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  • Thumbnail for Japanese Ceramics:  Jar with wisteria design, Imari-type Arita ware.
    Japanese Ceramics: Jar with wisteria design, Imari-type Arita ware. by unknown

    Porcelain jar with underglaze cobalt decoration, wisteria design. Imari-type Arita ware. (The Avery Brundage Collection, B67P7)

  • Thumbnail for Japanese Ceramics:  Jar with bird design, Arita ware.
    Japanese Ceramics: Jar with bird design, Arita ware. by unknown

    Porcelain jar with bird design painted in underglaze cobalt. Kakiemon-type Arita ware. (The Avery Brundage Collection, B64P37)

  • Thumbnail for Ryoanji, interior, main hall
    Ryoanji, interior, main hall

    View across the interior of the main hall at Ryoanji. With the fusuma sliding panels open, one can see the integration of interior and exterior spaces that typifies traditional Japanese architecture and also sense how they may be opened and closed within the interior space to define that space in different ways. This current building was moved here from another site to replace the original hall, which burned in 1789. The round wooden object in the forground is a mokugyo, a wooden “bell†or “gong†that is sounded by being struck with a mallet.

  • Thumbnail for Ginkakuji, sand mound in main garden
    Ginkakuji, sand mound in main garden

    The cone or mound of sand is just across a segment of the pond, perhaps 60 feet to the north-north east of the Silver Pavilion. Sometimes referred to as the "moon reflecting mound," along with the adjacent "silver sand beach," it is said to have been intended to reflect moon light into the Silver Pavilion, or to have provided a point for the contemplation of the moon light and shadows. It is a comparatively recent addition to the garden design at Ginkakuji, having been added during the Edo period. In this view of the mound, looking directly east, there is a rich play between the sand mound and the rock and schrub in the foreground.

  • Thumbnail for Furisode
    Furisode

    The furisode (swinging sleeves) is a type of kosode distinguished by sleeves that hang free of the main body of the garment, below the arm. Although in the early part of the Edo period the sleeves of the furisode were not especially long, they gradually increased in length so that by the latter half of the period, sleeves as long as ninety cm were made. The furisode was worn on special occasions by children and young women. This refined example could have been worn by a woman of the samurai class. - Kawakami Shigeki

  • Thumbnail for Shell Matching Game
    Shell Matching Game

    The octagonal, black-lacquered containers for this shell matching game are decorated with the family crest of the Hosokawa clan. The containers hold 360 shells, each one half of a pair with matching designs of subject matter from The Tale of Genji, or with floral and bird decorations. To play the game, the shells are mixed up and players must find the two shell halves with the same picture.

  • Thumbnail for Portrait of Kichijo-ten
    Portrait of Kichijo-ten

    Although the temple painting was created for religious worship, the full cheeks and small red lips of the subject suggest strongly feminine features.

  • Thumbnail for Noh Mask: Uba
    Noh Mask: Uba

    Uba, the mask of an old woman, is used primarily in Takasage, a play in which an old woman and her husband represent the spirits of two pine trees. On his way to the capital, Tomonari, a Shinto priest from he shrine of Aso in Kyushu, rests beneath the pines along the shore at Takasago in Harima Province. The old couple appear and sweep beneath the pines. They tell the priest of two aged pines, one here in Takasago and the other at Sumiyoshi in Settsu Province and of their auspicious associations. Tomonari goes to Sumiyoshi in the second half of the play, and a deity appears and performs a god dance. The Uba mask came to be also used for the roles of ordinary old women in other Noh plays. Typically, the eyes are carved as they are for the mask of a blind person. - Matshushima Ken

  • Thumbnail for Kotsuzumi Drum and Storage Box
    Kotsuzumi Drum and Storage Box

    The kotsuzumi is a percussion instrument shaped much like an hourglass, with a thin middle and two flaring ends. Drumheads of leather mounted on iron rings are fitted on either end with the two drumheads connected by hemp cords. It is held with the left hand, placed on the right shoulder, and struck with the fingers of the right hand. This set is decorated with a spring design of rafts with cherry blossoms in gold maki-e on a black lacquered ground. This kotsuzumi is accompanied by a storage box decorated witha design in maki-e on black lacquer of running water and maple leaves. The design allude to many poems from the Heian period regarding the Tatsuta Riber, famous for the autumn foliage along its banks." - Kawakami Shigeki

  • Thumbnail for Teahouse Floor Plan
    Teahouse Floor Plan

    A floor-plan for a typical tea-house.

