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By Ivan Morris

Ivan Morris’s definitive and broadly acclaimed portrait of the ceremonious and depression international of old Japan.

Using the story of Genji and different significant literary works from Japan’s Heian interval as a body of reference, the realm of the Shining Prince recreates an period while girls set the cultural tone. targeting the realm of the emperor’s court—a international deeply well known by way of Virginia Woolf, between others—renowned student of jap background and literature Ivan Morris explores the politics, society, spiritual existence, and superstitions of the period.

Offering readers designated portrayals of the day-by-day lives of courtiers, the cult of good looks they espoused, and the complex kin among the lads and ladies of the age, the area of the Shining Prince has been a cornerstone textual content on historic Japan for part a century

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Sample text

3 Palgrave’s 1888 essay “The Decline of Art” was symptomatic of the late nineteenth century as an age of exhibitions and also, inevitably, of exhibition fatigue. The paint15 ing did more than reference the history of art; it visualized a certain ideal of civic engagement with painting and thus played a part in inciting Palgrave’s antimodernist lament. The depicted scene, taken from Vasari’s Lives of the Artists (1550, 1568), represents no ordinary religious procession but rather a special celebratory march from Cimabue’s workshop to the church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence, where the painting was to be installed.

6 As Gregg Horowitz writes in his analysis of modern art’s crisis of extinction: With the breakdown of the academic and aristocratic control of artistic creation and reception [at the cusp of the modern period], art lost its straightforward connections to its traditional social bases. A gap opened between the practice of art and its functions, and so between the work of art and its meaning. With the eruption of this instability at the heart of artistic practice, art for the first time floated free of contexts in which its meaning could be normatively determined and thereby became unable to sustain proper standards of judgment.

19 This stylistic freedom came at a price: unable to depend on fixed, hereditary incomes from daimyo or shogunal patronage, the new independent painters were reliant on the market. Working in urban centers or as itinerants, they attracted patrons through reputation, networking, and the reproductive woodblock print medium. As a result, they were increasingly reliant on novelty and topicality, looking to painting models that lay outside the standard Kano or yamato-­e canons in order to captivate patrons.

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