Heroes, villains, and damsels in distress abound in these richly colored, dramatic images from the Japanese equivalent of dime-store novels. These illustrations were selected from woodblock-printed covers and frontispiece illustrations from 64 popular books published in Osaka from 1898 through 1903. They include samurai and strong men, demons and detectives, courtesans, sumo wrestlers, and other vivid characters in scenarios ranging from romantic to grotesquely violent. Printed in the color woodblock method in use since the late eighteenth century, they provide a link between an ancient storytelling tradition and the beginning of mass-published popular literature.
Created during the Meiji era (1868-1912), when Japanese society was changing dramatically with the influx of Western technology and values, these images appealed to a wide audience of newly literate readers. Their scenes of retribution and sacrifice reflect a modern consciousness of Japanese history and a longing for an idealized vision of the past, marked by traditional values of loyalty, filial piety, self-sacrifice, and chivalry. Long considered a disposable form of popular culture, these books were not carefully preserved or collected. This collection, assembled by an expert on Japanese art, offers a rare glimpse of a newly rediscovered art form.
Japanese woodblock prints, or ukiyo-e, are the most recognizable Japanese art form. Their massive popularity has spread from Japan to be embraced by a worldwide audience. Covering the period from the beginning of the Japanese woodblock print in the 1680s until the year 1900, Japanese Woodblock Prints provides a detailed survey of all the famous ukiyo-e artists, along with over 500 full-color prints.Unlike previous examinations of this art form, Japanese Woodblock Prints includes detailed histories of the publishers of woodblock prints--who were often the driving force determining which prints, and therefore which artists, would make it into mass circulation for a chance at critical and popular success. Invaluable as a guide for ukiyo-e enthusiasts looking for detailed information about their favorite Japanese woodblock print artists and prints, it is also an ideal introduction for newcomers to the world of the woodblock print. This lavishly illustrated book will be a valued addition to the libraries of scholars, as well as the general art enthusiast.
Woodblock printing is a traditional artistic medium in Japan most renowned for its use in ukiyo-e or 'floating world' prints. Both moving and mesmerising, this medium captures scenes with considerable atmosphere and vibrancy whether it be crashing waves, autumn leaves or serene waterfalls. Beginning with a fresh and thoughtful introduction to Japanese woodblock art, Japanese Woodblocks Masterpieces of Art goes on to showcase key works by artists such as Katsuhika Hokusai and Ando Hiroshige.
A glimpse into the markets, crafts, and signage of early modern JapanKanban are the traditional signs Japanese merchants displayed on the street to advertise their presence, represent the products and services to be found inside their shops, and lend a sense of individuality to the shops themselves. Created from wood, bamboo, iron, paper, fabric, gold leaf, and lacquer, these unique objects evoke the frenetic market scenes of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Japan, where merchants created a multifaceted world of symbol and meaning designed to engage the viewer and entice the customer. Kanban provides a tantalizing look at this distinctive fusion of art and commerce. This beautifully illustrated book traces the history of shop signs in Japan, examines how they were created, and explores some of the businesses and trades they advertised. Some kanban are elongated panels of lacquered wood painted with elegant calligraphy and striking images, while others are ornately carved representative sculptures of munificent deities or carp climbing waterfalls. There are oversized functional Buddhist prayer beads, and everyday objects such as tobacco pipes, shoes, combs, and writing brushes. The book also includes archival photographs of market life in old Japan, woodblock prints of bustling marketplaces, and images of the goods advertised with these intricate and beguiling objects. Providing a look into a unique, handmade world, Kanban offers new insights into Japan's commercial and artistic roots, the evolution of trade, the links between commerce and entertainment, and the emergence of mass consumer culture. Exhibition Schedule: Mingei International Museum, San Diego April 15-October 15, 2017
A Life Among Fishes explores the lifelong passion of fisheries by scientist and artist Christopher M. Dewees. The book features over 100 of his Japanese fish prints since 1969. Many of these are linked to stories about the journey, and history and information about the art form are also described within. The book presents Dewees? half-century of printing fish and shellfish to full color. We follow his evolution from being exposed and fascinated to gyotaku as a graduate student to his status now as an internationally recognized master in the field. He documents his journey and growth by sharing fifty years of experiences and adventures. In recent years Dewees has focused more on writing stories and poems that are linked to his art.
