Shinto Discovery of the Divine in Japanese Art Sinéad Vilbar, Kevin Carr, Taniguchi Kosei, Shimizu Ken

Publication date:
07 May 2019
The Cleveland Museum of Art
400 pages: 254 x 302mm
150 color illus.


Bringing the rich Japanese Shinto artistic tradition to life, this handsome volume explores the significance of calligraphy, painting, sculpture, and the decorative arts within traditional kami veneration ceremonies

A central feature of Japanese culture for many centuries, the veneration of kami deities—a practice often referred to as Shinto—has been a driving force behind a broad swath of visual art. Focusing on the Heian period (795–1185) through the Edo period (1615–1868), this generously illustrated volume brings the rich Shinto artistic tradition to life through works of calligraphy, painting, sculpture, and the decorative arts. Thematic essays authored by both American and Japanese scholars explore different dimensions of kami veneration and examine the significance of these objects—many of which have never been seen outside of Japan—in Shinto ceremonies.

Sinéad Vilbar is curator of Japanese art at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Kevin Carr is associate professor in the History of Art Department at the University of Michigan. Shimizu Ken is curator of decorative arts and head of decorative arts and archaeology, Taniguchi Kosei is curator of painting and head of education, and Iwata Shigeki is curator of sculpture and head of the Art Division, all at the Nara National Museum, Japan.