Collections of Japanese Art Online and in Print

By Rosina Buckland
January 2001
(with some updates for late 2005 by Henry Smith)

I. Information and Images On-line
    A)  Japanese sites with images and/or database
    B)  Sites outside Japan with images and/or database
    C)  Other sites

II. Published Information
    A)  Catalogues in Japan
    B)  Catalogues outside of Japan
    C)  Selections of masterpieces


Increasingly, catalogues of holdings are being transferred to computer databases, allowing an incredible amount of potential in terms of rapid search facilities. Good programs allow for the insertion of free-form notations (and images), and include bibliographical, geographical, and biographical authorities. Largely due to security reasons, however, very few institutions have their in-house collections database on-line, but an increasing number are making available on their website a specially created one. The nature of these databases varies: some provide only the barest information on each piece, some include images, and others go further, aiming to be useful tools in both research and education. The most sophisticated have fully cross-referenced text entries, bibliographic references, and links to definitions, encyclopedias, and order-forms for images.

By the very nature of the Internet, much of the following information will be superseded fairly quickly. The sites discussed here are pioneers, however, and will probably remain ahead of the later developers.

A)  Japanese Sites With Images and/or Database

 NEW   e-Kokuh
ō: National Treasures Online

This site offers  high-quality images of selected objects designated  as National  Treasures  (kokuhō 国宝) or Important Culture Properties (Jūyō Bunkazai 重要文化財) in the collections of the three national museums in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nara. See the Help screen for explanations on how to use the site. Each item is provided on a main screen with a detailed explanation in Japanese, Chinese, Korean, English, and French. The image is then available in further subdivisions as separate images, which enables closing in on details that for many objects will appear over twice actual size on screen, and close to actual size even for such very large formats as screens. For scroll no. 7 of the famous Ippen Scroll ("Ippen Shonin eden" 一遍上人絵伝 巻第七, in the Tokyo National Museum), you can get in close enough to see the weave of the silk on which it is painted. These are JPEG files than can be downloaded, and with Photoshop (and a little patience), one could stitch together several of these details (each of which are 720x720 pixels) to make a seamless high-resolution image of any framing of details you want. But the viewer alone provides all that most people will need. There are a total of over 120 objects in nine categories, all premodern and most pre-Tokugawa, and all of the most orthodox sort (including Chinese paintings and Japanese historical documents). This is a site of great value, providing high resolution images and good metadata for some of the best objects in the classical canon.

Cultural Heritage Online

:  Rosina Buckland's original report of early 2001 described a project for a "Common Index on Museum Objects" that would bring together on the Internet the databases of various museum collections, making unified searches possible. (The original English-language version of this proposal may be found archived at  In March 2004,  this plan was absorbed into a larger conception of "Cultural Heritage Online" (Bunka isan onrain kōsō 文化遺産オンライン構想; see for a Japanese version of the initial idea) to encompass both museum collections and other forms of "cultural heritage" (a concept that would appear to be related to the UNESCO "World Heritage" initiative, in which Japan has been actively involved) such as historical sites and "intangible" cultural properties like performance and craft traditions. These projections have been under the Agency for Cultural Affairs (Bunkachō).

"Cultural Heritage Online" is now (as of late 2005) up and running as a proper web site, although it is still announced as a "trial site" and very far from a common catalog of all museum holdings in Japan. But  it  is a nicely designed site, and worth following.  At this stage, it is still Japanese only. The search interface is divided by area of origin (limited to Japan, Korea, and China), by "type" (bun'ya, itself an interesting example of the way in which "cultural heritage" is classified). The advanced search also enables other variables, such as producer and title. At the moment, there are a total of 3541 items from Japan, 273 from China, and 38 from Korea.  Images are always provided, but even those with enlargements are basically for web viewing rather than serious study. It would appear that certain museums (most or all of which seem to be public) have donated much more data than others, so the resulting array is rather lopsided. It will be interesting to see how this project evolves.

rev. hds2 Nov 05

International Research Center for Japanese Studies  (Nichibunken)

Two of the Nichibunken on-line databases contain a large number of images.  Both require that one first register in order to use the databases, a process which takes 2-3 business days. Use the English site, and go to the "Databases" tab, then follow the instructions after that.

