This chapter should be consulted together with a supplementary report,
"Collections of Japanese Art Online and in Print," compiled by Rosina Buckland in Fall 200
and updated by Henry Smith in Fall 2005.
II. Folio Series
Art and Architecture
B) Painting (by Artist)
D) Ink Painting
III. Keeping Up
IV. New York Resources
1) OVERVIEW: BOOKS
A) CONVENTIONAL BIB: For general and widely available works in English:Schulman, Frank.
Sylvan Barnet and William Burto. " A
Guide to the Arts of
Fukuda, Naomi. Bibliography
of Reference Works for Japanese Studies.
For works in Japanese, check:
Within the following you can search by subject:Bigaku, bijutsushi kenkyû bunken yoroan, 1985-1989 [Bibliography of Aesthetics and Fine Arts, 1985-1989]. Nichigai Associates, 1996
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.
Bibliography of Asian Studies
Art Index (art history periodicals)
Avery Index (architecture).
Acta Asiatica (Asian studies)
Nichigai' s magazine web search yields
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
de-tabe-su= SOKUHO: Current Contents of
Academic Serials in
D) SEARCHING IN JAPANESE, ONLINE
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
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]
Call no..: (EAST ASIAN) REF Z5961 .A8 B5 1941
** Tôyô bijutsu bunken mokuroku: Teiki kankôbutsu shosai kobijutsu bunken. Bijutsu Kenkyûjo, ed. Zauho kankôkai, 1941.
An earlier version of the above, this covers the
to 1935 and includes
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]
3) BIBLIOGRAPHY--IMAGE DATABASES
Bibliographic studies and link collections.
For a detailed study, see Rosina Buckland's chapter in Bib 2000 , especially:
Kaigai shozai Nihon bijutsuhin
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
See also Chapter 19, Visual Resources .
*** Japanese Studies Network Forum Homepage: Useful Information Sources: Art and Culture.
http://www.jsnet.org/uis2/art.htmlSections: 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 of the
OVERALL EVALUATION: This site provides introductions to many valuable sites outside of what is listed here. A visit to the parent site, www.jsnet.org , is also recommended.
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.
www.images.google.com also has a Japanese
C) Internet Searches
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]
UPDATE: As of 2005, the AMICO database has been incorporated into
ARTstor, but is still maintained separately under the new name of
"AMICA" (American Museum Images at Cartography Associates) at the site
of David Rumsey's Cartographic
Associates. It is a subscription service, but is available free via
Columbia's Library Web at http://www.columbia.edu/cgi-bin/cul/resolve?clio4229962.
D) Japanese Art Among General Image Databases
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.
Contains the holdings of 1135
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.
hen (sculpture) REF NB1051 .N54 2000
Nihon bijutsu sakuhin refarensu jiten. Nichigai Asoshietsu, 1992-2002.
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) REF, volumes separated by genre
Allows for the location of
of around 8,000 images, from early
The Living Architecture series provides easy access to images of the monuments of world architecture. It is one of the books referenced by Teague.
CLIO: Search series title.
¢ Shinchô Nihon Bijutsu Bunko Series. Authors: variable. Shinchôsha, 199?-continuing.
Naikoku kangyô hakurankai
mokuroku [Index of Artworks Submitted
for Display in
Domestic Industrial Exhibitions].
Call no.: (EAST ASIAN) N7354.5.N342.1996
4) BIBLIOGRAPHY--ART CATALOGUES
***The Japanese Art Cataloguing Project can be accessed through the RLIN (Eureka) database by entering JAC Project as "author." 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. As of November 2005, Eureka lists 3654 titles for the JAC Project.
See Rosina Buckland, Bib2000 for details.
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.
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
5) TOBUNKEN ONLINE RESOURCES
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 .
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]
6) BIOGRAPHICAL SOURCES
A) Biographical Sources in English¢*** Laurance P. Roberts, A Dictionary of Japanese Artists: Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics, Prints, Lacquer. Weatherhill, 1976.
