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Japanese Art Society of America
P.O. Box 394
Lexington, MA 02420

All lectures are Zoom webinars and require advance registration.

March Events

JASA members, join us on Sunday, March 19, at Japan Society in New York City for our annual lecture and business meeting. Kicking off JASA’s 50th anniversary: Felice Fischer, curator emerita, and her successor Xiaojin Wu, Luther W. Brady Curator of Japanese Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in conversation about highlights of the museum’s Japanese collections. This special event is also open to members and guests of Japan Society. The JASA meeting will follow, conducted by President Wilson Grabill. Both events will be held in person and also streamed online. Note: Advance registration is required. If attending in person, register at March 19 Annual Meeting in person registration; if online, March 19 Annual Meeting via Zoom.

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Recorded Lectures

Recordings of JASA's earlier online lectures are available on the organization's website, click here


In Impressions 44, Part One of a Double Issue, we learn about the Iwasaki family, founders of the Mitsubishi conglomerate, their dramatic rise from poverty to powerhouse, and their collection of masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese art now housed in a Tokyo museum. The author, Kumiko Makihara, who spent her early years in Japan but now works as a journalist based in New York City, is the granddaughter of the fourth president of Mitsubishi. With some trepidation and a sense of discovery, she explores her family’s history.

The German scholar Klaus J. Friese addresses the topic of war-themed textiles form the 1930s with a fresh perspective. Were these garments, including some featured in Aaron Rio’s exhibition “Anxiety and Hope in Japanese Art” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, intended as propaganda, even though most are undergarments, and not visible except in the privacy of one’s home? Or were they expressions of patriotism, touting modern technology?

Akiko Walley looks very closely at a rare album of old calligraphy fragments that she unearthed in the Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, in Eugene. It is one of only four such albums in American collections.

Evgeny Steiner delights us with his tale of a brief visit to Japan by the Russian artist Alexandre Iacovleff (1887–1938), and the artist’s interaction there not only with the Kabuki star Nakamura Utaemon V and his family, but also with the great ballerina Anna Pavlova.

Samuel L. Leiter remembers his influential teacher, the theater historian Benito Ortolani (1928–2022), and the interview Ortolani facilitated with the Kabuki star Nakamura Utaemon VI, son of Utaemon V. The death of Patricia Salmon (1933–2022), who devoted many decades to collecting and promoting twentieth-century Nihonga painting at a time when it was not yet in fashion in the West, elicited stories from her wide circle of friends and admirers. Matthew McKelway honors his friend, Kōichi Yanagi (1965–2022), with whom he interacted over three decades.

We review two new publications. Bert Winther-Tamaki reviews a lavish new book focused on conversations with ceramic artists initiated by the close-knit trio of Halsey North, Alice North and Louise Cort; and Hollis Goodall looks closely at Rachel Peat’s catalogue of Japanese art acquired over the past centuries by the British royals as gifts.

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