Japanese Art Overseas Collction: This is the database for the Kaigai Nihon bijutsu chôsa purojekkuto (Japanese Art Abroad Research Project) that resulted in a five-volume series of catalogs decribed below, of collections in Russia and Eastern Europe. The database is advertised as 5883 items, but since only three of the original five museums catalogued are currently available online (the State Hermitage and the Pushkin in Russia, and the Ferenc Hopp in Hungary), the total of the following categories only comes to 4295: ceramics 260, lacquerware 201, metalwork 1, netsuke 460, painting 625, prints 2655, and sculpture 93. Clearly, woodblock prints are the most numerous item. To get a list of all the items in each category (分類), simply select the category from the drop-down menu (in Japanese or in English, it doesn't matter which) and then click "search" (検索). Searches are also possible by museum, by individudal artist, and by title. The main screen has a thumbnail (240 pixels wide) and the cataloguing details, while an enlarged images are 500 pixels high, enough to see good but not fine detail. The color quality is sometimes poor.

Early Photographs: This large collection of old photos of Japan had a total 5,431 items, and appears to be a potentially rich resource. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to search without having a precise idea of what you are looking for, since there are no lists of categories, photographers, or periods. The problem is compounded by the fact that many of the titles are only in English, and some only in Japanese, so searches with Japanese or English keywords are likely to produce completely different results. Nor is the origin of the collection explained anywhere on the Nichibunken website. For each photo, a thumbnail plus an enlargement is provided. The enlarged views vary in size, but tend to be in the range of 500 x 700 pixels, enough for decent detail. Still, the difficulty of searching makes this very much a hit-or-miss resource.

Kyoto National Museum


The Masterworks feature (Meihin shokai) has "detailed graphic and text introductions to over one hundred of the finest masterpieces in the Kyoto National Museum collection." Good quality, large reproductions (including detail shots). Pieces are organized by school.

The On-line Catalogue, however, is the real treat on this site. This wonderful resource has over 10,000 images of 2,000 (sets of) objects. There is a keyword search or a category search, which has plenty of criteria, including artist, medium, country/period, and donor. There appears to be no difference between the Japanese and English versions.

Tokyo National Museum

500 of the "works of art, archaeological relics, and other cultural assets" can be viewed on-line. They are organized by medium and region. This is a 'masterworks' feature really, with no search facility. In both Japanese and English.

National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

Database (under "情報検索" to "収蔵品検索") has 6,500 objects, including nihonga, yoga, watercolors, drawings, prints, sculpture, and calligraphy; searches are possible by artist, title, or date. Images are not usually provided. One convenient feature is a link to biographies of artists that have appeared in museum catalogs, which in effect constitutes a biographical index of modern Japanese art.

Nara National Museum

The strength of this museum's collection is Buddhist works of art. The Masterworks page (only in Japanese at the moment) introduces 162 objects from a total of 1,200. Organized by medium, with large photographs, object details and textual explanation.

Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art

Has over 1,000 objects in its database; most have just object details, some have images, too. They aim to include bibliography, biographical, and provenance information, where possible.

Yamatane Museum of Art

This museum is creating an on-line database of the entire collection, though has only a-gyô and ka-gyô nihonga artists so far. The pieces are also organized by medium, and some have images.

Nagoya City Museum

This site has a 'Selection of 100 Pieces", which is still under construction. One to watch.

Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art

Has a searchable database, but with a limited number of images. There are full listings of works in the collection by medium, though (so far, modern paintings, drawings, and 3D objects).

Suntory Museum of Art

Has several tens of its masterpieces on the website, divided into five different media, each with explanatory text, same on both Japanese and English versions of the site.

Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka

A fair number of images from its collections of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean ceramics, with explanatory text in Japanese for each.

B)  Sites outside Japan with images and/or database <>

(Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System):   

This an “on-line dictionary of Japanese architectural and art historical terminology” compiled by Mary Neighbour Parent, a scholar of Japanese architecture and author of The Roof in Japanese Buddhist Architecture (Weatherhill-Kajima, 1985).  This project to compile a detailed dictionary of the terminology of Japanese art and architecture began in 1982, and was supported with successive grants from the Japan Foundation, Niwano Peace Foundation, and Kajima Art Foundation. It was finally released online in spring 2003, shortly after Mary Parent died in January 2003, in her eighties.

