Japanese Art History Courses

The Arts of Japan (Asian 209)

Surveys ritual objects, sculpture, architecture, painting, and decorative arts in Japan from the Neolithic to the modern period. Topics include ceramic forms and grave goods, the adaptation of Chinese models, arts associated with Shinto and Buddhist religions, narrative painting, warrior culture, the tea ceremony, woodblock prints and popular arts, modernization and the avant-garde. Formerly Art History 219.


Culture and Crisis in Modern and Contemporary Japanese Art

In the late nineteenth and throughout the twentieth century, as Japan transitioned from a feudal society to a modern nation-state, Japanese art was mobilized by the avant-gardes and government alike. Examines the wide variety of formats and mediums encompassed in competing claims for modernization, including ink painting, oil painting, photography, ceramics, woodblock prints, and performance art. Interrogates art's complicit role in ultra-nationalism, Pan-Asianism, Oriental Orientalism, colonial ambitions, US military occupation, and post-war reconstruction. Themes to be covered include: reinventions of tradition, East-West relations, colonialism, trauma, and renewal.