The Kimono in Print: 300 Years of Japanese Design will be the first ever publication devoted to examining the kimono as a major source of inspiration, and later vehicle for experimentation, in Japanese print design and culture from the Edo period (1603-1868) to the Meiji period (1868-1912). Print artists, through the wide circulation of prints, have documented the ever-evolving trends in fashion, have popularized certain styles of dress, and have even been known to have designed kimonos. Some famous print designers also were directly involved in the kimono business as designers of kimono pattern books, such as Nishikawa Sukenobu (1671-1751) and Okumura Masanobu (1686-1764). The dialogue between fashion and print is illustrated here by approximately 70 Japanese prints and illustrated books—by Nishikawa Sukenobu, Suzuki Harunobu, Utagawa Kunisada, Kikukawa Eizan, and Kamisaka Sekka, among others. The group of five essays features new research and scholarship by an international group of leading scholars working today at the intersection of the Japanese print and kimono worlds and the social, cultural, and global significances circulated therein.
Dharma and Puṇya: Buddhist Ritual Art of Nepal explores the centrality of ritual practices and the agency of people – patrons, ritual specialists, devotees – in creating and amplifying the efficacy of Buddhist art. Jinah Kim and Todd Lewis highlight the unparalleled contributions of Nepal’s artisans, patrons, and ritualists in engendering artistic heritage that is an endearing continuation of Indic Buddhist traditions. The publication presents paintings, illuminated texts, statues, and ritual implements from the Newar tradition in the Kathmandu Valley. Richly illustrated with photographs of contemporary rituals, religious observances, and historical examples, the essays provide cultural, historical and ritual contexts in which objects collected in art museums were used, and animate them. By recentering the historical imagination on communities, their rituals, and popular narrative traditions,
Dharma and Puṇya challenges prevailing misconceptions about Buddhism in the West and expand our understanding of Buddhism as a lived world religion. Contributors include: Naresh Bajracharya, Louis Coppleston, Sonali Dhingra, James Giambrone, Jinah Kim, Todd Lewis, Bruce McCoy Owens, Alexander von Rospatt and Sumon Tuladhar.
Tanaka Ryōhei. Etchings of Rural Japan is the first monograph in English dedicated to the life and oeuvre of Tanaka Ryōhei (1933). Mostly self-taught, Tanaka excelled in the medium of etching. He used this technique to depict the scenery of rural Japan and its gradually disappearing thatched-roof farmhouses. Tanaka made no less than 770 etchings and printed the vast majority of the editions himself – a total of well over 100,000 prints, which found their way to many collections, both public and private, all over the world. Over 130 representative works have been selected for this publication. Japan has a long and rich tradition of printmaking. Whereas 18th- to early 20th-century woodblock prints have been the subject of extensive research, postwar printmaking and etching in Japan have received considerably less attention. While focusing on a single artist, this publication aims to shed light on these lesser-known aspects of Japanese print history.
Tanaka Ryōhei, Etchings of Rural Japan includes an elaborate introduction to the technique of etching, enabling the reader to understand and admire Tanaka’s skills as an artist-craftsman.
Yoshijiro Urushibara: A Japanese printmaker in London is a catalogue raisonné of the work of Yoshijiro Urushibara (1889–1953), a Japanese artist and craftsman who lived and worked in London from 1910 to 1940. During his thirty years in Europe, Urushibara produced a considerable number of prints and played a major role in encouraging the production and appreciation of the colour woodcut in the Japanese manner, especially in Britain. Throughout his career Urushibara contributed to cross-cultural interactivity, collaborating with several European artists. His most famous and successful collaboration was with the British artist Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956).
The authors had unique access to the artist’s family archive in Tokyo and recorded and evaluated the extent of Urushibara’s print production. With fully researched catalogue entries, full-colour illustrations, and illuminating biographical and contextual essays, this publication – the first of its kind in the English language - provides a comprehensive account of Urushibara’s life and oeuvre.
Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) designed a series of 70 landscapes depicting the provinces of Japan between 1854 and 1856. It was the first of a number of sets from the highly productive years of his later life. The designs comprising
Famous places in the 60-odd provinces (
Rokuju yoshu meisho zue) are taken from all corners of Japan. Designs published before this series had already depicted the famous routes between Edo and Kyoto, the Tokaido and the Kisokaido, and various well known locations such as the famous waterfalls, Lake Omi and the Jewel Rivers, but a series on such a grand scale devoted to the provincies was a novelty. It evidently met with critical acclaim as the publishers Koshimuraya Heisuke issued several editions.
In this study, the author Marije Jansen briefly discusses Hiroshige's life and the formal aspects of this series. Jansen takes as her point of departure the set in possession of the German collector Gerhard Pulverer, which is generally acknowledged to be a superb example of a first edition, and compares this series to a number of other sets in public and private collections. The detectable printing variations in each design are carefully analysed, making this an indispensable tool for collectors.