This is a very extensive and detailed resource, often more like an encyclopedia than a dictionary. The coverage of architecture, Parent's specialty, is especially detailed and often highly technical. Some of the entries are illustrated. It is easy to browse by the alphabetical listing, and numerous cross-links are provided within most of the entries (opening a new window for each link, which is a bit awkward). It appears to still be a work in progress, and the interface is a bit buggy. None of the articles are credited, a long list of the many art history students recruited for the effort is provided in the credits), and on the whole it seems a professional effort if still a bit rough at the edges.  It is particularly useful in providing English equivalents for technical terms in Japanese.

British Museum

Although not too easy to find on the website, the British Museum's Compass project is well on the way to having 5,000 objects on-line, of which almost 500 are Japanese. The entry for each object provides a good explanatory text and a link to a larger image (600 x 600 pixels, inadequate for any real detail on larger-format objects), plus detail shots of signatures/seals for many works. Cross-references are provided to a comprehensive encyclopedia. Various search options are available, including Boolean operators and wildcard searches. This of course represents only a small sampling of the BM's huge Japanese collection, but it is useful for an overview and as a good source of basic information on genres and artists.

Viewing Japanese Prints (by John Fiorillo)

The best single English-language site for a general introduction to Japanese prints, covering not only ukiyo-e prints, but also shin-hanga and sosaku hanga. It is very well-designed and easy-to-use, providing encyclopedic information for individual artists and topics. The images are mostly small and for illustrative purposes. The page on "other sites" is a good guide to the many other ukiyo-related web sites in English. This site is particularly useful for introducing ukiyo-e to students in English.

National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden

Known for the renowned von Siebold collection. 190,000 objects in the on-line database, with images. Text is only in Dutch, however. 133,376 objects are Asian.

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

The ImageBase on this site has over 75,000 photographs of objects from the collections of the de Young Museum and the Legion of Honor, in an effort "to behave more like a resource and less like a repository". The images are made available in a special viewer that enables successive zooming in to details of very good resolution (at over 2X actual size for ukiyo-e prints).  The Japanese objects are predominantly woodblock prints. A search for 'Japan' produced 3,604 hits [3760 in Nov 2005].

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

From April 2000, all Visual Archives staff were redirected to the project to put records on-line with images. In the December 2000 launch, 15,000 object records (of a total of 350,000) were made accessible on the website. These have the standard details of materials, dimensions, as well as provenance history. Only about a third have images, however, and only a couple of hundred are Japanese. There is full text search or advanced search, with various data fields.

UPDATE: (Nov. 2005): Go to "Collections," then "Arts of Asia," and under "sub-sections" are several categories of Japanese art, each of which (except for the overall "Japanese Art" section) had a "Highlights" section with selected items, totally over 500 in all. It remains a "Masterworks" approach that only hints at the vast numbers of items in the Japanese collection, but even this limited selection is very valuable. Almost all provide photographs, with JPEG enlargements up to 800 x 800 (with elongated formats like scrolls, which are very numerous, generally limited to 400 pixels in the narrow dimension), which are very good for screen projection but inadequate for close study. Most distinctive is the collection of "Japanese Postcards" from an exhibition of the Lauder Collection held in early 2004, which because of the small format offer good detail at the enlarged size.

Gitter-Yelen Art Study Center

A center established in 1997 by Dr. Kurt A. Gitter and Alice Rae Yelen. The web-site has 280 paintings on-line, with a tour organized by school (Zenga, Nanga, Rinpa, Eccentrics, Ukiyo-e, and Maruyama-Shijo). The images are good quality, and there are basic details on the works. No search facility.

Minneapolis Institute of Arts

2,000 objects on-line, 100 of these are Japanese (many woodblock prints). Basic details are given.

Victoria and Albert Museum

The 'Images Online' feature has over 2,000 objects, and 66 are from Japan. Fairly good quality images, with minimal details. Unfortunately, using the back function loses all search results obtained.

UPDATE: As of  late 2005, the image database (go from "Collection" to "Access to Images") had 629 images listed as "Japan," including 215 ukiyoe plus many other craft objects. The images are of high quality (768 x 768 pixels), and downloadable. It is reported that the digitization of the entire ukiyo-e collection (which is huge) is now in progress, and will probably be made available online eventually.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The 'on-line collection' has 3,500 objects at present. One can choose a department for highlights, take the director's tour, or search. Objects are accompanied by explanatory text. Unfortunately, of the Department of East Asian Art's 60,000 objects, only 50 are here, and only 12 of those are Japanese. An image database is being created at a rate of 12,000 objects a year, but this will be accessible only in-house.  UPDATE: As of late 2005, nothing seems any better in terms of public access.

