Jump to content
Classifieds is broken, please do not submit any new ads ×

which japanese pen has the most wabi-sabi?


turban1
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'd go with a kuro-tamenuri Nakaya cigar that's been around long enough that the red shows through quite a bit.

http://twitter.com/pawcelot

Vancouver Pen Club

 

Currently inked:

 

Montegrappa NeroUno Linea - J. Herbin Poussière de Lune //. Aurora Optima Demonstrator - Aurora Black // Varuna Rajan - Kaweco Green // TWSBI Vac 700R - Visconti Purple

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 53
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • gyasko

    4

  • Siv

    3

  • turban1

    3

  • DAYoung

    6

Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

How about this one?

 

http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/4140/spa0456.jpg

 

http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/5831/spa0459h.jpg

 

 

And in company with another similar wabi pen:

 

http://img193.imageshack.us/img193/8523/spa0452.jpg

 

 

 

 

AAA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ha--I rather prefer this one on lacquerware:

 

"...lacquerware, except in the tea ceremony and on formal occasions, is considered vulgar and inelegant...Darkness is an indispensable element of the beauty of lacquerware. Nowadays they make even a white lacquer, but the lacquerware of the past was finished in black, brown, or red, colors built up of countless layers of darkness, the inevitable product of the darkness in which life was lived. Sometimes a superb piece of black lacquerware, decorated perhaps with flecks of silver and gold--a box or a desk or a set of shelves--will seem to me unsettlingly garish and altogether vulgar. But render pitch black the void in which they stand, and light them not with the rays of sun or electricity but rather a single latern or candle: suddenly those garish objects turn somber, refined, dignified. Artisans of old, when they finished their works in lacquer and decorated them in sparkling patterns, must surely have had in mind dark rooms and sought to turn to good effect what feeble light there was..."

 

(In Praise of Shadows by Jun'ichiro Tanizaki, 1977, translated version, pp.13-14)

 

Perhaps this was before young Japanese businessmen started using urushi fountain pens? Nonetheless, a succinctly rich paragraph for all the Urushi lovers.

 

 

In Praise of Shadows...

 

Is this that enchanting little book, with the memorable passage about sitting on the toilet?

 

AAA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, it's lovely stuff.

 

The toilet passage was particularly evocative to me. At the time we were living in a small house with an outside toilet (a 'dunny' in the vernacular). While guests often lamented the cold and inconvenience, I quite enjoyed the quiet congress with the elements.

Damon Young

philosopher & author

OUT NOW: The Art of Reading

 

http://content.damonyoung.com.au/aor.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like Tanizaki, but not the shadow essay. Read straight, it's yet another exercise in cultural narcissism. If there's anything that redeems it, however, it's the toilet passage. Oddly enough, its redemptive power comes from going over the top. The rhetorical overflow suggests that perhaps the rest of the essay shouldn't have passed the smell test either, that it is not to be taken at face value.

 

Tanizaki ends Sasame yuki (細雪), his biggest, fattest novel by telling us that his character has had the runs for a few days. I think that's a brilliant way to end a novel, especially one about haut bourgeois life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps he was suffering from logorrhea.

 

As for cultural narcissism, I remember finding the tone a little off-putting occasionally (I read it some years ago, and other research quickly overwhelmed the impression). But he also seemed to be hitting on objects and customs of genuine aesthetic value. Perhaps some are the characteristics of any pre-modern agrarian people - I've not done the comparison. But at first blush, Japan does seem to have some singular philosophical and artistic virtues, and I'm open to his suggestions.

 

(Of course, this doesn't mean we should swallow the 'OMG Meiji r the Sux0r' line.)

Damon Young

philosopher & author

OUT NOW: The Art of Reading

 

http://content.damonyoung.com.au/aor.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Insofar that Tanizaki was able to condense something so ephemeral in so tiny a book, I thought he was being rather concise, compared to works of phenomenology by continental thinkers. And by cultural narcissism if one implies his attention (and perhaps even exhortation) of Japanese peculiarities, I would rather prefer for more of these 'cultural narcissists' to be around than for this flattened one-sided rationalization that we call a cosmopolitan world.

