Book review batch 3 – Cleveland Museum of Art Library


This list of book reviews stems not from my personal collection, but rather the
impressive book collection housed at the Cleveland Museum of Art Library. The
Cleveland Art Museum’s Library is free and open to the public, and is the 3rd
largest in the nation. The library houses many rare, out of print, and expensive
art books. The Japanese selection is massive, with many books that have never
been published in America or in English.

I did not have time to personally reach each and every book, so much as glance
through for info relevant to our interests. I am doing this in hopes of helping
people gain new insight about the arts and learn about books for research.

Later I will be revisiting these books to get photos to share. Enjoy.
Title: Spectacular Helmets of Japan, 16th – 19th Century
Author: Japan House Gallery
Year Published: 1986
ISBN: 0-87011-784-X
Language: English
Pages: 193

Period: Muramachi & Momoyama & Edo

Subjects: Lavish Japanese helmets with info about each helm, and insight into their motif and construction

My Thoughts: This is an amazing book, and the perfect crowning book for a library collection about Japanese armor. The photos of each helm are large, detailed, and in full color making for a striking presentation. My only complaint is that there are not multiple shots of the elm from different sides and the inside of the helm. The ‘period’ helms are very unique and certainly creative if not fierce looking. No two helmets are like among the Japanese, and tis book really drives home how unique a helm should be for a Japanese persona.


Title: The Rise of Bizen Ceramics in the Momoyama Period
Author: Maria Roman Navarro
Year Published: 2008
ISBN: 978-3-496-01381-5
Language: English
Pages: 212

Period: Momoyama

Subjects: History, construction, and more about Bizen Ceramics in the Momoyama Period of Japan

My Thoughts: This book is very much a scholars approach to ceramics in Momoyama Japan. The back of the book include a full color catalog that has many styles. If someone enjoys Momoyama Ceramics this book is a must. This particular subject is not of interest to me, all the same I wanted to look at this book so I could recommend it to people who might be interested – as it is a very unique and focused book.


Title: Momoyama Jidai no Senshoku #19
Author: Unknown, due to being written in Japanese
Year Published: Early Autumn 1982
ISBN: None found that I can see
Language: Purely Japanese
Pages: 180

Period: Momoyama textiles

Subjects: Lots of Momoyama garb, the likes that I have never seen elsewhere! There is also a guide on how to do what looks like Momoyama shibori in this book – WHOW!!!!

My Thoughts: OMG! This book is packed full of stunning full color high detail photos of attire from the Momoyama period! My primary interest is the Momoyama period, and even I am seeing all new testiles and examples of attire that I had never seen before! I am so inspired! I have to buy this book! I will be revisiting this book and taking many photos for documentation, as I doubt many people in the SCA have ever seen many of these period examples!

There are stunning examples of patchwork kosode that more look like a stainglass window then a kosode!


Title: Heian, Kamakura, Muromachi no Senshoku , #23
Year Published: 1983
ISBN: None found, most likely due to being in Japanese
Language: Japanese, I saw nothing in english at all
Pages: 168

Period: Heian to Muromachi, as the title suggests

Subjects: There are some interesting clothing items in photos that I have never seen before all through this book. Most interesting are a few pages showing what I think to be monks making and blessing silk – which means it is most likely the construction and creation of sympathy silk.

My Thoughts: This book frustrated me, its a great resource but is written in Japanese. I see a lot of interesting full color and detailed photos of period garb, but I really dont know what they are! There is a stunning selection of heian attire that simply must be documented. Wen I return to this library I am getting photos of the garb in this book, I wager some of this stuff has never before been seen within the SCA.


Title: (English translation) Medieval Japanese Textiles, (Japanese?) Senshoku : chusei hen
Author: Unknown?
Year Published: May 1988
ISBN: Unknown due to most likely being written in Japanese
Language: Japanese
Pages: 94

Periods: Heian to Momoyama? Unknown due to lack of english in the book.

Subjects: Historical Japanese attire

My Thoughts: Tis book would be such a great resource, if only it were in english or translated. There is no english in this book at all, making it for a frustrating experience. At a glance I see many period textile examples including court wear and a heian ladies attire, I also see a stunning example of a Momoyama patchwork kimono that is very high fashion. There are a few color photos, and a few black and white ones. If someone could translate this book, it would be a great resource.


Title: The Goda Collection – Japanese Sword Fitting
Author: Robert Hamilton Rucker
Year Published: 1924
ISBN: None (Only 500 copies of this book were printed)
Language: English
Pages: 93

Periods: Mostly 17th Century to Pre-WW2, however the info is still good for insight

Subjects: Swordmakers, Swordfittings, Insight into terms and designs for sword fittings

My Thoughts: Masauji Goda lived from 1844 – 1917. In the first pages of the book is a photo of Goda, formally dressed in his kimono, haori, and hakama with his swords by him as his sits kneeling on the ground with a folded fan before him. Though he is aged he looks noble and to have been a wide and great man. In fact the intro in the book for this man lists him as a scholarly gentleman.

This book is packed full of great antique sword fittings with history, details, and insight to each of the sittings and their designs. There also is a catalog o the families and individual swordsmiths through Japanese history such as: Umetada, Miochin, and more. There are many black and white photos of the collection, with descriptions and the source of the fittings. What I find very valuable is in te back of the book there is a nice glossary of terms in reference to their construction, and art styles – something I have not seen in any other book. This precious antique book is a must for a serious Japanese Sword Collector.

In the back of this book, it states that only 500 copies of this book were printed. Good luck finding one.


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