Sotheby's Publications by Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd, 1987 Book. As New. Hardcover. 1st Edition. English text; 2 Hardcover VOLUMES (with dust jackets) in slipcase.; 24.6 x 33.5 cm; 6.9 Kg; 1132 pages with colour and black and white illustrations throughout.; VOLUME I: 3.681 Kg, 608 pages; VOLUME II: 3.236 Kg, from page 609 to 1132.; Minor signs of wear on the slipcase and dust jackets. Interior as new.; It is surprising that so little of the great heritage of Japanese art in book form has been appreciated in the west, where attention has been largely confined to Ukyo-e prints. There has hitherto been no publication, in Japanese or in any non-Japanese language, that does justice to the art of the Japanese illustrated book. Jack Hiller, a wood engraver himself, has been a collector and connoisseur of the Japanese book for over thirty years. An unrivalled knowledge of the subject, and of the location of the rarer key works, has enabled him to present, for the first time, a balanced, appositely illustrated account of the prints in book form of a nation supremely gifted in all the arts of the book. In Japan the wood-block prints contained in book and album occupy a more important place in the national art as a whole than in any other country. In printed books, both illustrated literary texts and volumes that were entirely the artist's work, all schools of Japanese art were represented, and block-cutters and printers quintessentialised the characteristics of each school and the gifts of individual masters. A Kõetsu book such as "Michimori" epitomises the Rimpa or Decorative school, the Seirõ Bijin Awase Sugata Kagami of Shunshõ and Shigemasa goes to the heart of the "Floating World", the two parts of Suiseki Gafu reveal the genius of an artist whose few surviving paintings and drawings give no inkling of his powers. The Art of the Japanese Book surveys the work of the major artists from the first books of the early 1600s to those that were published up to the end of the American occupation in 1951, selecting from the often prolific output of these artists to show them at their most typical and impressive. The artistry and techniques of book designers, artists, block-cutters and printers are examined, based on specimens of opium condition and unfaded colour. The connection between the artists of the book and the current mainstreams of painting is a constant underlying theme, and in regard to the books of the last hundred years, has meant a concern with not only traditional native painting, but also modern western styles adopted or adapted by Japanese artists. Over nine hundred prints are here reproduced, demonstrating each phase of the development of the Japanese book, and the crucial aspects of each designer's rt. Erotica take their place with the rest, to have omitted them would have been to depart from giving a true picture of Japanese's art, for books of this kind, published on a scale and with an openness far greater than in any western country, contain the work of the greatest masters of the Japanese print. The Japanese Illustrated book, the product if a small, closely knit community of devoted craftsmen, is a central expression of Japanese culture. This authoritative book opens up a subject of the greatest significance for the understanding of a Japanese civilisation..