 

I thought once that the homogeneity of the Japanese people also implied singularity in their philosophical and artistic virtues. After meeting a family friend who carried out some empirical social study in Japan, I realized then that like any other social groups, the Japanese are quite pluralistic. To say this in another way, one can actually observe a stricter adherence to cultural norms (or codes) of aesthetics in scandinavian design (think Danish, Swedish and maybe Norway) preference for simplicity, strict color palette, or natural materials than contemporary Japanese design which is richly eclectic and pluralistic to say the least. From this we can finally see that the branding of their 'traditional' values mostly in the canon of the 'wabi-sabi' or their maki-e is less representative than it actually is.

 

I could not then help but think that Tanizaki would have frowned on urushi coated pens; or how these pens now have a following by up and coming young businessmen as status symbols that have been transformed (or twisted) from the traditional cultural 'code' of lacquerware. To the extent that urushi today still requires lots of craftsmanship that is both taxing under this economic structure but dwindling from the angle of human resources, it has come to imply a different economic value which in this society means a certainly rarity, hence attainability. But note that all these have nothing to do with the beauty of urushi in itself.

 

On a different note, I would love to read your book on Distraction. I raced through a book on the philosophy of boredom a while ago. Would love to understand your thesis and read how you define and argue 'distraction'! Added to my wish-list on amazon!

 

Jeff

 

 

Perhaps he was suffering from logorrhea.

 

As for cultural narcissism, I remember finding the tone a little off-putting occasionally (I read it some years ago, and other research quickly overwhelmed the impression). But he also seemed to be hitting on objects and customs of genuine aesthetic value. Perhaps some are the characteristics of any pre-modern agrarian people - I've not done the comparison. But at first blush, Japan does seem to have some singular philosophical and artistic virtues, and I'm open to his suggestions.

 

(Of course, this doesn't mean we should swallow the 'OMG Meiji r the Sux0r' line.)

Edited by lecorbusier

AAA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I recently wrote a piece on bushido and courtesy in Japan, and tried to be mindful of this, i.e. the heterogeneity of cultures (even those known as conservative or 'pure'). I suspect I failed.

 

Personally, I was fascinated when a friend of mine - a philosopher and educator from Nara - expressed his distaste for woodblocks. For him, Sotatsu is the apex of Japanese aesthetics - prints were simply wrapping paper ('rubbish', as he put it). I disagree with his easy dismissal, but it's educative in itself.

 

(Oh, and I mean 'singular' in its laudatory sense, i.e. excellent, fine, and often rare - not necessarily monolithic.)

 

On Distraction, thanks for your interest. There are two big themes in the book: value and freedom. In short, what's valuable in life, and how can it cultivate freedom? Freedom, in turn, is defined less as rights, privileges or arrogant self-assertion, and more as self-cultivation - becoming what you are, so to speak. Obviously there's more to the book than this, but this is the ongoing thread.

 

On the value of narcissism versus flat, rationalised cosmopolitanism (e.g. having a Starbucks coffee anywhere in the world), I'm with you. And, yes, sometimes the verbose mountain of 'continental' writing simply isn't worth climbing. (And I say this as someone influenced by the European tradition.)

Damon Young

philosopher & author

OUT NOW: The Art of Reading

 

http://content.damonyoung.com.au/aor.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, the basic problem with cultural narcissism is that it homogenises its object. (And by 'cultural narcissism' i really mean the nihonjinron genre of which the essay is a famous example.) It's pretty easy to come up with counterexamples to the paragons of Japaneseness Tanizaki brings up. For example, there is plenty that is bright in Japanese culture, e.g., kabuki or the famous prints that revolutionised Western visual art. I don't think they were made to be viewed in the dark. Tanizaki must have been well aware of that. After all, he was a clever fellow, a skilled writer, and a partisan of what he thought was a culturally underrepresented region. Another problem is that the whole idea of a unitary nation & national culture is part of the ideology of modern nationalism. As such, it has quite a bit in common with the Western enlightment juggernaut. The issue is not particularity vs. cosmopolitan/universal, but that particularity depended on participation in the cosmopolitan & universal.

