The Mystical Spirit of Japan – Stefan Łubieński and transnational artistic networks in 1920s Japan

Helena Čapková


Stefan Łubieński (1893-1976), composer, fine artist, diplomat, spiritual seeker, and thinker, was a Polish nobleman whose life-long study of Anthroposophy inspired him to write numerous books, such as Ways to Spiritual Light andMan between Microcosm and Macrocosm. His first wife Zina Łubieńska studied dance with Raymond Duncanand was known as an accomplished singer and dancer. The Łubieńskis resided in Japan in the first half of the 1920s. Although Stefan published his autobiography and the names of the two Poles appear sporadically in contemporary writing at the time, their activities in Japan have remained unexplored by scholars until recently. This article aims to shed some light on the Łubieńskis’ life in Japan and to put it within the context, like a missing piece from a mosaic, of the cultural landscape of 1920s Japan. Furthermore, it will document the ways the Łubieńskis operated within the transnational network of Theosophists that spread among artists, foreign and Japanese alike, as a way to meet and exchange ideas. One of the circles the Łubieńskis joined, together with Noémi and Antonín Raymond, was the Garakutashū (Circle for the Study of Odd Things and Junk), a casual setting for open discussion about passion for collecting objects, hobbies, and a shared interest in Japanese arts such as woodblock printing, calligraphy, and ink painting. The transnational method used in this article foregrounds the importance of thinking through a lens highlighting transnational networks and enables us to recognize the Łubieńskis as a part of the Theosophical Society (TS), Garakutashū, and other networks of modern Japan.

Słowa kluczowe: Stefan Łubieński, nowoczesna Japonia, Japonia i Polska, japonizm, antropozofia, Towarzystwo Teozoficzne, nowoczesna duchowość

Kwartalnik "Studia Religiologica" ukazuje się w sposób ciągły on-line.

Pierwotną wersją czasopisma jest wersja elektroniczna publikowana w Internecie.