Etsuko and Joe Price Collection

A small selection, about 50 works, of the collection of over 500 paintings, and some netsuke, too. The images are arranged by artist, subject (people/animals/landscape) or historical period. There are detail shots of seals, too.

Kimbell Art Museum

This site has a searchable database for artist, title, or medium, and listed under the Japanese collection are 48 objects (from Jomon to Meiji; ceramics and paintings). Each has a large, sharp image, object details, and explanatory text.

Carolyn Staley Prints

A growing collection of on-line (small-size) images of woodblock prints, currently over 400. Organized by artist and subject.

MOA Museum of Art

Has 30 pieces from its exhibition, Setsugekka, on-line, with fairly small images of each piece, and long textual explanations. Includes Rinpa paintings, and ceramics.

Art Museum Image Consortium

The only Japanese images appear to be several tens of photographs taken in Japan in 1908 by Arnold Genthe.

UPDATE FALL 2005:  The AMICO database has been considerably expanded since 2000 to include many more images of Asian art. Meanwhile, however, in 2004 the database was incorporated into ARTstor, but at the same time preserved online as a separate database by David Rumsey's Cartography Associates under the slightly revised name of "AMICA" (American Museum Images at Cartography Associates). It continues to be available via the Columbia Library Web databases at the link above.

C) Other Sites

Even sites without a sizable number of images can be of use for obtaining information quickly on the content and history of the collection. Most sites for institutions with an Asian collection include a page on its particular strengths, significant donors and important dates (usually to be found under the 'Collections' option). Many include just a handful of images in order to give a 'taster' to the non-specialist; Japanese sites often include their best/most famous works.

Chinese and Japanese Art History WWW Virtual Library

An important and well-maintained site, particularly for current information on jobs, calls for symposium papers, upcoming conferences, descriptions of graduate student programs, and links to all sorts of museums and other resources in Chinese and Japanese History. It is maintained by Nixi Cura of the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU.

Virtual Library Museum Pages

A portal to the web-sites of most major museums and galleries (and many others) around the world, organized by country.

Links to Web-sites of Museums in Japan and Around the World

A very useful site with several thousand links, organized by type or country.

Museum Information Japan

Another site providing links to most of the museums and galleries in Japan. Some links need updating, however, and others are just to a page of information, rather than an institution's actual homepage.

Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

At the moment there are only a handful of images for each culture, but the museum is working on digitizing the whole collection.


A) Catalogues of Collections in Japan

The ideal catalogue includes every piece in the collection, with accompanying details on artist, subject, materials, dimensions, and illustration (if only in black-and-white), together with an artist index. It should be remembered that the major objects in many collections will be illustrated in exhibition catalogues or 'masterpiece' volumes in color and with accompanying text.

This is only a very small sample selection of the many such works available from Japanese institutions (drawn from the British Museum's departmental library).

Note: In the entries below, the institution itself is editor and/or publisher where none is specified.

Tokyo kokuritsu hakubutsukan zuhan mokuroku. Tokyo National Museum.
Starr has 13 volumes, in various locations.

A series of volumes showcasing the entire holdings, divided into the various media. Sometimes has a few color plates, but the vast majority b/w. Details are in Japanese and English, index of artists and/or subjects.

Kyoto kokuritsu hakubutsukan zôhin zuhan mokuroku. Kyoto National Museum.
Call no: ND1052 .K96 1990; ND1042 .K96 1989; NK3735.J3 K95 1987

Textiles and Lacquerware (1985), Painting (1990), Sculpture and Architecture (1993). Lists at the back in English, but no index.

Nara kokuritsu hakubutsukan zôhin zuhan mokuroku. Nara National Museum.
Call no: NB1912.B83 N37 1989; ND1432.J3 N37 1988

B/w record of the entire holdings over several volumes.

Nara kenritsu bijutsukan zôhin zuroku. Nara Prefectural Museum of Art.
Call no: N3750.N365 N37 1987

A series of volumes covering the complete collection, organized by medium. Volumes start with a few color plates, then the rest b/w. A useful feature is that inscriptions are transcribed. Only titles given in English. List of works in Japanese.

Ôshitsu no shihô - Gyobutsu. Catalog of the Imperial Collections, 1991-93.
Call no: N 7352 .K63 1991

A much-awaited publication of the contents of the imperial collections, across the media. Large illustrations, all color, detailed text in Japanese. Supplementary leaflet has list of all works in Japanese and English.

