This is the first book to fully capture the story of the exotic and exciting game of Mahjong or "Mah Jongg", offering an intimate look at the history of the game as well as the visual beauty of the tiles. When authors Ann Israel and Gregg Swain began playing Mahjong, they were unaware of the vintage collections that existed not only in the United States but also across the globe. Slowly, they started to collect their own sets of Mahjong and as their collections grew, so did their appreciation of the history of, and interest in, the game.
Finding few references, Israel and Swain set out to create a book that chronicles the early beginnings of the game and documents Mahjong sets from the most basic, made simply of paper, to the most precious materials such as ivory and mother-of-pearl. Recognized and respected scholars and game experts have collaborated with Israel and Swain, contributing important chapters on the game's history and its pieces as well as technical information on the tiles. Lastly, great collectors from around the globe have shared their incredible sets and memories for the first time in one book for everyone to enjoy.
With hundreds of beautiful new images by renowned photographer Michel Arnaud, and including historical documentation and ephemera, Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game fills the void between the past's and today's game, providing vision, inspiration and resources. Anyone who has ever been intrigued by a Mahjong tile will find in these pages visually stunning photographs that will entice them into becoming an enthusiast of the timeless game of Mahjong.
More than 1200 designs are shown here, arranged in a clear system of classification that includes 22 areas of related design — borders, brackets, tail pieces, and so on. The lattices are classified according to one basic figure or concept, and the hundreds of beautiful design variations fall into only 26 categories: parallelogram, octagon or octagon square, hexagon, single focus frames, double focus frames, triple focus frames, quintuple focus frames, no focus frames, wedge-lock, presentation, out-lock, in-out bound, the Han line, parallel waves, opposed waves, recurving wave, loop-continued, like swastikas (a Buddhist symbol), unlike swastikas, central Ju I, allover Ju I, S-scroll, U-scroll, rustic ice-ray, symmetrical ice-ray, and square and round. Each category is introduced in sections at the front. In addition, there is usually a short description for each design and every design is designated by name, location, and approximate date of construction.
Professor Dye spent over 21 years studying and copying lattices all over China, and because of the ravages of time and changing cultural values, this collection can probably never be duplicated. Balanced, intricate, sometimes asymmetrical, usually harmonious, these lattice designs present a wealth of material for the Western commercial artist, textile designer, pattern-maker, and craftsman. Reflecting their Chinese heritage, these designs are universal and can be used almost anywhere.
Written by two leading experts in the field of Japanese gardening and art, this concise introduction offers aesthetic guidance and direct practical advice that is a window into traditional Japanese culture. It details the essential characteristics of a high-quality suiseki, describing the various systems of stone classification in this Japanese art form and explaining how to display a suiseki to its best advantage. There is also a section on incorporating suiseki alongside a bonsai tree, the most popular and rewarding complement to peaceful suiseki miniature landscape gardens.
Sections include:Historical BackgroundCharacteristics and Aesthetic QualitiesClassification of SuisekiDisplaying a StoneSuiseki with Bonsai and Other Related ArtsCollecting SuisekiHow to Make a Carved Wooden BaseSuiseki Classification Systems
Easily adaptable by commercial artists and graphic designers for use as spot illustrations, borders, and other graphic elements, these exotic images will add a distinctive Far Eastern accent to a variety of art and craft projects.
Katsushika Hokusai was a brilliant artist, ukiyo-e painter and print maker, best known for his wood block print series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji. Hokusai’s artistic influence has stretched to have affected the Art Nouveau style in Europe, including Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Hermann Obrist, all of whom have themes similar to Hokusai’s.
Geisha have the odd distinction of being both legendary and real, and this book helps clarify those differences. Myth by nature is monolithic, transcending history and individuals, whereas the reality is a variety of geisha communities in different areas of Japan, Status hierarchies among communities in the same city, and of course differences among individual geisha.
