Japanese Design by Patricia J. Graham**Winner,Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Title 2015** This Japanese design book presents the arts, aesthetics and culture of Japan with over 160 stunning color photos and extensive historical and cultural commentary. The Japanese sensibility often possesses an intuitive, emotional appeal, whether it's a silk kimono, a carefully raked garden path, an architectural marvel, a teapot, or a contemporary work of art. This allure has come to permeate the entire culture of Japan--it is manifest in the most mundane utensil and snack food packaging, as well as in Japanese architecture and fine art. InJapanese Design, Asian art expert and author Patricia J. Graham explains how Japanese aesthetics based on fine craftsmanship and simplicity developed. Her unusual, full-color presentation reveals this design aesthetic in an absorbing way. Focusing on ten elements of Japanese design, Graham explores how visual qualities, the cultural parameters and the Japanese religious traditions of Buddhism and Shinto have impacted the appearance of its arts. Japanese Design is a handbook for the millions of us who have felt the special allure of Japanese art, culture and crafts. Art and design fans and professionals have been clamoring for this--a book that fills the need for an intelligent, culture-rich overview of what Japanese design is and means. Topics explored inJapanese Design include: The Aesthetics of Japanese Design The Cultural Parameters of Japanese Design Early Promoters of "Artistic Japan" 1830s-1950s
Publication Date: 2014-09-30
Japan and the Culture of the Four Seasons by Haruo ShiraneElegant representations of nature and the four seasons populate a wide range of Japanese genres and media-from poetry and screen painting to tea ceremonies, flower arrangements, and annual observances. In Japan and the Culture of the Four Seasons, Haruo Shirane shows how, when, and why this practice developed and explicates the richly encoded social, religious, and political meanings of this imagery. Refuting the belief that this tradition reflects Japan's agrarian origins and supposedly mild climate, Shirane traces the establishment of seasonal topics to the poetry composed by the urban nobility in the eighth century. After becoming highly codified and influencing visual arts in the tenth and eleventh centuries, the seasonal topics and their cultural associations evolved and spread to other genres, eventually settling in the popular culture of the early modern period. Contrasted with the elegant images of nature derived from court poetry was the agrarian view of nature based on rural life. The two landscapes began to intersect in the medieval period, creating a complex, layered web of competing associations. Shirane discusses a wide array of representations of nature and the four seasons in many genres, originating in both the urban and rural perspective: textual (poetry, chronicles, tales), cultivated (gardens, flower arrangement), material (kimonos, screens), performative (noh, festivals), and gastronomic (tea ceremony, food rituals). He reveals how this kind of "secondary nature," which flourished in Japan's urban architecture and gardens, fostered and idealized a sense of harmony with the natural world just at the moment it was disappearing. Illuminating the deeper meaning behind Japanese aesthetics and artifacts, Shirane clarifies the use of natural images and seasonal topics and the changes in their cultural associations and function across history, genre, and community over more than a millennium. In this fascinating book, the four seasons are revealed to be as much a cultural construction as a reflection of the physical world.
A History of Popular Culture in Japan by E. Taylor AtkinsThe phenomenon of 'Cool Japan' is one of the distinctive features of global popular culture of the millennial age. A History of Popular Culture in Japan provides the first historical and analytical overview of popular culture in Japan from its origins in the 17th century to the present day, using it to explore broader themes of conflict, power, identity and meaning in Japanese history. E. Taylor Atkins shows how Japan is one of the earliest sites for the development of mass-produced, market-oriented cultural products consumed by urban middle and working classes. The best-known traditional arts and culture of Japan- no theater, monochrome ink painting, court literature, poetry and indigenous music-inhabited a world distinct from that of urban commoners, who fashioned their own expressive forms and laid the groundwork for today's 'gross national cool.' Popular culture was pivotal in the rise of Japanese nationalism, imperialism, militarism, postwar democracy and economic development. Offering historiographical and analytical frameworks for understanding its subject, A History of Popular Culture in Japan synthesizes the latest scholarship from a variety of disciplines. It is a vital resource for students of Japanese cultural history wishing to gain a deeper understanding of Japan's contributions to global cultural heritage.
Ways of Forgetting, Ways of Remembering by John W. DowerJohn Dower is a leading historian on modern Japan. These new reflections look at key 20th century moments in relations between the US and Japan, focusing on Japanese perceptions of the US: how the Japanese saw Hiroshima, American occupation and changes in their lives. Readers also catch a glimpse of Japanese attitudes towards their war crimes. Finally, Dower offers blistering comments on George W. Bush's attempts to justify the invasion of Iraq by citing Dower's own work.
The Social Life of the Japanese Language by Shigeko Okamoto; Janet S. Shibamoto-SmithWhy are different varieties of the Japanese language used differently in social interaction, and how are they perceived? How do honorifics operate to express diverse affective stances, such as politeness? Why have issues of gendered speech been so central in public discourse, and how are they reflected and refracted in language use as social practice? This book examines Japanese sociolinguistic phenomena from a fascinating new perspective, focusing on the historical construction of language norms and its relationship to actual language use in contemporary Japan. This socio-historically sensitive account stresses the different choices which have shaped Japanese and Western sociolinguistics and how varieties of Japanese, honorifics and politeness, and gendered language have emerged in response to the socio-political landscape in which a modernizing Japan found itself.
Japanese Empire by S. C. M. PaineThe Japanese experience of war from the late-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century presents a stunning example of the meteoric rise and shattering fall of a great power. As Japan modernized and became the one non-European great power, its leaders concluded that an empire on the Asian mainland required the containment of Russia. Japan won the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-5) and the Russo-Japanese War (1904-5) but became overextended in the Second Sino-Japanese War (1931-45), which escalated, with profound consequences, into World War II. A combination of incomplete institution building, an increasingly lethal international environment, a skewed balance between civil and military authority, and a misunderstanding of geopolitics explains these divergent outcomes. This analytical survey examines themes including the development of Japanese institutions, diversity of opinion within the government, domestic politics, Japanese foreign policy and China's anti-Japanese responses. It is an essential guide for those interested in history, politics and international relations.
The Social Life of Kimono by Sheila Cliffe; Joanne B. Eicher (Contribution by)The kimono is an iconic garment with a history as rich and colourful as the textiles from which it is crafted. Deeply associated with Japanese culture both past and present, it has often been thought of as a highly gendered, rigidly traditional and unchanging national costume. This book challenges that perception, revealing the nuanced meanings and messages behind the kimono from the point of view of its wearers and producers, many of whom - both men and women - see the garment as a vehicle for self-expression. Taking a material culture approach, The Social Life of Kimono is the first study to combine the history of the kimono as a fashionable garment with an in-depth exploration of its multifaceted role today on both the street and the catwalk. Through case studies covering historical advertising campaigns, fashion magazines, interviews with contemporary kimono designers, large scale and small craft producers, and consumers who choose to wear them, The Social Life of Kimono gives a unique insight into making and meaning of this complex garment.