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Maezaki, Shinya (2009) Qing-style porcelain in Meiji Japan: The ceramic art of Seifu Yohei III. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis presents the first detailed study of the life and work of Seifu Yohei III, in either English or Japanese. Seifu Yohei III (1851-1914) was one of the leading ceramic artists of the Meiji period and highly acclaimed both in Japan and abroad during his lifetime. Being a literati-style painter and an unabashed Sinophile, Seifu created works that display the distinctive characteristics of Qing porcelain. The multi-faceted character of this artist provides an opportunity to explore crucial issues concerning the transformation of Japanese art in general at the beginning of Japan's modem age. The clientele for such works was an elite with similar predilections for Chinese-style wares, though patronage of his works extended even to the Imperial Household of Japan. A study of Seifu Yohei III demonstrates that Japanese ceramics cannot be discussed in terms of a linear, uniformly progressive development mirroring the Westernisation of Japan. Seifu's career reveals the co-existence of what might normally be perceived as irreconcilable factors in terms of its regional, social, economic and cultural environments, often involving interaction with China. Each chapter takes up a different issue surrounding Seifu Yohei III in the context of the production and consumption of art in Meiji Japan. This interdisciplinary analysis of the life and work of Seifu Yohei III also sheds light on the social, economic and cultural factors affecting other potters of the Meiji era. It takes on previously neglected issues concerning what happened in the area of ceramic production inside Japan and, more broadly, in East Asia as a whole.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:16

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