PUBLISHERS & PRINTERS
Charles R. Temple
Paperback / $39.95 / ISBN-13:978-1-58790-149-2 / 376 pages / 6” x 9”
Japan / History / Mythology / Legend / Folklore / Art / Antiques
Traditional Themes in Japanese Art presents a wide selection of colorful figures and fascinating events from Japanese history, mythology, legend, and folklore in easy to read descriptive entries, which depict the many recurring themes in the works of Japanese artists. Readers are introduced to gods and goddesses, princes and poets, fighters and farmers, merchants and mendicants. Malicious ghosts appear as themselves, in human or in animal guise, often tormenting those who see them. Benevolent and malevolent wizards comfort or abuse human beings. Mischievous demons abound; dragons let water flow or withhold it from parched landscapes; shape shifters, like the tea-kettle badger, bring evil into the world; sparrows make a gift of gold, silver, jewels, and rich silk fabrics to a poor peasant. Torments are delivered by supernatural beings along with destructive and bloody wars between family clans for political power. A convenient reference tool, this book brings a thorough understanding of Japanese art and culture to the reader. This indispensable resource will help students, historians, gallery owners, art dealers, and anyone requiring quick and accessible knowledge on a particular Japanese theme.
Charles R. Temple, writer and book publisher, lived in Japan for many years as an editor and book designer for John Weatherhill, Inc., renowned for its publication of elegant and authoritative books on Japanese art. Temple is a collector of Japanese prints and wood sculptures, and of the stories and tales that provide the most popular themes for Japanese artists. In 2001, he was project director and editor of Takarabukuro: Treasure Bag, a handsomely crafted book containing an English translation of a diary kept by Mitsuhiro, a nineteenth-century Japanese netsuke sculptor. Currently, in addition to his own writing, he volunteers time as a writer/editor for various nonprofit agencies in San Francisco, including the city’s prestigious Asian Art Museum.
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