Matthew McKelway and Miriam Wattles
Revised and updated by Chelsea Foxwell, Fall 2002
A) Conventional Bibliography
C) Searching: English
D) Searching: Japanese Online
E) Searching: Japanese Conventional
A) Bibliographic Studies and Link Collections
B) Images on CD, Images on the Internet: Discussion and Analysis
C) Internet Searches
D) Japanese Art Among General Image Databases
E) Specialized Image Databases for Japanese Art
F) Paper Indices, Published
A) English Sources
B) Japanese Sources
A) English Guides
B) Japanese Guides
C) Online Guides (museums
and other institutions)
10) Survey Histories
II. Guide to Japanese Journals
III. Folio Series
1) Survey Folio Series
2) Specialized Folio Series
IV. Bibliography: Focus on Fields
Meant to address changes in the field and the emergence of new reference materials
2) Buddhist art and architecture
3) Modern art, including prewar art journals
4) Museum Studies
6) Film **see Bib2000 special project
Éto name some examples.
A) CONVENTIONAL BIB: For general and widely available works in English :,
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) REF Z3301 .S476 1989
A Guide to Reference
Books for Japanese Studies, Revised Edition.
International House of
Call no.: Z3306 .G84 1997g
Henceforth referred to as IHJ.
Graham, Patricia J. "Early
Modern Japanese Art History: A Bibliography of Publications, Primarily in
Sylvan Barnet and William Burto. " A Reader's Guide to the Arts of Japan." In Mason , History of Japanese Art (Abrams, 1993): 393-404.
For works in Japanese, check:
Bibliography of Reference Works for Japanese Studies.
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) REF Z3306 .B48
And IHJ pp. 96-104.
Within the following you can search by subject:
Kokuritsu kokkai toshokan shozô shudaibetsu tosho mokuroku 77/84 (vol. 17 Geijutsu, Bijutsu ).
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) REF Z955.T585.K642.1985
**the art volumes may have been moved to N ref.
Bigaku, bijutsushi kenkyû bunken yoroan, 1985-1989 [Bibliography of Aesthetics and Fine Arts, 1985-1989]. Nichigai Associates, 1996
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) REF Z5938.B44.1996
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) REF Z3301.S48
Western-language books and selected Western-language reference books: Avery Fine Arts Library .
Japanese-language books: Starr East Asian Library .
Exceptions: Heibonsha Survey of Japanese Art (30 vols) and the bulk of the reference books on Japanese art are housed in Starr.
C) SEARCHING: Keyword and subject searches in the Advanced Search mode of CLIO allow for language limits and should yield a manageable number of results. Remember to include dissertations in your search by using Proquest online. Articles within books can be located through the Bibliography of Asian Studies (BAS) online. See below for the databases of Tôbunken art history holdings.
A) JOURNALS: For English-language art journals, see the reviews of Artibus Asiae, Archives of Asian Art, and Orientations in the chapter on English-language journals ( ch. 3 ). Additionally, articles on Japanese art often appear in general art journals (e.g. Apollo, Art Bulletin ), or more recently in Japanese or Asian studies journals. Some journals, such as the Art Journall of the College Art Association (CAA), occasionally devote an issue to Japanese or Asian art. Bulletins and journals of museums and other institutions (e.g. Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art) have traditionally contained articles on works or artists in the collection.
B) LOCATIONS: As a rule, Western-language art and architecture periodicals are in Avery , while Japanese-language ones are in Starr . However, Avery contains duplicate holdings of Japanese periodicals such as Kokka. For evaluations and call numbers of specific Japanese journals, see below.
C) SEARCHING IN ENGLISH
Art Index (art history periodicals)
Avery Index (architecture).
Acta Asiatica (Asian studies)
D) SEARCHING IN JAPANESE, ONLINE
Nichigai' s magazine web search yields articles from journals large and small, including the journals or bulletins
of independent research groups. As an organization, Nichigai also
maintains a database on NACSIS IR called
Gakuujutsu zasshi mokuji sokuho de-tabe-su= SOKUHO: Current Contents of Academic
E) SEARCHING IN JAPANESE, PRINT
The following printed indices of general sources and specific journals are still widely consulted. Today, they facilitate browsing and brainstorming and are still handy for locating "classic articles." However, sequels do not seem to be anticipated.
Nihon tôyô kobijutsu mokuroku.
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) REF Z3008 .A7 T6 1969
Articles indexed from 900 private, university and research center journals published from1936 to 1965. The major sections are: general, painting, calligraphy, sculpture, architecture, crafts, archeology and other (related cultural history). The beginning section includes subsections on, for example, the Shôsôin treasures (which are not doubly listed by genre). In the back of each section the artists are included under their most common names. A list of the journals with the publisher, number, and years included in the index is provided to help fix the date of a periodical number listed in the main section.
