Japanese Design: Art, Aesthetics & Culture
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**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.
In Japanese Design, Asian art expert and author Patricia J. Graham explains how Japanese aesthetics based in 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 in Japanese Design include:
- The Aesthetics of Japanese Design
- The Cultural Parameters of Japanese Design
- Early Promoters of "Artistic Japan" 1830s-1950s
silk, 101 x 39.7 cm. Gift from the Clark Center for Japanese Arts & Culture to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2013.29.9. Jakuchū’s art, the epitome of eccentricity, is exemplified in this painting by the artist’s bold, dramatic brushwork, asymmetrical composition, and truncated view of his subject. Plate 1-41 Kano Kazunobu (1815–1863), Five Rakan Saving Sinners from Hell, 1862–1863, scroll number 23 from a set of One Hundred Scrolls of the Five Hundred Rakan, Zōjōji, Tokyo. Hanging scroll,
view of the Takishita House, Kamakura, renovation dating to 1976; originally constructed early 19th century; moved and restored by architect Takishita Yoshihiro (b. 1945). Takishita has made a career of saving old minka (farmhouses) from demolition by moving those that cannot be preserved in situ and using their skeletal framework to create comfortable modern houses for himself and clients worldwide. Originally a village chief’s house from a town in Fukui Prefecture, this large minka features
addition to applying kirikane to Buddhist paintings and sculptures, the latter in conjunction with her husband, sculptor Eri Kōkei (b. 1943), she created many beautiful objects, such as this box, whose subtle coloration reflects her training in dyeing. Her designs, inspired by those featured on ancient Buddhist arts, embody the spirit of shōgon. DESIGN IN JAPANESE CULTURE: TEN KEY CHARACTERISTICS 1. Relationship Between Fine Arts and Crafts Considering how pre-modern Japanese society regarded
straw mats used in traditional Japanese rooms Tōkaidō—the major highway that linked the old imperial capital of Kyoto to Edo (Tokyo) tokkuri—bottles designed for storing and serving saké (rice wine) tokonoma—an essential feature of traditional Japanese rooms; an alcove for display of a hanging scroll, flower arrangement, incense burner, and other small decorative objects torii—gateways, often red, that mark the boundary of sacred Shinto shrines tsuba—a sword guard tsubo niwa—a courtyard
you, wherever you turn your eyes, are countless wonderful things as yet incomprehensible. But it is perilous to look at them.... The shopkeeper never asks you to buy; but his wares are enchanted, and if you once begin buying you are lost. Cheapness means only a temptation to commit bankruptcy; for the resources of irresistible artistic cheapness are inexhaustible. Lafcadio Hearn, Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan1 The journalist Lafcadio Hearn (1850–1904) wrote these comments in an essay reflecting