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The Word Works

Books

Books play a big part in our lives. Always have, always will. Besides reading a lot of books (some of which are described in our blog reading matter), we have written two, Ruth’s book on Japanese crafts, John’s on Japanese consumers,  contributed chapters to several others, and piled up a modest list of book-length translations. To learn more, follow the links below.


Featured Books

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The Akita Ranga School and The Cultural Context in Japan

Samurai painters from Akita are fascinated by ranga (Dutch painting) and begin to add Western perspective to Chinese themes in their paintings. In this book, Gakushuin Women’s University Professor Imahashi Riko explores the mysteries embodied in the Akita Ranga School’s most famous work, Odano Naotake’s Shinobazu Pond. Through academic detective work that explores every detail and allusion, this book provides an unprecedented look at the domestication of European and Chinese influence in late Edo Japanese art.

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[Text]tiles by SERIZAWA KEISUKE

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The catalogue for an exhibition of more than four hundred works by Serizawa Keisuke, one of Japan’s most famous textile designers. Serizawa also designed book covers, calendars, kimono and objets. Most of the works on display for this exhibition, held March 3 to May 8, 2016 at the National Museum of Modern Art’s Kôgeikan (Crafts Hall) are from the Kaneko Kazushige Collection recently donated to the museum. The Japanese title Serizawa Keisuke no Iroha refers to the artist’s use of characters from the Japanese hiragana syllabary as motifs in his designs. We came up with the title [Text]tiles to capture this allusion and were delighted to have it chosen for exhibition’s official title.

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ANCIENT GLASS Feast of Color

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MIHO MUSEUM, 2013.3-6

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Lucie Rie?\A Retrospective

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This gorgeous book was produced in connection with a retrospective of the work of Lucie Rie (1902-1995), one of Britain’s greatest 20th century potters, held at the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo.

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SHUNGA, Aesthetics of Japanese Erotic Art

Sometimes the things we translate are very interesting. As the authors point out, a notable feature of Japanese erotic art is how happy the people depicted look.

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