Pigments Used on Japanese Paintings from the Protohistoric Period through the 17th Century

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<ul><li><p>The Smithsonian InstitutionRegents of the University of Michigan</p><p>Pigments Used on Japanese Paintings from the Protohistoric Period through the 17thCenturyAuthor(s): Kazuo Yamasaki and Yoshimichi EmotoSource: Ars Orientalis, Vol. 11 (1979), pp. 1-14Published by: Freer Gallery of Art, The Smithsonian Institution and Department of the Historyof Art, University of MichiganStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4629293 .Accessed: 31/05/2014 16:37</p><p>Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms &amp; Conditions of Use, available at .http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p><p> .JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.</p><p> .</p><p>The Smithsonian Institution and Regents of the University of Michigan are collaborating with JSTOR todigitize, preserve and extend access to Ars Orientalis.</p><p>http://www.jstor.org </p><p>This content downloaded from on Sat, 31 May 2014 16:37:17 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=sihttp://www.jstor.org/stable/4629293?origin=JSTOR-pdfhttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsphttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>PIGMENTS USED ON JAPANESE PAINTINGS FROM THE PROTOHISTORIC PERIOD THROUGH THE 17th CENTURY </p><p>BY KAZUO YAMASAKI* AND YOSHIMICHI EMOTO** </p><p>INTRODUCTION </p><p>The first chemical study on pigments used in old paintings ofJapan was probably that on the wall painting of the Horyfuji temple near Nara carried out in 1919 by Masumi Chikashige,1 professor of inorganic chemistry at Kyoto University, who was also a pioneer in the chemical analysis of Chinese bronzes. Rokuro Uemura studied the coloring mate- rials in the paintings and textiles from sources found in Japanese literature, and gave chemical interpretations.2 An extensive his- torical study in the same field, especially on dyes, was made by Yukichika Maeda.3 </p><p>In this article studies of the pigments used on Japanese paintings from the protohistoric period through the 17th century, the early Edo period, will be presented. The methods of investigation included microchemical and spectrochemical analyses, infrared photo- </p><p>* Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Nagoya University, Nagoya, 464 Japan. </p><p>** Department of Conservation Science, Tokyo National Research Institute of Cultural Properties, Tokyo, 110 Japan. </p><p>1 HoUryi/ Hekiga Hozon Hoho Chosa Hokoku (Report on the Conservation of WVall Painting of the Horyuiji temple). (Tokyo: Ministry of Education, 1920. Re- printed in 1939). </p><p>2 Rokuro Uemura, TWho Sensihoku Bunka no Kenkyui (Studies oni the dyeing culture in the East). (Tokyo: Dai-ichi Shobo, 1933). </p><p>3 Yukichika Maeda. Vihon Shikisai Bunka Shi (Cul- tural History of Colors in Japan) (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1960). </p><p>graphy, X-ray diffraction and radiography, and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. </p><p>PROTOHISTORIC DECORATED TOMBS </p><p>The early cultural periods in Japan are divided into two, the Jomon and the Yayoi periods, named after the respective types of pottery excavated. The former lasted until about the third century B.C. When it began is not yet certain, but a duration of several thousand years has been claimed by radio- carbon dating. The Yayoi period lasted from about the third century B. C. to about the third century A.D. From these two periods, however, no pictorial art in color is known, except for some pottery painted with red ochre or cinnabar. After the Yayoi period came a protohistoric period when huge mounds were constructed for the burial of the dead. It is thus called the Kofun period (Tumulus period) and lasted from about the third century to the end of the seventh century. The duration of the Tumulus period varies somewhat between the western part and the central part ofJapan. The end of the Tumulus period overlaps the historic Asuka- Nara period (552-793 A.D.) without clear demarcation. </p><p>Some of the tombs of the fifth-seventh centuries in the tumulus period have under- ground funerary chambers decorated with paintings. Most of these tombs exist in the northern part of Kyuishui, i.e. Fukuoka and </p><p>This content downloaded from on Sat, 31 May 2014 16:37:17 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>2 YAMASAKI AND EMOTO </p><p>Kumamoto prefectures, but in recent years more decorated tombs have been found in Kyushuf as well as in the central and eastern parts of the main island, Honshu. As of 1974, the total number of tombs decorated with colors amounted to 95, with 36 in Fukuoka, 4 in Saga, 31 in Kumamoto, 8 in Oita, 1 in Hyogo, 1 in Wakayama, 3 in Kanagawa, 3 in Ibaraki, 4 in Fukushima and 4 in Miyagi prefectures. 