Japanese Costume & Makers: And the Makers of Its Elegant Tradition

Tuttle Publishing
Free sample

With dozens of photographs and expertly written text, this Japanese clothing book is the authoritative guide on the kimono.

Japanese Costume invites the reader to explore the world of Japan’s textile arts and costume decoration—from its origins in legendary times, through its brilliant development in the intervening centuries, to its emergence into the modern era. The book which is the first in English to present the full sweep of Japanese achievement in the costume arts, is essential the story of the kimono and its evolution.

The text is accompanied by a generous selection of fine illustrations and photographs: 54 in full color, 119 in black and white, and 12 line drawings. They include not only pictures from contemporary sources—such as the picture scrolls and woodblock prints— but also photographs of kimono masterpieces and representative textiles.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Tuttle Publishing
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Published on
Nov 13, 2012
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Pages
374
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ISBN
9781462908943
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Language
English
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Genres
Antiques & Collectibles / Textiles & Costume
Art / Asian / Japanese
Art / History / Ancient & Classical
Crafts & Hobbies / Needlework / General
Design / Textile & Costume
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The Ephrussis were a grand banking family, as rich and respected as the Rothschilds, who "burned like a comet" in nineteenth-century Paris and Vienna society. Yet by the end of World War II, almost the only thing remaining of their vast empire was a collection of 264 wood and ivory carvings, none of them larger than a matchbox.

The renowned ceramicist Edmund de Waal became the fifth generation to inherit this small and exquisite collection of netsuke. Entranced by their beauty and mystery, he determined to trace the story of his family through the story of the collection.

The netsuke—drunken monks, almost-ripe plums, snarling tigers—were gathered by Charles Ephrussi at the height of the Parisian rage for all things Japanese. Charles had shunned the place set aside for him in the family business to make a study of art, and of beautiful living. An early supporter of the Impressionists, he appears, oddly formal in a top hat, in Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party. Marcel Proust studied Charles closely enough to use him as a model for the aesthete and lover Swann in Remembrance of Things Past.

Charles gave the carvings as a wedding gift to his cousin Viktor in Vienna; his children were allowed to play with one netsuke each while they watched their mother, the Baroness Emmy, dress for ball after ball. Her older daughter grew up to disdain fashionable society. Longing to write, she struck up a correspondence with Rilke, who encouraged her in her poetry.

The Anschluss changed their world beyond recognition. Ephrussi and his cosmopolitan family were imprisoned or scattered, and Hitler's theorist on the "Jewish question" appropriated their magnificent palace on the Ringstrasse. A library of priceless books and a collection of Old Master paintings were confiscated by the Nazis. But the netsuke were smuggled away by a loyal maid, Anna, and hidden in her straw mattress. Years after the war, she would find a way to return them to the family she'd served even in their exile.

In The Hare with Amber Eyes, Edmund de Waal unfolds the story of a remarkable family and a tumultuous century. Sweeping yet intimate, it is a highly original meditation on art, history, and family, as elegant and precise as the netsuke themselves.

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