The Life of Geisha illustrates the fascinating world of Japan's powerful and seductive geishas, a fading yet beautiful world that has captured the imaginations of millions of readers. This striking book contains full-color woodblock prints made during Japan's famous Edo Period, historic and contemporary photographs of geisha life, and images of the "floating world," Japan's mysterious artistic subculture.
The accompanying text includes evocative Japanese poems and haikus. All celebrate the beauty and creativity of the geisha, who with her exquisitely detailed costume, elaborate makeup and hairstyle, and artfully ritualized behavior, chastely beguiles and entertains Japan's most powerful men.
Lavishly illustrated with over 1000 photographs and drawings, it offers clear and precise definitions for the rug and textile terms in use across a broad swath of the globe—from Morocco to Turkey, Persia, the Caucasus region, Central Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and China. Covering priceless museum-quality rug traditions as well as modern centers of production, Oriental Rugs: An Illustrated Lexicon of Motifs, Materials, and Origins draws on classical scholarship as well as current terminology in use among producers and traders in these areas today. It focuses primarily on the rich hand-knotting and hand-weaving traditions of the Near East and Central Asia, but also includes some examples of Scandinavian and Native American weavings.
Oriental rugs are receiving ever-increasing attention and recognition in the field of art history. Tribal weavings especially have become a focus for new research, and Oriental Rugs provides a new understanding of many distinctive traditions that were previously understudied, such as the weavings of southwest Persia, Baluchistan and Kurdistan. This concise oriental rug reference book is a must-have for scholars and anyone serious about collecting rugs, selling rugs or the rug trade in general. Additional reference information also includes:Foreign termsPlace namesThe Oriental Rug lexiconMuseums with notable rug collectionsOriental rug internet sites
In China these cutouts are pasted onto walls, windows, and other parts of houses and onto numerous smaller objects, where they serve both as ornaments and good-luck charms. Some are also used as embroidery patterns.
Western artists and craftsmen who have been looking for modern Chinese motifs to use in their own work will find this book to be an excellent selection of these motifs in different subjects. All the designs can be used as is, or rearranged, combined, enlarged, reduced, changed in color, or in any way you wish.
Certain to lend a distinctive Far Eastern accent to any project, these evocative images will prove a treasury of inspiration for illustrators, graphic artists, and crafters.
Designers, crafters, and hobbyists will find this easy-to-use volume a practical companion. Whether as a convenient collection of unusual and striking graphics, or as a starting point for design inspiration, this compilation assures users of a constant source of timeless beauty.
In 1938, when the Japanese arrived in Huan Hsu’s great-great-grandfather Liu’s Yangtze River hometown of Xingang, Liu was forced to bury his valuables, including a vast collection of prized antique porcelain, and undertake a decades-long trek that would splinter the family over thousands of miles. Many years and upheavals later, Hsu, raised in Salt Lake City and armed only with curiosity, moves to China to work in his uncle’s semiconductor chip business. Once there, a conversation with his grandmother, his last living link to dynastic China, ignites a desire to learn more about not only his lost ancestral heirlooms but also porcelain itself. Mastering the language enough to venture into the countryside, Hsu sets out to separate the layers of fact and fiction that have obscured both China and his heritage and finally complete his family’s long march back home.
Melding memoir, travelogue, and social and political history, The Porcelain Thief offers an intimate and unforgettable way to understand the complicated events that have defined China over the past two hundred years and provides a revealing, lively perspective on contemporary Chinese society from the point of view of a Chinese American coming to terms with his hyphenated identity.
From the Hardcover edition.
A Modern Guide to the Ancient Art of mokuhanga
An increasingly popular yet age-old art form, Japanese woodblock printing (mokuhanga) is embraced for its non-toxic character, use of handmade materials, and easy integration with other printmaking techniques. In this comprehensive guide, artist and printmaker April Vollmer—one of the best known mokuhanga practitioners and instructors in the West—combines her deep knowledge of this historic printmaking practice with expert step-by-step instruction, guidance on materials and studio practices, and a diverse collection of prints by leading contemporary artists. At once practical and inspirational, this handbook is as useful to serious printmakers and artists as it is to creative people drawn
to Japanese history and aesthetics.
