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Modernity and Nostalgia in Japanese Prints
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Chikanobu. Modernity and Nostalgia in Japanese Prints is the first monograph in English on the Meiji print artist Yōshū Chikanobu (1838-1912), well known for his depictions of women and scenes of Japanese history and legends. Author Bruce A. Coats presents a detailed overview of Chikanobu’s life and works, placed within the historical and artistic context of Meiji Japan, when its rapid modernization and westernization created an interest for ‘old’ Japan among the Japanese and when the arts underwent significant changes as well.
Essays by Bruce A. Coats, Allen Hockley, Kyoko Kurita and Joshua Mostow draw upon various topics related to Chikanobu’s work, such as Meiji literature and the heroic ethos in the late Meiji period.
Works donated to the Scripps College collection form the core of the illustrative material. The images are accompanied by elaborate descriptions and in a number of cases compared with similar designs from other artists. Two of Chikanobu’s well known series of 50 prints each, Snow, Moon, Flowers (Setsugekka) and Eastern Brocades: Day and Night Compared (Azuma nishiki chūya kurabe) are illustrated in their entirety. And with over 270 full color illustrations, Chikanobu. Modernity and Nostalgia in Japanese Prints truly displays the richness of the intense Meiji print palette.
Genji's world in Japanese Woodblock Prints provides the first comprehensive overview of Genji prints, an exceptional subject and publishing phenomenon among Japanese woodblock prints that gives insight into nineteenth-century Japan and its art practices.
In the late 1820s, when the writer Ryūtei Tanehiko (1783–1842), the print designer and book illustrator Utagawa Kunisada (1786–1865) and the publisher Tsuruya Kiemon sat down together in Edo to plot the inaugural chapter of the serial novel A Rustic Genji by a Fraudulent Murasaki (Nise Murasaki inaka Genji), it is doubtful that any one of them envisioned that their actions would generate a new genre in Japanese woodblock prints that would flourish until the turn of the century, Genjie (“Genji pictures”). During these sixty years, over 1,300 original designs were created, of which many were very popular at their time of release.
The story of A Rustic Genji, set in fifteenth-century Japan, is in many respects drawn from Murasaki Shikibu’s (c.973–1014/25) classic novel The Tale of Genji from the early eleventh century.
As the foremost collection of prints of this subject, the extensive holdings of Paulette and Jack Lantz provided the majority of images necessary for this publication.