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To That Era, A Flower Funeral by Nyanfood To That Era, A Flower Funeral by Nyanfood
あの時代に, 花帰葬を

The final years of the Bakumatsu era spelled the death of many things: the Tokugawa Shogunate, the ban on Christianity, the insignificance of the imperial household, the opening of borders to trade. Occidental met Oriental and new practices replaced old. In Japan, Geisha came into fashion, replacing Oiran on the hanamachi. In Europe, women in kimono posed for painters the likes of Tissot and Monet. Kimono patterns met Victorian silhouettes. Did they know what the Meiji Restoration meant for the West's fascination with Japan today? But surely, it was a most colorful funeral to offer the Edo era.

Get ready for some trivia~

This piece was done for the Anime Boston art contest for 2018, with the theme being "Tales of the Shogunate." I picked the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate as my primary subject and looked at it from a romanticized non-Japanese view. I was a bit worried when I put together this design that some people would interpret it as a vanity image and tell me that it's shameful to glorify bloodshed, but I think when we do art, we have to draw from what we feel and interpret on the inside.

I don't claim to understand people I've never met but I read the stories left behind by them. Various types of people fought for various reasons and envisioned different "Japans" worth fighting for. Death wasn't shameful. To die fighting for a cause wasn't something to be ashamed of. In honor of that, I wanted to highlight the future that was obtained without disgracing the future that was not obtained.

I wanted to capture the chaotic feeling of East-Meets-West that signaled a turbulent change in the world, where Japan affected the West and the West affected Japan. To do so, I fashioned this piece off of Buddhist, Shinto, and Christian paintings, using a combination of organic and inorganic compositions that indicate the clash of the European Renaissance and the Orient's aesthetic inclinations towards naturalness. I actually ended up doing a lot of research for this piece!

For example, the rifle is based off of a real Dutch rifle from the time. At the time, the only port open to trading with the west was Dejima, which the Dutch used as a trading post. I originally wanted to draw pistols, which were Japanese-made -- and Japan was one of the finest makers of firearms at that time -- but this Dutch rifle fit the composition better for my needs.

There was also a heavy ban of Christianity at the time, so much that Dutch traders were confiscated of all their religious articles before they were allowed to port and none of them could hold services onshore at Dejima. The nun is thus drawn directly opposite to the Buddhist monk and the Shinto priestess, with her halo facing them.

The result of opening trade with the west fed increasing Japonism in Europe. In regards to the painters I mentioned, I must also mention their models. In that era, for a woman to model for a painter was a very private matter. If you were not the painter's spouse or had an intimate relationship with the painter, then it was considered an occupation low in morals. For men it was slightly different (though still a low occupation), but for women, it was said that even prostitutes would only resort to modeling as a lower priority than selling their bodies. Thus I drew the lady with the parasol modeled after how I imagined prostitutes of the era.

There are five flowers present in this piece! The prostitute has red peonies on her kimono, which is a little ironic since red peonies signify honor, wealth, and love, but as she symbolizes "trade" rather than, well, her trade, it wasn't intended to mean her quality of life but rather how the west treated Japanese symbolism. The Chrysanthemums flanking the central figure are called "Kiku" and are Japan's national flower (or considered to be so by many due to it being the imperial family's crest). They're white, which is a funerary color. Beneath her are garden roses, a western flower. The Oiran (in pink, top right) has ume (plum) flowers on her obi and sakura on her kimono, both of which are flower signifying Spring.

I did not like drawing the triangles on the Shinsengumi uniform. During the process (I was streaming), I complained about it, saying "I'm going to murder the person who designed the Shinsengumi uniform." That was when Eeni piped up and said "Kamo Serizawa designed the uniform!" To which I said, "Yeah! I'm going to find that guy and murder him." To which she said, "He was murdered in his sleep." So I guess someone got there before I did.

