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Splendid Impressions

Japanese Secular Painting 1400-1900, in the Museum of East Asian Art Cologne

Doris Croissant

This publication focuses on the collection of Japanese secular painting in the Museum of East Asian Art in Cologne, a large part of which was acquired by the museum’s founders Adolf and Frieda Fischer before 1913. Six internationally renowned specialists of Japanese art present new insights and approaches to pre-modern Japanese visual culture in this exquisitely illustrated catalogue.

The publication is divided into two parts: the first section discusses the reception of Japanese art and the dawn of East Asian art history in Germany, as well as shedding new light on the role of the monk painter as mediator between Chinese and Japanese concepts of secular art.

The main body of the publication is the catalogue section. Here, 94 works (divided into seven subject categories) are presented: hand scrolls, fans, hanging scrolls and folding screens. All works are reproduced in full colour, many scrolls being shown in their entirety. Each chapter is preceded by an introduction, elucidating the historiographical, aesthetic and methodological questions that are central to current research in the visual culture of pre-modern Japan. The illuminating entries are followed by a comprehensive appendices section, including photographs of the paintings’ signatures, seals and transcriptions of the inscriptions in the paintings.
Splendid Impressions will serve as a reference source not only for curators, scholars and students of Japanese art and culture, but also for anyone who has a personal interest in Japanese painting.

Edited by Amy Reigle Newland

The Hotei Encyclopedia of Japanese Woodblock Prints will serve as a source of quick reference as well as an in-depth study of all aspects of Japanese prints from the Edo (1600-1868) to Taishō (1912-26) periods.
The first section of The Hotei Encyclopedia is divided into four main subject areas: historical background, the art history of Ukiyo-e prints, print production (materials and techniques, the publishing trade) and the history of collecting Japanese prints, with a shorter fifth section on conservation. Each subject area contains a longer survey article which is accompanied by shorter essays that highlight specific topics pertaining to Japanese prints and their development.
The second section of the book comprises an extensive alphabetical listing of well over a 2000 carefully cross-referenced entries on individual print designers and schools, publishers, carvers, printers and collectors, major Kabuki actors, materials and techniques, conservation, subject-matter/iconography, literature and miscellaneous print-related terminology. This is followed by various appendices, including such aspects as seals of publishers and carvers, signatures, maps and chronological tables.
With this ambitious project Hotei Publishing hopes to fill the gap for an extensive reference work and introduction to Japanese prints, one that will prove a valuable resource for teachers and students, art collectors, librarians and interested lay-people alike.


Edited by Amy Reigle Newland

Volume 2 of Hotei Academic European Studies on Japan is a compilation of essays covering subjects relating to the artistic environment of the artists and the economic considerations of Japanese print production. The essays are extended versions of the lectures presented at the First International Conference on Ukiyo-e, organized by Hotei Publishing. Contributions by Chris Uhlenbeck, David Waterhouse, Roger Keyes, Shigeru Oikawa, Asano Shugo, Timothy Clark, John Carpenter, Timon Screech, Matthi Forrer, Ellis Tinios and Philip Meredith.

Japanese Export Porcelain

Catalogue of the Collection of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Oliver Impey

The Ashmolean Museum's collection of Japanese export porcelain is perhaps the most comprehensive collection in the West. The present catalogue includes only the export wares, the Arita, Ko-Imari and Kakiemon porcelains of the years between about 1660 and 1740, the peak period of the trade. More than 400 pieces are included in the catalogue, each illustrated - some more than once - in colour, with some comparative material. This is probably the largest corpus of Japanese export porcelain published in any single volume, and will be an invaluable source for comparative studies. Many pieces have never been published before.

Competition and collaboration (CHAZEN editie)

Japanese Prints of the Utagawa School (CHAZEN)

Joan Mueller

The prolific Utagawa school is one of the most famous lineages of print artists in the history of Japanese woodblock prints. It was founded by Utagawa Toyoharu during the second half of the eighteenth century and remained active in Edo, present-day Tokyo, throughout the nineteenth century. During this period, Utagawa-school artists dominated virtually every genre of ukiyo-e prints, or “pictures of the floating world,” including pictures of beautiful women, prints of kabuki actors, warrior prints, erotica, and landscape pictures. Colorful, technically innovative, and sometimes defiant of government regulations, these prints documented for a popular audience the pleasures of urban life, leisure, and travel. The diverse works by Utagawa Kunisada, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Utagawa Hiroshige, and others reflected the changing social, economic, and political conditions present during the closing century of the Edo period (1615-1868) and early years of the Meiji period (1868-1912).
This 232-page groundbreaking catalogue features full-color images of more than 200 prints from the renowned Van Vleck Collection of Japanese Prints at the Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin–Madison. This collection – a number of which were once part of Frank Lloyd Wright’s personal collection of Japanese prints – is particularly noteworthy for its strong holdings of landscape prints including rare designs incorporating western perspective by the school’s founder Toyoharu. The book includes explicated entries for each work, artist biographies, and five scholarly essays about Japanese print culture and the Utagawa school.