4 </p><p>In 1949-1950 Yamasaki5 examined pig- ments from about forty of these tombs including all the important ones in Kuma- moto and Fukuoka prefectures that had been studied archaeologically. Most of the tombs have only simple decorations such as concentric circles or triangles painted in red alone, but some have figures such as men, horses, birds, and boats in addition to geometric designs. The most gorgeously decorated tomb in Japan is the Otsuka tomb (king's tomb) in Fukuoka prefecture.6 All the </p><p>4 Shigetaka Otomasu (editor). Soshoku Kofun to Monyo (Decorated Tomb and Patterns), Vol. 8 of Kodaishi Hakkutsu (Discovery of Ancient History). (Tokyo: Kodansha, 1974), pp. 152-160. </p><p>5 Kazuo Yamasaki, "Soshoku Kofun no Ganryo no Kagakuteki Kenkyui (Chemical Studies on the Pig- ments of Ancient Decorated Tombs in Japan)." Kobunkazai no Kagaku (Scientific Papers on Japanese Antiques and Art Crafts), no. 2(1951), p. 8; idem., "Technical Studies on the Ancient Art Objects in Japan, with Special Reference to the Treasures Pre- served in the Sh6s6in", Application of Science in Exami- nation of Works of Art, Proceedings of the Seminar, 1965 (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1967), pp. 114-125 and Figure 18; idem., "Pigments employed in Old Paintings of Japan". Archaeological Chemistry, A sym- posium. Martin Levey (Editor). (Philadelphia: Uni- versity of Pennsylvania Press, 1967), pp. 347-365, Figure 3. </p><p>6 Sueji Umehara and Yukio Kobayashi, "Chikuzen no Kuni Kaho-gun Otsuka Soshoku Kofun (Otsuka Dec- orated Tomb, Kaho County, Chikuzen Province)", Report on Archaeological Research in the Department of Literature, Iy5to Imperial University, vol. 15 (Kyoto: Ky5to Imperial University, 1939). </p><p>TABLE 1 </p><p>Pigments Used in the Otsuka Tomb (mid-6th Century) </p><p>Color Pigments </p><p>white clay (sericite?) * red impure red ochre (a-Fe203) * yellow impure yellow ochre (a-quartz, </p><p>orthoclase and sericite)* green powdered green rock (glauconite)* black black mineral containing iron </p><p>and manganese (amorphous manganese mineral) * </p><p>* Minerals shown in the parentheses were identified mainly bh X-rav diffraction (see footnote 7). </p><p>walls of the funerary chamber were covered with paintings representing horses, men, quivers and swords, triangles and mysterious geometrical figures. Five colors are used: white, red, yellow, green, and black. The pigments of this Otsuka tomb were studied again in 1969 by Emoto by X-ray diffraction as part of the conservation work.7 These results are listed in Table 1. </p><p>A survey of the pigments used in other decorated tombs in Kyfushiu showed that the kinds of pigments were almost the same as in Table 1. In addition carbon was used as a black pigment. Only coloring materials found near the tombs were used, and no pigments such as azurite, malachite, and cinnabar were found. Probably the use of such bright colored minerals was not known in Kyuishiu at that time. As an example of a decorated tomb situated in the eastern part of Japan the early seventh century painting of the Torazuka tomb, Ibaraki prefecture, is shown in Figure 1. The figures are painted with red </p><p>7 Yoshimichi Emoto, "Otsuka Kofun no Hozon (Conservation of the Otsuka Tomb)", Report on the Conservation of Decorated Tombs (Fukuoka Prefectural Office, 1975). </p><p>This content downloaded from on Sat, 31 May 2014 16:37:17 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>PIGMENTS USED ON JAPANESE PAINTINGS 3 </p><p>_ </p><p>V VV </p><p>W.1 oo? </p><p>I V.Te i jsi vew ft Tak to 5 s 4* . , 4 w4 - jp;s.s a ,; A r o s+s&gt;$ - w </p><p>FIG. 1. The inside view of the Torazuka tomb, Katsuta, Iharaki prefecture, just after opening of the entrance. Figures are painted in red on the ground coating of clay. </p><p>This content downloaded from on Sat, 31 May 2014 16:37:17 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>4 YAMASAKI AND EMOTO </p><p>Takamatsuzuka Tomb Western Wall Ceiling </p><p>1 9 </p><p>I S </p><p>I l </p><p>_._ </p><p>0 _ </p><p>1I / V)~~~~~~~~- </p><p>N 1 1 ? 2 E 3 </p><p>9~~~~~~~~~ </p><p>c c .25 cm Eastern Wal1 </p><p>FIG. 2.-Positions of the painting in the Takamatsuzuka tomb. Eastern wall, 1 ) southern panel (four men), 2) middle panel (Blue Dragon), and 3) northern panel (four women). 4) Northern wall (Serpent-tortoise). Western wall, 5) northern panel (four women), 6) middle panel (White Tiger), and 7) southern panel (four men). 8) Southern wall (no painting remained). 