  • Thumbnail for Scene at the precincts of Shinmei Shrine, Shiba
    Scene at the precincts of Shinmei Shrine, Shiba by Utagawa Hiroshige

    From the Famous Places of Edo series and one of the most well-known 19th century ukiyo-e artists, famous for his landscape views, particularly his images of the Tokaido. This image was originally a part of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s collection of Japanese woodblock prints. It along with 36 others came to the Wriston from a benefactor who received them from Wright in lieu of a payment for printing services. Many of the prints have Wright’s handwritten notations in the margins. Though many of the Wright works in our collection are of lesser quality, the images serve as an example of the interest in Asian art that so informed Wright’s architecture. Though probably most known for his numerous editions of images from the Tokaido, Hiroshige also produced a number of prints and editions of other well-known landscape sites. Among them were Famous Places of the Eastern Capital, Famous Places in the Sixty-Odd Provinces, and Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji, among others. These series were a modern interpretation of a much earlier tradition in which Chinese artists and poets would paint and write about important locales. As in his Tokaido prints, however Hiroshige imbued these modern views with a sense of a specific contemporary time and place often employing a more western perspective and showing modern day viewers inhabiting the scene.

  • Thumbnail for Tsuchiyama Station: Rainfall at Mt. Suzuka
    Tsuchiyama Station: Rainfall at Mt. Suzuka by Utagawa Hiroshige

    From the Gyosho Tokaido (named after the calligraphy style used) edition. One of the most well-known 19th century ukiyo-e artists, famous for his landscape views, particularly his images of the Tokaido. This image was originally a part of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s collection of Japanese woodblock prints. It along with 36 others came to the Wriston from a benefactor who received them from Wright in lieu of a payment for printing services. Many of the prints have Wright’s handwritten notations in the margins. Though many of the Wright works in our collection are of lesser quality, the images serve as an example of the interest in Asian art that so informed Wright’s architecture. As the busiest highway in the 18th and early 19th centuries, the Tokaido offered numerous chances to experience a variety of social classes and day-to-day activities. Numerous images of this highway were created during the Edo period, some in singular views and others in series, the most famous of which are Hiroshige’s numerous editions. The images depicted the commercial activity along the road and famous views seen on the journey. Hiroshige, in particular, also chose many of the views based on varying times of year and the weather conditions that offered an ever-changing impression of the landscape. Greatly influenced by his teacher Utagawa Toyoharu, Hiroshige often employed perspective views rather than the more traditional stacked and flattened views of the landscape found in the Kano school of painting. This slightly more western view helps to explain his popularity among 19th century artists in Europe. The pass at Mt. Suzuka was well-known for being an arduous and hard climb during the rainy season when the route turned into a muddy slough. In many of his Tokaido images, Hiroshige would depict the scene based on popular associations. Such images helped to cement travelers’ expectations and served as informal records of the trip. This was station number forty-nine.

  • Thumbnail for Ken Tenju hanging scroll, full view
    Ken Tenju hanging scroll, full view by Tenju, Ken

    Japanese Edo period hanging scroll with vertically-oriented painting and a brown brocade mounting. The image area is 28 cm x 187 cm and depicts the landscape of a Nanga school with the scene of a mountain and hut to the left, a river to the right, a bridge in the foreground, and an inscription to the upper right.

  • Thumbnail for Three unserved Tanzaku prints (poem cards)
    Three unserved Tanzaku prints (poem cards) by Utagawa Hiroshige

    Right: Girl Playing with a Battledore in the New Year Center: A Court Lady on an Outing for Picking herbs in the New Year Left: Paper Hina Dolls and a Peach Branch One of the most well known 19th century ukiyo-e artists, famous for his landscape views, particularly his images of the Tokaido. Most famous for his series of views along the Tokaido and of Edo and its surrounds, Hiroshige was also a prolific artist with a variety of subject matters. This sheet of three poem cards would have been cut into three separate prints.

  • Thumbnail for Nanko hanging scroll, full view
    Nanko hanging scroll, full view by Gakusen, Obe

    Japanese hanging scroll with vertically-oriented painting and a dark grey-blue mounting. The image area is 27 cm x 87.5 cm and depicts a Nanga school southern Chinese style with a scene of mountains in close proximity. Also known as “Haruku Kon†and “Tani Buncho,†Nanko studied Chinese painting in Nagasaki, where Chinese artists served as cultural envoys between China and Japan from the 17th century. The Nagasaki school mainly followed the southern school of the Ming and Qing eras and subjects were limited to landscapes. Nanko received commissions to execute paintings for the Imperial Palace. Although considered a Japanese painter, this instance of Nanko’s work is in one variant of the Chinese Nanga style, imitating the mi-dot brush stroke popular during the Sung dynasty.

  • Thumbnail for Pillow (used by ladies)
    Pillow (used by ladies)

    Cushion resting on a wooden base. This type of pillow can be seen in Japanese prints and paintings of the Edo era (1603-1868 AD), so it is identified as “Japanese,†which differed from Chinese pillows largely made of ceramics. It was used by ladies who rested on the back of their neck to avoid messing up their elaborate hairdos. The drawer at the bottom of the wooden base may have contained personal belongings, including jewelry at some point. Its condition is fine, but the colors of the cushion have faded (the design and pattern on the cushion remain visible).

