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  • Published: 9 November 2021
  • ISBN: 9781635420906
  • Imprint: Other Press
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 160
  • RRP: $41.99

Back to Japan

The Life and Art of Master Kimono Painter Kunihiko Moriguchi



From the critically acclaimed author of The Heart: Frida Kahlo in Paris, a fascinating, intimate portrait of one of Japan’s most influential and respected textile artists.

Writer, filmmaker, and photographer Marc Petitjean finds himself in Kyoto one fine morning with his camera, to film a man who will become his friend: Kunihiko Moriguchi, a master kimono painter and Living National Treasure—like his father before him.

As a young decorative arts student in the 1960s, Moriguchi rubbed shoulders with the cultural elite of Paris and befriended Balthus, who would profoundly influence his artistic career. Discouraged by Balthus from pursuing design in Europe, he returned to Japan to take up his father’s vocation. Once back in this world of tradition he had tried to escape, Moriguchi contemporized the craft of Yūzen (resist dyeing) through his innovative use of abstraction in patterns.

With a documentarian’s keen eye, Petitjean retraces Moriguchi’s remarkable life, from his childhood during the turbulent 1940s and 50s marked by war, to his prime as an artist with works exhibited in the most prestigious museums in the world.

  • Published: 9 November 2021
  • ISBN: 9781635420906
  • Imprint: Other Press
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 160
  • RRP: $41.99

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Praise for Back to Japan

Praise for The Heart: Frida Kahlo in Paris: “Compelling...[Petitjean] captures the pop and fizz of artistic circles in Paris during the interwar years...The Heart is a distinctively intimate undertaking, which is no small feat considering its well-known cast of characters...an unconventional and deeply personal biography.” —Washington Post “An intimate portrait of the artist and her time in the lively 1930s surrealist scene.” —New York Times Book Review “This crisp, concise, radiant gem of a book is a delight all the way through, whether you see it as a yarn of multigenerational heartbreak and longing, a beautiful and unlikely father-son chronicle, a classic artist-muse love story, or a cautionary tale about the most obsessively rendered city on earth.” —Bookforum

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