 

I haven't read it in a while, but i think there's a remark in there about fountain pens, something to the effect that had Japanese invented them they wouldn't be scratchy affairs, but something like a brush pen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No. I think the Japanese term for this one would be hade. It's too bright for wabi. I'd never use that one in a Japanese office, at least not one in Kanto.

 

Anything that has gone through a lot of use, withstood that use, but yet also shows some marks of gainful employment can be said to have wabi. Wabi is not something that comes pre-potted in a brand.

 

How about the tamenuri ;)

 

http://www.nakaya.org/special/negoro/stamep1.jpghttp://www.nakaya.org/special/negoro/stamep2.jpg

 

 

AHhhh!!!

 

What a pen!

post-24335-1241092646.jpg

69 th D a n i t r i o F e l l o w s h i p p e r - Montblanc WE Lover - NAMIKI addicted

http://www.pennamagazine.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't understand how a new pen can have wabi. For us watch collectors, wabi is a slightly stained dial, aged lume, worn bezel insert

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I must say I'm enjoying this thread and I thank you for all the information written here. :D

sonia alvarez

 

fpn_1379481230__chinkinreduced.jpg

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't understand how a new pen can have wabi. For us watch collectors, wabi is a slightly stained dial, aged lume, worn bezel insert

 

really? a new-built japanese garden can have it. a new stone fountain outside of a ryokan can have it. it is where artifice becomes art. it is about an object eliciting an emotion, not about age. a vintage elvis costume, for example, or an art deco ceramic, is unlikely to have it no matter how old it is.

 

yes?

"People build themselves a furnace when all they need is a lamp." Maulana Jalaludin Balkhi (Rumi)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

turban, thanks for posting this thread - it has lead to much education for me in Japanese aesthetic.

 

To my mind, the best way to describe wabi-sabi is an appreciation of things that have grown old gracefully. As wabi to me means unmaterialistic and sabi is the pleasure in old things, I think a wabi-sabi pen would not be something new but rather something simple that does it's job (function over form) and shows the signs of great use (worn). And I would struggle to give an example because all my pens are new and highly polished!

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2752/4371168844_35ba5fb338.jpg

Danitrio Fellow, Nakaya Nutter, Sailor Sailor (ret), Visconti Venerator, Montegrappa Molester (in training), ConwayStewart Champion & Diplomat #77

Link to comment
Share on other sites

turban, thanks for posting this thread - it has lead to much education for me in Japanese aesthetic.

 

To my mind, the best way to describe wabi-sabi is an appreciation of things that have grown old gracefully. As wabi to me means unmaterialistic and sabi is the pleasure in old things, I think a wabi-sabi pen would not be something new but rather something simple that does it's job (function over form) and shows the signs of great use (worn). And I would struggle to give an example because all my pens are new and highly polished!

 

I reckon that nakaya comes closest in three regards. its black-red urushi changes colour with the passing of time, rather reminding one of andrew marvell's 'and ever at my back i hear time's winged chariot hurrying near.' their stone-finished pens look unshowy and hardly even man-made, as if one were a natural artifact. a case might even be made for the severe and attractive restraint of the matte-gray urushi pen.

 

being inexpensive, simple or looking used hits slightly wide of the mark, i believe. for as i said before the vintage elvis suit would never qualify. what i think matters is the appearance of same, even if the artifice costs a bundle, because of the effect not the reality. hence i asked my question, since my schooldays FP qualifies as old and shabby but has no character, and japanese pns with unusual character do not come cheap, wabi-sabi or not.

 

I suppose if many Taliban could write we might next discuss wahabi-sabi...but never mind.

