The Last Tosa: Iwasa Katsumochi Matabei, Bridge to Ukiyo-e

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University of Hawaii Press, 1999 - Art - 412 pages
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Iwasa Katsumochi Matabei (1578-1650) is one of the most controversial figures in Japanese art history. For more than half a century, historians have argued over Matabei's role in Japanese art: Was he, as he asserted, "The Last Tosa" (the school of painters who specialized in Yamato-e, a kind of classical courtly painting) or, as others characterized him, "The Founder of Ukiyo-e," the style of painting associated with the urban commoner class. In this highly original and convincing study, Matabei emerges as both - an artist in whose work can be seen elements of both Yamato-e and Ukiyo-e. Extending its analysis beyond the individual artist, The Last Tosa examines the trends and artistic developments of a transitional period and makes heretofore unexamined connections between the world of the aristocrat and the merchant as well as the two artistic schools that reflected their tastes.
 

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Contents

The Learned Gentleman
13
A Gentleman of Low Repute
39
Commoner Style
74
Courtly Subject Matter
127
Matabei as Macbisbu
143
The Last Tosa as Founder of Ukiyoe
225
Epilogue
265
Primary Sources
273
Matabeis Travel Diary
301
Notes
325
Character List
393
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Kita teaches art history at the University of Maryland, College Park.

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