OVERALL EVALUATION: Basic for scholarship of these middle years of the field. [MW]
** Tôyô bijutsu bunken mokuroku: Teiki kankôbutsu shosai kobijutsu bunken. Bijutsu Kenkyûjo, ed. Zauho kankôkai, 1941.
Call no..: (EAST ASIAN) REF Z5961 .A8 B5 1941 (reprint: REF Z5961.A8B5.1981).
An earlier version of the above, this covers the years
1868 to 1935 and includes
OVERALL EVALUATION: Though Japanese art history was not very developed at this time, these articles lay the foundation for the field. [MW]
** Kokka sakuin: kaitei zôho ban (Kokka-sha, 1992), no. 1-1149 (1889-1991).
Call no.: REF N8 .K58 1992 Index
The index to the preeminent Asian art history journal in Japan (which celebrated its centennial in 1989), the Kokka sakuin is an essential tool for finding seminal articles about newly-found works, and for generally exploring the canon of Japanese art historical scholarship. Many works now lost in the secret world of private collections, --or lost in the war-- are reproduced only in Kokka. The sakuin is conveniently organized into two sections: reproductions of works , and articles. Both of these sections contain sub-sections on painting, sculpture, architecture, decorative arts, and calligraphy, with an additional section on general articles in the essay section.
The 1992 index covers issues through August, 1991 (no.1149), but does so by means of a supplementary section covering nos. 1030-1149 (Jan.'80-Aug.'91), and organized according to the same principles. Indices of authors, museums and other collections, and temples and shrines appear in the back of the entire volume. There is also a list of special issues on single topics, as well as a chart of years and months with numbers of corresponding issues
of the journal. [MM]
Bijutsu kenkyû sômokuroku. Index to Bijutsu kenkyû no. 1-230 (Jan '32-Sept '63).
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) 702.205 T57 Index 1-230
MUSEUM. Index no.. 1-200 ( Apr '51-Nov '67).
Call no.: 705 / M97
A) Bibliographic studies and link collections.
For a detailed study, see Rosina Buckland's chapter in Bib 2000 , especially:
Kaigai shozai Nihon bijutsuhin chôsa hôkoku (Catalogue of Japanese
Art in Foreign Collections).
Association of Scientific Research on Historic and Artistic Works of
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
2. Painting and Sculpture of the Mary and Jackson Burke Collection and the
Mary and Jackson Burke Foundation,
3. Painting and Sculpture of the
4. Painting of the Price Collection. 1994
5. Painting and Sculpture in the
6. Paintings of Musûe National des Arts Asiatiques - Guimet,
7. Applied arts and sculpture in the Museum fŸr Ostasiatische Kunst der Stadt Kšln. 1999
8. Painting in the Museum fŸr Ostasiatische Kunst der Stadt Kôln. 1999
See also Chapter 19, Visual Resources .
*** Japanese Studies Network Forum Homepage: Useful Information Sources: Art and Culture.
Sections: General Guide, Digital Images, Museums and
Galleries, Architecture and Gardents, Ikebana and Bonsai, Manga and Anime,
Ukiyo-e, Performing Arts, Dance, Motion Pictures, Music, Traditional Theater,
Links to Other Sources. Created by:
The Japan Foundation, with the cooperation
Educational Interchange (CULCON).
B) Images on CD, Images on the Internet: Discussion and Analysis
For a recent analysis of the digitalization of images on CD ROMs or the internet, see Henry D. Smith II and Matthew P. McKelway, "Review Article: Digitalizing Japanese Art," Monumuenta Nipponica (Winter 2002-2003). Bibliography included.
C) Internet Searches
also has a Japanese counterpart,
When encountering the name of an artist with whom you are unfamiliar, your most timely source of visual, biographical, and collection information may be your ordinary internet search engine. This engine searches for picture files and not websites. It is best suited to narrow searches (e.g. "Tamamushi Shrine," "Toru Takemitsu"). [CF]
D) Japanese Art Among General Image Databases
B) AMICO Image Consortium
e-Kokuho: National Treasures of the National Museums, Japan.
Around 127 National Treasures from
F) Paper Indices, Published Images
Kokka sakuin. See above ; the zuhan section indexes images published in issues of Kokka, specifying the type of reproduction.
Ichiko Teiji, Sekino Masaru and Yonezawa Yoshio. Nihon bakujutsu shiryô sômokuroku zôho ban= The General Catalogue of Learned Materials in Japan. Asahi Shuppansha, 1988. 2 vols.