Kuniyoshi The Faithful Samurai is a pioneering publication which deals with the most famous series – the
Seichū gishi den (1847-48) and its sequel the
Seichū gishin den (1848) – of the forty-seven masterless samurai (
rōnin) by artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861). The true 18th-century tale of revenge by forty-seven
rōnin for the death of their lord was enormously popular in Japan: it was dramatised for the Kabuki theatre and its heroes were often depicted in
ukiyo-e prints. Kuniyoshi was a master in the genre of warrior prints, and his series expressively portrays these warrior ‘folk heroes’. Dr. Weinberg’s book also includes translations of the texts which appear on the prints and which recount each hero’s exploits. In addition, there are photographs of the relics of the masterless samurai and the ruins of their castle in Akō.
Utagawa Kunisada (1786–1865) was one of the most successful Japanese woodblock print designers of his age. With an estimated output of some twenty-five thousand prints during a career spanning almost sixty years Kunisada was a towering figure in the sphere of
ukiyo-e. His versatility and inventiveness extended across genres, from the stars of the kabuki stage to the women from the pleasure districts, the world of entertainment and the everyday, as well as landscapes, warriors and literary themes.
Kunisada was greatly respected during his lifetime as a print designer of the Utagawa school and as the head of a successful studio with students, such as Toyohara Kunichika (1835–1900), who would carry the tradition of woodblock prints into the Meiji period (1868–1912). Yet scholars, collectors and connoisseurs in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries dismissed him and many of his contemporaries as ‘decadent’. And in recent decades his achievements have often been overshadowed by his contemporary Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797−1861).
Kunisada: imaging drama and beauty offers a fresh perspective on this
ukiyo-e master, demonstrating the high calibre of his art with prints, paintings and books sourced from international public and private collections. Although the over one hundred and fifty works in the publication represent only a small part of Kunisada’s vast oeuvre, they serve to convey his skill in capturing and imagining Japanese popular culture of the first half of the nineteenth century.
Of brigands and bravery: Kuniyoshi’s heroes of the Suikoden is the first monograph in English on the stunning series of 74 prints illustrating figures from the
Suikoden by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861), one of the outstanding Japanese woodblock-print masters of the 19th century.
Suikoden (commonly known in English as
The water margin) is the Japanese adaptation of the 14th-century Chinese vernacular novel, the
Shui hu zhuan, which recounts the exploits of a group of rebels on Mount Liang (J. Ryösanpaku) under the lead of the brave and righteous Song Jiang. The
Suikoden was enormously popular in Japan during the 19th century. It was Kuniyoshi’s initial designs for the single-sheet print series
The one hundred and eight heroes of the popular Suikoden (Tsüzoku Suikoden göketsu hyakuhachinin no hitori) - in which the full-length portraits of the heroes are charged with a new sense of dynamism - that spurred a
Suikoden craze in Edo (present-day Tokyo).
Of brigands and bravery reproduces the 74 known designs of the series in full colour; each is accompanied by an explanatory text. The publication also offers supplementary information on topics relating specifically to the series such as tattooing: a number of the
Suikoden figures are adorned with tattoos and it is thought that Kuniyoshi himself had a passion for this art. In addition, Kuniyoshi’s illustration of a variety of armour and dress types, his at times graphic portrayal of the heroes in battle and his integration of western stylistic devices are testimony to the creative genius behind the
Gender relations were complex in Edo-period Japan (1603–1868).
Wakashu, male youths, were desired by men and women, constituting a “third gender” with their androgynous appearance and variable sexuality. For the first time outside Japan,
A Third Gender examines the fascination with
wakashu in Edo-period culture and their visual representation in art, demonstrating how they destabilize the conventionally held model of gender binarism.
The volume will reproduce, in colour, over a hundred works, mostly woodblock prints and illustrated books from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries produced by a number of designers ranging from such well-known artists as Okumura Masanobu, Suzuki Harunobu, Kitagawa Utamaro and Utagawa Kunisada, to lesser known artists such as Shigemasa, Eishi and Eiri.
A Third Gender is based on the collection of the Royal Ontario Museum, which houses the largest collection of Japanese art in Canada, including more than 2,500 woodblock prints.
Waves of renewal traces the history of Japanese printmaking following an era of decline beginning in the late nineteenth century. The early twentieth century witnessed the emergence of two principal printmaking movements. The first—
shin hanga (new print)—reinvented and revitalised the conventional genres of landscape, beauties and actors.
Shin hanga adhered to a traditional production method that was based on the cooperation between artist, block-cutter, printer and publisher. At the same time, it strove to forge a new visual language in both style and technique. The second—
sōsaku hanga (creative print)—was inspired by the dialogue between Western and Japanese art and aesthetics. In the main,
sōsaku hanga adherents advocated the participation of the artist in the entire creative process from design to production.
Waves of renewal is the most comprehensive publication to date to focus on the holdings of the Nihon no hanga collection in Amsterdam. The 277 prints included showcase the sophistication of
shin hanga and the boldness of
sōsaku hanga. An introductory essay sets the stage, followed by ten shorter essays by noted scholars in the field that centre on aspects integral to our understanding of early to mid-twentieth century Japanese printmaking. Each print is documented and annotated in the extensive catalogue section.
Chris Uhlenbeck; Amy Reigle Newland; Shōichirō Watanabe; Setsuko Abe; Kendall H. Brown; Mikiko Hirayama; Junko Nishiyama; Chiaki Ajioka; Noriko Kuwahara; Kiyoko Sawatari; Maureen de Vries