Modern Japanese Prints: An Art Reborn

Modern Japanese Prints: An Art Reborn

Modern Japanese Prints: An Art Reborn

Modern Japanese Prints: An Art Reborn


The publication of this book could not come at a better time. In the natural course of historical events, Japan is temporarily drawing away from the orbit of American influence. This is both inevitable and healthy, for a Japan which supinely hid behind American leadership would in the long run prove to be a very weak friend indeed.

But in such uncertain and difficult times it is good to have a book like this appear to remind us all that American interest in Japanese culture is not only permanent but occasionally profound.

This book is a work of love. It is an account of modern Japanese creative prints written by a man who under his own initiative has studied the art and championed the artists. There is no Japanese woodblock artist working today who does not know and revere Oliver Statler, a quiet American who entered Japan as a civilian employee of the army during the first years of the Occupation, and ended as a private citizen dedicated to scholarship.

Mr. Statler has personally collected what is probably the world's finest collection of modern Japanese creative prints. He has personally arranged for the sale of hundreds of other prints to museums throughout the United States. He has taken dozens of American tourists to the workshops of Tokyo woodblock artists and has acted as intermediary in literally hundreds of sales. He has mailed Japanese prints on approval to many private citizens in the United States.

And he has performed all these services without accepting a penny or a yen of commission. He is the best friend a group of living artists ever had.

As a scholar, Mr. Statler probably knows more about modern Japanese prints than anyone not a Japanese, and possibly more than any Japanese other than experts like Un'ichi Hiratsuka, Shizuya Fujikake, and Toyohisa Adachi. He has studied intimately with at . . .

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