Cartographic Japan offers a rich introduction to the resulting treasure trove, with close analysis of one hundred maps from the late 1500s to the present day, each one treated as a distinctive window onto Japan's tumultuous history. Forty-seven distinguished contributors--hailing from Japan, North America, Europe, and Australia--uncover the meanings behind a key selection of these maps, situating them in historical context and explaining how they were made, read, and used at the time. With more than one hundred gorgeous full-color illustrations, Cartographic Japan offers an enlightening tour of Japan's magnificent cartographic archive.
Nishiyama Matsunosuke is one of the most important historians of Tokugawa (Edo) popular culture, yet until now his work has never been translated into a Western language. Edo Culture presents a selection of Nishiyama's writings that serves not only to provide an excellent introduction to Tokugawa cultural history but also to fill many gaps in our knowledge of the daily life and diversions of the urban populace of the time. Many essays focus on the most important theme of Nishiyama's work: the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries as a time of appropriation and development of Japan's culture by its urban commoners. In the first of three main sections, Nishiyama outlines the history of Edo (Tokyo) during the city's formative years, showing how it was shaped by the constant interaction between its warrior and commoner classes. Next, he discusses the spirit and aesthetic of the Edo native and traces the woodblock prints known as ukiyo-e to the communal activities of the city's commoners. Section two focuses on the interaction of urban and rural culture during the nineteenth century and on the unprecedented cultural diffusion that occurred with the help of itinerant performers, pilgrims, and touring actors. Among the essays is a delightful and detailed discourse on Tokugawa cuisine. The third section is dedicated to music and theatre, beginning with a study of no, which was patronized mainly by the aristocracy but surprisingly by commoners as well. In separate chapters, Nishiyama analyzes the relation of social classes to musical genres and the aesthetics of kabuki. The final chapter focuses on vaudeville houses supported by the urban masses.
[ONLINE] In the Edo period (1600-1868), status- and gender-based expectations largely defined a person's place and identity in society. The wayfarers of the time, however, discovered that travel provided the opportunity to escape from the confines of the everyday. Cultured travelers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries wrote travel memoirs to celebrate their profession as belle-lettrists. For women in particular the open road and the blank page of the diary offered a precious opportunity to create personal hierarchies defined less by gender and more by culture and refinement. After the mid-eighteenth century--which saw the popularization of culture and the rise of commercial printing--textbooks, guides, comical fiction, and woodblock prints allowed not a few commoners to acquaint themselves with the historical, lyrical, or artistic pedigree of Japan's famous sites. By identifying themselves with famous literary and historical icons of the past, some among these erudite commoners saw an opportunity to rewrite their lives and re-create their identities in the pages of their travel diaries. The chapters in Part One, "Re-creating Spaces," introduce the notion that the spaces of travel were malleable, accommodating reconceptualization across interpretive frames. Laura Nenzi shows that, far from being static backgrounds, these travelscapes proliferated in a myriad of loci where one person's center was another's periphery. In Part Two, "Re-creating Identities," we see how, in the course of the Edo period, educated persons used travel to, or through, revered lyrical sites to assert and enhance their roles and identities. Finally, in Part Three, "Purchasing Re-creation," Nenzi looks at the intersection between recreational travel and the rising commercial economy, which allowed visitors to appropriate landscapes through new means: monetary transactions, acquisition of tangible icons, or other forms of physical interaction.
Japanese woodblock prints, orukiyo-e, are the most recognizable Japanese art form. Their massive popularity has spread from Japan to be embraced by a worldwide audience. Covering the period from the beginning of the Japanese woodblock print in the 1680s until the year 1900,Japanese Woodblock Prints provides a detailed survey of all the famousukiyo-e artists, along with over 500 full color prints. Unlike previous examinations of this art form,Japanese Woodblock Prints includes detailed histories of the publishers of woodblock prints—who were often the driving force determining which prints, and therefore which artists, would make it into mass circulation for a chance at critical and popular success. Invaluable as a guide forukiyo-e enthusiasts looking for detailed information about their favorite Japanese woodblock print artists and prints, it is also an ideal introduction for newcomers to the world of the woodblock print. This lavishly illustrated book will be a valued addition to the libraries of scholars, as well as the general art enthusiast.
This elegant history considers a fascinating array of texts, cultural practices, and intellectual processes--including maps and mapmaking, poetry, travel writing, popular fiction, and encyclopedias--to chart the emergence of a new geographical consciousness in early modern Japan. Marcia Yonemoto's wide-ranging history of ideas traces changing conceptions and representations of space by looking at the roles played by writers, artists, commercial publishers, and the Shogunal government in helping to fashion a new awareness of space and place in this period. Her impressively researched study shows how spatial and geographical knowledge confined to elites in early Japan became more generalized, flexible, and widespread in the Tokugawa period. In the broadest sense, her book grasps the elusive processes through which people came to name, to know, and to interpret their worlds in narrative and visual forms.