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]
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.
Dai Nihon shoga
1934. 4 vols.
B) Biographical Sources in Japanese
OVERALL EVALUATION: A standard resource for hands-on work with paintings. [MM]
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]
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]
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]
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
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.
The staff at
** Ishida Hisatoyo et
al. Nihon bijutsushi jiten. Heibonsha, 1987.
1116 p (orig. 18,000 yen).
B) Works in Japanese
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]
Guide to the connoiseurship of paintings, prints, sculpture, calligraphy, lacquer, swords, ceramics, etc. Seals, rankings, genealogies appended. Indices of names, illustrations, and seals.
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).
This multi-faceted "encyclopedia" is meant to be of use to students and scholars, amateurs and calligraphers alike. Liberal use of photography and illustrations.
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]
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]
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.
Despite its diminutive size and total lack of
this book has the potential of being an extremely useful
reference. The timeline shows developments in
Students of art history in
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 .
no Bijutsukan to Shashin
B) Japanese Guides
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
destination in even the most unassuming cities. The guide also calls
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.
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 ïMOA' 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]
300 memorial museums (only those regularly open to the public) are labeled as related to "art," "history," or "literature." Provides background, visitors' information. Indexed.
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]
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.
**Chinese and Japanese
Art History WWW Virtual Library.
**Orientations: The Magazine for Collectors and Connoisseurs of Asian Art website.
Contains a guide to exhibitions and a collection
as well as information about the magazine..
The art history department at
Looking to expand your search outside of art
site and its page of links may lead you in an interesting direction.
This historic and unparalleled institute, which
10) SURVEY HISTORIES
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.
A standard history of Japanese art and architecture from prehistory to 1945. Limited color plates. Ample historical background. Glossary and index.
Although major discoveries have rendered some of
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
that the entire second half is devoted to surveying the history of
religious architecture, far more space than any other text in the same
such as Joan Stanley-Baker's more recent Japanese
Art. Instead of dividing the history of Japanese art into an
matrix of historical periods, "Paine and Soper"
takes a stylistic and contextual approach, treating works of the same
format, such as mural paintings in castles, for example, within a
section. This scheme proceeds in a roughly chronological order, and
gives the reader
a good idea of the cultural circumstances that inspired, for instance,
elegant sculpture of imperially-sponsored temples of the Heian
period. Unfortunately, it would seem that for both authors the art and
OVERALL EVALUATION: An excellent survey of major monuments and developments of Japanese art. [MM]
This is the standard text on Japanese painting in
by one of the great Japanese art historians. The illustrations
canon in beautiful color showing more detail than can be seen in the
The text begins with Jomon figural
defines Buddhist painting which in turn is juxtaposed with the national
painting in the Heian and
OVERALL EVALUATION: Good for the basics. [MW]
OVERALL EVALUATION: A basic introduction to
Japanese scholarship on the arts of
Volumes of this series are adapted translations of Shibundô's ongoing monthly Nihon no bijutsu publication. The Shibundô series 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]
B) Japanese-language***Nihon no Bijutsu . Serial: monthly. Shibundô, 1966-present.
Although technically a periodical journal and
such by the library (e.g., several issues bound together), the monthly
of this important series are much more like books, in both appearance
advertisements, among others) and content. Each treats a special theme,
commissioned from a single expert. The series is under the supervision
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.
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.
OVERALL EVALUATION: Good for a definitive summation. [MW]
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.
Folio series are what makes Japanese art history fun. Literature, history, religion and other disciplines have the same kinds of reference works and guides to sources as art history, but folio series such as those listed below bring out the key difference between art history and these other disciplines: the primary source for the art historian is ultimately the work of art itself, and folio series bring us as close as we can get to the art without having the real object before us. Here is a list of the most basic folio series in Starr Library.
