The honeymoon phase of Japan and the West

Apr 14, 2015

The honeymoon phase of Japan and the West

by C.B. Liddell

Often, when two cultures meet, it can be very messy and lead to a lot of unpleasantness. The continuing inability of the West and Islam to understand each other suggests itself as a convenient example. This kind of conflict often boils down to a ...

'Kawaii: Cute Girls in Ukiyo-e'

Feb 19, 2015

'Kawaii: Cute Girls in Ukiyo-e'

by Daisuke Kikuchi

March 1-26 Girl’s fashion in Tokyo’s Harajuku district has become a notable symbol of contemporary Japanese kawaii (cute) culture. However, it may come as a surprise to find out that the roots of kawaii trends are far older. On show at Ukiyo-e Ota Memorial ...

'Ukiyo-e New Years Exhibition'

Dec 25, 2014

'Ukiyo-e New Years Exhibition'

Ukiyo-e Ota Memorial Museum of Art will exhibit paintings from its collection, including works by Keisai Eisen (1790-1848), Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865) and Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858). These late-Edo Period artists painted masterpieces depicting beautiful women and landscapes of the era. Many of the selected works ...

'Whistler Retrospective'

Dec 4, 2014

'Whistler Retrospective'

by Daisuke Kikuchi

The Yokohama Museum of Art commemorates its 25th anniversary with this retrospective of James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903). Whistler was one of the pioneers of Japonism, taking inspiration from ukiyo-e prints and paintings, as well as from the traditional crafts of Japan. The flattened ...

How Japan's art inspired the West

Aug 14, 2014

How Japan's art inspired the West

by Jeff Michael Hammond

In the decades after Japan was forcibly opened to large-scale international trade in the early 1850s, a fever spread across Europe for items from the exotic country: its textiles, ceramics, paper fans, woodblock prints and more. Meanwhile, the term “Japonism” was coined to describe ...

'Specters, Ghosts and Sorcerers in Ukiyo-e'

Jun 25, 2014

'Specters, Ghosts and Sorcerers in Ukiyo-e'

by Mio Yamada

Ghouls, monsters, specters, ghosts — all manner of the supernatural have long fascinated and frightened in all cultures, but the Japanese have historically enjoyed a particularly entertaining, and pictorial, relationship with the eerie and uncanny. Through a selection of around 250 yōkai (ghouls and ...