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Culture in Common

Wang Yiting’s Art of Exchange with Japan

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Walter Davis

Culture in Common explores the transnational history of traditionalist art in modern East Asia through a contextualist account of a Chinese artist’s engagement with Japan. Crossing national and disciplinary divides, Walter Davis illuminates how Wang Yiting (1867-1938) mediated Sino-Japanese cooperation in fields to which he contributed importantly—art, business, philanthropy, and religion—adapting traditional forms of expression to projects and concerns of a modern, international milieu.

Grounded in the Japanese archive, Culture in Common expands our understanding of Wang Yiting’s oeuvre and artistic practices, reveals origins, accomplishments, promises, and limitations of the cross-cultural exchanges he espoused in an era of increasing international tensions, and draws attention to the historical importance and shifting historiographical fortunes of twentieth-century Sino-Japanese visual culture.

Laura Moretti

In Recasting the Past: An Early Modern Tales of Ise for Children Laura Moretti recreates in image and text the unresearched 1766 picture-book Ise fūryū: Utagaruta no hajimari (The Fashionable Ise: The Origins of Utagaruta). The introduction analyses Utagaruta through a discussion of the textual scholarship relating to chapbooks and kusazōshi. It also contextualizes this work to shed new light on the reception history of the canonical Tales of Ise and to position Utagaruta within the realm of children’s literature. This is followed by the full transcription and translation of Utagaruta, with annotations to each image. Learned and visually rich, Moretti’s study permits the reader to enjoy the inventiveness and beauty of early modern Japanese literature.

The Rhetoric of Photography in Modern Japanese Literature

Materiality in the Visual Register as Narrated by Tanizaki Jun’ichirō, Abe Kōbō, Horie Toshiyuki and Kanai Mieko

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Atsuko Sakaki

In The Rhetoric of Photography in Modern Japanese Literature, Atsuko Sakaki closely examines photography-inspired texts by four Japanese novelists: Tanizaki Jun’ichirō (1886-1965), Abe Kōbō (1924-93), Horie Toshiyuki (b. 1964) and Kanai Mieko (b. 1947). As connoisseurs, practitioners or critics of this visual medium, these authors look beyond photographs’ status as images that document and verify empirical incidents and existences, articulating instead the physical process of photographic production and photographs’ material presence in human lives. This book offers insight into the engagement with photography in Japanese literary texts as a means of bringing forgotten subject-object dynamics to light. It calls for a fundamental reconfiguration of the parameters of modern print culture and its presumption of the transparency of agents of representation.