From the Hardcover edition.
Masked performances are an ancient and integral part of Balinese rituals and are much more than mere spectacles for audiences. The masks serve both as visual aids in the portrayal of Bali's courtly legends and as harnessers of invisible forces. As "members of their own village communities," the masks are given a chance to "speak" and "move around" and be entertained by their human servants in parades and temple ceremonies. The great variety of Bali's masks, many of them sacred and rarely displayed, and the dance performances within which they appear, are well represented in this book.
The spectacular detail and craftsmanship of the masks, revealed in Paul Schraub's stunning photographs, together with an informed text by Judy Slattum on their artistry, symbolism, religious significance, and manufacture, will take readers on a fascinating visual, spiritual, and dramatic journey into the sacred rituals of Bali. A foreword by Hildred Geertz further explains the significance of the masks and their role in Balinese village life.
Includes 62 color plates and 35 black & white photographs.
Reproduced directly from a rare and costly original portfolio, these luminous designs include allover patterns, nature scenes, magnificent floral sprays, and other finely detailed motifs. Sixty-two lavish full-color illustrations offer a vibrant resource of inspiration and browsing pleasure to devotees of fashion, art, and Asian culture.
Subjects include the functions and powers of government; prisons and forms of punishment; religion, gods, and goddesses, and Confucian philosophy; marriage and divorce; the roles of servants and slaves; festivals, amusements, and sports; funerals; astrology and fortune-telling; and benevolent institutions. Commercial activities — agricultural techniques, tea and silk production, and maritime pursuits — also receive detailed and informative treatments.
Evocative illustrations include images of fireworks and flying kits, opium smokers and Buddhist nuns, traditional fishing techniques, and numerous other scenes from daily life. Of immense value to Sinologists and historians, this insightful volume will appeal to anyone interested in China and Far Eastern cultures.
It's adorable, explosive and has more chibis than an Akibahara game store.
Welcome to the whimsical world of Cute Grit, the digitally rendered pop art debut by video game developer and artist Enfu. Comprised of over 1,000 illustrations, this fantastical collection explores the intersections between video games, art and the Asian American experience through the lens of Enfu's wild, east-meets-west style. Re-discover your favorite game villains, cartoon characters, icons and cityscapes in a digital universe where Enfu unites the loveable, the warped, and the fantastic in a world both foreign and familiar, sweet and surly, gritty and cute.
Ken "Enfu" Taya enjoys his day job in the video game industry as a developer for titles such as Halo 3 (XBO 360) and Scribblenauts Unmasked (WiiU, PC, 3DS). His commissioned illustrations and murals can be seen in stores and restaurants across the Pacific Northwest, and his popular bilingual comic, I Fart Rainbow, enjoys success in print and digital media outlets. Other Enfu collaborative projects include Enfu Snaps hats, Bombsheller leggings, and customized t-shirts. His first indie game, Matchfu, is set to release in late 2014. Ken Taya lives in Bellevue, Washington, with his wife and daughter.
The study of images in Asian religions has tended to emphasize the centrality of image worship in both Hinduism and Buddhism. Images in Asian Religions offers a challenge to any simple understanding of the role of images by looking at aspects of the reception of image worship that have only begun to be studied, including the many hesitations that Asian religious traditions expressed about image worship.
Written by eminent scholars of anthropology, art history, and religion with interests in different regions (India, China, Japan, and Southeast Asia), this volume takes a fresh look at the many ways in which images were defined and received in Asian religions. Areas addressed include the complex, fluid, and contested nature of the religious image; the reception of images within the intellectual culture of Hinduism and Buddhism; and the importance of historical and cultural context in the study of religious images.
