Love, Fight, Feast

Love, Fight, Feast

The Multifaceted World of Japanese Narrative Art

Telling stories through images: Japan’s multifaceted narrative art across eight centuries



Title Information

Edited by Khanh Trinh

1st edition

, 2021

Hardback (Flexicover)

366 pages, 299 color and 6 b/w illustrations

23 x 28 cm

ISBN 978-3-03942-024-7

In cooperation with Museum Rietberg, Zürich


The use of pictures to communicate a story has a long tradition in Japanese culture that dates back more than a thousand years. Such narrative illustrations draw on Buddhist texts, classic literature, poetry, and theatrical scenes to create rich visual imagery realized in a wide range of media and formats. Quotations from and allusions to heroic epics and romances were disseminated through exquisite paintings, woodblock prints, and in pieces of applied arts such as lacquerware or ceramics, thus becoming anchored in the collective consciousness. As story-telling art found expression in a variety of materialities, it became an integral part of daily life. A fascinating narrative space evolved that combined artistic excellence and aesthetic pleasure.

Love, Fight, Feast features some one hundred paintings, woodblock prints, illustrated woodblock-printed books, as well as lacquer and metal objects, porcelain, and textiles from the thirteenth to the twentieth century, alongside scholarly essays on a range of aspects of Japanese narrative art. Published in conjunction with an exhibition at the renowned Museum Rietberg in Zurich, the book o­ffers a unique survey of the multifaceted, colorful, and imaginative world of Japanese narrative art across eight centuries.

With essays by Sebastian Balmes, Estelle Bauer, Jaqueline Berndt, Melanie Trede, and Khanh Trinh. Further contributions by Ioana-Adina Bădescu, Véronique Béranger, Marta Boscolo Marchi, Rosina Buckland, Györgi Fajcsák, Alexander Hofmann, Vincent Lefèvre, Béatrice Quette, Mary Redfern, Anna Saweljewa, Wibke Schrape, Laure Schwartz-Arenales, Hamish Todd und Wang Fengyu. Foreword by Annette Bhagwati.


Khanh Trinh is curator of Japanese and Korean Art at Zurich's Museum Rietberg since 2015. Prior to this she worked as curator and lecturer in Japanese Art History in Berlin (Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst, 1997–2004), Tokyo (Waseda University, 2006–07), and Sydney (Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2007–15).


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