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New book offers a fascinating and long-overdue visual history of Japanese Buddhist art
Buddhist Monk’s Cape (kesa) and Scarf (ohi) Edo Period (1615–1868)Silk, gold Gift of Herman A. E. Jaehne and Paul C. Jaehne, 1941. H: 45 x W: 80 in. (114 x 203 cm) (cape) H: 13 x W: 64 in. (33 x 164 cm) (scarf) 41.1333A,B.



LEWES.- This richly-illustrated text offers a concise introduction to diverse Japanese Buddhist practices and the central role of art within them. It showcases magnificent and rare works of Japanese art—ornate and gold leafed paintings, textiles, ceramics, and sculptures—from The Newark Museum of Art’s collection that reflect Mahayana and Mantrayana Buddhist practices.

The volume is organized in seven sections that emphasize the functionality of the art through windows of practice embraced throughout all periods of Japanese Buddhist history. The “Buddha, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas” chapter introduces central divine figures prominent in Mahayana Buddhist art. The “Life and Death” section illustrates Japanese Buddhist promises of paradises and punishments of hells. The “Health and Wealth” portion features both peaceful and wrathful Buddhist deities that promote physical and mental health, as well as spiritual and material wealth, while fending off negativities that bring disaster. “Extending Enlightenment” considers the evolution of art in Buddhism while the “Teachers and Students” chapter addresses the vital, venerated role of teachers and transmission of knowledge. “From Ascetic to Saint” explores the narrative origins of a four-part illustrated hagiography depicting the ascetic life of the Buddhist monk Tokuhon. Finally, the “Tea Aesthetics and Implements” section showcases a particular ceremonial practice—the ritual preparation and drinking of tea in a unique gathering. This is one element of continually evolving trends in Buddhism.

Dr. Katherine Anne Paul is The Virginia and William M. Spencer III Curator of Asian Art, Birmingham Museum of Art, AL. Paul served as curator of the Arts of Asia at the Newark Museum from 2008 to the spring of 2019. A Fulbright scholar, Paul has published extensively on numerous subjects related to Asian art. She holds degrees in Languages and Cultures of Asia from University of Wisconsin – Madison (MA, Ph.D.). She served on the steering committee for the American Curators of Asian Art (2010-2017) and as a board member of the Seol Won Foundation since 2017.

Ikumi Kaminishi is associate professor and director of Graduate Studies, Tufts University, School of Arts and Sciences. Kaminishi specializes in Japanese art and culture with particular focuses on Buddhist art and medieval illustrated hand-scrolls (emakimono). She teaches a variety of courses, including Japanese architecture, Buddhist Art, Arts of China, Zen and Tea Aesthetics, and History of Japanese anime.

Contributions by Katherine Anne Paul & Ikumi Kaminishi Project Editor: Catherine Evans, The Newark Museum of Art Preface by Linda C. Harrison, Director & CEO, The Newark Museum of Art

What it is about Japanese art that transcends time and place to remain so visually stimulating and spiritually rewarding—as true today as it has been for centuries?— Linda C. Harrison, Preface

Beyond Zen
Japanese Buddhism Revealed

HB $44.95/35.00 ISBN: 9781911282556
164pp 9.5 x 11 in (280 x 240 mm)
155 color illustrations
Publication: June, 2021










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