Appearing for the first time in paperback and illustrated with line drawings, diagrams, and 26 half-tone plates, this study of the iconographic aspect of Japanese Buddhist sculpture surveys the significance of eight principal and six secondary hand gestures (mudra), in addition to the postures (asana), such as the lotus, and the symbolic attributes. A pictorial index helps the reader in identifying the gestures.
The female ghost or yurei (literally, "faded spirit") is perhaps the most recognizable figure in Japanese horror culture, powerfully reinforced through the success of Japanese ghost films such as Ringu ("The Ring") and Ju-On ("The Grudge"). Their traditional appearance -- long black hair in disarray over the face, white skin and white burial clothing -- goes back to the very first painted scroll images of such creatures, of which the prototype is said to be Maruyama Okyo's painting of the ghost of the geisha Oyuki, from 1750. "Night Parade Of Dead Souls," the first book of its kind to be published in English, collects 70 of the most striking and disturbing Japanese ghost images from classic art, and offers an essential glimpse into the twilight strata of Japanese art, popular myth, and religious belief. The artists featured range from obscure painters to the venerated ukiyo-e artist Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, who created numerous ghost paintings around 1880. All the paintings, which range in date from 1750 to the early 20th century, are shown at full-page length, and in 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.
Little known during his lifetime, the Japanese biologist and artist Iwasaki Tsuneo (1917-2002) created a strikingly original and exquisitely intricate body of modern Buddhist artwork. His paintings depict themes ranging from classical Buddhist iconography to majestic views of our universe as revealed by science--all created with the use of painstakingly rendered miniature calligraphies of the
Heart Sutra, one of the most important scriptures of Mahayana Buddhism. In this groundbreaking book, Paula Arai presents over fifty of Iwasaki's paintings, elucidating their Buddhist contexts and meanings as well as their intimate connections to Iwasaki's life as a war survivor, teacher, scientist, and devout Buddhist practitioner. Having been posthumously recognized by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Iwasaki's paintings are sure to be regarded as an innovative and heartfelt contribution to the artistic legacy of twentieth-century Buddhism.
Radicals and Realists is the first book in any language to discuss Japan's avant-garde artists, their work, and the historical environment in which they produced it during the two most creative decades of the twentieth century, the 1950s and 1960s. Many of the artists were radicals, rebelling against existing canons and established authority. Yet at the same time they were realists in choosing concrete materials, sounds, and themes from everyday life for their art and in gradually adopting tactics of protest or resistance through accommodation rather than confrontation. Whatever the means of expression, the production of art was never devoid of historical context or political implication. Focusing on the nonverbal genres of painting, sculpture, dance choreography, and music composition, this work shows that generational and political differences, not artistic doctrines, largely account for the divergent stances artists took vis-a-vis modernism, the international arts community, Japan's ties to the United States, and the alliance of corporate and bureaucratic interests that solidified in Japan during the 1960s.After surveying censorship and arts policy during the American occupation of Japan (1945-1952), the narrative divides into two chronological sections dealing with the 1950s and 1960s, bisected by the rise of an artistic underground in Shinjuku and the security treaty crisis of May 1960. The first section treats Japanese artists who studied abroad as well as the vast and varied experiments in each of the nonverbal avant-garde arts that took place within Japan during the 1950s, after long years of artistic insularity and near-stasis throughout war and occupation. Chief among the intellectuals who stimulated experimentation were the art critic Takiguchi Shuzo, the painter Okamoto Taro, and the businessman-painter Yoshihara Jiro. The second section addresses the multifront assault on formalism (confusingly known as anti-art) led by visual artists nationwide. Likewise, composers of both Western-style and contemporary Japanese-style music increasingly chose everyday themes from folk music and the premodern musical repertoire for their new presentations. Avant-garde print makers, sculptors, and choreographers similarly moved beyond the modern--and modernism--in their work. A later chapter examines the artistic apex of the postwar period: Osaka's 1970 world exposition, where more avant-garde music, painting, sculpture, and dance were on display than at any other point in Japan's history, before or since. Radicals and Realists is based on extensive archival research; numerous concerts, performances, and exhibits; and exclusive interviews with more than fifty leading choreographers, composers, painters, sculptors, and critics active during those two innovative decades. Its accessible prose and lucid analysis recommend it to a wide readership, including those interested in modern Japanese art and culture as well as the history of the postwar years.