A sweeping exploration of animals in Japanese art and culture across sixteen centuries Few countries have devoted as much artistic energy to the depiction of animal life as Japan. Drawing upon the country’s unique spiritual heritage, rich literary traditions, and currents in popular culture, Japanese artists have long expressed admiration for animals in sculpture, painting, lacquerwork, ceramics, metalwork, textiles, and woodblock prints. Real and fantastic creatures are meticulously and beautifully rendered, often with humor and whimsy. This beautiful book celebrates this diverse range of work, from ancient fifth-century clay sculpture to contemporary pieces. The catalog is organized into themes, including the twelve animals of the Japanese zodiac; animals in Shinto and Buddhism; animals and samurai; land animals, winged creatures, and creatures of the river and sea; and animals in works of humor and parody. Contributors address such issues as how animals are represented in Japanese folklore, myth, religion, poetry, literature, and drama; the practice of Japanese painting; and the relationship between Japanese painters and scientific study. Featuring some 300 masterpieces from public and private collections, many published for the first time, The Life of Animals in Japanese Art is a sumptuous celebration of the connections between the natural world and visual and creative expression. Published in association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC Exhibition Schedule National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC May 5–July 28, 2019 Los Angeles County Museum of Art September 8–December 8, 2019
An irresistible and colorful celebration of Japan’s thriving cat culture. In Japan, cats rule. And the country’s feline love affair is now a worldwide phenomenon. From cat cafés and Hello Kitty to the familiar sight of a maneki neko (“beckoning cat”) waving its paw from a shop window, cat lovers all over the world are more immersed in Japan’s cat culture than they may realize. With charming storytelling, Catland will introduce you to cats practicing to become monks, a designer who makes cat costumes inspired by the fashions of 18th-century France, and skilled craftsmen who build pieces of fine furniture precisely scaled down to suit feline customers. Packed with photographs, works of art, pop culture and folklore, Catland is the perfect gift for the cat lover in your life.
Clementine K. Fujimura and Simone Nommensen discuss the ethical treatment of animals and provide an overview of current and past uses of animals to enhance human well-being in Germany, the United States, Japan, and Russia.
"There is a long and vital tradition in East Asian art of animal painting. In Japan, pictures of animals have often been imbued with human characteristics for humorous, even satirical purposes. Kawanabe Kyosai (1831-89) was a highly individualistic painter of the late Edo and early Meiji eras, his career spanning from the end of the feudal system to the beginnings of rapid modernization. His name meant 'crazy studio' and in the 1860s he developed a new genre of 'crazy pictures' (kyoga). Kyosai's works range from painstakingly detailed painted works, to spontaneous and inspired sketches dashed off while drinking prodigious amounts of sake. Many of his designs were made into popular colour prints and illustrated books. Kyosai found an important source of inspiration for his art in the example of the medieval monk-painter Toba Sojo (Kakuyu, 1053-1140), whose comic sketches of animals were thought to satirise the pretensions of the society of his time. In a similar way, Kyosai often made animals the agents for his own light-hearted commentary on the new Meiji Japan. This book illustrates seventy-two of Kyosai's most colourful and comic pictures of animals, from cats to mice, and frogs to elephants. Beautifully designed, and with three short introductory chapters on the artist and his work, and a foreword by Israel Goldman, this is a perfect introduction to the weird and wonderful animal-inhabited world of Kyosai"--Publisher's description.