This compelling collection, demonstrating the range of debate over practices of image worship, will expand our appreciation of the objects that serve, for many, as supports of divine presence. Of primary interest to scholars of Asian religions, it will also appeal to art historians, anthropologists, semioticians, and students of religion who concern themselves with images, icons, and material culture.
O-Young Lee, former Korean Minister of Culture gives us a survey of native objects from Korea, from totems(Changsung) to hair-pins(binyo), crock pots(Changdokdae) to temple bells(Jong), scissors(Kawi) to graves(mudon) explaining their significance and place in everyday Korean life.
Each item in the book is listed under its English and Korean name; a glossary is provided to further assist the reader. Lavishly illustrated with more than 100 color illustrations, Things Korean is a magnificent celebration of Korean culture.
Isabella Nardi offers an original approach to research in this field by drawing on the experiences of painters, who are considered as a valid source of knowledge for our understanding of the citrasutras, and provides a new conceptual framework for understanding the interlinkages between textual sources and the practice of Indian painting. Filling a significant gap in Indian scholarship, Nardi's study will appeal to those studying Indian painting and Indian art in general.
Over one thousand new entries . . . over four thousand updates . . . over one million words. . .
This third edition of the landmark reference work has six additional years of information on Japanese animation, its practitioners and products, plus incisive thematic entries on anime history and culture. With credits, links, cross-references, and content advisories for parents and libraries.
Jonathan Clements has been an editor of Manga Max and a contributing editor of Newtype USA.
Helen McCarthy was founding editor of Anime UK and editor of Manga Mania.
This exceptionally versatile collection of traditional Japanese designs and motifs presents the working artist with a treasury of 360 copyright-free designs. All have been especially adapted by noted artist Carol Belanger Grafton for ready use by illustrators, designers, and craftspeople. Painstaking effort has been made to preserve the original spirit and subtlety of detail while simultaneously sharpening the lines and enhancing the reproducibility of the designs and motifs.
There are several lovely ceramic and textile patterns. However, most of the design motifs in this compendium were taken from woodblock prints. This particular medium was invented in China and introduced to Japan before 1000 A.D., flourishing thereafter and reaching its zenith in the Ukiyo-e ("floating world") school of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Accompanying these depictions of people in traditional garb, and accessories such as fans, keys, kites, and umbrellas, are many charmingly decorative family crests arranged in mostly circular configurations. Also included are full-page compositions of bold geometric design, vignettes of ethereal delicacy, as well as a generous sampling of nature's bounty: cherries, radishes, plum blossoms, lions, elephants, dogs, cranes, parrots, turtles, butterflies, even demons and dragons, and much more―often in several arrangements, many with reversed images.
Artists, designers, illustrators, students, and teachers will find this indispensable collection of 360 traditional Japanese designs and motifs rendered in clean, crisp, black-and-white, copyright-free illustrations to be a remarkably fertile source of illustrative inspiration and design solutions.
Part I introduces film semiotics with plain definitions of terminology. Through familiar cinematic examples, it emphasizes the myth-making nature of modern-day film and argues that semiotics can be used as a theoretical tool for reading film. Part II presents case studies of eight popular Japanese films as models of semiotic analysis. While discussing each film’s use of common mythological motifs such as death and rebirth, its case study also unveils more covert cultural signifiers and folktale motifs, including jizo (a savior of sentient beings) and kori (bewitching foxes and raccoon dogs), hidden in the Japanese filmic text.
Most of these motifs are circular, and they can all be fitted into a square. Within those limitations is a seemingly endless range of designs, beginning with the dozens and dozens of root motifs — rice plant, gingko, scallop, lightning, anchor, spool, raft, candle, scissors, fern, saki bottle, lotus blossom, mountain arrow, pine, wisteria, ship, rabbit, and scores of others. Practically every kind of plant, bird, animal, natural phenomenon, and manufactured object of Japanese culture was at one time or another included in a family crest. In addition, each of the root designs was treated to dozens of imaginative variations — they were reproduced bilaterally, in triangles, diamonds, five- and six-pointed stars, in spirals, were built up in series, made to overlap, combined with each other, and so on. Some of these are classic and recognizable designs, like the yin-yang, linked rings, and treasure knot. Many of the others have rarely been seen in the West.
