« 2019. № 6 (150)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2019, № 6 (150), 1542—1550






Lecturer in the Department of Design and Fine Arts

O.M. Beketov National University of Urban Economy in Kharkiv

17, Marshall Bazhanova st., 61002, Kharkiv, Ukraine

Contacts: e-mail:



Doctor of Arts, Professor,

Head of the Department of Design and Fine Arts

O.M. Beketov National University of Urban Economy in Kharkiv

17, Marshall Bazhanova st., 61002, Kharkiv, Ukraine

Contacts: e-mail:

Abstract. Introduction. The article analyzes Japanese play sculptures in which elements of the national artistic and aesthetic tradition were used to create original style and figurative content of the work.

Problem Statement. Looking into discussion on the prospect of the revival of children’s play sculpture, it is relevant to identify and summarize the features, character and methods of embodying the Japanese national artistic and aesthetic tradition in a purely Western European artistic invention, such as play sculpture.

Purpose. The purpose of the article is to analyze the elements of the national artistic and aesthetic tradition in the play sculpture of Japan.

Methods. The methodology of the research is based on the use of the method of comparative-historical analysis, formal-stylistic and figurative-stylistic methods, iconographic and iconological analysis, hermeneutical method.

Results. It is established that the play sculptures of Isamu Noguchi, Kuro Kaneko, Mitsuru (Man) Senda, Yayoi Kusama, Toshiko Horiuchi and Takaharu Tezuka, which are created according to modern principles of shaping, have the elements of artistic and aesthetic tradition, borrowed from the classical art of gardening, monochrome Haiga painting, graphic calligraphy school of Japanese calligraphy, etc., and also meet many of Japan’s traditional aesthetic ideals. The largest line of variations in the Japanese play sculpture «Mountain-Octopus» was created based on the popular comic character of Japanese folklore, mythology and Shinto religion, which made this sculpture a national cultural heritage.

Conclusion. In conclusion, the author points out the possibility of creating unique world-class art samples based on the synthesis of traditional national images and stylistics with contemporary art forms, an example of which is the Japanese experience of successfully adapting artistic traditions in contemporary play sculpture. The artistic experience of Japan can be an example for the creation of Ukrainian play sculpture using an authentic artistic and aesthetic tradition, original figurative and stylistic content, which will solve the problem of unification and loss of national identity in the process of globalization of the cultural world space.

Keywords: playground sculpture, national culture, Japanese artistic and aesthetic tradition, Japanese painting, graphic styling, plastic styling.

Received 29.11.2019


Burkhalter, G. (2014). When playground got serious. Tate Etc. Retrieved from: (Last accessed: 08.11.2019).
Kulanov, A.E. (2015). Attractive Japanese conservatism: genesis and transformation. Notebooks on conservatism, 5, 122—125 [in Russian].
Mostovoi, S. (2016). The evolution of the Japanese garden in the context of national history: the dissertation … Candidate of Historical Sciences: 07.00.03. Irkutsk State University [in Russian].
Bisharova, S.G. (2006). Shinto foundations of traditional Japanese culture: dis. for the study of scholars. degree of cand. Philos. Sciences: special. 24.00.01 «Theory and History of Culture» [in Russian].
Interview with Isamu Noguchi. (1973, november 7 — dec. 26). Archive of American Art; Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved from: (Last accessed: 08.11.2019).
Solomon, Susan, G. (2005). American Playgroundgrounds: Revitalizing Community Space. Lebanon, NH: The University Press of New England.
Sokolov, S.N., & Murian, I.F. (Ed.). (1965). Aesthetic foundations and artistic principles of painting «haiga». Art of Japan. Digest of articles (Pp. 98—116). Moscow: The main edition of oriental literature [in Russian].
Octopus. Source: Free encyclopedia «Wikipedia». Retrieved from: Octopus (Last accessed: 08.11.2019) [in Japanese].
Drouet, L. France. An exhibition on Japanese playgroundgrounds. crouts. Domus. Retrieved from: (Last accessed: 08.11.2019) [in French].
Maeda Environmental Art Co., Ltd. Retrieved from: (Last accessed: 08.11.2019) [in Japanese].


Our authors
Traditional folk clothes of velikobychkovsky hutsuly of XIX — the first half of XX century
In the study based upon numerous field materials, literature sources as well as ethnographic, historio-cultural and regional museum collections has been performed complex analysis in traditional folk clothes by Hutzul population of Velyky Bychkiv village in Transcarpathian region. Detailed descriptions of femi­nine and masculine clothing complexes of the mentioned area have been presented. In characterizing of those main attention has been paid to the detail of cut in separate components of dress; cut of feminine shirt has been added as an illustration.
Read »

Maternity ritualism by volhynians in publications of the second half XIX to the early XXI cc.
In the article have been considered some basic landmarks for fixing and publication of ethnographic materials on the maternity rites of Volhynia with analytical study in ritual elements, their kinds and territories of origin. The article has also raised a problem of gaps in studies of maternity rites of Ukrainian historio-ethnographic Volhynia.
Read »

On bessarabian and moldavian ukrainians in the studies of historical ethnography
The article has thrown some light upon a sum of scientific findings got during XIX to XXI cc. in historio-ethnographic studies of Bessarabia and Moldavian Ukrainians. In the pre­sent paper has been given author’s answer to the problem of lacking progress as for the numerous themes concerning Ukrainians. State and achievements of the research-works in Ukrainians’ material and spiritual culture by the scientists of Moldavia and Ukraine through the years of independence has been exposed.
Read »

Boikos’ pandemonium: categories of evil deceased
In the article have been presented some research-work on peculiarities of Boikos’ traditional demonological notions as for so-called evil deceased; on the basis of field records and ethnological literary sources quite a number of scum categories have been defined as well as essential habits, modes of behavior and functions of these personages of people’s demonology.
Read »