Miyazawa Kenji and His Illustrators
Helen Kilpatrick (University of Wollongong)
In Miyazawa Kenji and His Illustrators, Helen Kilpatrick examines re-visionings of the literature of one of Japan’s most celebrated authors, Miyazawa Kenji (1896-1933). The deeply Buddhist Kenji's imaginative dōwa (children’s tales) are among the most frequently illustrated in Japan today. Numerous internationally renowned artists such as Munakata Shikō, Kim Tschang-Yeul and Lee Ufan have represented his stories in an array of intriguing visual styles, reinvigorating them as picture books for modern audiences.
Focusing on some of Kenji’s most famous narratives, the author analyses the ways artists respond to the stories’ metaphysical philosophies, exploring the interaction of literature, art and culture. Miyazawa Kenji and His Illustrators is richly depicted with full colour images of the representations of Kenji’s work, making the book a valuable resource on how illustrations shape story, and how these picture books continue to convey the texts’ witty and ironic messages more deeply than the written word alone.