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Tsunetomo Yamamoto
Hagakure - The Book of the Samurai
(Translated by William Scott Wilson)
Kodansha International: Tokyo, New York, London.
Paperback, 184 Seiten.
ISBN 4-7700-1106-7


Hagakure ("in the shadow of leaves") is a manual for the samurai classes consisting of a series of short anecdotes and reflections that give both insight and instruction in the philosophy and code of behavior that foster the true spirit of Bushido - the Way of the Warrior. As featured in the film Ghost Dog.

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Tsunetomo Yamamoto
Hagakure - The Book of the Samurai
(Translated by William Scott Wilson)
Kodansha International: Tokyo, New York, London.
Hardcover, 192 Seiten.
ISBN 4-7700-2916-0


Hagakure ("in the shadow of leaves") is a manual for the samurai classes consisting of a series of short anecdotes and reflections that give both insight and instruction in the philosophy and code of behavior that foster the true spirit of Bushido - the Way of the Warrior. As featured in the film Ghost Dog.

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Louise Allison Cort
Shigaraki Potters' Valley
Orchid Press: Bangkok 2000.
Hardcover, 428 Seiten, 41 Abbildungen, 2 Karten, Bibliographie, Index. A4-Großformat.
ISBN 974-8304-91-4

For over seven centuries, farmer-potters of Shigaraki, a rural valley outside the ancient Japanese capital of Kyoto, have used the distinctive clays of their region to make a broad variety of storage jars and tea-ceremony wares that occupy a key place in the esteemed aesthetic of Japanese woodfired stoneware. This classic and long out-of-print study by Louise Cort brings together all facets of the valley's fascinating political, economic, and artistic history to present a comprehensive portrait of these appealing wares and the potters who produced them. Throwing, glazing, firing, and kiln building are described in detail, while invaluable supplemental information includes commentaries on Shigaraki wares by potters from outside the valley; an account of early twentieth-century life in the valley by a woman who was both the daughter and wife of master potters; a thorough assessment of kiln-site investigations; and complete formulas for the distinctive Shigaraki glazes. Over 350 color and monochrome photographs, maps, complete appendixes, notes, bibliography, and an index make this an essential volume in the library of all connoisseurs of ceramics.

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Frederick L. Schodt
Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics
Kodansha International: Tokyo.
Paperback, 260 Seiten, 182 x 257 mm 8 Farbseiten, 185 s/w Fotos, 96 Seiten Comics.

Since first published in 1983, Manga! Manga!: The World of Japanese Comics has been the book to read for all those interested in Japanese comics. It is virtually the "bible" from which all studies and appreciation of manga begins. More than that, given the influence of Japanese manga on animation and on American-produced comics as well, Manga! Manga! provides the background against which these other arts can be understood. The book includes 96 pages from Osamu Tezuka's Phoenix, Reiji Matsumoto's Ghost Warrior, Riyoko Ikeda's The Rose of Versailles, and Keiji Nakazawa's Barefoot Gen.

Autorenportrait:
Frederik L. Schodt is a writer, translator, and interpreter who lives in San Francisco. His books include America and the Four Japans: Friend, Foe, Model, Mirror; Inside the Robot Kingdom: Japan, Mechatronics and the Coming Robotopia; and Dreamland Japan: Writings on Modern Manga. Among his translations of novels are The Gundam Mobile Suit series, Betty and Jack Forever, and My Boy: A Father's Memories. His translations of manga include Barefoot Ben: A Cartoon History of Hiroshima (vol. 2), The Rose of Versailles (vols. 1 & 2), Ghost in the Shell, and The Four Immigrants Manga: A Japanese Experience in San Francisco, 1904-1924. Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics won the special prize at the Manga Oscar Awards in 1983, sponsored by the Japan Cartoonists Association. In 2000, Fred himself was awarded the Asahi Shinbun's Osamu Tezuka Culture Award "Special Prize" for his outstanding contribution toward making manga known outside of Japan.

