I-85. Japanese Prints and Illustrated Books in Context - Advance Reading List

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  • Preliminary Advices

    This course is designed as an introduction to the world of Japanese print culture.  Required readings are in ranked order from the top.

  • Required Readings

    Chance, Linda H. and Julie Nelson Davis. “The Handwritten and the Printed: Issues of Format and Medium in Japanese Premodern Books.” Manuscript Studies 1:1 (2017), Article 6. Reconsiders how the handwritten as a form remained the preference in premodern Japanese books.

    Davis, Julie Nelson. Picturing the Floating World: Ukiyo-e in Context. University of Hawai’i Press, 2021. Critical introduction to ukiyo-e (“pictures of the floating world.”) https://uhpress.hawaii.edu/title/picturing-the-floating-world-ukiyo-e-in-context/

    The World of the Japanese Illustrated Book: The Gerhard Pulverer Collection. Please start by reading the overview essays and watching the videos. Then drop into the search function and check out some titles with the pull down tabs, clicking through until you get to the full page view. From there, please click on the description and contents tabs, looking at the cataloging terms and kinds of data collected for these books. Read some of the commentaries available on some entries; these can also be found by using the authors’ names as key terms in the search bar: Asano, Davis, Fowler, Hinohara, Suzuki Jun, Volk, Schoneveld, and many others, all listed in the contributor’s bios section of the website. Note that this site includes an extensive bibliography.

    Marceau, Lawrence. “Behind the Scenes: Narrative and Self-referentiality in Edo Illustrated Popular Fiction.” Japan Forum: 21:3 (2010): 403–423. Translation of a comic story about the publisher’s practice.

    Sherif, Ann. “Book Histories, Material Culture, and East Asian Studies.” Verge: Studies in Global Asias 3:1 (Spring 2017): 35–53. State of the field discussion.

  • Recommended for Further Reading

    Berry, Mary Elizabeth. Japan in Print: Information and Nation in the Early Modern Period. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006. Thoughtful study of how printed matter created a new “library of public information.”

    Davis, Julie Nelson. Partners in Print: Artistic Collaboration and the Ukiyo-e Market. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2015. Four case studies on kinds of collaboration in the later eighteenth century.

    Meech, Julia and Jane Oliver, eds. Designed for Pleasure: The World of Edo Japan in Prints and Paintings, 1680–1860. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008. Exhibition catalogue with essays by leading scholars.

  • For Your Reference Collection

    Hillier, Jack. The Art of the Japanese Book. London: Sotheby’s Publications, 1987. Classic work on the illustrated book.

    Keyes, Roger. Ehon: The Artist and the Book in Japan. New York: New York Public Library, 2006. Exhibition catalogue.

    Kornicki, Peter. The Book in Japan: A Cultural History from the Beginnings to the Nineteenth Century. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2000. Essential and carefully researched study.

    June, Suzuki and Ellis Tinios. Understanding Japanese Woodblock-Printed Illustrated Books: A Short Introduction to their History, Bibliography and FormatLeiden & Boston: Brill, 2013. Practical handbook on the topic.