BOOKS / 出版物

Japanese Art in Perspective

Japanese Art in Perspective

East-West Encounters

Takashina Shūji
Translated by Matt Treyvaud

Art & Design


Published by JPIC | Hardcover | ISBN 978-4-86658-180-4 | 200 pages | 210mm (h) x 148mm (w) | March 2021

About the Book

How do Japanese and Western aesthetics differ? In this comparative cultural study, Takashina Shūji, a leading scholar of Western art history and insightful commentator on Japanese art, compares the two artistic traditions to reveal the distinctive characteristics of the Japanese sense of beauty.

The first section, Methods of Japanese Art, uses examples and cross-cultural comparisons to elucidate the techniques by which Japanese artists cultivated their unique approach. These include roving rather than fixed perspective, the “aesthetic of negation”—excising the unnecessary to emphasize what remains—and the “trailing bough” motif, which evokes a world beyond the work’s borders and influenced Western artists such as Monet.

In the second section, East-West Encounters, Takashina examines the history of cultural interaction between Japan and the West from the early modern period on and its influence on the art of both. The third section, Passing Beauty, Returning Memory, contains essays on Japanese culture more broadly, including its preference for recurring forms over fixed monuments and its tradition of combining multiple seasons in a single image. Japanese Art in Perspective is a guide not only to the art of Japan but to the essence of its spiritual culture.

About the Author


Takashina Shūji is an art historian, art critic, professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo, director of the
Ohara Museum of Art, and president of the Japan Art Academy. Born 1932, he graduated from the University of Tokyo’s College of Arts and Sciences and went on to study modern Western art history at the Sorbonne and the École du Louvre. His previously held positions include professor at the University of Tokyo and director general of the National Museum of Western Art. He received the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon in 2000, was named Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor in 2001, and was awarded the Japan Art Academy Prize and Imperial Prize from the Japan Art Academy in 2002. He was recognized by the Japanese government as a Person of Cultural Merit in 2005, and inducted into the Order of Culture in 2012. In 2015, he was appointed to the Japan Art Academy, and in 2020 he was made academy president.

Other books by Takashina include, in English, The Japanese Sense of Beauty ( JPIC) and, in Japanese, Seikimatsu geijutsu (Fin-de-siècle Art, Chikuma Gakugei Bunko), Runessansu no hikari to yami (Light and Dark in the Renaissance, Chūkō Bunko), Nihon kindai bijutsushi-ron (A History of Modern Art in Japan, Chikuma Gakugei Bunko), Kindai kaigaishi: Goya kara Mondorian made (A History of Modern Painting: From Goya to Mondrian, Chūkō Shinsho, in two volumes), Pikaso: Hyōsetsu no ronri (Picasso: The Logic of Plagiarism, Chikuma Gakugei Bunko), 20 seiki bijutsu (20th-Century Art, Chikuma Gakugei Bunko), Seiyō no me, Nihon no me (The Western Eye, the Japanese Eye, Seidosha), and Miro no Viinasu wa naze kessaku ka? (Why Is the Venus de Milo a Masterpiece?, Shōgakukan).


西洋とは違う日本独特の美学とは? 西洋美術史の第一人者で日本美術にも確かな知見を持つ著者が,西洋と日本の美術を比較し日本人の美意識の特質を浮び上がらせる,卓越した比較文化論。近代における西洋と日本の文化交流がそれぞれの美術にもたらした影響にも言及。日本人の精神文化にも触れた最新の講演,論文二本を増補。







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Original Japanese Edition / 原書情報

増補 日本美術を見る眼:東と西の出会い

増補 日本美術を見る眼:東と西の出会い

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