“Qiyun” (Spirit resonance) is a key concept in ancient Chinese painting theory, and empathy is an important conceptualization in Western modern aesthetics. During the Meiji and Taisho eras, Japanese scholars delved into both the eastern and western aesthetics, and tried to compare and connect “spirit resonance” and empathy. Ise Senichirō and Sono Raizô were among the first to attempt to find the similarities and dissimilarities respectively, while Kinbara Seigo and Oonishi Yoshinori further elaborated on this issue. The approach of Japanese scholars inserted deep impact upon Chinese scholars studying in Japan. They generally followed Japanese approach, and among them, Teng Gu, Ma Cai and Feng Zikai primarily introduced and translated the research, while Deng Yizhe and Xu Fuguan had developed and expressed their own understanding. Zong Baihua was perhaps one of the few who were not influenced by the Japanese approach and made significant contributions in the field. To do justice to Chinese scholarship on the relationship between spiritual resonance and empathy, it is essential to put it into perspectives that includes an East Asian one.


qiyun (spirit resonance), empathy, East Asian, aesthetics, painting theory

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