NOTE: Almost all of these, for both the old Nihon Decimal and for LC, are stored in the SKYLIGHT ROOM at the west end of the bottom floor of Starr Library, so the easiest way to get a sense of the collection is to browse that area. Remember, however, that some of the more valuable or risqué (erotic prints, for example) sets are in Special Collections. [MM]
Genshoku Nihon no bijutsu. By Akiyama Terukazu, et. al.
1966-1972. 30 vols.
Call no.: f702.1 G28
This series takes us from the beginnings of Japanese art into the modern period in full-page color reproductions of major works. Its thirty volumes proceed in chronological order, but include separate volumes surveying specific media such as calligraphy, ceramics, and prints. Edited by an all-star staff of Japanese art historians, each volume includes lengthy essays on general topics and catalogue entries. Although the Kodansha series below has more text devoted to more specialized topics, Genshoku is not entirely outdated yet. An unusual feature of this series is its inclusion of two volumes devoted to "imported" art: works from the Asian continent (China and Korea, mainly) which had a particularly strong impact on the course of development of Japanese taste and art.
OVERALL EVALUATION: An excellent source of images for the non-specialist to get acquainted with major monuments of Japanese art, but which should not be overlooked by specialists. [MM]
The successor to Shôgakkan's Genshoku Nihon no bijutsu, the Kodansha series promises to be the standard folio series for specialists and non-specialists alike. Lavish color plates, generous amounts of text (about half of each 230-250 page volume) in articles by leading specialists in painting, sculpture, decorative arts, and architecture, and full catalogue entries for each plate make these volumes valuable references for anyone interested in the arts of Japan. Each book has about seven articles, and most include one by a prominent western scholar, a new feature in such series. Plates are representative of both Japanese and foreign collections as well. Each volume includes the unusual feature of an illustrated insert in the back explaining step by step a single technique in Japanese art; examples include: tsuji ga hana dyeing, application of gold leaf, etc. Each volume includes detailed time lines and lists of plates in English.
The Kodansha set goes well into the modern period, with separate volumes dealing with late Edo and Meiji arts, Western-style painting and Japanese-style painting (yôga and nihonga), the "tradition of modernism," and architecture and design. The series runs in roughly chronological order according to traditional periodization, starting with prehistoric art and ending in the twentieth century. Each period is further divided into a few different volumes which focus, respectively, on different forms or genres.
OVERALL EVALUATION: Probably more valuable for the good reproductions than the articles, this Is nevertheless an excellent source of both visual and textual information. [MM]
Nihon bijutsu taikei. Comp. Tanaka Ichimatsu. Kôdansha,
1959-61. 11 vol
Call no.: ND1052 .N58 1959 F
A) BUDDHIST ART AND ARCHITECTURE:
Nara rokudaiji taikan. Iwanami, 1972. (14 v.)
Call no.: F 702.08/N164
Nihon bijutsu kaiga zenshû. Shûeisha, 1976-80.
Call no.: F 721 / N578
This remains the single most useful and authoritative anthology of traditional Japanese painting, organized by painter. Excellent reproductions.
Nihon emakimono zenshû. Kadokawa, 1958-69. (24 v.)
Call no.: F 721/N572
Shinshû Nihon emakimono zenshû. Kadokawa, 1980.
Call no.: F 721/N5722
Introductory essays of each volume of above two series and plate descriptions in English.
Nihon emaki taisei. Chûô Kôron, 1977. (26
Call no.: F 721/N5725
Zoku Nihon emaki taisei. Ed. Komatsu Shigemi.
Kôron, early 1980s.
Call no.: ND 1053.4 various.
Nihon no emaki. Ed. Komatsu Shigemi. Chûô
1987-88. (20 v.)
Call no.: ND 1053 .N57 1987
Zoku Nihon no emaki. Ed. Komatsu Shigemi. Chûô
1990-. (12 v.)
Call no.: ND 1053 .N572 1990
Suiboku bijutsu taikei. Kodansha, date? (14 v. and bekkan)
Call no.: F721.4 / Su3
Nihon suiboku meihin zufu. Mainichi Shimbunsha, 1992-93. (5
Call no.: SPECCOLL ND2071 .N56 1992 f
Nihon byôbu-e shûsei. Kodansha, 1980. (17 v. and
Call no.: F721 / N579
Kinsei fûzoku zufu. Shôgakkan, 1982. (13 v.)