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) REF N7352 .N522 1988
Contains the holdings of 1135 museums
OVERALL EVALUATION: Serves a specific but limited use in tracking down works for viewing or reproduction, although Nichigai's Nihon bijutsu sakuin refarensu jiten (1993; several volumes ) Ukiyo-e bijutsu zenshû sakuhin gaido (1992), and Gashû shasinshû zen jôhô 1991-1996 (1998) will provide newer sources. Possibly useful for discovering more works by a certain artist.
Nihon bijutsu sakuhin refarensu jiten. Nichigai Asoshietsu, 1992-2002.
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) REF, volumes separated by genre
---Chôkoku hen (sculpture) REF NB1051 .N54 2000
---Kaiga hen kinsei izen (premodern painting) REF ND1053 .N42 1998
---Kaiga hen ukiyo-e
---Kôgei hen (crafts, dec. arts, art objects) NK1071 .N45 2002
---Kaiga hen kin/gendai
---Shoseki hen (calligraphy, documents) REF Z5956.C25 N55 2001
---Tojiki hen 1: Nihon (Japanese ceramics) REF NK4167 .N54 2001
---Tojiki hen 2: Chûgoku, Chôsen (Chinese, Korean ceramics) REF. NK4165 .N54 2001
---Tojiki hen 3: Gendai Nihon tôgei (modern Japanese ceramics) REF NK4167 .N49 2001
Ukiyo-e bijutsu zenshû sakuhin gaido. Nichigai Asoshietsu, 1992.
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) REF N7353.6.U35.U45.1993
Allows for the location of reproductions
of around 8,000 images, from early
Kindai no kaiga: Bijutsu Zenshû Sakuhin Gaido (=Japanese Modern Painting, A Selective Catalog). 1 vol. Nichigai Asoshietsu, 1993.
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN)
Teague, Edward H. World Architecture Index: A Guide to Illustrations.
Call no.: AVERY REFERENCE AA31 T22
Masuda, Tomomi. Living Architecture: Japanese.
Call no.: (AVERY) AA1550 M393
The Living Architecture series provides easy access to images of the monuments of world architecture. It is one of the books referenced by Teague.
¢ Shinchô Nihon Bijutsu Bunko Series. Authors: variable. Shinchôsha, 199?-continuing.
CLIO: Search series title.
Call no. e.g.: ND1059.K1758 Y37 1998
Each slim monograph, 20 cm. tall, is priced around 1200 yen and features nearly all full-color images of the artist's works with short explanatory paragraphs. These are compiled by an authority on the artist, whose essay appears at the end of the volume. Includes timeline, but no bibliography [CF].
Meijiki bijutsu tenrankai shuppin mokuroku [Index of Artworks Submitted to Meiji Period Art Exhibitions] Tokyo Kokuritsu Bunkazai Kenkyujo [Tôbunken] Bijutsubu, ed. Chûo Kôronsha, 1994.
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) N7354.5.M45.1994
Meijiki bankoku hakurankai bijutsuhin shuppin mokuroku [Index of Artworks
Submitted for display in the World's Fairs of the Meiji Period].
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) N7354.5.M452.1997
Naikoku kangyô hakurankai bijutsuhin shuppin mokuroku [Index of
Artworks Submitted for Display in Domestic Industrial Exhibitions].
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) N7354.5.N342.1996
***The Japanese Art Cataloguing Project can be accessed through the Eureka database by typing the command line find au jac project. Doing so will call up the complete list of items cataloged in RLIN by the Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution. The catalogues are collected by the ACE (Japan Association for Cultural Exchange). For details, see the journal RLIN Focus 26 (June 1997), or http://www.rlg.org/r-focus/i26.jac.html .
***The ACE is also responsible for the Art Catalogue Library, Japan.
See Rosina Buckland, Bib2000 for details.
Japanese Art Exhibitions with Catalogue in the
Call no.: (AVERY) N 7351 J279 Q
** Nihon bijutsu nenkan = Year book of Japanese Art. Tokyo Kokuritsu Bunkazai Kenkyujo Bijutsubu, ed. Okurasho Insatsukyoku, 1936-49, 1952- present.
Call no.: REF N7352 .N52 (Last 3 years in REF, others in stacks)
This annual contains four sections: 1) main (art-related) events of the previous year, 2) principal exhibitions of the previous year, 3) recent publications, and 4) obituaries.
Western and Asian, premodern, and modern/contemporary art are all covered.