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John Stevens
The Philosophy of Aikido
Kodansha International: Tokyo, New York, London 2001
Hardcover mit Schutzumschlag, 128 Seiten, s/w Bilder.
ISBN: 4770025343

At last, a clear and insightful look at the system of beliefs that is the basis for the practice of Aikido. The Philosophy of Aikido is an invaluable guide for practitioners - whether beginning or advanced - wishing to know more about the context in which Aikido was developed and Aikido's implications for the world today.
Intended as a companion volume to Kisshomaru Ueshiba's classic The Spirit of Aikido, the book is authored by John Stevens, the foremost non-Japanese expert in the field. It is written from an international perspective that considers how Aikido is related to the emerging global culture.
Some of the ideas discussed are: ¥ the relation of Aikido to such Asian traditions as Shinto, Shingon Buddhism, Omoto-kyo esotericism, Taoist mysticism and Tantra ¥ points of correspondence between Aikido and Western philosophical and religious systems--Greek philosophy, Christianity, Kabbalah, alchemy and modern scientific theories ¥ links between Aikido and art ¥ ways that Aikido thinking can be used to advance the causes of such urgent issues as health and healing, conflict resolution and environmental responsibility
The Philosophy of Aikido will be of vital interest to all those who are drawn to a dynamic philosophy centered on harmony, peace and spiritual strength. The book includes 70 black-and-white illustrations of woodblock prints, calligraphy and photographs from the author's extensive collection.

John Stevens is the foremost Western expert on Aikido. A professor of Buddhist studies and Aikido instructor at Tohoku Fukushi University in Sendai, Japan, he is the author of more than thirty books on Aikido, Buddhism, Zen and Asian culture. Previous works on Aikido include The Essence of Aikido, The Secrets of Aikido and Aikido: The Way of Harmony.

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Tadashi Kobayashi
Utamaro - Portraits from the Floating World
Kodansha International: Tokyo, New York, London
Paperback.
ISBN: 4-7700-2730-3

The renowned woodblock prints of ukiyo-e artist Utamaro are some of the most recognized images in the world. His models are drawn from a world of teahouse women and courtesans whose fame and popularity could be compared to modern-day movie actresses.
Unlike his predecessors, Utamaro developed techniques that enabled him to capture subtle moods and differences of character. His genius lay in his rebellion against the standard depiction of expressionless beauties with little individuality. He sought the inner personality and went to great extremes to find it, frequenting the pleasure quarters with great regularity and drawing his subjects from all levels of society--from celebrated courtesans to lowly kashi or prostitutes.