9) The position of the ceiling where a celestial constellation is painted. The broken lines indicate the joints of the slabs. </p><p>ochre over a white ground coating, which Emoto identified by X-ray diffraction as oe-Fe203, and a mixture of kaolinite, oc- quartz and feldspar respectively.8 </p><p>No information on the adhesives used in the paintings of decorated tombs is available because of the difficulty of obtaining sufficient amounts of samples for investigation. </p><p>8 Yoshimichi Emoto, unpublished data. An official report on the Torazuka tomb will be published in 1978. </p><p>A DECORATED TOMB OF THE NARA PERIOD </p><p>In March 1972 a small tomb named Takamatsuzuka in Asuka village, Nara pre- fecture, was excavated. It was a circular mound, 5 m in height and 18 m in diameter. The inner surfaces of the funerary chamber, including the ceiling and the floor, are coated with a thin layer of lime plaster (2-7 mm thick), and series of non-Buddhistic figures are painted on the side walls, with a celestial </p><p>This content downloaded from on Sat, 31 May 2014 16:37:17 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>PIGMENTS USED ON JAPANESE PAINTINGS 5 </p><p>4,~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~0 </p><p>4W </p><p>4~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4 </p><p>FIG. 3. Four women in the northern panel of the </p><p>Western wall of the Takamatsuzuka tomb, x 0.15 </p><p>constellation on the ceiling.9 The dimensions of the stone chamber and the positions of the </p><p>figures are shown in Figure 2. The northern panel of the western wall is </p><p>in the best condition; it depicts four women in the pose of moving southward (fig. 3). The figures are rather small; the second woman from the right who stands looking backward is about 35 cm high. She wears a red jacket with a narrow blue band, and a long blue skirt with black stripes, and she holds a </p><p>priest's staff resembling a mace. An enlarge- </p><p>9Kazuo Yamasaki and Yoshimichi Emoto, "Tech- nical Studies on the Painting of the Newly found Tomb Takamatsuzuka in Central Japan", Bulletin de l'Institut royal du Patrimoine Artistique, vol. 15 (1975), p. 420. </p><p>W. ~&lt; </p><p>FIG. 4. The face of the second woman from the right in the northern panel of the Western wall. x 1.3. </p><p>ment of her face is shown in Figure 4. A celestial constellation is represented in the middle of the ceiling, each star being indi- cated by a round piece of gold foil, about 1 cm in diameter; the stars are connected with red lines (cinnabar). In this painting the brightness of the colors is admirable, and the technique is highly developed compared with primitive pigments used in the protohistoric tombs in Kyushu. Although nothing has been found to indicate the name of the buried man, this tomb is judged by various pieces of evidence to have been made between the late seventh and early eighth centuries, after the introduction of advanced painting techniques which came with Buddhism in the sixth century. The pigments so far found in the </p><p>This content downloaded from on Sat, 31 May 2014 16:37:17 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>6 YAMASAKI AND EMOTO </p><p>TABLE 2 </p><p>Pigments Used in the Takamatsuzuka Tomb and H6ryuiji Paintings (7th-8th centuries) </p><p>Takamatsuzuka H6ryuiji Temple, Color Tomb Golden Hall </p><p>ground coating lime plaster clay white presence of lead clay </p><p>white suspected red cinnabar cinnabar </p><p>red ochre red ochre red lead </p><p>yellow yellow ochre yellow ochre litharge* </p><p>green malachite malachite blue azurite azurite black Chinese ink Chinese ink pink possibly a </p><p>mixture of red and white </p><p>others gold silver </p><p>*Litharge is found only in the main wall paintings, not in the 20 small paintings representing flying angels. </p><p>painting of Takamatsuzuka tomb are listed in Table 2 (see footnote 9). The purity of lime plaster used as the ground coating was found to be 89.0-96.3% CaCO3. Since a fragment of lime plaster contained Pb (1630 ppm), the use of lead white as a pigment is suspected. Gold foil was found by the atomic absorption method to contain Cu (0.02%o) and Ag (2.20 o). </p><p>WALL PAINTINGS IN BUDDHIST TEMPLES </p><p>Buddhism, which was introduced in Japan in the middle of the sixth century, spread gradually into the country; many Buddhist temples were built and Buddhist paintings made. The introduction of Buddhism brought with it a new technique and new coloring </p><p>materials on which Japanese painting has been based ever since. According to docu- mentary evidence,10 in the 18th year of Empress Suiko (610 A.D.) a monk named Doncho from the Koguryo Kingdom on the Korean peninsula introduced to Japan the technique of preparing pigments and paint- ing materials, and in the sixth year of Empress Jito (692 A.D.) another monk, Kanj6, was rewarded by the Empress for preparing lead white for the first time in Japan. </p><p>About seventy wall paintings and archi- tectural interior decorations made in various periods are now extent in Japan, mostly in Buddhist temples. All of them are painted on wooden panels or doors with three exceptions: a mud wall painting in the Horyu-ji temple, and two wall paintings on lime plaster in the H6kaiji temple (Ky6to) and the Hokuendo, Kofukuji temple (Nara), respectively. About forty of these wall paintings and architectural interior decorations, including all the im- portant ones, have been studied by Yamasaki in about thirty years since 1940. The results are listed in Table 3. Several more wall paintings were examined, but they had undergone later repairs and so were not included in the table. Numerous screen and sliding door paintings of the Mo...</p></li></ul>


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