"People build themselves a furnace when all they need is a lamp." Maulana Jalaludin Balkhi (Rumi)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Current thought on Tanizaki's In Praise of Shadows favors viewing the work not on face value as extolling Japanese esthetic sensibilities, but rather as an expression of what many of us love in Tanizaki--his twisted perverse sense of irony. Written in a time when Japanese militarism had already given rise to the Manchurian Incident (1931) and the beginning of the 15-year (Pacific) War, Tanizaki steadfastly refused complicity with Japanese militarism (at a time when many prominent Japanese writers served this cause by visiting colonized lands and troops abroad and writing about them in newspapers and journals). The Japanese military government was eager to promote Japanese exceptionalism, and this was especially pronounced in the realm of culture. The quality of In Praise of Shadows as a joke becomes clearer when one reads Tanizaki's other works like "Kawaya no iroiro" (Various Types of Toilets), which remains untranslated.

 

Wabi and sabi have their place, to be sure, but the Japanese themselves have lampooned the concepts over the years in splendid fashion, too. :happyberet:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wabi for jeans collectors is the wear patterns from over time, new, pre distressed doesn't count

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Current thought on Tanizaki's In Praise of Shadows favors viewing the work not on face value as extolling Japanese esthetic sensibilities, but rather as an expression of what many of us love in Tanizaki--his twisted perverse sense of irony. Written in a time when Japanese militarism had already given rise to the Manchurian Incident (1931) and the beginning of the 15-year (Pacific) War, Tanizaki steadfastly refused complicity with Japanese militarism (at a time when many prominent Japanese writers served this cause by visiting colonized lands and troops abroad and writing about them in newspapers and journals). The Japanese military government was eager to promote Japanese exceptionalism, and this was especially pronounced in the realm of culture. The quality of In Praise of Shadows as a joke becomes clearer when one reads Tanizaki's other works like "Kawaya no iroiro" (Various Types of Toilets), which remains untranslated.

 

Wabi and sabi have their place, to be sure, but the Japanese themselves have lampooned the concepts over the years in splendid fashion, too. :happyberet:

 

You know, this didn't occur to me AT ALL.

 

This doesn't mean you're right. (I'm in no position to judge.) But I feel like a Janeite, blissfully missing the irony in Austen, while lauding her virtues.

Damon Young

philosopher & author

OUT NOW: The Art of Reading

 

http://content.damonyoung.com.au/aor.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Current thought on Tanizaki's In Praise of Shadows favors viewing the work not on face value as extolling Japanese esthetic sensibilities, but rather as an expression of what many of us love in Tanizaki--his twisted perverse sense of irony. Written in a time when Japanese militarism had already given rise to the Manchurian Incident (1931) and the beginning of the 15-year (Pacific) War, Tanizaki steadfastly refused complicity with Japanese militarism (at a time when many prominent Japanese writers served this cause by visiting colonized lands and troops abroad and writing about them in newspapers and journals). The Japanese military government was eager to promote Japanese exceptionalism, and this was especially pronounced in the realm of culture. The quality of In Praise of Shadows as a joke becomes clearer when one reads Tanizaki's other works like "Kawaya no iroiro" (Various Types of Toilets), which remains untranslated.

 

Wabi and sabi have their place, to be sure, but the Japanese themselves have lampooned the concepts over the years in splendid fashion, too. :happyberet:

 

You know, this didn't occur to me AT ALL.

 

This doesn't mean you're right. (I'm in no position to judge.) But I feel like a Janeite, blissfully missing the irony in Austen, while lauding her virtues.

 

Hi,

 

I wanted to raise what has been a fairly recent perspective on Tanizaki's well known work, at least in the field (of humanitistic inquiry re Japan--anthro, lit, etc.), though the question of right or wrong is never absolute, of course. It remains a minority opinion of sorts, in large part because many who use In Praise of Shadows do not or cannot access Tanizaki's untranslated works. But the information about the resoluteness with which he distanced himself from Japanese military wartime authorities, combined with his many playful works that tweak Japanese culture both high and low (while also alternately appreciating Western art and culture--he was crazy about film, for example--and Kansai-based (Osaka-Kyoto area) traditional practices such as bunraku (puppet theater) are well known.

 

:happyberet:

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share








×
×
  • Create New...