About this site

Surrealism in Japan: a collection of resources for the study of Surrealism in its international manifestations

This site is maintained by Dr Majella Munro to facilitate the study of the Surrealist movement in Japan and internationally.  All links and recommendations direct to the most comprehensive and academically rigourous sources available, and are based on my own first-hand experience of conducting research on Surrealism in Japan. To find out more about my research and expertise click here.

This site is under construction, and will continue to grow both as a result of my own discoveries, and through collaboration with  users.  If you have a suggestion for an addition to the bibliography, a site link, or have news of an exhibition which you would like to publicise here, please add a comment or email me at munro@modernartasia.com.

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John Solt, Shredding the Tapestry of Meaning

Shredding the Tapestry of Meaning: The Poetry and Poetics of Kitasono Katue, Harvard East Asian Monographs, 1999

Fascinating intellectual biography of the important avant-garde poet Kitasono.

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Miryam Sas, Fault Lines

Fault Lines: Cultural Memory and Japanese Surrealism, Stanford University Press, 2002.

Pioneering, critical, and comprehensive account of Japanese Surrealist literature; an indispensible text.

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Věra Línhartová, Dada et Surréalisme au Japon,

Dada et Surréalisme au Japon, Publications Orientalistes de France, 1987.

The foundational study of Japanese Surrealism in any Western language, this book offers biographies and translations of texts by Takahashi Shinkichi, Takiguchi Shuzo, Fukuzawa Ichiro, Kitawaki Noboru, and Kitasono Katsue.

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Ko Won, Buddhist Elements in Dada

Buddhist Elements in Dada: A Comparison of Tristan Tzara, Takahashi Shinkichi, and their Fellow Poets, New York University Press, 1977

A really incisive study of an important and under-rated poet. Ko Won attempts to trace not only the influence of Dada on Japan, but also the possible influence of Japan on Dada: while he is candid in admitting there is little material evidence of Tzara’s interest in Zen, the discussion is nonetheless interesting and contributes an important comparative perspective.

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Majella Munro, Dada, MAVO, and the Japanese Avant-Garde

Majella Munro Dada MAVODada, MAVO, and the Japanese Avant-Garde: A Prologue to the Introduction of Surrealism to Japan, Re:bus, issue 4, 2009


read it here

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Gennfier Weisenfeld, MAVO

Gennifer Weisenfeld, MAVO: Japanese Artists and the Avant-Garde, 1905-1931, University of California Press, 2002

more info

Excellent and unprecedent account of the activities of Murayama Tomoyoshi and the MAVO group.

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Yamada Satoshi

Curator of the major exhibition Nihon no Shururearisumu 1925-45 held at Nagoya City Art Museum in 1990 and editor of the accompanying catalogue, an encyclopedic compilation of biographies and reprints of primary materials.


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