Rare Book School

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Rare Book School
Preliminary Reading List

The Art of the Book in Edo and Meiji Japan, 1615-1912


Preliminary Advices

Required Readings

Please read the following books, which provide background for the topics that we will explore in class.

  1. Roger Keyes. Ehon: the Artist and the Book in Japan. New York: New York Public Library, 2006. This beautifully produced book is the best single-volume introduction to Japanese illustrated books available today.
  2. Designed for Pleasure: The world of Edo Japan in prints and paintings, 1680-1860 edited by Julia Meech and Jane Oliver. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008. While none of the articles in this book deal exclusively or even extensively with books, they provide essential background for our better understanding of the world that produced illustrated books.
  3. Christine Guth. Art of Edo Japan: The Artist and the City, 1615-1868. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1996. This book provides an accessible overview of all the arts of the Edo period.
  4. Suggested Readings

    If possible, consult the following. Both are out of print.

  5. Jack Hillier. The Art of the Japanese Book. Two volumes. London: Sotheby's Publications, 1987. The most comprehensive and important study of Japanese illustrated books in any language, a landmark in the field.
  6. Yu-ying Brown. Japanese Book Illustration. London: The British Library, 1988. This concise survey provides a good sense of the range of Japanese book illustrations.