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Portraits of Chōgen

The Transformation of Buddhist Art in Early Medieval Japan


John M. Rosenfield

This volume, the first in Brill’s Japanese Visual Culture series, vividly describes the efforts of the Japanese monk Shunjōbō Chōgen (1121–1206) to restore major buildings and works of art lost in a brutal civil conflict in 1180. Chōgen is best known for his role in the recasting of the Great Buddha (Daibutsu) and the reconstructing of the South Great Gate (Nandaimon) of Tōdaiji in Nara and its huge, dramatic wooden guardian figures. This study concentrates on these and other replacement statues and buildings associated with Chōgen and situates the visual arts of Japan into the spiritual and socio-political context of their times. Through meticulous study of dedicatory material, Rosenfield is able to place the splendid Buddhist statues made for Chōgen in vivid new light. The volume also explores how Japan’s rulers employed the visual arts as instruments of government policy – a tactic that recurs throughout the nation’s history. This publication includes an annotated translation of Chōgen’s memoir, completed near the end of his life, in which he recounts his many achievements. In chapters on East Asian portraiture, Rosenfield claims that surviving statues of Chōgen, carved with mordant realism, rank among the world’s most eloquent portraits, and herald the great changes that were to permeate Japanese religious and secular arts in the centuries to come. While Chōgen has been the subject of major art exhibitions and extensive research in Japan; this is the first book-length study to appear in the West.

Kenji Matsuo

This first major study in English on Japanese Buddhism by one of Japan’s most distinguished scholars in the field of Religious Studies is to be widely welcomed.The main focus of the work is on the tradition of the monk ( o-bo-san) as the main agent of Buddhism, together with the historical processes by which monks have developed Japanese Buddhism as it appears in the present day.

Koguryo: The Language of Japan’s Continental Relatives

An Introduction to the Historical-Comparative Study of the Japanese-Koguryoic Languages, with a Preliminary Description of Archaic Northeastern Middle Chinese. Second Edition


Christopher Beckwith

A Brush With Animals [paperback]

Japanese Paintings 1700-1950

Robert Schaap

Japan has a long and rich tradition of using animal imagery in works of art. A Brush with Animals. Japanese Painting 1700-1950 gives an overview of Japanese animal painting, covering some 250 years, with an emphasis on works by artists of the naturalistic Shijô School. It illustrates the wonderful variety of animals that figure in Japanese iconography, including the 12 animals of the zodiac and many mythological creatures. The reader is thus taken on a tour through the animal kingdom, which is profusely illustrated with no less than 300 colour images. A selection of essays explains in great detail the stories and legends behind the animal imagery and provides background information on the practical aspects and social context of Japanese hanging scroll paintings. A useful tool for the collector and a delight for anyone sensitive to the beauty of Japanese art.
A Brush with Animals was selected from collections of members of the Society for Japanese Arts (private and museum collections), to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Society. Many of the paintings are published here for the first time.

The Opening of Japan, 1853–1855

A Comparative Study of the American, British, Dutch and Russian Naval Expedition to Compel the Tokugawa Shogunate to Conclude Treaties and Open Ports to Their Ships in the Years 1853-55

William McOmie

Sub-titled A comparative study of the American, British, Dutch and Russian naval expeditions to compel the Tokugawa shogunate to conclude treaties and open ports to their ships, this highly informed and widely researched study provides for the first time a more complete picture of the competition and cooperation, distrust and open hostility of the four protagonists involved in this joint Western enterprise. In 1852, the news of the US government's plan to send a large naval expedition to Japan to demand the opening of its ports to American ships excited public interest and elicited differing responses among the European powers. For Russia, Japan was a neighbouring empire to whose ports it had itself long sought access; now, its jealousy aroused, and its own strategic interests seemingly under threat, Russia could not permit the United States to possibly exclude it from Japanese ports. In the wake of the Opium war, the Dutch king had urged the shogun to peacefully open its ports to the other Western powers; now the king and his ministers feared that the US expedition would take an overly aggressive approach that might involve the Netherlands in a war with Japan. Having previously opened Chinese ports to the West, Britain was occupied there, and willing to take 'a wait and see' attitude, temporarily conceding a leading role to the United States in Japan. (France had also previously made approaches to Japan, and in case of a successful outcome, would not lag far behind in sending its own warships to make arrangements with Japan.) Thus, the stage was set for the race between America and Russia to open 'Closed Japan' and the surrounding seas, while the Netherlands worked quietly behind the scenes, and Britain and France waited in the wings. This volume documents in detail the plans and outcomes of each of the four powers’ negotiations with Japan, lists the clauses of the resulting treaties and offers a comparative analysis of their merits and demerits; at the same time it provides a fascinating commentary on the way business was done by the Japanese with each country and its representatives.

