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In: The Demographic Challenge: A Handbook about Japan
Woodblock-printed Media in Early Modern Japan
This volume brings together essays discussing various aspects of Japanese illustrated books, some of which were originally included in the German publication Buch und Bild (1995), while others appear here for the first time. Titles include 'The First Japanese Newspapers' (Sepp Linhart), 'The Cooking- and Eating Culture in the Second Half of the Edo-Period and its Dissemination' (Harada Nobuo), 'The Printing of Illustrated Books in Eighteenth-Century Japan' (Shirahata Yozaburo), 'The Socio-Historical Background of the Depiction of Measles' (Hartmund O. Rotermund), 'Documentary Literature in the Late Edo Period' (Stephan Kohn), 'Discourses on Femininity on Edo-Period Sugoroku Games' (Susanne Formanek).
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.
The Image of Japan’s Military Abroad
Japan has always been fascinating for foreign observers. This volume will show, how its military has been perceived abroad and what image about the Japanese Army existed between 1853 and 1945 in the minds of those who read and heard stories from the Far East.
When forcefully opened by a US mission in 1853, Japan was transformed by its ruling elites into a strong nation state, whose military and political forces wanted to avoid a colonization by foreign powers. Therefore, Japan’s military capacities were of special interest and the army and navy were westernized very fast. Japanese soldiers became known as “Asia’s Prussians”, and were often described as “gallant enemies”. This image, however, should rapidly change after the First World War. During the battles in China since 1937, and the Pacific since 1941, the Japanese soldiers were often referred to as “devils.“ This volume will take a closer look at the images of Japan’s military abroad to show how these images were created, how they changed and what stimulated the differences with regard to the foreign perception of Japan and its military between 1853 and 1945.