Thanks for reading all that! I can't say I liked working on this piece very much. I think I would have liked more time to balance the composition and explore color use instead of just using what I already knew how to use, but I was happy with not having to do any color corrections at the very end.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2018-10-07
To That Era, A Flower Funeral by Nyanfood ( Suggested by Joyfool and Featured by AngeKrystaleen )
:iconmuraki3777:
Muraki3777 Featured By Owner 1 day ago
cool!
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:iconsubmerged08:
Submerged08 Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
oh wow this is stunning. absolutely stunning.
not only so much research put into having this as accurate as you could, but also the detail put into in each one of their attire. i love love the way the fabric flows.
one can only dream of being this patient. 
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:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2018   Digital Artist
Thank you for viewing! I wouldn't say I pursued accuracy so much as a means to make it easier for the average viewer to understand. There are definitely some inaccuracies, for example I gave the Oiran clothing patterns that are probably more suitable for Geisha, and of course, the Navy uniform being a modern middle school uniform ^^; But I think by using these choices, people who aren't as familiar with Japanese history can probably connect to the feeling a little more easily.
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:iconsubmerged08:
Submerged08 Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
well, yes Sweating a little... still, it's a great effort, especially for an art contest! Hug 
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:iconemphasis-lest:
Emphasis-Lest Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2018  Student Digital Artist
Absolutely stunning! I love all the research and thought you put into the idea as well
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:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2018   Digital Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconskunkyfly:
Skunkyfly Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
:iconreactionplz::iconglarefaceplz::iconreaction2plz::iconflyingheartsplz:
been in speechless for about 5 minute O_______________O
OMG SENPAIIII THIS IS VERY VERY TRULY A MASTERPIECE OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!! :iconmoeblushplz: :iconmoeblushplz: :iconmoeblushplz: :iconmoeblushplz: :iconmoeblushplz: :iconmoeblushplz:
we can see how many time you spend here, and the way you explained everything also made us understand, how well composition this piece is!!! 

we aren't that great to describe art but we know that THIS IS A TRUE ART!! we always love the way you choose color, and all the details are very very amazingly done! :iconmagi5plz: :iconmagi5plz: :iconmagi5plz: :iconmagi5plz: :iconmagi5plz: :iconmagi5plz: :iconmagi5plz: :iconmagi5plz: :iconmagi5plz: :iconmagi5plz: :iconmagi5plz: :iconflyingheartsplz: :iconflyingheartsplz:
congratz on the DD too! you deserve it kyaa <33333
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:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2018   Digital Artist
Thanks, you two! :glomp:
I'm always happy when you view my work!
Thanks for always supporting me~
Nyan is cheering for you too :D
Reply
:iconzhange000:
Zhange000 Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2018  Student Digital Artist
One of the most impactful artworks I've ever seen on DA. A fluid combination of all the most beautiful features from both European and Oriental art. Tragic for the loss of traditions... as well as the optimism for change and communication between different cultures. Heart As someone from an East Asian country, I am truly touched by everything this piece stands for.
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:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2018   Digital Artist
Thank you! I'm Chinese by ethnicity so I'm still a bit apprehensive about drawing work like this for Japanese historical events, even if it's from a global view on things.
I'm really glad that you could see the balance between loss and optimism! Thank you for viewing my work ; v;)/)
Reply
:iconviki-amethyst:
viki-amethyst Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't know anything about colour but I love how you associate history with this piece! ~❤️
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:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2018   Digital Artist
Thank you! I'm interested in art as a form of communication so I'm always waist-deep in the renaissance era of europe when it comes to how I construct art XD;;;
They have some really nice historical pieces
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:iconviki-amethyst:
viki-amethyst Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes, the Renaissance era has a lot of interesting tales, doesn't it? The world was indeed in chaos at the time. It is beautiful the way you tell the story here :)
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:iconchampionx91:
Championx91 Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2018
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:icongrezar:
grezar Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
BatMed this is simply beautiful.
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:iconbatmed:
BatMed Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
utter perfection <3
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:iconlovealoctic:
lovealoctic Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
congrats on the dd!! it truly deserves it :D
Reply
:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2018   Digital Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:icon23ezeke:
23Ezeke Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2018
The amazingness of this permanently burnt the amazing image of this in my head
Reply
:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2018   Digital Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconamazonoracle:
AmazonOracle Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2018  New Deviant
Absolutely beautiful. You have captured a time in history so perfectly. Your art is awesome :) (Smile) 
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:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2018   Digital Artist
Thank you for viewing and reading!
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:iconamepan:
amepan Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2018
So awesome and the details baaawwwww amazing<<<333
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:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2018   Digital Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconmayuralover:
mayuralover Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm in awe at the details and amount of history behind this piece. I love it.
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:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2018   Digital Artist
Thank you! I'm really fond of historical art so I thought it would be nice to create one!
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:iconktsu:
ktsu Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2018
truly art
so fucking amazing!!
Reply
:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2018   Digital Artist
Thank you for viewing!
Reply
:iconurzapw2000:
urzapw2000 Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2018
beautiful!!
great picture!
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:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2018   Digital Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconurzapw2000:
urzapw2000 Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2018
welcome!
Reply
:iconsimplyntk:
simplyNTK Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Where is the Daily Deviation on this? :love: Amazingly rich on detail and story. Beautiful.
Reply
:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2018   Digital Artist
Thank you!

