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Dancer, Nun, Ghost, Goddess

The Legend of Giō and Hotoke in Japanese Literature, Theater, Visual Arts, and Cultural Heritage

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Roberta Strippoli

Dancer, Nun, Ghost, Goddess explores the story of the dancers Giō and Hotoke, which first appeared in the fourteenth-century narrative Tale of the Heike. The story of the two love rivals is one of loss, female solidarity, and Buddhist salvation. Since its first appearance, it has inspired a stream of fiction, theatrical plays, and visual art works. These heroines have become the subjects of lavishly illustrated hand scrolls, ghosts on the noh stage, and Buddhist and Shinto goddesses. Physical monuments have been built to honor their memories; they are emblems of local pride and centerpieces of shared identity. Two beloved characters in the Japanese literary imagination, Giō and Hotoke are also models that have instructed generations of women on how to survive in a male-dominated world.
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A Career of Japan

Baron Raimund von Stillfried and Early Yokohama Photography

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Luke Gartlan

A Career of Japan is the first study of one of the major photographers and personalities of nineteenth-century Japan. Baron Raimund von Stillfried was the most important foreign-born photographer of the Meiji era and one of the first globally active photographers of his generation. He played a key role in the international image of Japan and the adoption of photography within Japanese society itself. Yet, the lack of a thorough study of his activities, travels, and work has been a fundamental gap in both Japanese- and Western-language scholarship. Based on extensive new primary sources and unpublished documents from archives around the world, this book examines von Stillfried’s significance as a cultural mediator between Japan and Central Europe. It highlights the tensions and fierce competition that underpinned the globalising photographic industry at a site of cultural contact and exchange – treaty-port Yokohama. In the process, it raises key questions for Japanese visual culture, Habsburg studies, and cross-cultural histories of photography and globalisation.

A Career of Japan is the winner of the 2nd Professor Josef Kreiner Hosei University Award for International Studies (Kreiner Award).

“Luke Gartlan’s book is a compelling and enjoyable read, and contributes major new perspectives to the growing field of Meiji photography. It will certainly be the authoritative work on Raimund von Stillfried, but it is also impressive for its contributions to other important areas of Meiji cultural studies, including representations of the emperor, photography of Hokkaido, and world’s fairs.” Bert Winther-Tamaki (University of California, Irvine)

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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.
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Edited by James E. Ketelaar, Yasunori Kojima and Peter Nosco

The chapters in this volume variously challenge a number of long-standing assumptions regarding eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Japanese society, and especially that society’s values, structure and hierarchy; the practical limits of state authority; and the emergence of individual and collective identity. By interrogating the concept of equality on both sides of the 1868 divide, the volume extends this discussion beyond the late-Tokugawa period into the early-Meiji and even into the present. An Epilogue examines some of the historiographical issues that form a background to this enquiry. Taken together, the chapters offer answers and perspectives that are highly original and should prove stimulating to all those interested in early modern Japanese cultural, intellectual, and social history
Contributors include: Daniel Botsman, W. Puck Brecher, Gideon Fujiwara, Eiko Ikegami, Jun’ichi Isomae, James E. Ketelaar, Yasunori Kojima, Peter Nosco, Naoki Sakai, Gregory Smits, M. William Steele, and Anne Walthall.
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Courtly Visions

The Ise Stories and the Politics of Cultural Appropriation

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Joshua S. Mostow

Courtly Visions: The Ise Stories and the Politics of Cultural Appropriation traces—through the visual and literary record—the reception and use of the tenth-century literary romance through the seventeenth century. Ise monogatari ( The Ise Stories) takes shape in a salon of politically disenfranchised courtiers, then transforms later in the Heian period (794-1185) into a key subtext for autobiographical writings by female aristocrats. In the twelfth century it is turned into an esoteric religious text, while in the fourteenth it is used as cultural capital in the struggles within the imperial household. Mostow further examines the development of the standardized iconographies of the Rinpa school and the printed Saga-bon edition, exploring what these tell us about how the Ise was being read and why. The study ends with an Epilogue that briefly surveys the uses Ise was put to throughout the Edo period and into the modern day.
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Miriam Wattles

