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Japanese Art: Asian Art and Culture: from the UI East Asian Collection: Home

This guide is prepared for the UI Asian Art and Culture course (fall 2015).

About this guide

This guide mainly introduces the UI East Asian Collection and online resources to you. Emphasis is on Japanese art. Majority of resources in this guide are in English.

Do not forget to check the UI Art Library for more information and resources.

The UI Art Library:

Subject Guides for Art and Art History:

Updated: 9/4/2015

From Chinese Collection

Information here is provided by Min Tian, Iowa's Chinese Studies Librarian.

Updated: 9/4/2015


Smart Search

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Subject Headings

Subject Headings List (Not comprehensive)

Architecture -- Japan

Architecture, Japanese

Art, Japanese

Buddhist art 

Buddhist art and symbolism 

Buddhist arts

Buddhist painting

Buddhist sculpture

Ceramics -- Japan

Color prints, Japanese

Illustrated books -- Japan

Narrative painting, Japanese

Paintings, Japanese

Pottery, Japanese  

More specific pottery from different places can be searched by narrower Subject Headings such as Bizen pottery, Echizen pottery, Hagi pottery, Japanese tea ceremony—Utensils, Karatsu pottery, Mashiko pottery, etc.

Scrolls, Japanese

Sculpture -- Japan

Sculpture, Japanese


Also try Katsukawa School, Katsushika School, Surimono, Torii School, Utagawa school of Ukiyoe. 

Updated: 9/8/2015

Resources in Japanese

Nihon Bijutsu Zenshu (Shogakkan)

Updated: 9/4/2015

Japan Art Catalog (JAC) Project

Are you interested in art exhibit catalogs from Japan? If so, check out the Japanese Art Catalog (JAC) Project. URL:  (Last Updated: Aug 15, 2012)

"Since 1995 the Japan Art Catalog Project (JAC) has facilitated access to Japanese art catalogs for art historians and the general public. ...  The JAC Asian Art Collection at the Freer Gallery of Art is curated by Reiko Yoshimura ( Director of the Library of the Freer and Sackler Library of the Smithsonian Institution. The JAC Asian Collection includes approximately 5,000 volumes of Japanese and Asian art exhibitions from Japan received since 1996. ... For those who are unable to visit the Freer Gallery to browse the JAC Collection firsthand, its materials are also available through Interlibrary Loan. While the JAC collection contains catalogs of works from all periods it greatest strengths are for exhibitions of modern (post-Kinsei) art. To date, 75% of the loaned titles were for exhibitions of modern art, followed by requests for catalogs on Chinese and Korean Art exhibitions held in Japan. JAC materials can be found on the Freer Gallery's web site ..."  

To find JAC Project exhibit catalogs in the Freer Gallery's library catalog, use JAC Project in Author Browse search.

And also try WorldCat and use JAC Project for author search. Using the Advanced Search screen, you can limit to the exhibit catalogs available in English as the image below. You will find art exhibit catalogs such as " America's love for Japan" and "The Arts of the Edo period : early 17th--mid-19th centuries." 

If you can read Chinese, Japanese or Korean, click on 中文, 日本語, or 한국어 option at the bottom of WorldCat screen. Then CJK script information will be included and displayed if available.

If you find anything interesting on the search result list, click on the title. Then you will see InfoLink icon which will take you to the Interlibrary Loan Request form. 

Updated: 9/9/2015 

Museum Collections and Other Online Resources in English

Updated: 9/4/2015

Replicas of Japanese Picture Scrolls in the UI Libraries

We have several replicas of Japanese picture scrolls in our library. Most of them are minuature replicas. All the scrolls are accompanied by explanatory booklet in Japanese and English.

To find more scrolls, try seaching for "Emakimono shirīzu" or try Benridō and scroll(s) as your keywords. Benridō is a company in Kyoto who makes most of these replica scrolls in our collection.

If you'd like to know how to handle real Japanese scrolls, check out this online tutorial from the Freer and Sackler Gallery on YouTube: Safe Handling Practices for Japanese Handscrolls

24-volume set of "Nihon emakimono zenshū (Art Oversize-2 FOLIO ND1053 .N5)" can be also useful to look at more narrative painting scrolls. Text chiefly in Japanese, but summary and legends also in English.

Updated: 6/8/2016

Narrative Paintings Online

DVDs About Tale of Genji Scroll in English


Updated: 9/30/2015

NHK World

NHK is the public broadcasting station in Japan. They air some of their programs in English for overseas audience online at NHK World. Some of their TV programs feature Japanese art. Most programs are aired only for scheduled times (repeated for a few times), but some clips are available from Video on Demand menu in TV Programs section for about a month.

Updated: 9/9/2015

Subject Guide

Tsuyoshi Harada's picture
Tsuyoshi Harada
100 Main Library