IDK if I want a daily deviation on this XD;;;
I think other people value getting a DD more than I do, so I'd like them to have the opportunity instead.
I really don't need the recognition LOL
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:iconsimplyntk:
simplyNTK Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha, no need for modesty. ;) I just think the rich amount of detail all around your art deserves more recognition!

But its fine. You keep working your art, its amazing.
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:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2018   Digital Artist
nonononono I'm not being modest
I'm being honest-to-goodness plzno
I don't need or want recognition-- I keep getting it and it's really really REALLY REALLY SCARY
Q 7Q;;;

I'm just such an introvert I'd much rather have occasional drop-in folks say hi rather than accidentally growing a fanbase.\

Thank you so much for viewing my work though! I'm always happy when people can connect to what I do!
:wave:
Reply
:iconsimplyntk:
simplyNTK Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, you've just got a new fan now. Let the awkwardness intensify! :lmao: :lmao: :lmao:

Keep it up! :wave:
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:iconjawaeater:
JawaEater Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome poses! Love the girl on the left with the gun best
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:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2018   Digital Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconshaarthathyhar:
Shaarthathyhar Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2018  New Deviant
Meiji era in short: whiteo piggu came and enriched Japan, 30% great tech 70% perversion.

How they will remember current age in Europe though? 100% sand nigger degeneracy.
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:iconangelcraft721:
angelcraft721 Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2018  Student Traditional Artist
Wow that´s crazy but amazing at the same time! Good job Fox emoji - birthday 
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:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2018   Digital Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconshadeflower:
shadeflower Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2018  Student General Artist
This is a stunning piece, and I really loved how clearly you explained your ideas behind the piece, and why you chose it.
For me I can clearly see the conflict between the two sides, and the different ideologies. It's hard to think about how a culture shift to more Western things really does effect Eastern cultures, but here, it does become clear on how confusing it can be, and how there can be a rift between those who believe in the old traditions and those looking toward the future with the west.
Overall, stunning work! You've earned yourself a watcher!
Reply
:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2018   Digital Artist
Thank you! I'm afraid I don't post very often, but I hope when I do, it'll be for something thought-provoking enough to interest you.
I'm very grateful for watchers who are critical thinkers ; v;
:glomp:
Reply
:iconshadeflower:
shadeflower Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2018  Student General Artist
Don't even stress about it. I'll look forward to every piece you do! :D
Keep working hard and may you always be blessed!
Reply
:iconguilty-10-games:
Guilty-10-Games Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2018
Niiiiiiiice!!!
Reply
:icongardenerjames99:
GardenerJames99 Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2018
Very nice.
Reply
:iconklatuk4u:
klatuk4u Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
I like the history lesson.  And the pic is gorgeous~
Reply
:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2018   Digital Artist
Thank you
Reply
:iconklatuk4u:
klatuk4u Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Oh it was gorgeous~   As a history nut I am always pleased when people tie art to history.
Reply
:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2018   Digital Artist
It's fun working with history as a basis, so we're a good complement in that case XD
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