoshita, who entered the faculty of art quite unexpectedly, it was actually an invigorating experience to try his hand at so many diverse artistic media, and he was not as reserved about his new experiences as he perhaps suspected he might have been. Before long, Mr. Kinoshita began painting water color with his teacher Professor Takemoto, and even when he was told that he would have to practice much more than the average person because he was not especially talented, his interest in painting helped him diligently persevere.

After entering university, as is reflected in Mr. Kinoshita’s following words, he tried day in and day out to capture in a painting the actual scenery of Seto Nai Kai (Japan’s Inland Sea): “In the humdrum of daily life, I stumble upon floating vistas one after another. Though I adopt all the prescribed measures in their proper order, my mind is simply unable to become one with the object of my intention. In the midst of the frustration, I yield myself between the intervals of time. Amidst the emptiness which has completely taken grip on me, today again I begin my conversation with the canvas as though in a ritual of proving my effort that day.”

While still a student he submitted a painting per the recommendation of Professor Takemoto to The Shinseisaku Art Society, and even though he competed for a prize that first year, he had to wait until the following year to realize his goal. And through an introduction from Professor Takemoto, Mr. Kinoshita met Professor Tarō Ogi —in actuality, it turns out that in Mr. Kinoshita’s second year of high school, together with a friend, he met Professor Ogi at a training course for practicing artists—and began to study under Professor Ogi. During the first half of Mr. Kinoshita’s talk, he shared these details of how his road to becoming an artists was strongly influenced by these two encounters with his future teachers.

His encounter with Egypt dates back to an exhibit at the Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art in 1965 which featured King Tutankhamen which he attended. He related how he took an overnight train from Hiroshima and stood in a long line through the morning to see the golden mask and Wadjet eyes, all of which bewitched him. But it was not until January of 1994 when he and his wife traveled to Egypt that his connection with Egypt was truly solidified. The calls to prayer emanating from the minarets, the Abu Simbel Temples, the statue of Ramses II, the pyramids which arise as if out of nowhere amidst the modern city scape of Giza, the City of the Dead—the curious and mystifying juxtaposition of the living and the dead made a deep and lasting impression.

Mr. Kinoshita subsequently made many trips back to Egypt and made many sketches; and upon his return to Japan he would utilize the inspiration he received in Egypt to create many pieces of art (some of them are exhibited here at this lecture). At the Exhibit of 2003—the year he retired as a high school art teacher—it is said that Mr. Sakuji Yoshimura, who is renown as an Egyptian archaeologist, visited the exhibit and suggested that he knew when the painting was made. In 2008, Mr. Kinoshita’s works were given an exclusive exhibited entitled “?” in the gallery of the Cairo Opera House with the financial assistance of the Japan Foundation. Since then, Mr. Kinoshita has made many sketches, including Egyptian national treasures and famous vistas. Today he is busy making many sketches of the Ebayama Sakura trees which grow in the mountains behind his house and which are estimated to be about 170 years old but which continue to vigorously produce blossoms. Mr. Kinoshita continues to hold lively exhibits of his work.

There are many of Mr. Kinoshita’s former students and friends here at this talk, and after the conclusion of the talk, there was a viewing of his “Nokosareshimonohe (To their Posterity)-’10 Cairo shining in the moon” which concluded the special occasion.

Translated by
Stig Lindberg (Kyoto University)
*Admission Free, No Reservation Necessary.
*Lecture in Japanese.