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Men in Metal

A Topography of Public Bronze Statuary in Modern Japan

Sven Saaler

In his pioneering study, Men in Metal, Sven Saaler examines Japanese public statuary as a central site of historical memory from its beginnings in the Meiji period through the twenty-first century. Saaler shows how the elites of the modern Japanese nation-state went about constructing an iconography of national heroes to serve their agenda of instilling national (and nationalist) thinking into the masses. Based on a wide range of hitherto untapped primary sources, Saaler combines data-driven quantitative analysis and in-depth case studies to identify the categories and historical figures that dominated public space. Men in Metal also explores the agents behind this visualized form of the politics of memory and introduces historiographical controversies surrounding statue-building in modern Japan.

Chris van Otterloo

This is the first monograph in English dedicated to the life and oeuvre of Japanese etching artist Tanaka Ryohei (1933). His refined technique has resulted in beautiful images of the Japanese rural landscape, which have found their way to many museum collections throughout the world.

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Erin Schoneveld

Shirakaba and Japanese Modernism

Art Magazines, Artistic Collectives, and the Early Avant-garde

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Erin Schoneveld

Lecture by the author in Leiden on Sunday 21 July, just after the ICAS conference Where: Sijthoff Cultuurzaal, Doezastraat 1b in Leiden How to register: entrance is free, but you have to register, please send an email to Wendy Logeman at logeman@brill.com Lecture (in English) starts at 2pm ***** Shirakaba and Japanese Modernism examines the most significant Japanese art and literary magazine of the early twentieth century, Shirakaba (White Birch, 1910–1923). In this volume Erin Schoneveld explores the fluid relationship that existed between different types of modern visual media, exhibition formats, and artistic practices embraced by the Shirakaba-ha (White Birch Society). Schoneveld provides a new comparative framework for understanding how the avant-garde pursuit of individuality during Japan’s Taishō period stood in opposition to state-sponsored modernism and how this played out in the emerging media of art magazines. This book analyzes key moments in modern Japanese art and intellectual history by focusing on the artists most closely affiliated with Shirakaba, including Takamura Kōtarō, Umehara Ryūzaburō, and Kishida Ryūsei, who selectively engaged with and transformed modernist idioms of individualism and self-expression to create a new artistic style that gave visual form to their own subjective reality. Drawing upon archival research that includes numerous articles, images, and exhibitions reviews from Shirakaba, as well as a complete translation of Yanagi Sōetsu’s seminal essay, “The Revolutionary Artist” ( Kakumei no gaka), Schoneveld demonstrates that, contrary to the received narrative that posits Japanese modernism as merely derivative, the debate around modernism among Japan’s early avant-garde was lively, contested, and self-reflexive.

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Erin Schoneveld

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Erin Schoneveld

From the Avant-garde to the Institution

The Evolving Exhibition Practices of Shirakaba

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Erin Schoneveld

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Erin Schoneveld