Call no.: ND 1053.5 .K563 1982
Rimpa Painting. Ed. Kobayashi Tadashi. Kyoto: Shikôsha,
1991. (5 v.)
Call no.: ND 1053.6 .S64 R58 1989
A beautiful series with English summaries of articles in the back.
Bunjinga suihen. Chûô Kôron, 1985-86. (10
Call no.: ND1049 .S44 S44 1986 f
These ten volumes of unwieldy size contain beautiful reproductions of paintings of "literati" masters from ancient China through Edo period Japan.
Ukiyo-e taikei. Shûeisha, 1973-76. (17 v.)
Call no.: NE 1321.8 U45
Still the most basic and useful general series on ukiye-e, with excellent scholarship and fine, full-size reproductions.
A lovely series on ukiyo-e paintings, a genre newly appreciated recently, with solid scholarly commentary. Arranged by artist; note that each includes a variety of artists, although only one major name is listed in each title.
A monumental compilation of important ukiyo-e prints and paintings in collections outside Japan. One great irony is that non-Japanese print collections are much more accessible and better documented than those in Japan. The series is ordered by collection, but the separate index volume makes it possible to locate works by particular artists in all collections.
Note that this series was followed by another similar effort, Ukiyo-e taikan, published by Kôdansha, which unfortunately the Starr Library does not (yet) have. [HS]
Gendai Nihon bijutsu zenshû. Shûeisha, 1971. (17
Call no.: ND 1055 .G34 1971.
Nihon meiseki sôkan. Nigensha, 1976-ongoing. (100 v. to
Call no.: F728.08/N57
Each of these small volumes is a facsimile of a major work or works. The set has a separate index (look it up in CLIO).
Nihon shoseki taikan. Komatsu Shigemi, ed. Kodansha, 1978.
Call no.: F728.1/K8324
Nihon no tôji. Hayashiya Seizô, chief ed.
Kôron, 1974-75. (14 v.)
Call no.: NK 4167.2 .N532 1974
Nihon no senshoku. Chûô Kôron, 1979-81. (6
Call no.: NK 4784 .A1 N532 1979
The most basic (indeed essential) way to keep up in art history is the same as for history in general: read the "Kaiko to tenbô" issue of Shigaku zasshi that appears every May as a survey of the previous year's publications in history. The sections on art history appear at the end of each of three of the major headings of Japanese history: kodai (ancient), chûsei (medieval), and kinsei (early modern). (None yet on kindai [modern])
Beyond this, there is little one can do except scan the lists of articles that appear in the Nihon bijutsu nenkan (REF N7352 .N52), which is edited by the Tokyo Kokuritsu Bunkazai kenkyûjo. Be warned, however, that this includes only articles from periodicals received by the TKBK, so it is not exhaustive.
Finally, some sense of what is happening in art history can be gleaned from looking at the major journals, although as in most fields these contain only a small portion of total scholarship, most of which appears in the kiyô of separate institutions (both universities and museums). The important journals for art history in general are as follows; more specialized journals are legion.
Nihon no bijutsu. Publ. Shibundô.
Call no.: 705/N572 and N8 .N55, since start in 1966.
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 (Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara), and the selection of the topics and authors is made by a committee within the Bunkachô. The series is published by Shibundô, a commercial publisher of art books. Several in this series have been translated and adapted into English in the Kodansha series Japan Arts Library, under the general editorship of John Rosenfield, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Professor of East Asian Art Emeritus, Harvard University. (Cf. entry above under English bibliography)
The journal of the art history association (Bijutsushi gakkai) and the most prestigious in the field as a whole. Includes both Japanese and Western art history articles.
The preeminent journal of Buddhist art, published by Mainichi shimbunsha.