The separate section on recent publications ( bunken mokuroku) is divided into 1) contemporary and Western and 2) Asian. These are further divided by medium
OVERALL EVALUATION: Basic for recent literature and catalogues. [MW]
NOTE: An introduction to the contents of the 1996 and 1997 nenkan, including the list of exhibitions and recent publications, appears on the Tôbunken homepage (Japanese only):
The archives division of the
Nihon tôyô bijutsu bunken mokuroku (1994). Catalogue of premodern East Asian art history holdings of the Tôbunken library through May, 1994. In the form of a site map.
Kobijutsu Tenrankai Katarogu Deitabeisu. Database of Catalogues of Premodern Art, currently under construction .
Kin Gendai Bijutsu Jôhô Deitabeisu. Database of Information on Modern and Contemporary Art, currently under construction .
** Shigaku zasshi : kaikô to tenbô. Annual special issue of the journal Shigaku zasshi. Nihon rekishigaku gakkai.
Call no.: recent issues are in East Asian REF D13.J3.N63.
Serial call no.: May issues of DS1 .S54 and 205 Sh6.
The art history review essay in Kaikô to tenbô, much like the trends it reflects, looks a bit different each year. Sometimes blockbuster exhibitions head off the discussion; in other years, they may receive limited coverage among brief analyses of new publications in various periods and genres. The essay is usually concept- or issue-oriented, identifying the emergence of new keywords alongside the developments of specific scholars. [CF]
A) Biographical Sources in English
¢*** Laurance P. Roberts, A Dictionary of Japanese Artists: Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics, Prints, Lacquer. Weatherhill, 1976.
Call no.: (
IHJ: 0182 Fukuda: C15
This dictionary is a valuable reference for basic data and bibliography on Japanese artists. The artists' entries include (N) family name, (A) azana, (FN) familiar name, and gô name at the end of each entry. Artist lookup is by personal name for those who died before 1900, and by family name for those who died later. A heading "Coll." lists public collections containing works of the artist. "Bib.", gives short references to a complete bibliography (in both English and Japanese) listed in the back. In Appendix is a full list of collections cited; Appendix 2 lists art organizations and institutions; Appendix 3 gives a chart of the periodsization of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean art; Appendix 4 lists the names of Japanese provinces before the Meiji Restoration. The five-page glossary is a conglomeration of Japanese art terms, historical figures, the most famous artists, schools and organizations. The two most useful indexes for alternate names and for the characters of the names (according to Nelson's radicals) are last.
OVERALL EVALUATION: A most valuable reference, basic for desktop use. The bibliography and collection information, though now somewhat dated, make a good first step. [MW]
* Biographical Dictionary of Japanese Art. Tazawa, Yukata, ed. Kodansha International, 1981. 825 p.
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) REF N7358 .B55 1981
Eight lines to two pages of basic biographical information of artists in the fields of: painting, prints, calligraphy, photography, graphic design, sculpture, tea ceremony, architecture, gardens, ceramics, swords, metalwork, textiles, and lacquer. Each section (varying in length from the 250 pages for painting to the four pages for graphic design) has an introduction which surveys the history of the genre discussing the anonymous as well as the most important artists. One aim of the book was to include more of the "minor arts", but because these arts tend to have few known artists, it is more in the introductions to the less popular genres rather than in the biographical entries that one finds the most useful information. In the entries for the artists, the writing is discursive, and there is less information for the space than Robert's, which also cover far more names. Artistic genealogies and a glossary of mostly Japanese art terms are appended. The bibliography for each artist in the back lists 2 to 4 major sources (including series). There is an index for alternate names and art-related associations.
OVERALL EVALUATION: Good for general reference, but not as basic as Roberts.
B) Biographical Sources in Japanese
**Araki, Tadashi. Dai Nihon shoga meika taikan. Daichi Shobo, 1934. 4 vols.
Call no.: REF N7358 .D34 1934
IHJ: 1424 Fukuda: C20
This four-volume work combines a biographical listing of some 20,000 painters and calligraphers in volumes 1 and 2, reproductions of seals and signatures in volume 3, and an indices in volume 4. The biographical entries, organized according the number of strokes in the firt character of each name, are useful primarily for obscure figures who might not appear in Roberts' Dictionary or other works in Japanese. The seals and signatures in volume 3 are particularly well reproduced, with several seals and signatures given for each
OVERALL EVALUATION: A standard resource for hands-on work with paintings. [MM]
Asaoka Okisada and ïta Susumu. Zôtei koga bikô.
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN)
represents the accumulated knowledge of Japanese artists and calligraphers
at the end of the
OVERALL EVALUATION: As a work which represents an understanding and valuation of Japanese art before "art history" became a field of discourse in the Meiji period, Koga bikô's worth cannot be overstated. Because it is likely to include even earlier mentions or appraisals of artists, consulting KB first is always a good idea. [MM]
Sawada, Akira. Nihon gaka jiten. Kigensha, 1926. (2 vols.)