Mount Fuji

Sacred Mountain of Japan

Chris Uhlenbeck and Merel Molenaar

Mount Fuji has always stirred the imagination of artists. Many Japanese print artists, including some of the greatest like Hokusai and Hiroshige, have attempted to capture the spirit of this mountain in their designs. This book offers an overview of the many faces of Mount Fuji as seen through the eyes of such artists. The introduction focusses on Mount Fuji in mythology, early portrayal, pilgrimage history, and its depiction in Japanese prints - in particular, the work of Hokusai and Hiroshige. The catalogue contains further chapters on Mount Fuji from the Tōkaidō, Fuji and the Chushingura drama, Fuji and poetry (surimono), Fuji seen from Edo (present-day Tokyo) and Fuji: The thirty-six views.

Chris Uhlenbeck and Marije Jansen

Hiroshige Shaping the Image of Japan
is a comprehensive overview of Hiroshige's work as a woodblock print artist. Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) is one of the great masters in the history of Japanese printmaking and this publication coincides with the 150th anniversary of his death. Hiroshige has worked in virtually every genre of ukiyo-e or 'images of the floating world'. He designed prints of beautiful women and brave heroes, but achieved his greatest fame through his depictions of the Japanese landscape, showing famous places in different seasons and at various times of day. These landscape prints, with their bright colors and strong compositions, were not only popular in Japan, but also found favor with European artists at the turn of the 19th century.

The main body of this publication includes a general introduction, sketching the cultural and economic environment of the artist Hiroshige, the development of his oeuvre, and the rise of his his artistic reputation in Japan and the West. This is followed by a chronological presentation of 140 full-color prints, selected from public and private collections.

Biographical data are sparse and only very few details of his life help explain the nature of his output. However, by carefully piecing together the information which can be gleaned from the works themselves, and combining it with the current knowledge on print production methods, the authors present a picture of Hiroshige as an artist-cum-craftsman who efficiently produced for his publishers, creating in the process an image of Japan which endures until this day.

The Beauty of Silence

Japanese Nō and Nature Prints by Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927)

Robert Schaap and J. Thomas Rimer

The Beauty of Silence. Japanese Nō and Nature Prints by Tsukioka Kōgyo (1867-1927) is the first monograph in English on Tsukioka Kōgyo, one of the lesser-known exponents of Japanese woodblock prints of the Meiji period (1868-1912). This publication exposes Kōgyo’s life and work, presenting a detailed and abundantly-illustrated overview of his rich oeuvre of prints and paintings, and places them in the context of his times. For the first time, Kōgyo’s life and work are accessible to readers throughout the world.
Kōgyo is particularly well-known for his many depictions of the Nō, Japan’s elegant and poetic theatrical form, dating back to medieval times. Performances of Nō continue to have wide audiences even today, with admirers not only in Japan, but throughout Asia, Europe and the United States.
Kōgyo often created unusual images of the theatrical productions he attended, and his prints provide fascinating visual clues and insights into how these classic plays were actually performed during his lifetime. In these theatrical prints, Kōgyo created images of an evocative beauty that are comparable with the work of some of the great artists in the European tradition who also recorded the theatrical practices of their times.
The Beauty of Silence illustrates a range of Kōgyo’s works on a variety of subjects, including landscapes, as well as samples of his art created in other media. The publication includes his biography, historical information on the Nō, a detailed analysis of the prints, and useful information on each of the Nō plays pictured. The appendices section includes listings of more than a hundred artist-seals used by Kōgyo, an index of Nō plays and illustrations of all 120 prints belonging to Kōgyo’s famous print series Nōgaku hyakuban (One Hundred Nō Plays).
This book, with almost 400 full color illustrations, will be of wide interest both to lovers of woodblock prints and to those interested in the power and beauty of Japan’s theatrical traditions.

Henry Johnson

The shamisen is a traditional Japanese musical instrument. It was introduced to Japan in the mid-sixteenth century via China and the Ryûkyû Islands, and was quickly established as a culturally significant musical instrument in its new context. The instrument – a three-string lute – developed numerous styles of performance and is found as a solo and ensemble instrument in diverse social and cultural contexts. The shamisen is known as an instrument of geisha in the entertainment districts; it is used in kabuki and bunraku theatre; and also has an established place within a wide-range of performance traditions, many of which are depicted in woodblock prints and other art depicting everyday life of the Edo period.
This book, which is based on the author’s field research in Japan, is a history of the shamisen. It locates the instrument within its various social and cultural contexts, and includes accompanying illustrations (e.g., woodblock prints, photographs and illustrations) to help show visually the place of the instrument in traditional and modern Japan.

The Female Image

20th Century Japanese Prints of Japanese Beauties.

Shinji Hamanaka and Amy Reigle Newland

The female image is a comprehensive survey of the genre of bijinga ('prints of beautiful women') produced in the Shin hanga tradition that evolved in the early 20th century. This bilingual (Japanese/English) publication is lavishly illustrated with works from Japanese, European and American public and private collections. Prints by major artists such as Hashiguchi Goyō (1880-1921), Torii Kotondo (1900-76) and Itō Shinsui (1898-1972) are included, as are examples from more obscure print designers which have rarely been reproduced.