Haiku & Haiga

Moments in Word and Image

Ron Manheim

This bilingual (German/English) publication supports the exhibition Haiku & Haiga – Augenblicke in Wort und Bild – Japanische Rollbilder aus vier Jahrhunderten, held in Museum Schloss Moyland (Bedburg-Hau, Germany) in April 2006. This selection of beautiful Japanese scrolls shows the poetic power of the combination of the word and the image. The texts on all 78 exhibited objects are published in Japanese (in kanji and in transcription) as well as in German/English translation, supplemented with comments. Contributions by specialists among which Prof. Dr. Ekkehard May, Dr. Anna Beerens and Dr. Dan McKee.

Understanding Amae

The Japanese Concept of Need-love


Takeo Doi

This volume brings together twenty-six of Professor Doi’s principal papers on the subject of the Japanese psyche and the subject of dependency ( amae) published in English over the last fifty years, beginning with his paper on Japanese Psychiatry (1955) and concluding with ‘Are Psychological Concepts of Japanese Origin Relevent?’ (2002), some of which are published here for the first time, Pre-eminent among Japanese psychiatrists, Professor Doi gained international fame with the publication of The Anatomy of Dependence in 1973.

Japan's Foreign Policy, 1945-2009

The Quest for a Proactive Policy

Kazuhiko Togo

This book describes major aspects of Japanese foreign policy from WWII to the present. Bilateral relations with the US, China, Korea, Southeast Asia, Russia, Europe and the Middle East as well as multilateral diplomacy are analysed. Written by a former diplomat who was deeply involved in major issues of postwar Japanese foreign policy, it provides fascinating insider views on policy making in Tokyo. The book explains how and why Japan is developing a more proactive foreign policy and highlights vital policy issues which it is facing at the turn of the century. It is written with exceptional clarity and is accessible and friendly to any reader who is interested in modern Japan.

Hokusai and His Age

Ukiyo-e Painting, Printmaking and Book Illustrations in Late Edo Japan

Edited by John Carpenter

This profusely illustrated volume, which collects essays by a distinguished roster of specialists in Japanese art, presents a wide range of current scholarship on the Edo artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) and his immediate artistic and literary circles. Achieving worldwide renown for his dramatic landscape print series such as the Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, Hokusai also excelled in book illustration, erotica, and privately commissioned woodcuts called surimono. Less well known, Hokusai was a highly accomplished and prolific painter who produced not only pictures of courtesans of the pleasure quarters, the normal stock-in-trade of an ukiyo-e artist, but a prodigious output on historical and legendary themes. This volume provides new insights into all these diverse aspects of the polyvalent artist’s corpus.
Contributors: Asano Shugo, Gian Carlo Calza, John T. Carpenter, Timothy Clark, Doris Croissant, Julie Nelson Davis, Roger Keyes, Kobayashi Fumiko, Kobayashi Tadashi, Kubota Kazuhiro, Naito Masato, David Pollack, John M. Rosenfield, Timon Screech, Henry D. Smith II, and Tsuji Nobuo.
Published in cooperation with: The International Hokusai Research Centre, University of Venice, Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures Art, Research Center Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto.

Oliver Impey and C.J.A. Jörg

Japanese export lacquer 1580-1850 is the first full treatment of lacquerware made to European demand, its transportation and the lacquer market in Europe as well as the effect of lacquer and its use in a European context. Trading patterns and its use are described in detail, based on the documentary evidence of Europeans in the Far East, on notes kept by the Portuguese in Japan, on the important and comprehensive archives of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and to a lesser extent and for a shorter period, of the English Honourable East India Company, as well as on contemporary comments and inventories within Europe.