The journal of the Ukiyoe Art Association, and the basic scholarly publication on ukiyo-e.
Call no.: 702/205 and N8 .J25 B45, since start in 1932.
The journal of the Tokyo Kokuritsu Bunkazai kenkyûjo (Nihon Bijutsuin before the war). Still unclear whether this is limited to work by the members of the TKBK, in which case it really is a kind of kiyô.
A slim journal edited by the Tokyo National Museum. Although the title appears in romanization, it is pronounced "Myûjiamu" and all the contents are in Japanese. Articles are not limited to those by staff of TNM.
The journal of the Yamato Bunkakan, an important private museum near Nara. Covers both Japanese and Chinese art.
Call no.: F702 .205 K82 and N8 K58 f, from v. 27 (1891). Monthly.
A rather special journal, begun in 1889 by Okakura Tenshin. Although it is a commercial publication, with an emphasis on fine reproductions, the contents have become increasingly scholarly over the years, especially in the postwar period. All articles are accompanied by English summaries in the back.
Published by Sansai-sha, good color reproductions, articles include mix of introduction of new materials (from dealers, collectors, etc.), scholarly articles by younger art historians, and articles featuring important current exhibitions.
The "Nihon" was added to the title after the war. Published in Osaka, the emphasis of this journal is not good reproductions, but interesting ideas. It includes a variety of articles on Asian and western art; particularly good are serial articles that appear over several months. A recent example of such as serial deals with little-known mural paintings at temples in the Kyoto area.
Call no.: N8 .J3 G273 and 705/G273 (before 1982), from start in 1950.
This magazine has been published monthly for many years, is more popularly oriented, but has monthly updates on the latest exhibitions, has sexy articles and photo spreads on recent discoveries, trendy issues. Geijutsu shinchô is particularly relevant to the study of modern art in Japan. Art history doesn't have to be boring.
This journal is a series which treats a single general aesthetic
in each issue, examples of which include: space, decoration, color,
[HS & MM]
Newsletter East Asian Art and Archaeology. Quarterly. $12 per
year, from Newsletter, EAAA, Tappan Hall, Room 50, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.
Call no.: NOT AVAILABLE IN LIBRARY: best to order for yourself; order form is online at address below.
Published three times a year, the Newsletter is another
tool for keeping up with the fields of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean
in the United States. Each issue includes: regional listings of
(including travelling exhibitions) in the United States, Canada,
Europe, and the Far East; information about symposia, conferences, and
meetings; calls for papers; classes, lectures, tours; museum and
news; awards and grant programs; job listings; recent publications (new
books, periodicals, museum catalogues); book reviews; and much, much
The Newsletter is funded by the Metropolitan Center for Far Eastern Art
Studies in Ohara, Kyoto, Japan.
UPDATE: As of fall
2005, this newsletter is still going, now at a cost of $15 a year. It
is now online as well at http://www.umich.edu/~hartspc/NEAAA/issue77/77NEAAA.html,
where the prime content (lists of exhibition contents, upcoming
symposium, member news, and new books notices) is available only to
subscribers with a password. It is unclear how this compares with Nixi
and Japanese Art History WWW Virtual Library
, which also offers 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.
Besides Starr and Avery, the Asian Art department of the Metropolitan Museum has a rather comprehensive library if you can get access. The library at the Institute of Fine Arts is much better for Chinese art than Japanese art, but has a more complete collection of (some) periodicals and auction catalogues and is stronger in ceramics than Columbia. The New York Public Library has many hard to find books; you should also be aware of the extensive collection of the NYPL print room. Finally, the Brooklyn Museum is a valuable resource.
Watch for relevant special exhibitions and lectures at the Asia Society and the Japan Society. The Christies and Sotheby's Asian art sale's pre-auction viewings offer the not-to-be-missed hands on opportunity to examine prints and scrolls. There are also the private art collections: the Burke and the Falk (ceramic) collection. You may be able to arrange a special viewing at any of these public and private collections by appointment.