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Words Spun Out of Images: Visual and Literary Culture in Nineteenth Century Japan, The University of Tokyo

4.8
164 ratings
51 reviews

About this Course

In their ambition to capture “real life,” Japanese painters, poets, novelists and photographers of the nineteenth century collaborated in ways seldom explored by their European contemporaries. This course offers learners the chance to encounter and appreciate behavior, moral standards and some of the material conditions surrounding Japanese artists in the nineteenth century, in order to renew our assumptions about what artistic “realism” is and what it meant. Learners will walk away with a clear understanding of how society and the individual were conceived of and represented in early modern Japan. Unlike contemporary western art forms, which acknowledge their common debt as “sister arts” but remain divided by genre and discourse, Japanese visual and literary culture tended to combine, producing literary texts inspired by visual images, and visual images which would then be inscribed with poems and prose. Noticing and being able to interpret this indivisibility of visual/literary cultures is essential in understanding the social and psychological values embedded within the beauty of Japanese art....

Top reviews

By VC

Jan 10, 2018

Very knowledgeable lecturer with a gentle humble voice. Much was learned about literary portraits from 18th/19th centuries to literary photographs in the early 20th century.

By JA

Dec 16, 2018

i loved it! it was very detailed in terms of historical literature and photographic culture and the narrator really explained everything very well.

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51 Reviews

By jawaahir almutawakil

Dec 16, 2018

i loved it! it was very detailed in terms of historical literature and photographic culture and the narrator really explained everything very well.

By Katrin Winkler

Nov 22, 2018

I thoroughly enjoyed taking this course, while at the same time learning a lot about the subject.

By Father Anthony

Nov 07, 2018

Good synopsis of the subject, accompanied by enough historical background information to understand the images and their captions. I only wish it would also provide a bit more philosophical and religious background.

By Yujin lee

Nov 02, 2018

the lecturer is knowledgeable and engaging. it greatly enriched my appreciation of japanese arts and culture. i highly recommend it.

By Alena Votinova

Nov 02, 2018

Thank you! Brilliant course, very inspiring.

By Мальчикова Светлана Петровна

Oct 31, 2018

Thank you so much for this course! I had a great pleasure when I passed it.

By yan legret

Oct 09, 2018

Fantastic course and the teacher is so erudited. After the course, I want to have more MOOCS with this teacher. What an intellectual model this teacher is!

By Barbara Koleda

Sep 21, 2018

charming course, beautifully presented

By Steve Bamlett

Jun 10, 2018

I have learned more from this course than some whole degree programmes. Partly this is because Professor Campbell is the 'real thing' - an academic who invests himself in his interests. I imagine him in his serarch through antiquarian book and art shops - turning over photographs. He seems always to be thinking.Yet he has a great way of communicating.I will miss this course when it is finished.

By Vira Tkachenko

May 10, 2018

Gives a deep and detailed image of the period. Helped a lot in my understanding writers of 19th cent in Japan.