BC. Laurence Binyon

14. A Catalogue of Japanese and Chinese Woodcuts Preserved in the Sub-Department of Oriental Prints and Drawings in the British Museum. London: Trustees of the British Museum, 1916.

Reveals again Binyon’s remarkable grasp of the history and practice of Japanese art, in this case ukiyoe. Certainly no European or American writer could have known more in 1916. Succeeds in the stated aim of giving ‘a careful description of [each of] the prints’ in the British Museum collection and, ‘whenever possible, such information as is necessary for the understanding of the subject’, including translations of the inscriptions on many of the prints, often including poems from early classical sources, some of which appear later in 20. Among inscriptions translated are poems by Ôtomo Yakamochi (d. 785, compiler and among the four principal poets of the Manyôshû, Ap ), Narihira (Ap), Izumi Shikibu, the Monk Jakurin (c. 1139-1202), Bashô (Ap), and many others. Some of these translations in their pre-publication form almost certainly are those Aldington copied in the Print Room before he went to the French front (see BB3). Binyon acknowledges the ‘successive assistance’ of Mr. S. Nishigori, Mr. S. Takaishi, and Mr. H. Inada. A bibliography includes Fenollosa’s Masters of Ukiyoe (D10a), Aston’s History of Japanese Literature (see D13), Mitford’s Tales of Old Japan (see D4), and Brinkley’s Japan: Its History, Arts, and Literature (D14).





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