Joe and Etsuko Price are known for their world-renowned Edo-period (17th-19th century) art collection. It consists of original works, which they purchased and held themselves, as well as books and works about the art from this period. Under the influence of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Price began collecting Edo masterpieces, with a particular emphasis on Itō Jakuchū's works. These works (which were oft overlooked during Price's visits to Japan in the 50s and 60s) were relatively inexpensive for the time. Thus, Price's eye for taste brought attention to otherwise "experimental" works that were extremely modern for the mid to late Edo period, earning him the title of "The American who rediscovered Jakuchu". During the 90s, Takashi Murakami declared Jakuchu to be a Superflat artist, in reference to his unique use of perspective and particularly modern stylistic choices. The Price family is of instrumental importance to LACMA's Japanese art collection development, and they eventually would help to build LACMA's Pavilion for Japanese Art.
Donald F. Callum was a celebrated scholar of Japanese art history. After earning his A.B. at Berkeley, he pursued graduate studies under Asian art historian Alexander Soper (1904–1993) at New York University. He spent seven years doing research in Japan, working with most of the major Buddhist sculpture specialists alive at the time. His collection includes materials related to his academic career and research, course materials, lecture notes, papers, correspondence, and presentations.
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Famed art director, graphic designer, and costume designer Eiko Ishioka is a cultural icon of the 60s and 70s. She is most well known for her work in Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula (1992), for which she was awarded the Academy Award for Best Costume Design. She was extensively involved with commercial branding for Parco and also served as a stage director for several Issey Miyake runway shows.
UCLA currently holds her papers, which span her illustrious and multifaceted career. The collection contains wonderful original large and small format original sketches, posters, vinyl records, set drawing designs, fabric samples, photographs, negatives, and other material related to her productions.
The executive vice president of the Nomura Research Institute, a leading think-tank in Japan, Jiro Tokuyama was a successful businessman and economic commentator with several publications. He served as the Deputy Director of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Trade Center in New York, accelerating the sale of Japanese goods in the US market.
Marius B. Jansen was a renowned scholar of Japanese history at Princeton University. After serving in the military with his focus on the study of Japan, he turned his interests from European to Japanese history. He received his doctorate from Harvard University and began teaching a small Oriental studies program at Princeton University in 1959. His early forays into teaching Japanese history would help to introduce serious scholarship of Japan to many other American universities.
He is the recipient of numerous scholastic awards, and held many highly appointed positions within various committees on Japan. He was elected president to the Fulbright Commission Association for Asian Studies in 1977, chaired the American Committee at the Japan Foundation, and was a member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was recognized for his contributions to Japanese studies by the Emperor of Japan, who conferred on him the Order of the Sacred Treasure in 1985.
"His long service and many contributions to the study of Japan and its culture were recognized in his appointment to the Japan Academy in Spring 1999 and the award of the Prize for Distinguished Cultural Merit (Bunka Korosho) later that year. Jansen was the first non-Japanese to receive this award" (Source: https://eas.princeton.edu/people/marius-jansen).
Michael F. Marra was born in Northern Italy and would go on to study at the University of Turin, where he specialized in Sanskrit and Pali. His pursuit of language and interest in Buddhist scholarship would eventually lead him to the study of Japanese literature. After receiving his PhD, he taught at the University of Tokyo and University of Southern California before moving to UCLA in 1993. It is during this period of his career that he turned his attention to Japanese aesthetics and hermeneutics, an area of study in which he would become a pioneer-- "He aligned the Japanese sources with contemporary European debates on aesthetic and literary issues, to show how the conventional Japanese vocabulary of literary aesthetics--terms previously seen solely in light of traditional Shinto and Buddhist religious sensibilities--acquired new nuances to reflect modern philosophical concerns. No one else had ever conceived of this project, much less attempted it" (Source: UC Senate).
A professor of history at UCLA, Miriam Silverberg was celebrated for her contributions to her writings on modern Japan. Her fresh insights and "avant-garde" approach to Japanese scholarship make her a stand-out academic in her field. She also directed the UCLA Center for Women's Studies from 2000-2003, establishing the CSW Workshop Project.
Her research interests included militant Japanese women, Japanese popular culture, Nakano Shigeharu, Japanese colonialism, Korean modernity, and more.
Shoichi Ozawa (1929-2012) was an actor, poet, and essayist who graduated from Waseda University as a student of French literature. He established the first rakugo research group on campus, and trained as an actor during his time in university. He would go on to participate in the performing arts on stage, radio shows, television, and film.
Later on in his career, he would continue to pursue his research in the traditional performing arts, touring Japan in order to begin collecting, preserving, and studying relevant materials.
UCLA's collection (alongside the Honda Yasuji collection) was donated by Waseda University's Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum, and contains total 4,500 volumes of monographs and journals. It covers a vast expanse of the histories of smaller, rural performing arts, to more popular, urban entertainment such as rakugo.
William Bodiford is a professor emeritus in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at UCLA. He primarily works on Soto Zen Buddhism, however he has published on a broad range of Buddhist topics spanning broadly from medieval to contemporary times. He is a member of the editorial boards of "Cursor Mundi: Viator Studies of the Medieval and Early Modern World” (UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies), “Studies in East Asian Buddhism”, and “Classics in East Asian Buddhism”.
Click here to view materials donated by Professor Bodiford.
Yasuji Honda (1906-2001) graduated from Waseda University in 1929 as a student of literature. He is widely regarded as the leading expert on Japanese folk performing arts, and is a key figure in the revival movement. He became an authority on the categorization of types of folk arts, creating the most comprehensive list of folk performing arts in Japan. Yasuji's research has been a cornerstone of modern Japan's understanding of performing arts. He would later serve as a professor at Waseda and also as a member of the Council for Cultural Affairs, and has received numerous accolades for his work.
UCLA's collection was donated by Waseda University's Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum, and contains total 4,500 volumes of monographs and journals. It covers a vast expanse of the histories of smaller, rural performing arts, to more popular, urban entertainment such as rakugo.
Yoshie Yoshida (1929-2016) was an avant-garde art critic and curator whose work spanned the arts, dance, and other subcultures. In 1961, he became a member of the Art Critics Association. As a curator and event/exhibit organizer active in political and performance art circles, his collection contains monographs, serials and audiovisual materials, scrapbooks, article clippings, exhibition programs, posters and correspondences.