About the Author
Gian Carlo Calza is a leading authority in Japanese art and aesthetics. He was a professor of Asian Art History at Ca' Foscari University of Venice and director of the International Hokusai Research Centre in Milan. His books and catalogues on Japan have been published in various languages. Among the most important of them are: L'incanto sottile del dramma no (1975, 1983), Hokusai Paintings (1994), Tanaka Ikko (Phaidon, 1997), Japan Style (2002, Phaidon 2006) Hokusai 1999, (Phaidon 2003), Ukiyo-e (Phaidon, 2006), Hiroshige (2009); Poem of the Pillow and Other Stories (Phaidon, 2010). Okakura Kakuzo (1863-1913), Akakura) was a Japanese art critic and scholar who had a great influence on our understanding of Japanese culture. Together wih Ernest Fenollosa, an American professor at Tokyo Imperial University, he was instrumental in defending Japan's traditional art forms which, during the Mejii period, were put in peril by modernisation and the new political structure which severed Buddhist temples from state protection. After setting up a fine arts school based on tradition, and travelling throughout Japan to study its art, he frequently travelled to Asia and the United States. At the turn of the century he became curator of the Oriental Art department of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Several of his books were written directly in English: among them The Ideals of the East (1903), The Awakening of Japan (1904), and The Book of Tea (1906).