The Saburo Hasegawa Reader

“The Hasegawa Reader” is an open access companion to the bilingual catalogue copublished with The Noguchi Museum to accompany the international touring exhibition Changing and Unchanging Things: Noguchi and Hasegawa in Postwar Japan. The exhibition features the work of two artists who were friends and contemporaries: Isamu Noguchi and Saburo Hasegawa. This volume is intended to give scholars and general readers access to a wealth of archival material and writings by and about Hasegawa. While Noguchi’s reputation as a preeminent American sculptor of the 20th century only grows stronger, Hasegawa is less well known, despite being considered the most literate artist in Japan during his lifetime (1906–1957). Hasegawa is credited with introducing abstraction in Japan in the mid 1930s, and he worked as an artist in diverse media including oil and ink painting, photography, and printmaking. He was also a theorist and widely published essayist, curator, teacher and multilingual conversationalist. This valuable trove of Hasegawa material includes the entire manuscript for a 1957 Hasegawa memorial volume, with beautiful essays by philosopher Alan Watts, Oakland Museum Director Paul Mills, and Japan Times art writer Elise Grilli, as well as various unpublished writings by Hasegawa. The ebook edition also includes a dozen essays by Hasegawa from the postwar period, and one prewar essay, professionally translated for this publication to give a sense of Hasegawa’s voice. This resource will be an invaluable tool for scholars and students interested in midcentury East Asian and American art and tracing the emergence of contemporary issues of hybridity, transnationalism and notions of a “global Asia."


  • Editors: Mark Dean Johnson, Dakin Hart, Matthew Kirsch
  • Published April 2019
  • 175 pages, 7 color illustrations, softcover
  • 9 X 6 inches