Compiled by Michael Taylor, 2016
The LSU Libraries' Special Collections contains a small number of Japanese illustrated books, prints, and other related materials from the Edo and Meiji periods (1603-1912). The collection, much of which was acquired in 2015, is intended to support the teaching of Asian art and history, as well as the global history of books, printing, and graphic design. These materials were featured in a 2016 main gallery exhibition, "A Voyage to the Floating World: Japanese Illustrated Books and East-West Cultural Exchange in the Nineteenth Century." A complete exhibition checklist is available on request.
Good examples of Japanese illustrated books in the library's collection include:
- Shitikei Sanba, Shibai kinmo sui (1803). An illustrated glossary of Kabuki theater.
- Kinsui Shotei, Nihon hyaku sho den isseki wa (1857). The story of Japan's 100 most famous generals, with depictions of military actions.
- Kitao Masayohi, Choju ryakugashiki (undated). Simplified drawings of animals.
- Kishida Tosho, Yamashiro meisho fugetsushu (1885). Two illustrated volumes of haiku poetry.
- Hiroshige Utagawa, Shoshoku gatsu (1863). A book of designs, with over 100 illustrations of ships, horses, saddles, Mt. Fuji, samurai, arms, armor, snakes, pottery, flowers, textile patterns, fruit, etc.
- Kinga Baitei, Seiyo Shinsho (1872). An illustrated Japanese history of the United States, written less than 20 years after Commodore Perry opened relations between the two countries.
- Matsui Toshu, Matayori gajo (1901). Abstract Japanese design plates.
Several Japanese illustrated books (and related Western titles) are available in the McIlhenny Natural History Collection:
- Takizawa Kiyoshi, Man sho shasei hinagata (1881). Color illustrations of birds and plants.
- Kono Bairei, Hyakucho gafu (1881). Three-volume sketchbook of 100 birds and flowers.
- Kono Bairei, Kacho gafu (1899). Large-format, two-volume sketchbook of birds and flowers.
- Kono Bairei, Chigusa no hana (1890). Four-volume collection of flower prints.
- Yokusai Iinuma, Somoku-dzusetsu (1874). Twenty-volume work by the father of modern Japanese botany.
- Tanaka Yoshio, Yuyo shoku butsu zusetsu (1891). Scientific catalog of "useful plants."
- Kawanabe Kyosai, Ehon Taka Kagami (1866-80). Five-volume woodblock-illustrated book on falconry.
- Hokusai, Kachō gaden ni-hen.
- Josiah Conder, The Flowers of Japan and the Art of Floral Arrangement (1891).
For prints, see:
- Utagawa Yoshitora, Tokugawa go yoyo no zue (1877?). Large sexdyptich panel portraying the fifteen Tokugawa shoguns.
- Colored woodblock print attributed to Toyokuni. Daisy Kidd Clark papers.
- Pair of color shunga erotic prints (1887?). Two Oban woodblock prints by Hashimoto Chikanobu.
- Hiroshige II, The 53 Stations of the Tōkaidō (1854).
- Uncolored woodblock print of a lion, from Suzuki Rinsho, Guncho gaei (1778). [Accessioned art, 10352-13378, 6N drawer 23].
- Kinsei koumei sogoroku (mid-19th century). Woodblock-printed board game showing Commodore Perry and his crew trying to reach the emperor or shogun.
- Yoshitoshi, "Satsu-shu Kagoshima Senki" (1877). Triptych depicting Saigo Takamori and other figures from the Satsuma Rebellion.
- Watanabe Nobukazu, "Ikaiei rikusen: Hyakushaku gaisho no gekito" (1895). Print of a scene from the Sino-Japanese War.
- Migita Toshihide, "Commander Yamanaka, the Chief Gunner of Fuji, Fighting Bravely at Port Arthur" (1904). Print from the Russo-Japanese War.
Kasuga Gongen Genki emaki is a reproduction of a large picture-scroll, completed in 1309, telling the stories of miraculous events related to the Kasuga shrine and Kofukuji temple in Nara, one of the most ancient cities in Japan.
- Dai nihon do chu saikenzu (1878)
- Dai Nippon shaji meisho kyuuseki ichiran no zu (undated; Meiji era)
Early works by Japanese photographers include:
JAPANESE ART & THE WEST
Also available are materials related to cultural exchange between Japanese and Western artists and designers in the late nineteenth century. Two historically important art journals in this area are:
- Le Japon Artistique (1889-91). Influenced Art Nouveau and Impressionism. See the May 1888 issue for the blade of grass print that was mentioned by Vincent Van Gogh in a letter to his brother.
- Kokka. Art journal intended to promote Asian art as the equal of Western art. Founded in Japan in 1889.
Of related interest are early writings on Japanese art by European art critics and dealers:
- William Michael Rosetti, Fine Art, Chiefly Contemporary (1867). One of the first European books to discuss Japanese art.
- Edmond de Goncourt, Hokousai (1896) and Outamaro (1904). Early biographies of important Japanese artists by a leading French art critic.
- Sigfried Bing, Exposition de la Gravure Japonaise a La École National de Beaux-Arts (1890). By the leading European dealer in Japanese art.
- Louis Gonse, L'Art Japonais (1883). Another important early European book on Japanese art.
- Louis Aubert, Les Maîtres de L'estampe Japonaise (1914). The last chapter of the book, entitled "Japanese Prints and Western Painting," elaborates on Eastern influences on artists such as Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Henri de Fantin-Latour and Edgar Degas.
- Theodore Duret, "La Gravure Japonaise," in Gazette des Beaux Arts (Feb. 1, 1900).
- Philippe Burty, Catalogue peintures & estampes japonaises, de miniatures indo-persanes et de livres relatifs à l'Orient et au Japon (1891). List of items for sale by Burty, an influential Parisian art critic credited with coining the term "Japonisme."
- Tadamasa Hayashi, Dessins, estampes, livres illustrés du Japon (1902). By a Japanese entrepreneur and art dealer in Paris.
- Edward Linley Sambourne, “The Japanese School at the Royal Academy,” in Punch (Feb. 4, 1888). Satirical cartoon on the European craze for Japanese art.
- Matthew Calbraith Perry, Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan (1856). The reproductions of Japanese prints were America's first encounter with Japanese art.
- The Japanese Fairy Tale series by Hasegawa Takejiro, printed for Western audiences on chirimen (crepe paper).
- Chiushingura: or The Loyal League, a Japanese Romance (1876). The book's 29 woodblock illustrations were drawn and printed by Japanese artists on rice paper, then shipped to New York and bound with the main body of text.
- The Darling of the Gods (1903). A remarkable artifact of East-West cultural exchange, designed by illustrator Yoshio Markino (1870-1956). Educated in San Francisco, Markino spent most of his career in England, fusing the styles of Asia and Europe. Bound in Japanese accordion style, the book was printed in London using Western color lithography. The crepe paper imitates Japanese novelty books of this period, which ironically were mostly produced for Western audiences.
- Works by Lafcadio Hearn, a one-time resident of New Orleans who later lived in and wrote about Japan.
Examples of Art Nouveau publications influenced by Japanese art include Jules Auguste Habert-Dys, Fantaisies Décoratives (1886), and Eugène Grasset, La Plante et Ses Applications Ornementales (1897). For additional suggestions, see the separate guide to Arts & Crafts and Art Nouveau Book Design.