Posted in CONFERENCE PRESENTATION, CULTURE, EDUCATION

IN JAPAN LIGHTNING IS RED!

Ino Hayata Hironao seizing the Nue as it falls to the ground amid clouds and lightning. From the series “One of the Eight Hundred Heroes of the Water Margin of Japan” (Honcho Suikoden goyu happyakunin no hitori). Woodblock print, signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga, published by Kagaya Kichiemon (Kichibei), circa 1830-1832. Vertical oban (39.6 x 26.7 cm.)

Welcome QR Code readers!

This post is just a placeholder for REFERENCES and LINKS for a student research poster to be presented at the North Carolina Geographical Society annual meeting in Greensboro, NC on November 1, 2019.

ABSTRACT: Lightning is a short-lived, but powerful part of nature. Although it is often photographed in modern times, lightning flashes have seldom been depicted by landscape artists. Colorful skies were common through art history and paintings, but most lightning storms in western landscape art have depicted the flashes as white, or yellowish. An interesting part of art history is the red lightning bolts depicted in the classic paintings of Japan’s Edo Period (1603 – 1868). All Ukiyo-e artists (at least for those whose work has survived), almost always depicted lightning as red in color. Furthermore, the bolts are painted in a nearly abstract, linear fashion, and not in lightning’s true dendritic shape. Is the red lightning of this famous period artistic license, or can it be explained as something else? Are there meteorological or cultural reasons why these artists painted lightning as red? Could the style reflect mythology and representation of the metaphysical rather than realism? Importantly, are there atmospheric science lessons to be learned, and teaching moments to be made in this discussion? The purpose of this educational project is to advance that dialog.

https://libmma.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p15324coll10/id/90981

https://onlineonly.christies.com/s/artist-woodblock-japanese-prints-online/utagawa-kuniyoshi-1797-1861-53/58101

https://waraie.com/en/thunder-god-raijin

https://www.fujiarts.com/japanese-prints/k355/186k355f.jpg

https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/75299

https://www.theartstory.org/movement/ukiyo-e-japanese-woodblock-prints/

https://www.thingsjapanese.com/osaka-school-after-hokuei-kabuki-scene-lightning-dragon-demon.html

PLEASE CHECK BACK LATER FOR AN UPDATED LIST.

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Your professor and guru for Climatology, Geography, Popular Culture.

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