Ceramic Art of Japan: One Hundred Masterpieces from Japanese Collections

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<ul><li><p>Ceramic Art of Japan: One Hundred Masterpieces from Japanese CollectionsReview by: Donald F. McCallumJournal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 97, No. 1 (Jan. - Mar., 1977), pp. 93-94Published by: American Oriental SocietyStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/600303 .Accessed: 14/06/2014 19:01</p><p>Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms &amp; Conditions of Use, available at .http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p><p> .JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.</p><p> .</p><p>American Oriental Society is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Journal ofthe American Oriental Society.</p><p>http://www.jstor.org </p><p>This content downloaded from 195.78.108.185 on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 19:01:50 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=aoshttp://www.jstor.org/stable/600303?origin=JSTOR-pdfhttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsphttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>Reviews of Books Reviews of Books </p><p>who shared a passion for learning with his lord, the shogun Tsunayoshi. We are told of Sorai's exposure to the views of Ito Jinsai, and also of his devotion to the writings of the Ming scholars, Li P'an-lung and Wang Shih-chen, which led him to believe that stylistic excel- lence in Chinese was exemplified primarily by the litera- ture of the Chou and Former Han dynasties. Concern for the ancient style made a deep mark on Sorai's scholarship and teaching; it brought him quickly into philology and to an inductive study of the Five Classics, the fruits of which accumulated over the years until in 1717, at the age of fifty-two, he made an open break with Ch'eng- Chu Confucianism. Professor Lidin points out that many of Sorai's distinctive views were formed in the long process preceding the break. It is to be hoped that when he brings out his study of Sorai's mature philosophy, he will show the development of its constituents before 1717 insofar as Sorai's writings make this possible. </p><p>The Life of Ogyni Sorai is a dependable work. The writing sometimes exhibits a certain awkwardness oi phraseology, and the translations are sometimes too literal, resulting in tortuous expressions that will prob- ably perplex anyone unfamiliar with Chinese; but such drawbacks should not be allowed to diminish the overall worth of this book. </p><p>ROBERT L. BACKUS UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA BARBARA </p><p>Ceramic Art of Japan: One Hundred Masterpieces from Japanese Collections. Pp. 172. Seattle, Washington: SEATTLE ART MUSEUM. 1973. </p><p>The exhibition of Japanese ceramics which was held at four American museums during 1972-3 brought to- gether 100 superb pieces of a range and quality seldom seen even in shows in Japan. Hopefully, this outstanding opportunity for study will do much to increase the in- terest and level of scholarship in this field in the United States. An extremely well-illustrated catalogue accom- panied the exhibition, including all pieces in monochrome as well as a very large number of color plates; considering the lavishness of its production, the catalogue was also very modest in price. For the amateur with a general interest in Japanese ceramics the catalogue offers a good selection of examples of the major traditions. For college classes it gives a wide range of illustrative material to supplement lectures and outside reading. Consequently, I suspect that this catalogue will retain its value for a number of years. </p><p>Henry Trubner, the principal American organizer of the exhibition, has written a clear, concise introductory essay. While little of an original nature is presented, the major developments in the history of Japanese </p><p>who shared a passion for learning with his lord, the shogun Tsunayoshi. We are told of Sorai's exposure to the views of Ito Jinsai, and also of his devotion to the writings of the Ming scholars, Li P'an-lung and Wang Shih-chen, which led him to believe that stylistic excel- lence in Chinese was exemplified primarily by the litera- ture of the Chou and Former Han dynasties. Concern for the ancient style made a deep mark on Sorai's scholarship and teaching; it brought him quickly into philology and to an inductive study of the Five Classics, the fruits of which accumulated over the years until in 1717, at the age of fifty-two, he made an open break with Ch'eng- Chu Confucianism. Professor Lidin points out that many of Sorai's distinctive views were formed in the long process preceding the break. It is to be hoped that when he brings out his study of Sorai's mature philosophy, he will show the development of its constituents before 1717 insofar as Sorai's writings make this possible. </p><p>The Life of Ogyni Sorai is a dependable work. The writing sometimes exhibits a certain awkwardness oi phraseology, and the translations are sometimes too literal, resulting in tortuous expressions that will prob- ably perplex anyone unfamiliar with Chinese; but such drawbacks should not be allowed to diminish the overall worth of this book. </p><p>ROBERT L. BACKUS UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA BARBARA </p><p>Ceramic Art of Japan: One Hundred Masterpieces from Japanese Collections. Pp. 172. Seattle, Washington: SEATTLE ART MUSEUM. 1973. </p><p>The exhibition of Japanese ceramics which was held at four American museums during 1972-3 brought to- gether 100 superb pieces of a range and quality seldom seen even in shows in Japan. Hopefully, this outstanding opportunity for study will do much to increase the in- terest and level of scholarship in this field in the United States. An extremely well-illustrated catalogue accom- panied the exhibition, including all pieces in monochrome as well as a very large number of color plates; considering the lavishness of its production, the catalogue was also very modest in price. For the amateur with a general interest in Japanese ceramics the catalogue offers a good selection of examples of the major traditions. For college classes it gives a wide range of illustrative material to supplement lectures and outside reading. Consequently, I suspect that this catalogue will retain its value for a number of years. </p><p>Henry Trubner, the principal American organizer of the exhibition, has written a clear, concise introductory essay. While little of an original nature is presented, the major developments in the history of Japanese </p><p>ceramics from the Jomon period through the nineteenth century are indicated. </p><p>The short discussion of the early periods-Jomon, Yayoi, and Kofun-is not entirely satisfactory; one, won- ders whether, at this stage in the study of Japanese art, the archaeological periods might better be left to ar- chaeologists. The next section deals with the pottery of the early historic period. In discussing Nara sansai, the author sides with the proponents of native manufacture of at least some of the extant pieces, a position which now seems incontrovertible. The development of haji and sue is traced into this period as well, although the dis- tinction between haji wares as reflecting a native taste, and sue a foreign one seems to be of marginal utility considering that both were ultimately based upon con- tinental prototypes. </p><p>After dealing with various Heian wares, the discussion shifts to the Six Old Kilns which were important in the Kamakura period and subsequently. I must confess that I was unconvinced by the attempts to link the production of ceramics to various political and cultural developments of this period. For instance, why should the rise of the Taira and Minamoto necessarily have endangered the ceramic industry? Furthermore, the author presents a conventional characterization of an "austerity in taste" on the part of the Kamakura bakufu and then goes on to describe the production of high-fired, glazed stoneware such as Ko Seto. And yet a connection between "austerity in taste" and Ko Seto is not demonstrated. As is not infrequently the case in such essays, the historical back- ground is not clearly related to the monuments which presumably occupy the "foreground." (It is interesting to speculate how one might relate the standard charac- terization of Heian society and culture to the ceramics produced at that time). </p><p>There is a good discussion of the tea ceremony wares, focussing on the Mino kilns (Seto, Shino, and Oribe wares) and the Raku tea bowls of Kyoto. </p><p>Kyushu wares are divided into stonewares and porce- lains. While the discussion of the former is slightly abbreviated, I felt that the author's treatment of the latter was perhaps the best section of the essay. In particular, there is an interesting discussion of the Na- beshima ware. After dealing with Kyushu porcelain, the author shifts to the very difficult problem of Ko Kutani porcelain. The frequent references to S. Jenyns' books are discouraging since generally speaking his opin- ions regarding controversial issues cannot be regarded as authoritative. Real progress by Western scholars of Japanese ceramics is unlikely until more attention is devoted to the work of Japanese authorities. </p><p>In the section on Kyo-yaki, Ninsei receives less at- tention than Kenzan, although the earlier artist was </p><p>ceramics from the Jomon period through the nineteenth century are indicated. </p><p>The short discussion of the early periods-Jomon, Yayoi, and Kofun-is not entirely satisfactory; one, won- ders whether, at this stage in the study of Japanese art, the archaeological periods might better be left to ar- chaeologists. The next section deals with the pottery of the early historic period. In discussing Nara sansai, the author sides with the proponents of native manufacture of at least some of the extant pieces, a position which now seems incontrovertible. The development of haji and sue is traced into this period as well, although the dis- tinction between haji wares as reflecting