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Back to Words Spun Out of Images: Visual and Literary Culture in Nineteenth Century Japan

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Words Spun Out of Images: Visual and Literary Culture in Nineteenth Century Japan by The University of Tokyo

724 ratings

About the Course

In their ambition to capture “real life,” Japanese painters, poets, novelists and photographers of the nineteenth century collaborated in ways seldom explored by their European contemporaries. This course offers learners the chance to encounter and appreciate behavior, moral standards and some of the material conditions surrounding Japanese artists in the nineteenth century, in order to renew our assumptions about what artistic “realism” is and what it meant. Learners will walk away with a clear understanding of how society and the individual were conceived of and represented in early modern Japan. Unlike contemporary western art forms, which acknowledge their common debt as “sister arts” but remain divided by genre and discourse, Japanese visual and literary culture tended to combine, producing literary texts inspired by visual images, and visual images which would then be inscribed with poems and prose. Noticing and being able to interpret this indivisibility of visual/literary cultures is essential in understanding the social and psychological values embedded within the beauty of Japanese art....

Top reviews


Oct 8, 2020

Very interesting where I finished the whole course 2 weeks before the due date because I really enjoyed it. I have been a Japan fanatic since middle school so this course is really my cup of tea


Nov 30, 2020

It was really fun to learn about the history of such art pieces as well as the notable people behind its creation and influence. Mr. Campbell discussed everything clearly as expected.

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201 - 225 of 229 Reviews for Words Spun Out of Images: Visual and Literary Culture in Nineteenth Century Japan

By Lisheng H

Dec 9, 2017

Unique scope of history

By Vy N

Mar 16, 2019

I love this course!!!

By jordi o j

Dec 7, 2017

so interesting info!

By Dinno B L

Apr 17, 2022

thank you very much

By Douglas Q

May 18, 2020

Very Interesting!

By Sebastian G

Dec 1, 2017

Excellent Course!

By Sean M

Jun 4, 2024

Wonderful class!

By Fabíola d S F d R

Apr 24, 2022

Excelente curso.

By Britt W

Apr 16, 2021

great professor

By Sofiia Z

Feb 22, 2021

Amazing course!

By Hisanori S

Mar 24, 2021

Hisanori Sato

By Kleber L d S

Oct 24, 2019

Muito bom.

By Pratap J

Nov 30, 2020

Loved it

By Gabriela A C

Dec 29, 2017


By Lee Y S J

Dec 3, 2017

I found the course content very interesting and the delivery generally very easy to understand. The professor also showed his wealth of knowledge in the subject matter through his lectures. If there is one thing which I was unhappy about, it has to be the subtitles for the lectures which were riddled with mistakes and the Japanese terms had a fair number of spelling mistakes. If this can be improved, it will help the students learn better. On a related note, it would be good to have the Japanese names of the individuals featured in the course as I find that there are limited resources in English if I want to do further reading on these people and would need their names in Japanese script to find resources in Japanese.

By Thana S

Feb 9, 2021

The course is very good for non-Japanese reader by having an English professor convey the class. The story and guide gave me new knowledge that could not be found from the book. The only minor thing is I'd expect more photographs and paintings demonstrated in this course. Thank you

By Ebru O

Jan 4, 2018

The course presents an interesting point of view that combines literature and visual materials (ukiyo-e, illustrations and photographs) in Japanese culture. There are many specific examples that we study and make the concept easier to understand.

By Peter G

Jul 27, 2023

An enlightening journey into beautiful images with words providing a rich narrative of intellectual and cultural heritage of a nation built on a long history of conflict tempered with honour, integrity and beauty.

By Anthony P

Oct 30, 2022

A very interesting course in Japanese History and Culture prior to and during the early Meijii era and before modern Japan.

By Sum Y L

Apr 19, 2020

Nice learning pace and interesting pick of works of art. It will be great if it can come with a suggested reading list.

By Pilar P d C

Apr 13, 2018

Fascinating information of Japans changing mindset in reference to the image and the onset of photography.

By Jaroslav O

Sep 9, 2022

Fascinating knowledge of Japans changing mindset in reference to the image and the onset of photography.

By Andy M

Jun 14, 2023

solid instructor. subject was very interesting. i was over my head but material carried me.

By Michelle M

Aug 21, 2021

I found this to be an exceptionally interesting course and learned a lot, thank you.

By Kellan M

Mar 31, 2020

Very interesting subject for those interested in art of the world.