Andon 88

July 2010

Andon 88

The cover of this issue oÍ Andon shows the fight between the Kashima deity and a giant namazu (catfish). This print and many more are described and explained in an article by Albrecht & Gisela Rabitz, who take us on a guided tour through their namazu-e collection. As announced in the editorial of Andon 86, this is the second article on catfish prints in a short time, and after the more historical aspects of these prints, which were issued after the Ansei earthquake of 1855, we now experience how print collectors research these prints. The second article has an academic approach and takes us back to the times of the five poetesses who are thought to have been maids of honour to Jōto mon'in (988-1074), and who are now known as the gokasen. The surimono series Nashitsubo no gokasen (Five Immortal Poetesses of the Pear Chamber), in which Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) depicted these ladies and their poems in the early to mid-1820's, is scrutinized by Helena Capková. After these two articles on Japanese prints lacquer expert Jan Dees shows his personal interest and research into a masterpiece of Japanese export lacquer known as the 'FC-monogram box'. The accompanying illustrations show us immediately why he calls this a masterpiece. We also publish an in memoriam for our member Helen Merritt, the author of several essential reference books on Japanese prints, who passed away last year. And we conclude with the reviews of two books, a splendid publication on kimono by Jan Dees, and a book on the ukiyo painting collection of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. We hope this issue of Andon will offer further inspiration.

 

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