Japanese Art and Design

240 pages of Japan's meticulous craftsmanship and evolving aesthetic

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Japan’s illustrious history of design permeates nearly every aspect of its modern culture. Centuries of painstaking craftsmanship—combined with an unparalleled attention to detail and ancient traditions steeped in ritual and honor—have given way to a forward-thinking society that’s passionate about improving the experience of life. A new book by V&A Publishing, “Japanese Art and Design,” explores this underlying quest for excellence through the country’s most prominent design periods.

Within its 240 pages, “Japanese Art and Design” studies the intricacies of ancient samurai armor, Ukiyo-e art and more before focusing on contemporary product design—including the Sony Walkman, the work of fashion designers Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto, and Naoto Fukasawa’s wall-mounted CD player for Muji, to name a few. Understanding the country’s early obsession with perfectionism provides context to their continuous innovation and leadership in modern technology.

“Japanese Art and Design” was released to accompany the reopening of the Toshiba Gallery of Japanese Art at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. It’s available to purchase through the museum’s online shop.

Images by Cool Hunting