Imagined Neighbors

Visions of China in Japanese Art 1680 – 1980


This book is not yet published, but will be available from September 2024.

ISBN: 9783777442662 Category:


This publication examines the Japanese artistic understanding of China from the late 1600s, Japan’s period of seclusion, to its age of modernization after the mid-nineteenth century.

The volume focuses on the ways Japanese painters from the late 1600s to the twentieth century pictured China, both as a real place and an imagined promised land. It features three essays by renowned Japanese art historians in addition to more than fifty catalogue entries highlighting unusual artworks revealing Japanese artists’ complex responses to Chinese art, history and culture.

In recent years, a handful of scholarly studies have tried to push against the established narrative of an exclusively Western-inspired modern Japan. Imagined Neighbors challenges the established narrative of an exclusively Western-inspired modern Japan by offering a more nuanced approach to understanding the country’s struggle with reconciling the old with the new as it reinvented itself into a modern nation-state.

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 20.3 x 26.7 cm
Publisher name Hirmer Verlag GmbH
Publication date 25 September 2024
Number of pages 304
Format Hardback
Contributors Edited by Frank Feltens, Text by Paul Berry and Michiyo Morioka
Dimensions 20.3 x 26.7 cm
Weight 300 g


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Dr. Frank Feltens is Curator of Japanese Art at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art. His publications include Hokusai's Brush (Smithsonian Books, 2019), Ogata Korin: Art in Early Modern Japan (Yale University Press, 2021), with Yukio Lippit, Sesson Shukei: A Zen Monk-Painter in Medieval Japan (Hirmer, 2021). He is also the editor of Japan in the Age of Modernization: The Arts of Otagaki Rengetsu and Tomioka Tessai (Smithsonian Scholarly Press, 2023).