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN)
A work similar to but smaller than Araki's Dai Nihon shoga meika taikan, but nevertheless useful for quick reference for information on dates, seals, other "archaeological" material.[ MM]
Ekoin Haku. Bijutsuka sakuin: Nihon, Tôyôhen. Nichigai Associates, 1991.
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) REF N7358 .B84 1991
20,500 artists are indexed. Most of the references are recent dictionaries, or other standard reference works but this is a good source for exhibition catalogues as it covers the years 1945-1990.
OVERALL EVALUATION: Good for catalogues only. [MW]
Ukiyo-e jinmei kakaku jiten. Hokushindo, 1997.
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) REF NE1321.8.U425.1994
Mangaka anime sakka jinmei jiten= Writers of comics in
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN)
A) Works in English
** Waei taishô
Nihon bijutsu yôgo jiten = A Dictionary
of Japanese Art Terms.
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) REF NX80 .N53 1990
A bilingual dictionary of 4,300 art terms, including those related to painting, calligraphy, sculpture, applied arts, architecture and gardens, tea ceremony, flower arrangement, and modern art . The terms are listed in gojuon order, with the kana, the kanji, romaji, and bilingual definitions. Extensively cross-referenced. Indices: character, romaji, and English translation. The English is always understandable, if not always natural.
James Self and Nobuko Hirose. Japanese Art Signatures: A Handbook and Practical Guide.
Call no.: (AVERY) REF AK 3640 Se 37
Dictionary of Chinese and Japanese Art. Hacker Art Books, 1981. 354 p.
Call no.: (AVERY) REF N33 M97
Helen Merritt, Nanako Yamada. Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: 1900-1975.
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) REF NE1323.M46.1992 and available as an eBook,
with plug-in for image viewing.
Contents: Introduction, Biographies, Art Schools/Organizations/Exhibitions, Dôjin Magazines, Publishers/Carves/Printers, Notes on Selected Prints and Series, Notes on Selected Signatures and Seals, Chronology of Important Events.
Hakubutsukan Dictionary=Museum Dictionary. Bilingual.
The staff at
B) Works in Japanese
** Ishida Hisatoyo et al. Nihon bijutsushi jiten. Heibonsha, 1987. 1116 p (orig. 18,000 yen).
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) REF N7350.N53.1987
A standard source for basic biographies of artists or definitions of other art-related terminology including some 2,200 signed entries ranging in size from a paragraph to a few pages. There are black and white photographs and helpful figures for most entries. At the end there is a list of national treasures, a directory to major museums and an overview of Japanese history. The index at the end is not very helpful with alternate names. Though most of the entries are lifted virtually verbatim from the Heibonsha Daihyaka Jiten, this is a useful reference to have on your shelf if you are seriously interested in Japanese art.
OVERALL EVALUATION: Good standard Japanese first reference. [MW]
Noma Seiroku and Tani Shin'ichi. Bijutsu kantei jiten = Art appraisal dictionary. Tokyodo, 1963. 406p.
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) 703 / N722
Guide to the connoiseurship of paintings, prints, sculpture, calligraphy, lacquer, swords, ceramics, etc. Seals, rankings, genealogies appended. Indices of names, illustrations, and seals.
Kindai Nihon bijutsu jiten. Kawakita Michiaki, ed.
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) REF N7355.K56.1989
1,252 artists of Nihonga, Yôga, prints, illustration (kuchi-e), and sculpture are cataloged by four scholars: Kawakita Michiaki, Satô Dôshin, Yamanashi Emiko, and Miwa Hideo. The separate listing of 160 art groups, studios, and institutions bring this book beyond biography and reflect a new methodological consciousness. Range: from those artists active in the early Meiji period to those born by 1930 (Shôwa 5).
Haruna Yoshishige. Kohitsu daijiten.
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) PL707 .H3
Oda Eiichi and Koga Kenzo. Rakkan kaô daijiten.
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) Z42 .R18 1982
Shodô hyakka jiten.
Call no.: REF NK 3637 .A2 S48 1991
This multi-faceted "encyclopedia" is meant to be of use to students and scholars, amateurs and calligraphers alike. Liberal use of photography and illustrations.
Shotai daihyakka jiten.
Call no. (EAST ASIAN) REF NK 3637 .A3 S56 1996
Yoshida teruji, ed. Ukiyo-e jiten (3 vol.). Gabundô, 1972.
