Japanese Art


a) To know the main artistic fields of Japanese art, analyzed in a thematic and temporal perspective;
b ) Mastering the problems related to the study of the subjects taught ;
c) To know the most relevant and accessible literature on the different domains of study;
d ) To be acquainted to the lines of research open on each of the subjects studied;
e) To discuss , in the context of Japanese art, concepts such as " Art", " History of Art", "Visual culture " and " Material culture", as well as artistic learning practices, networks of commissions and means of reception.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Alexandra Curvelo da Silva Campos


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language





Beasley, W.B. - The Japanese Experience: A Short History of Japan. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999
Frédéric, Louis - Le Japon. Dictionnaire et Civilisation. Paris: Éd. Robert Laffont, 1996
Haruo Shirane - Japan and the Culture of the Four Seasons. Nature, Literature, and the Arts. Columbia University Press, 2012
Pitelka, Morgan - Spectacular Accumulation. Material Culture, Tokugawa Ieyasu, and Samurai Sociability. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2015
Tanizaki Junichirō - Elogio da Sombra. Lisboa: Relógio D’Água, 2016.
The Tale of Genji. A Japanese Classic Illuminated. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019
Tsuji Nobuo - History of Art in Japan. Columbia University Press, 2019

Teaching method

Lectures supported by images, complemented, if possible, by visits to museums. All evaluation elements are mandatory as well as the  presence of the student in at least 80% of the classes taught.

Evaluation method

Evaluation Methodologies - carrying out a critical analysis of Junichiro Tanizaki's book In Praise of Shadows and a written test. The critical analysis can be done individually or in a group (maximum 3 students), with a written presentation(40%), individual written exam(60%)

Subject matter

1 ) Japan in the Asian context : geography, culture, religion .
2 ) Japan prior to Buddhism: the Jomon, Yayoi and Kofun cultures.
3 ) Early Buddhism: Asuka and Nara sculpture and architecture.
4 ) Japan's Heian era: life in Kyoto through literature , visual arts and performing arts.
5 ) Japan of Kamakura and Muromachi periods: the art of war and the warrior class .
6) The spiritual and material culture of chanoyu.
7) The Momoyama period and the arrival of the first Europeans through the study of Japanese painting .
8) The capital in Edo (Tokyo ). The Kabuki and ukiyo -e.
9) Japanese cinema by the lenses of Ozu, Mizoguchi and Kurosawa: an introduction


Programs where the course is taught: