Western Understanding of the East-Asian Buddhist Art History in the Late Nineteenth Century: Focusing on the Cases of English Writings about Japanese Materials(3/3)

Project Details


This research will focus on the activities and writings of two English men, Ernest Mason Satow (1843-1929) and William Anderson (1842-1900), both active in the late Nineteenth century Japan. However, the purpose of this plan is not only to clarify the two cases, but also to consider their influences on the development of the art historiography, especially of the East-Asian Buddhist art.Satow lived in Japan for more than twenty years. He was among the earliest Westerners travelled widely in Japan and recorded the ancient temples in the Kyoto and Nara areas. His book, A Handbook for Travellers in Central and Northern Japan, was consider the best source for understanding Japanese history and culture at his time. Anderson lived in Japan for more than six years and brought more than one thousand paintings to the British Kingdom. His book, The Pictorial Arts of Japan, published in 1886, is significant for including materials from Horyuji, Yakushiji, Todaiji, and Kofukuji.The fact that both Satow’s and Anderson’s books published in the 1880s is especiallynoteworthy. Their activities are earlier than most of the other Western scholars who worked on the East-Asian art history. I plan to clarify their activities and evaluate their influences on the West. I will also explore the issue concerning their knowledge structure. In the other words, I will exam whether they consulted Japanese ancient sources, and investigate the situations of Japanese temples at that time.
Effective start/end date1/08/1830/10/19

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In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


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