Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ehon = Artist book in Japanese

I was recently able to borrow this beautiful book entitled Ehon: The Artist and the Book in Japan by Roger S. Keyes, through the inter-library loan system. It came to me from the Sydney library and I hope to buy my own copy one day.

It's a large format book, with beautiful colour illustrations and text descriptions of seventy, yes! 70! Japanese "picture books" dating from 770-2005. The books were exhibited at the New York City Library - can you imagine! There is more information about ehon, the exhibition and the book on the library site, here, here and here.

Keyes' book begins with a 20-odd page introduction, which highlights the most prestigious authors and books, providing some context and discussing what is distinctive about Japanese artists books. This is followed by the presentation of the 70 books, some with several pages of images and/or discussion.

Before I returned the book, I couldn't resist copying a few of my favourite pages to share...

Of course, I don't have permission to do this, and I hope that the copyright holder will view this transgression in the light in which it is intended.


  1. That book is so beautiful, Amanda, thanks for sharing! I love Japanese art but have not come across ehon until now. Sara

  2. oooo thanks for the lovely post amanda - I must follow up on some of the links you've given - what a gorgeous book! I'm feeling a pressing neeeeeeed to possess it! (I wonder if I can convince monash uni library to go get it for me?...... hmmmmmmm)

  3. Isn't it exquisite>

    Just nominated you for a Happiness Award. You need to drop over to my blog to collect ;O)

  4. Love this Amanda! Stunning book....
    I'm always so drawn to Japanese art's the purity of it I think!