Japanese Modernisation and Mingei Theory: Cultural Nationalism and Oriental Orientalism

Japanese Modernisation and Mingei Theory: Cultural Nationalism and Oriental Orientalism

Japanese Modernisation and Mingei Theory: Cultural Nationalism and Oriental Orientalism

Japanese Modernisation and Mingei Theory: Cultural Nationalism and Oriental Orientalism

Synopsis

Yanagi Soetsu (1889-1961), Bernard Leach and Hamada Shoji are the golden trio of the Mingei (folkcrafts) movement. Regarded as the 'Oriental' movement, it began in Japan around the 1920s and has spread worldwide. It has created many Mingei phenomena such as Mingei museums, Mingei connoisseurs/collectors, Mingei shops and Mingei restaurants. The theory at its core and its adaptation by Leach, has long been an influential 'Oriental' aesthetic philosophy for studio craft artists in the West. But why did it become so influential? And is the 'Orientalness' in Mingei theory be nothing more than myth? This book offers controversial new evidence through its cross-cultural examination of a wide range of materials in Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese, bringing startling conclusions about Japanese modernization and cultural authenticity.

Excerpt

Japanese words are rendered in the Hepburn romanisation system. Chinese names are spelled in pinyin except where there is specific spelling preferred in Taiwan or by the persons themselves. in the latter case, the pinyin spelling in [ ] will follow to avoid confusion. Chinese, Japanese and Korean names are given in their customary order, surname first followed by given name, except in the citations to authors' works published in the English language, where they appear in English order. Unless otherwise stated, all translations from Japanese to English are by Kikuchi. in the figure captions 'H' stands for height, 'L' for length, 'W' for width and 'D' for diameter or depth. Measurements are given in centimetres.

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