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN)
Although now replaced as the basic reference work in ukiyo-e by the following title, it is still necessary to use this as well. It is the product of a lifetime of compilation, and hence quite idiosyncratic, often with no documentation of the sources used. But it has information that can be found nowhere else. It unfortunately lacks any general index or any cross-referencing, so it is not easy to find all the information on any given subject. Single prints and series by a given artist are often listed separately, with no cross-reference, for example. So be sure to look under every conceivable word, including place names, themes, and so forth. [HS]
Genshoku ukiyo-e daihyakka jiten (11 vol.). Taishôan shoten, 1980-82.
Call no: NE1321.8 .G44 f
As the title indicates, this is basically an encyclopedia of ukiyo-e, and constitutes the single most important and useful reference work in this area. It contains a huge number of illustrations, all in color (although many are too small to see fine details), and is accompanied by very detailed texts, all with good bibliographical notations. Each illustration is listed at the end of the volume, indicating the source of the print unless it is a private owner (as many, unfortunately, are). Particularly valuable is the index of the entire set in the last volume, and the biographies of individual artists in that volume. This is the first place to turn for basic reference in ukiyo-e prints, extending into the modern period. [HS]
Sasaki, Ken'ichi. Bigaku jiten [Dictionary of Aesthetics].
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) REF BH56.S27.1995
Organized thematically; entries in Japanese, with terms in European languages and a Romanized index of names.
EVALUATION: In his introduction, Sasaki notes that this book "began as a textbook and ended up as a dictionary"; as such , it bears his own unique viewpoint and "problem consciousness" while being modular and straightforward enough to appeal to uninitiated readers. An excellent introduction to current themes in aesthetics as framed by Japanese scholars, and useful as a multilingual dictionary for key terms. [CF]
***Yamasaki, Shigehisa. Chronological Table of Japanese Art. Geishinsha, 1981.
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) REF N7350 .Y298 1981
Despite its diminutive size and total lack of illustrations,
this book has the potential of being an extremely useful English-language
reference. The timeline shows developments in
***Genshoku zuten nihon bijutsushi nenpyô. Ed. ïta Hirotaro, Kawakita Michiaki, Yamane Yûzô. Shûeisha, 1986 and 1997.
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) REF N7350.G46.1986
Students of art history in
¢**(Karaa ban) Nihon bijutsushi nenpyô=The chronological table of Japanese art history. Tsuji Nobuo, ed. Bijutsu Shuppansha, 2002. 259 pp. Over 300 color plates.
Call no.: Not in library. Check your bookseller or
. Available at most museum shops in
While less inclusive than the previous work, this affordable and easy-to-read paperback makes full use of color printing to record historical events alongside developments in architecture, sculpture, painting, crafts, calligraphy, "other," and "the art world." The left-hand pages contain the timeline (Jomon to 2000 AD), while the right-hand pages contain illustrations with detailed captions.
A) English guides
¢** Roberts' Guide to Japanese Museums of Art and Archaeology. Compiled by Laurence P. Roberts and International House of
Call no.: (AVERY) N950 .J2 R541
Roberts' Guide is a useful tool for finding one's way to many of Japan's more remotely located and obscure publicly-oriented collections of both Japanese and Western art. The Guide is organized alphabetically with helpful indices of Japanese names of the museums, branch museums, prefectures, and types of collections in the back. Each entry gives the institution's English name, Japanese name, address in romanization and kanji,
and telephone number, followed by a page-long description of the collection with Mr. Roberts' own evaluation ("comments"), information about hours and admission fees, and verbal directions for how to get there.
OVERALL EVALUATION: Many museums have opened since the 1987 publication of the revised edition of Roberts' Guide, but it remains the most comprehensive guide to Japanese museums in English. [MM]
**Recommendations of newer English-language guides to Japanese museums may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org .
B) Japanese Guides
Nihon no Bijutsukan to Shashin Korekushon.
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) N3735 .M38 2002
¢** Zenkoku Bijutsukan Gaido. Bijutsu Shuppansha, March 2001 (vol. 53 no. 802 of the journal Bijutsu techô). Revised every 2-3 years.
Call no.: N3735.Z36.2001
1800 art or art-related museums and archives are presented by region, prefecture, and city. A very brief background on the museum and its collections is given along with contact information, homepage, notes on facilities, location, and public transportation. Hours are not listed. This small and handy dictionary aims for legibility, affordability, and ease of use,
EVALUATION: With this guide, the art-lover can find
a destination in even the most unassuming cities. The guide also calls attention
to easily overlooked "art related" institutions, such as the Shiruku Hakubutsukan
NOTE: Please check your online Japanese bookseller in order to obtain the most recent affordable guide to art museums.
