Andon 62

June 1999

Andon 62

EDITORIAL: The essays submitted to the jury of the Heinz Kaempfer Essay Contest form a welcome addition to manuscripts offered to the editorial staff of Andon. This issue starts with a prize-winning essay by Peter Siegenthaler about the place of  Japan's 'living national treasures' in post-war Japanese society. Mr Siegenthaler discusses the evolution of the ningen kokuhō until the present time and wonders if the institution should not be thoroughly revalued. For those who collect modern Japanese prints Helen Merritt is a well-known scholar. Personally I have consulted her book Modem Japanese woodblock prints: the early yeas, published in 1990, many times, and we are glad she has contributed an essay dealing with an underestimated artist, Watanabe Seitei, who lived in very interesting times. Andon also tries to be a forum for scholars and collectors and we welcome the letter from Peter Ujlaki commenting on John Fiorillo's lead article in Andon 59. He offers some fundamental objections, and his letter is followed by John Fiorillo's response. Next is a very personal contribution by one of our older members, Gerrit-Jan Korteling, who not only shows why he likes the tsuba shown on the front cover, but who has also found the relevant data connected with this artefact. We conclude with a number of interesting and varied book reviews. We aim at quality and variety in Andon and we hope that this issue will stimulate some of you to send us articles, so that you can share your passion with our readers.

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