May 15, 2007 Shigemi Inaga To Discuss Western Influence on Japanese Art on June 7

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692

Contact with the West transformed art in Japan during the first half of the 20th century, especially in the works of the painter Asai Chu (1856-1907) and the ceramicist and teacher Yagi Kazuo (1918-1979), according to Shigemi Inaga. Inaga, who holds the Chair of Modern Culture at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, will give a lecture titled “Modern Japanese Arts and Crafts in Kyoto: From Asai Chu to Yagi Kazuo” at 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 7, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. Sponsored by the Library’s Kluge Center, the event is free and open to the public; no tickets are required. Inaga’s discussion of Western influence on Japanese art is based on his research conducted at the Library of Congress and on a soon-to-be-published book that he edited, “Rethinking Traditional Arts and Crafts Inside and Outside Kyoto.” Inaga is a professor at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto, Japan, where he specializes in comparative literature and culture, and the history of cultural exchange. After receiving both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Tokyo, Inaga was awarded his doctorate from the University of Paris VII (Nouveau Regime). He was then named associate professor at the Faculty of Liberal Arts at the University of Tokyo and later associate professor at Mie University in Japan. Inaga is the author of many books and articles. His publications include “Depiction and Description: Morphology of Modern Visuality and Marketplace in Transition-Methodological Reflections” (2005, special issue of the Korean Art History Forum, No.20, which Inaga edited as guest editor), “Crossing Cultural Borders: Beyond Reciprocal Anthropology” (2001) and “The Orient of the Painting: Orientalism to Japonisme” (1999). Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate, energize and distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For more information on fellowships, grants and programs offered by the Kluge Center, visit


PR 07-105
ISSN 0731-3527