a native taste, and sue a foreign one seems to be of marginal utility considering that both were ultimately based upon con- tinental prototypes. </p><p>After dealing with various Heian wares, the discussion shifts to the Six Old Kilns which were important in the Kamakura period and subsequently. I must confess that I was unconvinced by the attempts to link the production of ceramics to various political and cultural developments of this period. For instance, why should the rise of the Taira and Minamoto necessarily have endangered the ceramic industry? Furthermore, the author presents a conventional characterization of an "austerity in taste" on the part of the Kamakura bakufu and then goes on to describe the production of high-fired, glazed stoneware such as Ko Seto. And yet a connection between "austerity in taste" and Ko Seto is not demonstrated. As is not infrequently the case in such essays, the historical back- ground is not clearly related to the monuments which presumably occupy the "foreground." (It is interesting to speculate how one might relate the standard charac- terization of Heian society and culture to the ceramics produced at that time). </p><p>There is a good discussion of the tea ceremony wares, focussing on the Mino kilns (Seto, Shino, and Oribe wares) and the Raku tea bowls of Kyoto. </p><p>Kyushu wares are divided into stonewares and porce- lains. While the discussion of the former is slightly abbreviated, I felt that the author's treatment of the latter was perhaps the best section of the essay. In particular, there is an interesting discussion of the Na- beshima ware. After dealing with Kyushu porcelain, the author shifts to the very difficult problem of Ko Kutani porcelain. The frequent references to S. Jenyns' books are discouraging since generally speaking his opin- ions regarding controversial issues cannot be regarded as authoritative. Real progress by Western scholars of Japanese ceramics is unlikely until more attention is devoted to the work of Japanese authorities. </p><p>In the section on Kyo-yaki, Ninsei receives less at- tention than Kenzan, although the earlier artist was </p><p>93 93 </p><p>This content downloaded from 195.78.108.185 on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 19:01:50 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>Journal of the American Oriental Society 97.1 (1977) Journal of the American Oriental Society 97.1 (1977) </p><p>represented, in my opinion, by the more interesting works in the show. However, the amount of space devoted to some of the lesser known Kyo-yaki potters such as </p><p>Eisen, Dohachi, and Hozen should be useful for the student. In a review of M. Sato's excellent Kyoto Ceramics for this journal I posed certain questions concerning the aesthetic viability of the Kyo-yaki style, particularly with </p><p>regard to the possibility of pieces in this tradition becom- </p><p>ing excessively lavish, extravagant, or complex.1 Trub- ner's comments about Kyo-yaki also fail to take this </p><p>phenomenon into account, and thus do not project a fully articulated picture of the actual issues. </p><p>The introductory essay is followed by illustrations of the 100 objects with a short catalogue entry for each. The book concludes with a glossary and a selective </p><p>bibliography of books in English and Japanese. DONALD F. MCCALLUM </p><p>UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES </p><p>The Chinese Short Story: Studies in Dating, Authorship, and Composition. By PATRICK HANAN. Pp. xvi + 245. Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series, 21. Cambridge: HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS. 1973. $12.00. </p><p>Serious students of traditional Chinese fiction will be familiar with Professor Hanan's succession of articles on the vernacular short story published in recent years in the Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies. With this book we now have a major contribution by the author in his continuing efforts to untangle the history of this important genre. As Hanan states in his preface, the book is not intended as a critical study but as a "sus- tained attempt to break through an impasse in literary scholarship" (p. vii). The impasse has to do essentially with the problem of dating the stories. Although earliest extant versions are usually found in the fa- mous sixteenth and seventeenth century collections, many individual stories have been believed by scholars to date from as early as the Sung dynasty. Until now, however, no satisfactory means have been devised for accurate dating and, as Hanan points out, a gap of some four hundred years during which time the stories may have been written is "too large for any scholar's peace of mind" (p. 1). Indeed, problems of </p><p>dating, authorship, and composition need to be dealt with adequately first if the stories are to be studied </p><p>profitably in terms of their relationship to Chinese history, Chinese society, or even Chinese literature. So then...</p></li></ul>

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