Miriam Wattles recounts the making of Hanabusa Itchō (1652-1724), painter, haikai-poet, singer-songwriter, and artist subversive, in The Life and Afterlives of Hanabusa Itchō, Artist-Rebel of Edo. Translating literary motifs visually to encapsulate the tensions of his time, many of Itchō’s original works became models emulated by ukiyo-e and other artists. A wide array of sources reveals a lifetime of multiple personas and positions that are the source of his multifarious artistic reincarnations. While, on the one hand, his legend as seditious exile appears in the fictional cross-media worlds of theater, novels, and prints, on the other hand, factual accounts of his complicated artistic life reveal an important figure within the first artists’ biographies of early modern Japan.
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Miyazawa Kenji and His Illustrators

Images of Nature and Buddhism in Japanese Children's Literature

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Helen Kilpatrick

In Miyazawa Kenji and His Illustrators, Helen Kilpatrick examines re-visionings of the literature of one of Japan’s most celebrated authors, Miyazawa Kenji (1896-1933). The deeply Buddhist Kenji's imaginative dōwa (children’s tales) are among the most frequently illustrated in Japan today. Numerous internationally renowned artists such as Munakata Shikō, Kim Tschang-Yeul and Lee Ufan have represented his stories in an array of intriguing visual styles, reinvigorating them as picture books for modern audiences.

Focusing on some of Kenji’s most famous narratives, the author analyses the ways artists respond to the stories’ metaphysical philosophies, exploring the interaction of literature, art and culture. Miyazawa Kenji and His Illustrators is richly depicted with full colour images of the representations of Kenji’s work, making the book a valuable resource on how illustrations shape story, and how these picture books continue to convey the texts’ witty and ironic messages more deeply than the written word alone.
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John Szostak

Painting Circles addresses the changing professional milieu of artists in early 20th century Japan, particularly the development of new social roles and networks, and how these factors informed the development of artistic identity. The focus of the study is the Nihonga painter Tsuchida Bakusen (1887-1936), who in 1918 founded an exhibition collective, the Kokuga Society, in response to increasing dissatisfaction with the nation’s government-sponsored exhibition salon. The study examines efforts by Bakusen and company to establish an independent position vis-à-vis the arts establishment by demonstrating their reflexive knowledge of Western modernist art movements on the one hand, and on the other, by showing their deep commitment to preserving traditional Japanese painting themes, media and techniques into the 20th century.
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Painting Nature for the Nation

Taki Katei and the Challenges to Sinophile Culture in Meiji Japan

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Rosina Buckland

In Painting Nature for the Nation: Taki Katei and the Challenges to Sinophile Culture in Meiji Japan, Rosina Buckland offers an account of the career of the painter Taki Katei (1830–1901). Drawing on a large body of previously unpublished paintings, collaborative works and book illustrations by this highly successful, yet neglected, figure, Buckland traces how Katei transformed his art and practice based in modes derived from China in order to fulfil the needs of the modern nation-state at large-scale exhibitions and at the imperial court. She provides a rare examination of the vibrant world of Chinese-inspired culture during the 1880s, and the hostility which it faced in the following decade.
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Optical Allusions

Screens, Paintings, and Poetry in Classical Japan (ca. 800-1200)

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Joseph T. Sorensen

In Optical Allusions: Screens, Paintings, and Poetry in Classical Japan (ca. 800-1200), Joseph T. Sorensen illustrates how, on both the theoretical and the practical level, painted screens and other visual art objects helped define some of the essential characteristics of Japanese court poetry. In his examination of the important genre later termed screen poetry, Sorensen employs ekphrasis (the literary description of a visual art object) as a framework to analyze poems composed on or for painted screens. He provides close readings of poems and their social, political, and cultural contexts to argue the importance of the visual arts in the formation of Japanese poetics and poetic conventions.