Nostalgic Grain: Four Shin Hanga Prints

Detail of Snow at Nezu Shrine, 1934Tsuchiya Koitsu (Japanese, 1870-1949Woodblock print on paper; 18 x 13 in.98.17.5BGift of Ms. Alice Marshall Ready to Print This past Saturday, Bowers Museum opens its doors to Beyond the Great Wave: Works by Hokusai from the British Museum. As an exhibition of works by one of the most influential artists of all ti...

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Bowers Museum’s South Coast Plaza Display

Bowers Museum's display at South Coast Plaza's Jewel Court, image from Bowers' Exhibit Design Department Trip to the Mall The Bowers Museum is very excited to be collaborating with South Coast Plaza on a temporary display in their Jewel Court that both promotes our upcoming Fall/Winter exhibitions and includes five cases of highlights from the Bowe...

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Under the Hilt: Identifying Three Japanese Swords

Short Sword (Wakizashi), 15th to 19th CenturyTsuguhiro (Japanese, active 1469-1521), Jiryūsai Tomohide (Japanese, 1778-1847) and Seiyōken Akitada (Japanese, active 19th Century); Fukui Prefecture, Chūbu Region, Japan and Nagasaki, Kyushu Region or Tokyo, Kantō Region, JapanSteel, manta ray skin, lacquer, silk and iron; 2 3/4 x 2 3/8 x 27 1/4 in.200...

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Satsuma Ware: Japanese Ceramics of the Exposition Era

Vases and Teapot, 1868-1926JapanEarthenware (Satsuma ware), enamel and gold2012.23.1,.36,.47a,bGift of Bernyce Besso Fair is Not Fair In the late 19th and early 20th century the United States and European powers forced isolationist Asian nations like Japan to open to Western markets. The existing governments of the region reacted in vastly differen...

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Potent Portables: History of Japan’s Netsuke

Group of Figural Netsuke, 20th CenturyJapanIvory and pigments88.31.280-.31Gift of City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks Obi One Clothing not having pockets is an annoyance that inevitably demands some creative solution; be it a purse, backpack, or fanny pack—the ultimate marriage of style and comfort in object toting. In Japan’s Ed...

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A Budai By Any Other Name Would be Just as Compassionate

Hotei Relaxing in a Field, mid to late 20th CenturyMaker Unknown; ChinaPainting on porcelain tile96.52.34Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Herb Hansen Lots of Loves Love is a fairly complex force that can (often insufficiently) be defined as an intense feeling of affection towards family; friends; a significant other; a childhood pet gerbil named Scruffy, rest ...

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Five Faces of the Moon

Composite image of the moon and objects in this post. One Giant Leap On July 20, 1969 three humans boarded an aluminum and stainless-steel rocket, rose into the heavens and collectively became the first group to set foot on another celestial body. Taking his first apprehensive steps on the alien scape of the moon, Neil Armstrong famously said “that...

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Utagawa Yoshiiku and the Blooming World

Detail of 94.64.10. Gift of Mr. William Drell. Love to Spring this On You As all living in southern California are acutely aware, this winter’s deluge has brought with it the happy occasion of a Californian super bloom. The hillsides and shallow valleys of California’s inland deserts—so often entirely devoid of flora—have sprung to life, ...

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Imposition of Exposition Exhibition Export Ware

 Two Meiji-era Japanese exposition objects (2017.6.1a-h and 36756) on view in the Dr. Wan-Lin & Assumpta Kiang Family Foundation Rotunda.Globalization in the 19th and early 20th Centuries in many cases led to the butting of heads on a national scale, but the conflict served as a fantastic motivator for both art and tra...

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What Became of the Floating World

Two Prints from The Fifteen Views of Kyoto, 1950-1960Tomikichiro Tokuriki (Japanese, 1902–1999)Woodblock print on paper; 15 x 13 in.81.8.1J, KGift of Mr. Kerwin JacobsBeauty Reading a Letter, late 18th CenturyUtamaro (Japanese 1753-1806)Woodblock print on paper; 19 x 13 in.36124.1Evylena Nunn Miller Memorial CollectionUkiyo-e, the term for a s...

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Up to Snuff: Smokeless Tobacco Bottles from Around the World

Scrimshaw Snuff Box, c. 1870United StatesSperm whale ivory, silver and ink2011.25.18Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Burton W. FinkSnuff Bottle, date unknownKenyaWood, metal and horn2013.7.9Gift of Doris L. BuckSnuff Bottle, late 20th CenturyJapanAntler97.11.2Gift of Dr. Murray and Brett ViaAround the WorldAt the height of its popularity, snuff was used throug...

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The First Warbles of Spring

Scene from Tale of Genji Chapter 23, “Hatsune (First Warbler)”, 1890Yōshū Chikanobu (Japanese, 1838-1912); Tokyo, JapanWoodblock print on paper; 21 1/2 x 33 in.94.64.8Gift of Mr. William DrellTale of the EquinoxSpring is in the air! The spring equinox, which occurred Tuesday, March 20th, provides the possibility for rebirth, renewal, and regrowth. ...

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Japanese Wedding Kimono

Wedding Furisode Kimono (Furisode), c. 1900JapaneseSilk and threadF78.62.1Bowers Museum Purchase A woman’s first furisode (a long-sleeved kimono, literally “swinging sleeve”) is given to her at the age of 20 when she is recognized as an adult, allowed to vote, responsible for committing crimes and is officially allowed to smoke and drink. A furisod...

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