1 - 3. Painting; 4. Sculpture and crafts; 5. Imperial letters; 6 - 9. Wall paintings; 10 - 12. Calligraphy; 13. Chinese art.

Aichi-ken Bijutsukan shozôhin mokuroku. Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, 1993.
Not in Starr Library.

Complete catalog of the collection; organized by Japanese or foreign, then by medium (paintings, sculpture, prints, calligraphy). All b/w.

Fukuoka-shi bijutsukan shozôhin mokuroku. Fukuoka City Museum of Art.
Not in Starr Library.

The complete collection of 7, 329 objects; very small b/w images. Details in Japanese and English. Pre-modern works organized by medium; modern ones by artist.  Starr Library does have a book of the "masterpieces" of this museum, Fukuoka-shi Bijutsukan shozo 80-sen = Eighty masterpieces from Fukuoka Art Museum (1980), call no. N3750.F84 A56 1980.

Idemitsu bijutsukan zôhin zuroku. Idemitsu Museum of Art, 1986 - .
Starr has 6 volumes, various locations.

Each volume in this series covers a particular area of the collection: for example genre paintings, ceramics, sengai. Some have a selection of objects, with color plates and text, others have the full inventory with b/w illustrations.

Similar volumes (single or in series) for other institutions can usually be located in library catalogs by the museum or gallery name, and often by '(sho)zôhin mokuroku'.

Art Catalog Library, Japan

A useful institution located in Minato-ku, Tokyo, providing collection catalogs of art institutions in Japan, as well as exhibitions catalogs from both Japan and overseas. The library catalog is accessible via the web-site.

UPDATE: According to an announcement at, the Art Catalog Library was closed in October 2004, and its functions will continue in the new National Art Center, Tokyo (in Japanese, Kokuritsu Shin Bijutsukan, "National New Museum of Art," see, which was first proposed in 1995 and is scheduled to open in 2006. Meanwhile, the overseas component of the project to collect exhibition catalogs, the JAC Project, will continue, and the overseas collection being maintained at the Freer Gallery (and at the University of Pittsburgh for Japanese catalogs of western art exhibitions). The Tokyo collection will be reopened in the National Art Center.

B) Catalogues Outside of Japan

Several institutions outside Japan have now had their entire holdings published, usually by Japanese publishers, and with the emphasis on paintings.

Kaigai shozai Nihon bijutsuhin chôsa hôkoku (Catalogue of Japanese Art in Foreign Collections). Association of Scientific Research on Historic and Artistic Works of Japan, 1991- . Starr has all 8, in various locations.

B/w illustrations, details in Japanese and English. List of works and artist index. Organized by medium and school. A very useful and important series on foreign collections, but now apparently out of print.

1. Painting and Sculpture of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 1991
2. Painting and Sculpture of the Mary and Jackson Burke Collection and the Mary and Jackson Burke Foundation, New York. 1992
3. Painting and Sculpture of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. 1993
4. Painting of the Price Collection. 1994
5. Painting and Sculpture in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. 1995
6. Paintings of Musée National des Arts Asiatiques - Guimet, Paris. 1996
7. Applied arts and sculpture in the Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst der Stadt Köln. 1999
8. Painting in the Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst der Stadt Köln. 1999

Bosuton bijutsukan Nihon bijutsu chôsa zuroku Dai-ichi chôsa I. Edited by Anne Nishimura Morse & Tsuji Nobuo. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1997. 2 vols. (one of plates, one of descriptive text).
Call no: N7353 .M87 1997

The definitive record of some of the holdings (mostly paintings) of what is held to be the finest collection of Japanese art outside Japan. Part I covers Buddhist paintings, masks, ink paintings, early Kano, Rinpa while the second volume covers Edo period paintings of the Kano-ha, Tosa, Sumiyoshi, and Fukko Yamato-e schools. The text volume is available in English. Neither have indexes.

Kaigai Nihon bijutsu chôsa purojekkuto (Japanese Art Abroad Research Project)
Vols. 1-5, Nichibunken sōsho series, 1993-95, all titles ending ". . . shozō Nihon bijutsuhin zuroku."
Starr has all 5 volumes, in various locations.

These volumes catalog Japanese works of art in five Russian and East European museums: Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts; State Hermitage Museum; The Náprstek Museum; National Gallery, Prague;  and Ferenc Hopp Museum of Eastern Asiatic Arts (Budapest). All works are illustratred in color, about six to a page, and cover paintings, ceramics, and netsuke, although the great majority are ukiyoe prints. There are introductory essays in Japanese on the collections by curators in the institutions concerned. The ukiyoe in these collections are all included in the following index.

Some of the images are in the Nichibunken web-site database (see above).

Kaigai ukiyo-e shozai sakuin / Index of Ukiyo-e in Western Collections
Vol. 6, Nichibunken sosho series.
Kaigai Nihon bijutsu chôsa purojekkuto, 1996. 2 vols. 
Call no: REF N 7353.6 .U53 K34 1996

One volume in English, one in Japanese. This is an index of all ukiyo-e prints in foreign collections that have been published in the following four multi-volume publications:

HUE: Hizō ukiyoe. 3 vol. Kodansha. NOT IN STARR.
HUT:  Hizō ukiyoe taikan. 12 vols + 4 suppl. Kodansha, 1988 ff. STARR: :SPECCOLL N7353.5 .U345 1988 f
NJS: Nichibunken sōsho series. 5 vols. (SEE PREVIOUS ENTRY)
USK: Ukiyoe shuka. 18 vols (excluding the Tokyo National Museum, the only one dedicated to a Japanese collection). Shōgakkan, 1978-85. STARR: NE1321.8 .U446 f

A Report on Japanese Materials in Europe. Edo-Tokyo Museum, 1997.
Not in Starr Library.

A very useful volume bringing together the results of a questionnaire sent out to institutions all over Europe, listing anything Japan-related from Belarus to the Vatican City. Organized by country, and then alphabetically. Information given typically includes a breakdown of the holdings by medium, details of record format, a list of exhibitions, and sometimes comments.

Japanese Paintings in Canadian Collections. Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, 1983.
Not in Starr Library.

107 of the most notable pieces in Canada at the time of compilation. B/w illustrations, with text on each piece.

Catalogue of Japanese Illustrated Books and Manuscripts in the Spencer Collection of the New York Public Library. By Sorimachi Shigeo. New York Public Library.
Call no.: RARE BOOK GRAPHIC ARTS (Non-Circulating) Z1023 .S72 1978

A very strong collection; this catalogue was printed in limited quantities, however.

C)  Selections of Masterpieces

Full details of the contents of the series are included here to give an idea of the breadth of institutions covered, and for ease of finding/ordering volumes.

Ukiyo-e shûka. Shogakkan, 1978-85. 18 vols.
Call no. NE1321.8.U446f

Taken from nearly all the great collections of 'floating world pictures' outside Japan, and one from within. Each has well over a hundred illustrations in color (with explanatory text), then many more in b/w. Index volume lists works by artist.

1 - 3. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; 4 - 6. Art Institute of Chicago; 7. Metropolitan Museum of Art/New York Public Library; 8. Fogg Art Museum, Harvard Uni./Worcester Art Museum/Yale Univ. Art Gallery/Philadelphia Museum of Art; Nelson-Atkins Museum; 9. Minneapolis Institute of Fine Arts/Portland Art Museum/Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Art/Allen Memorial Art Museum/Cleveland Museum of Art; 10. Honolulu Academy of Arts/Edwin & Irma Crabhorn Collection; 11. British Museum/Ashmolean Museum/Victoria & Albert Museum/Fitzwilliam Museum; 12. Musée Guimet/Bibliothèque Nationale; 13. Musées Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire, Bruxelles/Bibliothèque Royal Albert 1er/Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam/Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde, Leiden; 14. Museen für Ostasiatische Kunst in Berlin und Köln/Kunsthalle, Bremen/Museum für kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg/Museum Rietberg, Zürich/Österreiches Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Wien; 15. Tokyo National Museum; 16. Freer Gallery of Art (paintings); Additional (2 vols.) - MFA, Boston. Index volume by artist

Kôdansha really has cornered the market now in producing outstanding series of volumes of paintings and prints, making accessible the treasures of Japanese art in both European and Japanese collections. Each has a large number of big, color illustrations, then plenty more in b/w, resulting in a much higher number of pieces than many 'masterpiece' volumes. Details are in Japanese and English; explanatory text (for color plates) and thematic essays in Japanese by leading art historians. Volumes are often introduced by essays on the history of the collections. Works are listed at the end.

