Creatures Real and Imaginary in Chinese and Japanese Art

An Identification Guide

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About the Book

This guide to identifying lions, unicorns and other creatures real and fanciful in Chinese and Japanese artwork explains how these and other animal depictions were introduced to the East, and how their portrayals changed over time. Tracing the lion’s early use in Mesopotamian art and its cultural symbolism in Greece and Rome, this study includes stylized foxes, tigers, badgers and cats, as well as fanciful creatures like dragons, humanoid birds, water imps, demons and other chimerical beasts. Stories and descriptions are provided along with numerous photographs and drawings, making this work an invaluable resource for art collectors and anyone interested in East Asian culture and history.

About the Author(s)

Walther G. von Krenner has worked as an artist, art dealer and curator since 1960, specializing in Chinese and Japanese works. He lives in Kalispell, Montana.
Ken Jeremiah has written extensively about spiritual and religious phenomena. He lives in Narragansett, Rhode Island, and runs tour groups to Japan, Italy and other countries yearly.

Bibliographic Details

Walther G. von Krenner and Ken Jeremiah
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 180
Bibliographic Info: 84 photos & illustrations (30 in color), appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9728-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1958-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Preface 1

Introduction 3

Part I: The Lion in Worldwide Cultures 9

Part II: The Lion in China 28

Between pages 38 and 39 are 8 plates with 16 color images

Part III: The Ch’i-lin (Qilin) or Unicorn 39

Part IV: Other ­Pi-Hsieh (Fabulous Animals) 54

Part V: The Lion in Japan 68

Part VI: Other Mammals 88

Between pages 98 and 99 are 8 plates with 14 color images

Part VII: Humanoid Creatures and Other Types of Yokai 104

Conclusion 126

Appendix A: Chinese Dynasties 129

Appendix B: A Chronological Outline of Japanese History 133

Appendix C: Edo Period Eras (1600–1867) 140

Appendix D: The Lion Design in Asia 141

Notes 143

Bibliography 147

Index 151