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The Politics of Painting

The Politics Of Painting: Fascism And Japanese Art During The Second World War


This rich and nuanced study examines a set of paintings produced in Japan during the 1930s and early 1940s that have received little scholarly attention. Asato Ikeda views the work of four prominent artists of the time-Yokoyama Taikan, Yasuda Yukihiko, Uemura Shoen, and Fujita Tsuguharu-through the lens of fascism, showing how their seemingly straightforward paintings of Mount Fuji, samurai, beautiful women, and the countryside supported the war by reinforcing a state ideology that justified violence in the name of the country's cultural authenticity. She highlights the politics of "apolitical" art and challenges the postwar labeling of battle paintings-those depicting scenes of war and combat-as uniquely problematic. Yokoyama Taikan produced countless paintings of Mount Fuji as the embodiment of Japan's "national body" and spirituality, in contrast to the modern West's individualism and materialism. Yasuda Yukihiko located Japan in the Minamoto warriors of the medieval period, depicting them in the yamato-e style, which is defined as classically Japanese. Uemura Shoen sought to paint the quintessential Japanese woman, drawing on the Edo-period bijin-ga (beautiful women) genre while alluding to noh aesthetics and wartime gender expectations. For his subjects, Fujita Tsuguharu looked to the rural snow country, where, it was believed, authentic Japanese traditions could still be found. Although these artists employed different styles and favored different subjects, each maintained close ties with the state and presented what he considered to be the most representative and authentic portrayal of Japan. Throughout Ikeda takes into account the changing relationships between visual iconography/artistic style and its significance by carefully situating artworks within their specific historical and cultural moments. She reveals the global dimensions of wartime nationalist Japanese art and opens up the possibility of dialogue with scholarship on art produced in other countries around the same time, particularly Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. The Politics of Painting will be welcomed by those interested in modern Japanese art and visual culture, and war art and fascism. Its analysis of painters and painting within larger currents in intellectual history will attract scholars of modern Japanese and East Asian studies.



  • Condition: --
    HPB condition ratings
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    • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
    • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    Conditions Guide
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Sold by: --
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Univ of Hawaii Pr
  • ISBN-13: 9780824872120
  • ISBN: 0824872126
  • Publication Year: 2018
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HPB condition ratings
  • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
  • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
  • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
  • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
  • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
  • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
  • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: This movie is unopened and brand new.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): Near new. No defects, little sign of use. Plays perfectly. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. No skipping; no fuzzy or snowy frames in VHS.
  • Very Good (VG): Attractive and well cared for but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, but will play almost perfectly. For VHS: barely detectable distortion or very few fuzzy or snowy frames.
  • Good (G): This item is in okay condition and basically works well. There may be some minor distortion on VHS tape; slight scratching or wear on DVD.
  • Fair (FR): Basically plays, but may be obviously well-worn with some scratching or tape distortion.
  • Poor (P): Disc or tape is intact, but may be scratched or stretched. There may be skips or distortion or product defects.
Conditions Guide
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