Leseprobe:
UTAMARO'S DEBUT
In 1775, at the age of twenty-two, Utamaro made his debut as an ukiyo-e artist with a print for the cover of a Kabuki playbook entitled "Forty-eight Famous Love Scenes" (Shiju hatte koi no showake; fig. 2), which was distributed at the performance of the play at the famous Nakamura-za theater in November of the same year. Later, famous for his portrayals of beautiful women, he denied ever having done prints of Kabuki actors (yakusha-e), but it was only natural that the young Utamaro should have found his first opportunity to publish in this genre, in which huge demand and the need for hasty publication forced theaters to employ less well-established artists. There is some debate concerning the background of Utamaro's signature on this print, which was Kitagawa Toyoaki (or, according to some scholars, Toyoakira). The most commonly accepted theory for the origin of "Toyoaki," the first of Utamaro's artistic pseudonyms, is that Sekien granted him permission to use one of the Chinese characters of his own pseudonym, "Toyofusa." It was established practice in all Edo art and literary circles for a master to grant characters from his own pseudonym to favorite disciples.
The first true polychrome ukiyo-e prints had been developed just ten years earlier, in 1765, by Suzuki Harunobu and the group of ukiyo-e artists in his school. These new prints were called nishiki-e, or "brocade pictures," because the elaborate techniques of engraving and printing employed produced effects that were suggestive, at least to ambitious publishers, of the gorgeous shokko brocades that were being imported from China during the period. With this achievement of revolutionary advances in technique, Harunobu had taken the art world by storm, and his influence was still strong among ukiyo-e artists of Utamaro's day. At the same time, however, such artists as Katsukawa Shunsho, a master of Kabuki actor prints, and Kitao Shigemasa, who specialized in prints of beautiful women, were beginning to produce work in a fresh, innovative style. Their work suggests a zesty determination to develop realistic styles, to break away from the dream-like quality, the classical aestheticism of Harunobu's world. They sought inspiration in the daily lives of real people, and attempted to depict them in a more realistic fashion. This new style appeared quite early with the publication in 1776 of the three-volume picture book entitled A Mirror of Lovely Images: Matching Beautres of the Yoshiwara (Seiro bijin awase sugata no kagami), a joint effort by Shunsho and Shigemasa. They had been commissioned by Tsutaya Juzaburo, the Edo publisher who was to become Utamaro's great patron. Impressed by the new styles they had developed, Tsutaya hoped that a work by these two young talents could compete with Suzuki Harunobu's picture book Matching Beauties of the Yoshiwara (Seiro bijin awase).
In the period after his debut, young Utamaro idolized these new masters, and devoted himself to learning their styles. Professionally, however, there were few signs during this period of training that Utamaro would emerge as the most celebrated artist of his time in the genre of bijin-ga. Through his twenties, Utamaro, still signing his work "Toyoaki," made his living principally as an illustrator of popular literature (gesaku; fig. 4). Occasional commissions for single-sheet prints were for Utamaro, like any other young artist, in the genre of Kabuki actor pictures.


Rezension:
"Kobayashi's text brings alive the time and art that is still managing to influence the course of Western art. A beautiful book that could please almost anyone." (Art Times)

Autorenportrait:
Tadashi Kobayashi served as a curator at the Tokyo National Museum for a number of years. He has written extensively on Japanese art, and is the author of several books, including Kodansha's Ukiyo-e: An Introduction to Japanese Woodblock Prints.

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Marc P. Keane
Japanese Garden Design
Charles Tuttle Publishing: Rutland/Vermont, Tokyo 1996
Hardvcover mit Schutzumschlag, 186 Seiten, xiv, zahlreiche Abbildungen.
ISBN: 0-8048-2071-6

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A Japanese Touch for Your Garden
Kodansha International: Tokyo, New York, London
Softcover.
ISBN: 978-4-7700-3079-5



Revised & expanded edition of the best-selling title on Japanese gardens from Kodansha International - over 130,000 copies sold! Explains and illustrates the fundamental principles of the 1,000-year-old landscape design tradition in the Japanese garden and includes 150 all-new photographs from the lens of noted photographer, Sadao Hibi.

A Japanese Touch for Your Garden is a concise introduction to the practical aspects of making a Japanese garden. Whether a sprawling garden, office courtyard or a city patio, this book includes hundreds of creative but classic ways to make maximum use of the space. Readers will learn how to lay stones and pathways; how to create intriguing sand patterns like the ones in Zen temple gardens; learn about Japanese lanterns, miniature pagodas, water basins, gates and walls, and will be shown step by step how to make a bamboo lattice fence. Notes on the care of bamboo, moss and grass are provided, as are names of western plants and trees that can be substituted for conventional Japanese varieties. Schematic layout plans, detailed how-to explanations, and over 150 colour photographs of Japanese gardens old and new give ideas for endless variations.
Thoroughly up-to-date in its approach and based on the principle that a garden must satisfy the gardener, not a set of inflexible guidelines, this book encourages the reader to choose freely from the wide range of traditional Japanese design elements that suit individual needs and tastes. Whether living in the country, city, or somewhere in between, the reader will discover numerous ways to transform any space into an intimate, tranquil oasis, one that will reward the planning and work with a rich and ever-changing beauty.

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