Hizô Nihon bijutsu taikan (Masterpieces of Japanese Art in European Collections). Edited by Hirayama Ikuo & Kobayashi Tadashi. Kôdansha, 1992-94. 12 vols.
Call no: SPECCOLL N 7352 .H65 1992 f

1. British Museum (screens and Buddhist paintings); 2. British Museum (handscrolls); 3. British Museum (hanging scrolls); 4. British Library/Ashmolean Museum/Victoria & Albert Museum; 5. Chester Beatty Library; 6. Musée Guimet; 7. Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst / Staatsbibliotek, Berlin; 8. Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst, Köln; 9. Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde, Leiden; 10. National Museum, Cracow; 11. Österreiches Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna / Náprstek Museum and National Gallery, Prague / Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest; 12. Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg / Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Kupferstich Kabinett / Linden-Museum, Stuttgart / Staatliches Museum für Volkerkunde/Museo d'Arte Orientale "Edoardo Chiossone" / Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Hand-scrolls and albums have b/w reference photographs showing the entire work.

Hizô ukiyo-e taikan (Masterpieces of Ukiyo-e In European Collections). Edited by Narasaki Muneshige. Kôdansha, 1987-1990. 14 vols.
Call no: SPECCOLL N 7353.5 .U345 1988 f

1. British Museum (paintings); 2 & 3. British Museum (prints); 4. Victoria & Albert Museum (paintings & prints); 5. Victoria & Albert Museum (prints); 6. Musée Guimet (paintings & prints); 7. Musée Guimet (prints); 8. Bibliotècque National, Paris; 9. Musées Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire, Bruxelles; 10. Genoa Museum of Far Eastern Art (paintings & prints); 11. Genoa Museum of Far Eastern Art (prints); 12. Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst, Berlin; Additional - Chester Beatty Library and Gallery of Oriental Art, Dublin/ Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst, Köln/Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Index volume by artist, with a guide to collections of ukiyo-e in Europe, by country and with address and brief description.

Nikuhitsu ukiyo-e taikan. Edited by Kobayashi Tadashi. Kôdansha, 1994-95. 10 vols.
Call no: NE 1321.8 .N55 1994 f

Ukiyo-e paintings in Japanese collections.

1 & 2. Tokyo kokuritsu hakubutsukan; 3. Idemitsu bijutsukan; 4. MOA bijutsukan; 5. Ôta kinen bijutsukan/Hokusai-kan/Itabashi kuritsu bijutsukan; 6. Azabu bijutsu kôgeikan; 7. Mannô bijutsukan; 8. Nyû Ôtani bijutsukan; 9. Nara kenritsu bijutsukan/Kyôtô furitsu sôgô shiryôkan; 10. Chiba-shi bijutsukan

Bosuton bijutsukan nikuhitsu ukiyo-e. Edited by Tsuji Nobuo. 2000. 3 vols.

286 paintings illustrated in color, with b/w references plates. Explanatory texts in Japanese. An important series because of the quality of the Boston collection.

Most institutions with a sizable Japanese (or Asian) collection have produced some kind of volume showcasing the highlights. These publications often appear in conjunction with an exhibition to commemorate or celebrate an important event in the institution's history. They therefore often have something interesting to say about the history of the collections and the people associated with them. Pieces here are illustrated in color, and usually have detailed accompanying text. For example:

Masterpieces of Kyoto National Museum. 1990.
Call no: N3750.K93 A56 1990g

Organized by gallery and medium; as well as Japanese objects, it includes Chinese, Indian, and Korean works. List of plates.

Tokugawa bijutsukan - Meihin zuroku. Tokugawa Art Museum, 1987.
Not in Starr Library.

Lavishly produced volume, with 293 objects of paintings, calligraphy, ceramics, lacquer, musical instruments, masks, robes, and swords. Full color with Japanese text.

Two works in the Avery Fine Arts collection probably duplicate much of this material:

Tokugawa Bijutsukan. The Shogun Age Exhibition, from the Tokugawa Art Museum (1983)
Call no.: FINE ARTS --- N7353 T569

Tokugawa Bijutsukan. The Japan of the Shoguns : The Tokugawa Collection (1989).
Call no.:  FINE ARTS --- N 1060 J2N13T5 T57

Japanese Art - Masterpieces in the British Museum. 1990.
Call no: N1040 En3L8B77 Sm61

Organized by era and medium, this represents the strengths of the collections, but also serves as a general introduction to Japanese art. 250 objects, full color.