Course // Arts of Japan, St. Olaf College

Art & Art History / Asian Studies 260 | St. Olaf College

Survey the arts of the Japanese archipelago from the Neolithic period to the present day. This course investigates diverse works such as funerary remains, Shintō architecture, Buddhist sculpture, castle architecture, woodblock prints, hanging and hand scrolls, gardens, tea ceremony, oil and ink painting, performance, photography, and fashion design. We will use visual analysis to discuss themes such as patronage, religious expression, social organization, traditional technologies, indigenous and imported techniques, urban design, and the political functions of art. This course will emphasize various connections between Japan and other cultures through the 21st century that have helped shape Japan’s dynamic aesthetic traditions.

(Image: Hiroshige [1852], scene from Tale of Genji, ukiyo-e woodblock print.)


November 13, 2015


  1. |

    I’ researching Hokusai’s art of ‘the great flood 183o in his wood block art . I think the art was a response 2 a flood! Do u know?

    • |

      Hi Jennifer, sorry on the delayed response! So great to hear about your interest in Hokusai’s work. Do you have access to a library? If so, I would Interlibrary Loan the following two books to help your research. The first is a brand new book titled Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave, ed. Timothy Clark (Thames & Hudson and the British Museum, 2017). There is also a lot of useful information on Under the Wave Off Kanagawa on this entry for the print at the British Museum. Just click “Curator’s Comments.” I hope this helps your research!

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Christina M. Spiker | Course // Arts of Japan, St. Olaf College
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