The Japan Society

Upcoming Events

ARCHIVED ONLINE LECTURE - Craft Culture in Early Modern Japan: Materials, Makers, Mastery with Christine Guth

Monday 18 October 2021 / 6:45pm
ONLINE LECTURE - Craft Culture in Early Modern Japan: Materials, Makers, Mastery with Christine Guth

Monday 18 October 2021
6.45pm (BST)
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Booking Details
Online Lecture
Free – Donations Welcome
Registration essential

Book online here

The activities of the Japan Society are made possible thanks to the support of its members. This event is free of charge and open to all. We realise that this is a difficult time for many people. However, if you are planning to attend and do not have a membership subscription as an individual or through your employer, please consider making a donation. You can find details of membership and how to join the Japan Society community here.

Most studies of Japanese crafts during the Momoyama and Tokugawa periods approach the subject from the perspective of individual masters and media, or within the realms of collecting, curation, and display. In this lecture, Christine Guth will take a different approach, drawing critical attention to the dynamic, multidirectional network of forces—both material and immaterial-- that undergird Japan’s extraordinarily rich, diverse and aesthetically sophisticated artifactual culture.

This will include the particular materials and tools and the people who wield them, but also the institutions, modes of thought, behaviors and the reciprocal relationships among them. In drawing attention to “craft culture” this lecture, based on Christine's latest publication Craft Culture in Early Modern Japan: Materials, Makers, Mastery, will emphasize shared assumptions fundamental to ways and values of making that transcend the specifics of each practice.

* Image: Tachibana Minko, Fan making from 'Various Classes of Artisans in Colored Pictures' (Saiga shokunin burui), illustrated book; 1770. British Museum.


Christine M. E. Guth has taught at institutions including Princeton, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, and Berkeley. She led the Asian specialism in the Victoria and Albert Museum & Royal College of Art’s Post-graduate History of Design Program from 2007 until 2016.  Her previous books include Art of Edo Japan: The Artist and the City 1615-1868 (1996) and Hokusai’s Great Wave: Biography of a Global Icon (2015). She is also co-author (with Haruhiko Fujita) of The Encyclopedia of East-Asian Design (2019). Craft Culture in Early Modern Japan: Materials, Makers, Mastery will be published in Autumn 2021.

If you have any questions, please call the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996 or email

Booking Info

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