Graphic artists, textile designers, pattern-makers, advertisers, and other commercial artists looking for an untapped source of novel, appealing designs will find a wealth of material here. Some of these motifs can be used to suggest an exotic flavor, and others are universal and can be used almost anywhere.
For scrapbookers tired of the same old same old, Scrapbook Asian Style! is chock full of new ideas, art, and inspiration for creating beautiful scrapbook craft. It's perfect for experienced scrapbookers who are looking for something new to try in their layouts and for beginners who love the distinctive look of Asian design—or who simply want to make a splash with something special.
With 150 projects from several accomplished scrapbook artists, such as a Buddha Light Switch Cover and Grandma's Origami Brag Book, this inspiring reference provides tons of ideas as well as step-by-step instructions on how to add pizzazz to layouts with Asian colors, motifs, fabrics, papers, text and brushwork.
Dozens of fun and exciting materials and techniques are used to give scrapbook layouts an Asian feel—including rub-ons, Asian characters, Chinese seals, die cuts, pressed flowers, patterned paper, handmade paper, washi paper, fabric, letter stickers, stamping, embossing, distressing, Chinese calligraphy, paper weaving, faux batiking, journaling, origami, digital effects and more.
Scrapbookers of all levels will find ideas to document and celebrate special memories and occasions—including vacation, baby layouts, "all about me" pages, grandparents and grandchildren layouts, family portraits, anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, baby showers and holidays.
Against this historical backdrop, Yoshihara interviews Asian and Asian American musicians, such as Cho-Liang Lin, Margaret Leng Tan, Kent Nagano, who have taken various routes into classical music careers. They offer their views about the connections of race and culture and discuss whether the music is really as universal as many claim it to be. Their personal histories and Yoshihara's observations present a snapshot of today's dynamic and revived classical music scene.
Art Under Control in North Korea is the first Western publication to explore the state-controlled role of art in North Korea. This timely volume places North Korean art in its historical, political, and social contexts, with a discussion on the state system of cultivating and promoting artists and an examination of the range of art produced, from painting and calligraphy to architecture and applied art. Portal offers an incisive analysis that compares the dictatorial control exerted over artists by North Korean leaders to that of past regimes. She also examines the ways in which archaeology has been employed for political ends to legitimize the present regime.
Art Under Control in North Korea is an intriguing and vibrant volume that explores the creation of art under totalitarian rule and the ways art can subvert a dictatorial regime.
The essays in this volume reassess Gandharan Buddhism in light of these findings, utilizing a multidisciplinary approach that illuminates the complex historical and cultural dynamics of the region. By integrating archaeology, art history, numismatics, epigraphy, and textual sources, the contributors articulate the nature of Gandharan Buddhism and its practices, along with the significance of the relic tradition. Contributions by several giants in the field, including Shoshin Kuwayama, John Rosenfield, and the late Maurizio Taddei, set the geographical, historical, and archaeological parameters for the collection.
The result is a productive interdisciplinary conversation on the enigmatic nature of Gandharan Buddhism that joins together a number of significant pieces in a complex cultural mosaic. It will appeal to a large and diverse readership, including those interested in the early Buddhist religious tradition of Asia and its art, as well as specialists in the study of South and Central Asian Buddhist art, archaeology, and texts.
A Buddha Dharma Kyokai Foundation Book on Buddhism and Comparative Religion.
This new modern and contemporary paper craft kit is origami with a sassy twist—a box full of fun that lets crafters turn bits of paper into 3D origami fashion, romance and all things cute and pretty. Each of the custom-designed origami projects take only a minute to make and are a great way to learn origami. The full-color origami book gives clear step-by-step instructions on how to make each 3D origami model. And it has an added section showing origami paper folders how to turn their paper creations into cool earrings, greeting cards and other useful and not-so-useful (but no less fun) things folders can give to their friends. The glossy, custom-patterned origami folding sheets are all imprinted with guidelines for easy, foolproof folding
This easy origami kit contains: 18 easy-to-do origami projects 50 fabulous paper folding designs 64 page full color booklet Step-by-step instructions An introduction to paper folding and guidelines for foolproof foldingOrigami projects include:Foxy PumpsStrapless DressLacy JacketBobo PandaLola KittyCool CupcakeSecret Love NoteVogue-It EarringsAnd many more…
When this book was first published, there were few if any important studies dealing with Chinese brushwork and its crucial role in Chinese art. The present volume, by a noted scholar, calligrapher, and artist, was the first significant treatment of the topic and remains among the foremost works devoted to the history, aesthetics, and techniques of the brush ― the single most important tool in Chinese fine art.
The author begins by tracing the historical development of techniques and styles evolved by Chinese masters from the 14th century B.C. to the present. An in-depth explanation of Chinese aesthetic concepts and criteria follows, enhanced by the author's perceptive personal insights in such matters as line, form, space consciousness, and composition. A final section provides a valuable introduction to the materials, technical principles, and major brush strokes of Chinese painting and calligraphy. Techniques are demonstrated in numerous illustrations, including examples of the author's own highly respected work and painting and calligraphy from ancient and modern times.
Also included among more than 200 illustrations and photographs are a map of ancient China, chronological charts of calligraphic styles and dominant painting subjects, as well as a glossary of major terms in English and Chinese.
Dr. Kwo has exhibited his paintings at museums and art galleries throughout the world and has taught Chinese brushwork extensively in colleges and universities in both China and the United States. For students of art, for painters and calligraphers ― for anyone eager to approach Chinese art from a fresh and rewarding perspective ― his book is must reading.
The volume takes a trans-war (rather than an inter-war) approach, beginning with the cultural politics of painting, poetry, and fiction in Japanese-occupied Korea and Taiwan following World War I. The narrative continues with the impact of Japan's war in China and the Pacific War on major Japanese novelists, playwrights, painters, and filmmakers, before moving on to the final stage, Japan's defeat and initial recovery. During the Allied Occupation of Japan and in its aftermath, Japanese artists both confronted and dismissed the question of war responsibility by preserving, reviving, or reinventing the political cartoon, Kabuki drama, literature of the body, and the aesthetics of decadence.
Contributors: Haruko Taya Cook, Kyoko Hirano, Youngna Kim (Kim Youngna), H. Eleanor Kerkham, David R. McCann, Marlene J. Mayo, J. Thomas Rimer, Mark H. Sandler, Rinjiro Sodei, Wang Hsui-hsiung (Wang Xiuxiong), Alan Wolfe, Angelina C. Yee.
Through close analyses of specific objects of art and design, Brown describes how Indian artists engaged with questions of authenticity, iconicity, narrative, urbanization, and science and technology. She explains how the filmmaker Satyajit Ray presented the rural Indian village as a socially complex space rather than as the idealized site of “authentic India” in his acclaimed Apu Trilogy, how the painter Bhupen Khakhar reworked Indian folk idioms and borrowed iconic images from calendar prints in his paintings of urban dwellers, and how Indian architects developed a revivalist style of bold architectural gestures anchored in India’s past as they planned the Ashok Hotel and the Vigyan Bhavan Conference Center, both in New Delhi. Discussing these and other works of art and design, Brown chronicles the mid-twentieth-century trajectory of India’s modern visual culture.
Famed not only as a painter but also as a Zen priest and a great traveler, Sesshu found inspiration for his wonderful landscapes both in China and Japan. This magnificent scroll, which pictures the procession of the seasons, is essentially religious painting with a strong atmosphere of Zen Buddhism. Nature, rather than man, is dominant, although the human touch is charmingly evident from time to time. One can take this fascinating Zen landscape journey again and again, and always find new delights.
