Mount Fuji is renowned worldwide as Japan's highest and most perfectly shaped mountain. Serving as a potent metaphor in classical love poetry and revered since ancient times by mountain-climbing sects of both the Shinto and Buddhist faiths, Fuji has taken on many roles in pre-modern Japan. This volume explores a wide range of manifestations of the mountain in more recent visual culture, as portrayed in more than 100 works by Japanese painters and print designers from the 17th century to the present. Featured alongside traditional paintings of the Kano, Sumiyoshi, and Shijo schools are the more individualistic print designs of Katsushika Hokusai, Utagawa Hiroshige, Munakata Shiko, Hagiwara Hideo, and others. New currents of empiricism and subjectivity have enabled artists of recent centuries to project a surprisingly wide range of personal interpretations onto what was once regarded as such an eternal, unchanging symbol.
This captivating gallery offers rare glimpses of Japanese culture during the early years of the 20th century. Drawn from popular women's magazines of the Taish period, its kuchi-e (frontispiece pictures) of bijin (beauties) represent a variety of artists, from the visual poetry of famous painters to more prosaic efforts by anonymous designers. Printed in the era's latest techniques of color lithography and offset printing, these kuchi-e bijin were created for mass production, yet they echo the form and appeal of woodblock prints from earlier generations. Their fashions are new enough to be exciting but sufficiently traditional to be reassuringly familiar. Embracing noble ideals and modern reality, the kuchi-e bijin suggest both the aspirations and the mundane truths of their audience, combining the sense of fine art and the sensibilities of popular illustration.
Kendall H. Brown is Associate Professor of Asian Art History at California State University, Long Beach. His informative captions and Preface explore the images' literary content, social context, and the technologies used in their production. A valuable resource for scholars of Japanese art and period book illustration, this volume is also of tremendous interest to anyone with an eye for beauty.
UKIYO-E -- "images from the floating world" -- were the most popular art-form of 19th century Japan. Like modern-day manga, these prints could be mass-produced and were admired by people from all sectors of society; and as in manga, the art of ukiyo-e included significant sub-genres dealing in violence, erotica and horror. With unflinching images of weird sex, bloody carnage and grotesque, demonic ghosts and monsters, "Dream Spectres" is a powerful collection of the extremes of ukiyo-e, featuring the work of such artists as Yoshitoshi, Ekin, Kunichika, Yoshiiku, Kunisada, Hokusai, Kuniyoshi, Yoshitsuya, Hiroshige, Kyosai, and Chikanobu. "Dream Spectres" features over 170 amazing full-colour images, including the complete Eimei Nijuhasshuku ("28 Blood Atrocities") of Yoshitoshi and Yoshiiku, and ranges in content from bondage and bestiality to decapitations, demons and designs for classic irezumi (body tattoos). This is Japanese art not only at its extremes of imagination, but often at its most highly accomplished and innovative. This new, revised, enlarged and expanded edition of "Dream Spectres" is presented in large-format and full-colour throughout. The Ukiyo-e Master Series: presenting seminal collections of art by the greatest print-designers and painters of Edo-period and Meiji-period Japan.
As the oldest and largest museum in Japan, the Tokyo National Museum houses a vast collection of culturally important artworks. Elegant Perfection highlights twenty-six masterpieces from this esteemed collection, and together these objects tell the story of the country's artistic development from the prehistoric Jō mon era through the 19th century. Essays by experts at the Tokyo National Museum offer insights into how Buddhist art evolved in Japan, and how the aesthetics valued by Japanese courtly society, initially influenced by Chinese Tang culture, gradually became more distinctly Japanese. Melissa McCormick contributes an essay that demonstrates the connections between the realms of courtly and religious art in Japan.
The featured works include exquisite examples of painting, sculpture, calligraphy, metalwork, ceramics, and lacquerware. Among them are an 11th-century inscribed poetry compilation, lacquered musical instruments, Edo-period ceramics produced for tea ceremonies, and Buddhist sculpture, painting, and ritual objects. This publication offers a rare opportunity to discover the history and significance of these treasured works of art.
The Floating World by novelist James A. Michener is a classic work on the Japanese print of the Edo period (1615-1868). Mr. Michener shows how the Japanese printmakers, cut off from revivifying contacts with the art of the rest of the world and hampered by their own governmental restrictions, were able to keep their art vital for two centuries through their vigor and determination.For this new edition, Howard A. Link updates the scholarship and expands on many theoretical aspects introduced in Michener's study.
British connoisseur describes in detail the subject of famous Japanese color prints using 274 reproductions of works by Hokusai, Hiroshige, Utamaro, Shunyei, and other masters. Bibliography. Index.
Since the Neolithic era, artisans in East Asia have coated bowls, cups, boxes, baskets, and other utilitarian objects with a natural polymer distilled from the sap of the Rhus verniciflua, known as the lacquer tree. Lacquerware was, and still is, prized for its sheen--a lustrous beauty that artists learned to accentuate over the centuries with inlaid gold, silver, mother-of-pearl, and other precious materials.
This tradition has undergone challenges over the past thirty years. A small but enterprising circle of lacquer artists has pushed the medium in entirely new and dynamic directions by creating large-scale sculptures--works that are both conceptually innovative and superbly exploitive of lacquer's natural virtues.
Featuring thirty works by sixteen artists, this handsome publication details the first-ever exhibition of contemporary Japanese lacquer sculpture in the United States, shown at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
Hokusai is perhaps the Asian artist best known in the West. His influence has extended from the Impressionists to later modern art and even to commercial design. A few of his works are so frequently reproduced that they are almost as familiar as the face of the Mona Lisa. Yet the "Great Wave" and the "Red Fuji" from the Thirty-six views of Mt. Fuji represent only a tiny fraction of Hokusai's output. The pages of the Sketches, with their teeming humanity and their boundless interest in the details of everyday life, give only a small idea of his true scope. Hokusai's life was characterized by a prodigious energy and productivity that continued to the end of his ninth decade; his output comprises a correspondingly broad variety of genres and styles. Despite this, it is still not sufficiently realized just how great is the range, and how many masterpieces it includes.
The aim of this work is to present a more balanced picture of Hokusai's achievement, a selection ranging over the whole oeuvre that will give some idea of the strength, the delicacy, and the fabulous inventive powers of this truly universal genius of the ukiyo-e.
In 1814, the great Japanese artist and printmaker Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) published the first volume of his sketches: Hokusai Manga. Originally designed as a reference for his students to emulate, it surpassed all expectations and became a bestseller, eventually expanding to fifteen volumes and over four thousand images.
This three-volume edition is an extensive selection of Hokusai's sketches, which present all the themes, motifs, and techniques found in his art. Although they are not based around an ongoing narrative, the caricatures, satirical drawings, and multipanel illustrations can clearly be seen as a forerunner of manga as it is understood today.
Volume 1 explores Edo Life, the everyday world of the city that would later become Tokyo, featuring people from all walks of life at work and at play. Volume 2 is devoted to The Wonders of Nature, including animals, birds, and sh as well as landscapes, weather, and scenes of natural beauty. Finally, volume 3, Flights of Fancy, is packed with mythical creatures, supernatural beings, and all sorts of weird and wonderful imagery from the master's imagination. This collection has enchanted and inspired artists and art lovers for two centuries and is now ripe for rediscovery.