Poetic Pastimes: Japan and the Art of Leisure

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Poetic Pastimes: Japan and the Art of Leisure brings to life the Japanese passion for play and its long-held affinity with nature through more than 100 pieces of fine and decorative arts spanning the last two and a half centuries.  The pursuit of pleasure and self-cultivation has been central to Japanese life and culture since the development of an aristocratic court life in the classical Heian period (794–1185).  Leisure activity across social classes was elevated to a refined art form based on highly ritualized behavior and meditations on nature and the transition of seasons—the migration of birds, blossoming flowers and trees, autumn foliage under a harvest moon and branches laden with snow.