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.

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.

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.

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.

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)

Culture in Common

Wang Yiting’s Art of Exchange with Japan

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.
The Journal of Japonisme is a multi-disciplinary, global publication and dedicated to all aspects of the Japonisme movement from the first appearance of the name in France in the 1870s until the 21st century. The journal is open to new ideas and findings from wherever they might be found. Submitted manuscripts coming from the most wide ranging disciplines of the humanities: history, visual culture including the history of art and design, the decorative arts, painting and the graphic arts, architecture, fashion, film, literature, aesthetics, art criticism, and music, will be considered if they show how Japanese art and culture influenced and permeated Western society and culture from the opening of Japan to the West in the 1850s until the 21st century. Additionally, articles addressing Japanese art and artistic cross-cultural relations within the Asian region may also be submitted. Articles on various collectors of Japanese art in the West, either specific museums or individuals, will be strongly considered, as it was through these collections that Western artists gained a broad familiarity with works that they could study.
While Japonisme has long been seen as a significant influence on Western culture, there has never been an international journal that would specifically examine all aspects of this cultural phenomenon from a variety of disciplines and angles, ánd in a global perspective. This is one of the principal reasons why the emergence of this publication is so essential. The increasing awareness of Japonisme among scholars, and now the general public, make it essential that a publication is initiated so that various viewpoints can be shared. This is now a field of scholarly consideration that must be examined in depth through a journal solely dedicated to this type of exchange of ideas.
The journal will be published annually in English; there will be ca. 4 to 5 essays and book or exhibition reviews. All articles will be submitted in English; they will be peer reviewed by a distinguished committee of advisors and/or other reviewers signifying the importance of the work before it can be included in the Journal. Each article will be illustrated with no more than ten images. These will be reproduced (mainly) in black and white in the paper version and in color in the electronic edition. Each essay will be no longer than 8,000-10,000 words, including notes.

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Tomoko Sakomura

The culture of Japanese poetry, waka, is richly visual. In Poetry as Image Tomoko Sakomura examines the ways the visual culture of waka in sixteenth-century Japan engages with practice and protocol developed over the course of the previous six centuries, and what these engagements reveal about the role of the past in cultural productions of the present. The volume explores key aspects of waka culture—inscription, presentation, transmission, and vocabulary—as manifested in visual representations of noted poems, sites, and poets such as the “thirty-six poetic immortals” ( sanjūrokkasen). Looking closely at the visual and material language of waka artifacts produced at the intersections of the sociopolitical spheres of the imperial court and the warrior regimes of the Toyotomi and Tokugawa, Poetry as Image investigates how they functioned as elegant instruments of elite self-representation and promoted the courtly present.

Akiko Walley

Featuring the renowned seventh-century gilt-bronze Śākyamuni (Shaka) triad at the Hōryūji, Constructing the Dharma King reveals how the impression of a Buddhist image evolved in Yamato, Japan, from the indistinct sense of divine otherness at the early stage of the transmission to more concrete ideals and values concerning families, authority, and kingship.

According to the accompanying inscription, the Kashiwade, a low-ranking bureaucratic clan, commissioned the triad to commemorate the deaths of its family members. Considering the triad as an endpoint of a dynamic political re-envisioning spearheaded by Soga no Umako (d. 626) and the members of the Yamato sovereignty, Akiko Walley argues that the Kashiwade constructed the Shaka triad not simply as a private act of devotion, but a pivotal political act that demonstrated their allegiance and loyalty. This publication contends that the appearance of the Shaka triad was chosen to echo the new vision of a “Dharma King” that was manifested in Prince Umayato as the political persona orchestrated by Umako, and in the preceding Shaka triad statue at Asukadera produced by Umako and his closest allies. In the course of discussion, this book also reexamines the key points of debate surrounding this statue, including the reliability of the accompanying inscription, identity of its makers, and the statue’s ties to the sculptural trends on the Asian continent.