  • Thumbnail for Pair of Japanese landscapes
    Pair of Japanese landscapes by Tani Bunchô (1763-1840)

    27 ½" x 74". The brushstroke’s ability to balance the creation of “space†(kukan) with the needs of “spacing†(kuhaku) is clear in the trees in the Union College Bunchô Scrolls, where there is an acceptable image of foliage, but on closer inspection, the leaves are seen to be as carefully separated as the tarashikomi plants in the Union College Tosa Screens. In addition, the Union College Bunchô Scrolls show many brushstrokes in which both sides of the line are used to render forms. We see such “double edged brushstrokes†in the contours of the mountains, where the smooth run of the top of a line creates the overall rounded form of a peak, but the bottom has a series of bumps that render boulders within. Similarly, a single stroke suffices to create the branch of a tree, but because the two sides of the resulting line are different, the limb thins and has knobs and twists. When Ukiyo-e cutters carved such “double-edged brushstrokes†into the block, they had to cut the two sides of each line separately anyway, so it was easy to reproduce their differing movements.

  • Thumbnail for 53 Stations of the Tokaido: Hakone - Station 11
    53 Stations of the Tokaido: Hakone - Station 11 by Ando Hiroshige (1797 - 1858)

    Color woodblock, 7 X 9 1/4 inches, ink and color on paper. Burning pink flames between grey mountains as porters travel along the narrow and steep mountain pass at Hakone, near Lake Ashinoko. Hiroshige captured the moment when porters struggle to carry their feudal retainers in sedan chairs as darkness nears.

  • Thumbnail for 53 Stations of the Tokaido: Kakegawa, Station 27
    53 Stations of the Tokaido: Kakegawa, Station 27 by Ando Hiroshige (1797 - 1858)

    Color woodblock, 7 X 9 1/4 inches, ink and color on paper. Hiroshige highlights pilgrims, Buddhist monks, and worshipers as they cross the bridge toward the torii entrance to a temple.

  • Thumbnail for 53 Stations of the Tokaido: Akasaka, Station 37
    53 Stations of the Tokaido: Akasaka, Station 37 by Ando Hiroshige (1797 - 1858)

    Color woodblock, 7 X 9 1/4 inches, ink and color on paper. Pilgrim with horse in foreground between green hillsides, wandering the street of the village at sundown.

  • Thumbnail for Sword Guard (Tsuba) with Octopus and Ape - reverse side
    Sword Guard (Tsuba) with Octopus and Ape - reverse side

    Sword guard (tsuba), signed Yoshinaga(?),and dated 1862. Curatorial files identify the work as in the Garyuken line of Nara Variation. Copper and brass. Excellent condition. This sword guard was part of a group of 20 in a three-layered lacquered wooden box. All are of high quality and this one was singled out only because of its large size and unusual decoration. The guard bears the image of an octopus attacking a monkey. The image is typical of late Tokugawa Period in being showy, with copper and brass highly polished and looking like gold. It is also a bit odd and unsettling. The sword guard has the quality that Gerald Figal calls “monstrous†(Civilization and Monsters, Spirits of Modernity in Meiji Japan, Durham and Loudon, 1999). As Figal points out, “monstrous†is a fair description, not only of Art in 19th c. Japan, but also of this chaotic, disturbed time. No less than the paintings or prints of Hokusai or the helmet discussed above, then, this sword guard captures well the spirit of its time.

  • Thumbnail for 53 Stages of the Tokaido
    53 Stages of the Tokaido by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1855)

    Shirasuga, the Slope at Shiomi (Shirasuga, Shiomizaka zu) from the series Fifty-three Stages of the Tokaido Road (Tôkaidô gojûsan tsugi no uchi). This famous set of color woodblock prints appeared between 1833-34 and was published by Hôeidô and Senkakudô. Good condition.

  • Thumbnail for Gold Lacquer Inro with Ivory Netsuke - back view
    Gold Lacquer Inro with Ivory Netsuke - back view

    H: 6 cm W: 5 cm L: 1.8 cm D: of netsuke 4.2 cm Gold lacquer inro with overlay design in mother of pearl and shakudo Design: flying cranes. Ivory netsuke: turtle and toad; signed inside. Cover: Korin

  • Thumbnail for Gold Lacquer Inro with Ivory Netsuke - bottom view
    Gold Lacquer Inro with Ivory Netsuke - bottom view

    H: 6 cm W: 5 cm L: 1.8 cm D: of netsuke 4.2 cm. Gold lacquer inro with overlay design in mother of pearl and shakudo. Design: flying cranes. Ivory netsuke: turtle and toad; signed inside. Cover: Korin.

  • Thumbnail for Fire Foxes or "Ghost Foxes"
    Fire Foxes or "Ghost Foxes" by Shirasuka Hiroshige

    8-5/8" x 12-1/2". Print, woodcut. Part of "100 Views of Edo" series. Title, Subtitle, Signature, Censor's, Publisher's and date seal in margin.