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Japanese Relationships between Nature Art and Religion Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy that is influenced by the concepts of value and beauty as they connect to the arts Philosophers throughout time such as Plato have presented solid ideas about what artists should create and what people should like In the world of today people have become more liberal on the philosophy of art resulting in the vast array of modern artist and stylesmethods Aesthetics varies from culture to culture because of peoples various apperception uses and beliefs about art and beauty Depending on the critics perspective the work of art can be interpreted as having a different meaning than that of the artists original intent The aesthetics of Japan matured on its own because of Japans geographic location The sea protected Japan from foreign invasion and enabled its rulers to control contact with other nations Isolation allowed Japans aesthetic art forms to develop on their own until inevitable contact with other cultures took place such as the Chinese Buddhist and even the Western The Japanese word katachi bears the closest meaning to art It means form and design implying that art means the something is living and has functional purpose and spiritual simplicity Harmony in all things is the main theme in Japanese aesthetics their worldview is nature-based and centered in the beauty of simplicity and harmony with nature or wabi-sabi Shintoism is the native religion that was created and developed exclusively on the island of Japan Isolated for most of its history this folk religion had created its own concepts of spirituality and reality as well as methods of expressing them Shinto people were very pristine and in tune with spiritual forces called kamis that inhabit all things from people and plants to shrines and landmarks An ancient chronicle reports that in their world myriad spirits shone like fireflies and every tree and bush could speak Paul Watt for
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