Japanese design is known throughout the world for its beauty, its simplicity, and its blending of traditional and contemporary effects. This succinct guide describes the influence and importance of 65 key elements that make up Japanese design, detailing their origins—and their impact on fields ranging from architecture and interior design to consumer products and high fashion.
Learn, for example, how the wabi sabi style that's so popular today developed from the lifestyle choices made by monks a thousand years ago. And how unexpected influences—like tatami (straw mats) or seijaku (silence)—have contributed to contemporary Japanese design.
Elements of Japanese Design offers new insights into the historical and cultural developments at the root of this now international aesthetic movement. From wa (harmony) to kaizen (continuous improvement), from mushin (the empty mind) to mujo (incompleteness), you'll discover how these elements have combined and evolved into a powerful design paradigm that has changed the way the world looks, thinks and acts.
Chapters include:Washi, Paper with CharacterIkebana, Growing Flowers in a VaseBukkyo, The Impact of BuddhismShibui, Eliminating the UnessentialKawaii, The Incredibly "Cute" SyndromeKatana, Swords with Spirit
Looking at the political significance of cross-cultural encounters refracted through the visual languages of Orientalism, the contributors engage with pressing recent debates about indigenous agency, postcolonial identity, and gendered subjectivities. The very range of artists, styles, and forms discussed in this collection broadens contemporary understandings of Orientalist art. Among the artists considered are the Algerian painters Azouaou Mammeri and Mohammed Racim; Turkish painter Osman Hamdi; British landscape painter Barbara Bodichon; and the French painter Henri Regnault. From the liminal "Third Space" created by mosques in postcolonial Britain to the ways nineteenth-century harem women negotiated their portraits by British artists, the essays in this collection force a rethinking of the Orientalist canon.
This innovative volume will appeal to those interested in art history, theories of gender, and postcolonial studies.
Contributors. Jill Beaulieu, Roger Benjamin, Zeynep Çelik, Deborah Cherry, Hollis Clayson, Mark Crinson, Mary Roberts
As a Japanese historian, I enthusiastically recommend Heian Japan, Centers and Peripheries, the first multi-author English-language academic work to offer a synthetic treatment of the Heian period. Japan s emperor system is the last remaining sovereignty of its kind in human history, and this volume is indispensable when considering what sovereignty itself means in the present. To that end, the classical patterns established in the Heian period are superbly analyzed in this volume through the dual approach of centers and peripheries. Hotate Michihisa, Historiographical Institute, University of Tokyo
The first three centuries of the Heian period (794 1086) saw some of its most fertile innovations and epochal achievements in Japanese literature and the arts. It was also a time of important transitions in the spheres of religion and politics, as aristocratic authority was consolidated in Kyoto, powerful court factions and religious institutions emerged, and adjustments were made in the Chinese-style system of ruler-ship. At the same time, the era s leaders faced serious challenges from the provinces that called into question the primacy and efficiency of the governmental system and tested the social/cultural status quo. Heian Japan, Centers and Peripheries, the first book of its kind to examine the early Heian from a wide variety of multidisciplinary perspectives, offers a fresh look at these seemingly contradictory trends.
Essays by fourteen leading American, European, and Japanese scholars of art history, history, literature, and religions take up core texts and iconic images, cultural achievements and social crises, and the ever-fascinating patterns and puzzles of the time. The authors tackle some of Heian Japan s most enduring paradigms as well as hitherto unexplored problems in search of new ways of understanding the currents of change as well as the processes of institutionalization that shaped the Heian scene, defined the contours of its legacies, and make it one of the most intensely studied periods of the Japanese past.
Contributors: Ryuichi Abe, Mikael Adolphson, Bruce Batten, Robert Borgen, Wayne Farris, Karl Friday, G. Cameron Hurst III, Edward Kamens, D. Max Moerman, Samuel Morse, Joan R. Piggott, Fukuto Sanae, Ivo Smits, Charlotte von Verschuer."