Browse Items (70 total)

  • Collection: Forging Alliances

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A potter and professor of art education, Kenneth Beittel catalyzed Penn State’s engagement with post-war Japanese ceramics. With the help of Penn State agronomy professor Henry Fortmann, who had recently returned from Japan, Beittel arranged to use a…

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Born into a Kyoto family of artists, the Inagaki brothers, Toshijirō and Chūsei, exemplify the variety within twentieth-century Japanese art. Chūsei, the elder, born in 1897, was part of the avant-garde. He attracted critical controversy with erotic…

The Japanese tea ceremony, or Chanoyu, is the highly choreographed ritual of preparing, serving and drinking a powdered green tea called macha. Although the origins of the tea ceremony date to the Muromachi period (1337–1573), what we now recognize…

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Starting in the late 1940s, Inagaki augmented his work as a high-end textile designer with the production of inexpensive prints, which were published by Mikumo Mokuhansha in Kyoto. These multicolor prints are made from a single woodblock with an…

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This water jar combines two media with a long history in Japan: clay and lacquer. The lacquered lid on this water jar exemplifies the quintessentially Japanese aesthetic Jun'ichirō Tanizaki praised in his well-known essay "In Praise of Shadows." He…

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The tea container, called a cha-ire, is used when making koicha, the thick tea that is the first tea offered to guests at a tea ceremony. This example is by Masami Maruta, one of the best known artists in Kuromuta in the northwest part of the island…

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Shigaraki stoneware gets its name from the area where it is produced, Shigaraki, a town in the Shiga Prefecture on the western part of Honshu Island with numerous clay beds. The ceramics are fired in wood-fire kilns similar to those used since the…

The word sumi means ink. Sumi painting, also known as ink wash or literati painting, is considered one of the most prestigious forms of East Asian art. It originated in China during the Tang Dynasty (618–907 AD) and has its roots in Zen Buddhism.…

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Influenced by his mentor, Shoji Hamada, whose work is displayed to the right, Shimaoka developed a unique style of pottery called jomon zogan, fusing two traditional styles of decoration: the jomon rope technique and a Korean Yi Dynasty process of…
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