*Kojin korekushon bijutsukan hakubutsukan jiten=Museums of private collections in
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) REF AM77.A1 K45 1998
Besides providing all the standard information on 185 museums as of August 1998, this guide also tell you their legal status, institutional history (e.g. what's the ÔMOA' in MOA Bijutsukan?), and related events or activities at the museum. Data on the museums was collected via survey, so some entries are more detailed than others. Sometime divulged are the number and extent of holdings, and the exact number of national treasures/ impt. cultural properties. Specific masterpieces are often mentioned. Indexed by name of collector and/or collection. Only institutions with permanent holdings regularly on view to the public are included. For kinenkan (memorial halls), see below.
EVALUATION: While limited to 185 museums, this directory provides important information about the background and status of private museums and their founders or major donors. [CF]
Jinbutsu kinenkan jiten=Memorial museums of famous people in
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) REF AM 77 .A2 J56 1996
300 memorial museums (only those regularly open to the public) are labeled as related to "art," "history," or "literature." Provides background, visitors' information. Indexed.
*Nihon hakubutsukan sôran: Myûjiamu e no shôtai. Tokyodo, 1997.
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) REF AM77.A2 N54 1997
This large, multifaceted volume reveals the conceptual and methodological underpinnings so often absent in Nichigai publications. Pages 93-373 contain a long list of museums both public and private, including [tourist] visitors' centers, corporate museums, and zoos/aquariums. These are divided by prefecture with only the most basic information provided, and are said to be the printed version of a computer database. This massive list is prefaced by three chapters which reflect new trends in Japanese museum studies. At the end of the volume is a bibliography of specialized museum guidebooks (e.g. Nihon suiboku bijutsukan annai, Mainichi Shinbunsha, 1993).
EVALUATION: While this directory reflects a prodigious and well-guided effort, its breadth makes it unwieldy for specialized art history use. It would be of use for looking up museums in less well-known locations, or for research on folk or local museums, history museums, and so forth. The bibliography is a unique feature. [CF]
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) REF AM78.T6 T65 1998
NOTE: An LC Call number search for "AM77.A" will retrieve
guides to museums in
C) Guides to Museums and Other Institutions on the Internet
It is possible that all the Japanese (and world) art museum links you may ever need (at least this year!) can be accessed through Tôbunken's remarkable link page, which focuses on museum links. Note that the links are to Japanese and bilingual pages.
Japanese Art History WWW Virtual Library.
Contains: positions, calls for papers, "to attend,"grad student directory, grants, and links.
**Orientations: The Magazine for Collectors and Connoisseurs of Asian Art website.
Contains a guide to exhibitions and a collection of links, as well as information about the magazine..
The art history department at
Looking to expand your search outside of art history? This site and its page of links may lead you in an interesting direction.
This historic and unparalleled institute, which includes
Call no.: (FINE ARTS) N7351 M9339
Much in the way that the Metropolitan Museum's Chinese catalogues, Beyond Representation and Possessing the Past, have attained textbook-like status in Chinese art, this recent catalogue of the Burke Collection is divided into periods with a good deal of supplementary writing. Each item is accompanied by a detailed text entry complete with bibliographic references (Japanese and English). Contains mostly painting; some sculpture and other art objects (e.g. ceramics). Glossary and index.
**Mason , Penelope. History of Japanese Art.
Call no.: (FINE ARTS) Reserves N7351 M38, and others
A standard history of Japanese art and architecture from prehistory to 1945. Limited color plates. Ample historical background. Glossary and index.
¢** Paine , Robert T. and Alexander Soper. The Art and Architecture of
Call no.: (FINE ARTS) Reserves N7351 P1611
Although major discoveries have rendered some of its
contents out of date, this standard comprehensive history of Japanese painting,
sculpture, and architecture remains unmatched in its breadth and clarity.
A key distinguishing feature of Paine and Soper's work is that the entire
second half is devoted to surveying the history of secular and religious
architecture, far more space than any other text in the same genre, such
as Joan Stanley-Baker's more recent
Japanese Art. Instead of dividing the history of Japanese art into an
artificial matrix of historical periods, "Paine and Soper" takes a stylistic
and contextual approach, treating works of the same mode or format, such
as mural paintings in castles, for example, within a single section. This
scheme proceeds in a roughly chronological order, and gives the reader a
good idea of the cultural circumstances that inspired, for instance, the
elegant sculpture of imperially-sponsored temples of the Heian period. Unfortunately,
it would seem that for both authors the art and architecture of
OVERALL EVALUATION: An excellent survey of major monuments and developments of Japanese art. [MM]
