During Japan’s most dramatic period of modernization, between 1868 and 1970 (the Meiji to mid-Shōwa eras), ceramics asserted meanings as avant-garde art, embodiments of tradition, preservations of folk culture, and commodities signifying the technical acumen of the nation. As in other parts of the world, ceramics in modern Japan developed along the three ontological trajectories of art, craft and design. Yet no other modern nation was engaged with ceramics as much as Japan—a "potter’s paradise"—in terms of creation, exhibition, and discourse. How did Japanese ceramics achieve such a status? Why were ceramics such significant forms of Japanese cultural production?
Ceramics and Modernity in Japanoffersa set of critical perspectives on the creation, patronage, circulation, and preservation of ceramics in this period. The volume’s medium-specific focus encourages exploration of issues regarding materials and practice unique to ceramics, including the distinct role of ceramics throughout Japanese cultural history. Going beyond descriptive historical treatments of ceramics as the products of individuals or particular schools, its closely linked essays probe the relationship between ceramics and modernity in Japan, the uses of ceramics as forms of cultural production in Japan, and the ways in which ceramics in modern Japan were related to their counterparts in Asia and Europe.
1. A Potter’s Paradise: The Realm of Ceramics in Modern Japan, Meghen Jones
2. The Development of Celadon Production at the Makuzu Workshop, 1870–1950: Moving towards the Modern, Clare Pollard
3. More than "Western": Porcelain for the Meiji Emperor’s Table, Mary Redfern
4. Modernizing Ceramic Form and Decoration: Kyoto Potters and the Teiten, Gisela Jahn
5. Unifying Science and Art: The Kyoto City Ceramic Research Institute (1896–1920) and Ceramic Art Education during the Taisho Era, Shinya Maezaki
6. The Spark that Ignited the Flame: 1923, Hamada, Paterson’s Gallery and the Birth of English Studio Pottery, Julian Stair
7. Okuda Seiichi and the New Language of Ceramics in Taisho (1912–1926) Japan, Seung Yeon Sang
8. The Nude, the Empire, and the Porcelain Vessel Idiom of Tomimoto Kenkichi, Meghen Jones
9. Veiled References: The Role of Glaze in Japanese Avant-Garde Ceramics, Louise Allison Cort
10. Koyama Fujio’s View of Modern Japanese Ceramics and his Role in the Creation of "Living National Treasures", Kida Takuya
11. Found in Translation: Ceramics and Social Change, Tanya Harrod
Routledge Research in Art History is our home for the latest scholarship in the field of art history. The series publishes research monographs and edited collections, covering areas including art history, theory, and visual culture. These high-level books focus on art and artists from around the world and from a multitude of time periods. By making these studies available to the worldwide academic community, the series aims to promote quality art history research.