** Akiyama, Terukazu. Japanese Painting.
Call no: (See old cards)
This is the standard text on Japanese painting in English
synthesized by one of the great Japanese art historians. The illustrations
represent the canon in beautiful color showing more detail than can be seen
in the originals. The text begins with Jomon figural depictions, then defines
Buddhist painting which in turn is juxtaposed with the national secular painting
in the Heian and
OVERALL EVALUATION: Good for the basics. [MW]
*** The Heibonsha Survey of Japanese Art (30 vols.). Weatherhill and Heibonsha, 1967, etc.
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) N7350 .H4 1971g
Covering the history of Japanese painting, sculpture,
and architecture with separate volumes on ceramics, textiles, gardens, prints,
and folk arts, the Heibonsha Survey provides the most complete examination
of the arts of
OVERALL EVALUATION: A basic introduction to prominent
Japanese scholarship on the arts of
Japanese Arts Library. John Rosenfield, general editor. Kodansha International and Shibundô, c.1977-c.1986.
Call no.: (AVERY/FINE ARTS)Varies by volume. See CLIO, series title=Japanese arts library.
Volumes of this series are adapted translations of Shibundô's ongoing monthly Nihon no bijutsu publication. The Shibundô series [CF1] has over 400 issues, while the Kodansha contains about fifteen. Thus, the translation project covers only a handful and does not seem to be continuing. Unlike the Heibonsha Survey above, which aims at an overall coverage of Japanese art history, each volume of the Japan Arts Library is aimed at a fairly specialized topic Each volume includes a glossary of Japanese technical terms, an annotated bibliography of Japanese (with titles in kanji) and western-language sources, and an index.
OVERALL EVALUATION: The available volumes are basic works in English for the specialized topics treated. [MM]
***Nihon no Bijutsu . Serial: monthly. Shibundô, 1966-present.
Call no.: N8.N55
Although technically a periodical journal and treated
as such by the library (e.g., several issues bound together), the monthly
issues of this important series are much more like books, in both appearance
(no advertisements, among others) and content. Each treats a special theme,
and is commissioned from a single expert. The series is under the supervision
of the Agency for Cultural Affairs (Bunkachô), and the three major
national museums (
NOTE: To find a specific issue within Nihon no Bijutsu, search for your topic in Nichigai's Magazine Web or another database. The Waseda libraries, for example, catalog each issue under a separate title.
***Nihon Bijutsukan= The
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) REF N7350.N474.1997
This is not a guide to art museums, but a survey that attempts to transcend the limitations of the survey by providing a number of unique innovations based on computer editing, color printing, and other technological innovations. Its mission is to look at the history of Japanese art from multiple perspectives; sociohistorical context and close visual analysis are equally emphasized, with attention to media (e.g. textiles) and genres (e.g. advertisements) often excluded from typcal surveys. Well-known scholars have authored nine chapters from prehistory to postwar, all in reflection of recent scholarly trends. Is this the "museum without walls" that photography and computers can create? Have a look for yourself, and revel in the new environment of Japanese art history.
*Yamane Yûzô. Nihon bijutsushi. Bijutsu Shuppansha, 1977 (first ed.)
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) 702.1 Y1
This is the standard survey of Japanese art history to which Japanese first refer you. Each chapter covers a period in the subsections of: architecture, sculpture, painting, crafts, and calligraphy. It runs from the Jomon through to Showa chronicling developments in these different genres as well as the major schools. Being a survey, it is good for the orthodox summation of each period or for adding more works to the standard canon than any English survey supplies. In the Meiji-Taisho-Showa chapter, for example, there is a wonderfully
concise outline of the development of the modern art institutions. It is not very user friendly with the names, so keep your Robert's handy, but there are indexes to artists, works, temples, and other terms at the back. Depending on your needs and interests, it may be worth owning a copy for reference.
OVERALL EVALUATION: Good for a definitive summation. [MW]
¢* (Karaa ban) Nihon bijutsushi= The concise history of Japanese art. Bijutsu Shuppansha, 1991 (fourth printing: 1992). 210 pp.
Call no.: not in library. Order new or used.
This is the modern, concise version of the above (also put out by Bijutsu Shuppansha), written by Tsuji Nobuo and a team of famous art historians. Aimed at amateurs and students, it contains plenty of furigana, with a short timeline and charts in the back. Indexed by creator and work. Full color illustrations. Suitable for intermediate level students of Japanese language, and sold at most museum shops.
NOTE: In the same series, of the same accessibility and price, are "concise histories" of fields such as Buddhist sculpture, East Asian art, twentieth-century art, Japanese western-style architecture, Japanese traditional architecture, ceramics, ukiyo-e, ink painting, and so forth. All are written by a team of authorities. Consult Bijutsu Shuppansha or your Japanese bookseller.
Iwanami kindai Nihon no bijutsu. Iwanami Shoten, 1996. Library has: vol. 4,5,9.
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN ) N7355 .I93 1996