Kyushu University Academic Staff Educational and Research Activities Database
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Schweizer Anton Last modified date:2024.06.03

Professor / Graduate School of Humanities, International MA of Premodern Humanities IMAP
Department of Philosophy
Faculty of Humanities

Graduate School
Undergraduate School

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Academic Degree
Magister Artium (MA) LMU Munich 2002., Doctor Phil. (PhD) Heidelberg University 2010.
Country of degree conferring institution (Overseas)
Yes Master Doctor
Field of Specialization
Art history, architectural history, material culture and transcultural exchange in Early modern Japan
Total Priod of education and research career in the foreign country
Outline Activities
Schweizer is the author of Osaki Hachiman: Architecture, Materiality, and Samurai Power in Seventeenth Century Japan (Berlin, 2016) and co-editor of Japanische Lackkunst für Bayerns Fürsten: Die Japanischen Lackmöbel der Staatlichen Münzsammlung München (Munich, 2011). He presently works on two projects, one about courtesan culture in early modern Japan and the other on exchanges of material and visual cultures between East Asia, Europe, and the Americas in the age of the First Globalization.
Research Interests
  • co-editor with Mimi Hall Yiengpruksawan: Beyond the Southern Barbarians: Relocating Japan in the First Global Age (working title). Under contract with Brill, Amsterdam.
    keyword : First Global Age, art, history, material culture, nanban art
  • Japanese textile appliqués in Schloss Rastatt (Germany)
    keyword : First Global Age, art, history, material culture
  • Shared Coasts, Divided Historiographies: Mobilizing People, Ideas, and Artifacts in the East Asian Mediterranean
    keyword : First Global Age, Second Global Age, art, history, material culture
  • Architecture and Material Culture of Easily Modern Pleasure Districts in Japan
    keyword : Art history; architectural history, material culture, othering, social identity construction.
  • Material Cultures of the First Global Age.
    keyword : Art history; material culture; transcultural exchange; export art; social identity construction.
Current and Past Project
  • This project aims at bringing together the next generation of art historians from the “East Asian Mediterranean”—here conceived as a geographic, historical, and cultural space of connections centering around the regions of Kyushu, Okinawa, Taiwan, and South Korea. We will explore exchanges of people, ideas, and artifacts in this geographical region during two historical periods, the First (1500–1850) and Second (1850–1945) Global Ages, respectively. We will revisit a history of continuous interaction, exchange, and transculturation in the fields of art, historiography, visual and material culture.
    The project will bring together about 15 junior academics, primarily affiliated with an institution in or researching a topic related to East Asia, for a period of two-years, beginning in the fall of 2023. We will hold a series of lectures and reading workshops, embark on two travel seminars in the region of the “East Asian Mediterranean,” and build a digital mapping platform.
  • This interdisciplinary research-hub project explores the circulation of material objects and performance cultures throughout Asia. Material objects and structures will include buildings, statues, paintings, and crafts; performance cultures will include theatrical genres, musical styles, and embodied practices in a variety of spatial and temporal contexts. We will bring together top researchers from around the world with different academic backgrounds, including art historians, literary scholars, musicologists, performance studies scholars, ritual practitioners, and historians. As an English-language graduate program comprised of five non-Japanese but Japanese-fluent faculty members researching in Japan fields, we IMAP and IDOC faculty (International MA Program in Japanese Humanities, International Doctorate in Japanese Humanities) will strive to pair our knowledge with that of Japanese and non-Japanese colleagues within Kyudai and globally. The project will encourage a holistic rethinking of Asian humanities, resulting in the formulation of new research trajectories and related publications that move beyond national and disciplinary borders. It will introduce Japanese and non-Japanese Kyudai faculty to a global audience.
    In the first year we will build a research network through the following endeavors:
    • Host two international pre-conferences at two venues, National University of Singapore and Kyudai. Top researchers from Japan, Korea, China, Singapore, Europe, and the US will be invited to present papers. A balance of emerging younger voices in each field and established senior scholars will be achieved.
    • Collect and edit the most suitable papers from the two pre-conferences to be published in a special issue of The Journal of Asian Humanities at Kyushu University (JAH-Q), a peer-reviewed (査読) English-language international journal of the Faculty of Humanities.
    In the second year we will hold a major international symposium in September 2019. As with the pre-conferences, several papers will be published in JAH-Q. Additionally, we will collect a group of thematically coherent papers for an essays volume to be published by an international publisher.
Academic Activities
1. Anton Schweizer, Anton Schweizer, Berlin, Germany, Hammond Reihe, 2016.06, [URL], Ōsaki Hachiman: Architecture, Materiality, and Samurai Power in Seventeenth-Century Japan..
1. Anton Schweizer, “Puppets for the Margravine: Japanese Ephemera and their (Re)Construction in Eighteenth-Century Chinoiserie.”, 21: Inquiries into Art, History, and the Visual 2:1 (Spring, 2021), pp. 3-46., 2, 1, 3-46, 2021.04, [URL], This article introduces a group of 23 textile appliqués, or oshi-e – scraps of padded and painted fabric applied to a support of papier mâché – that were manufactured in Japan during the final decades of the seventeenth century. The pieces were soon transferred to Europe and collected by Sibylla Augusta Margravine of Baden (1675–1733). One of Germany’s early advocates of the stylistic idiom of chinoiserie, by 1723 Sibylla had integrated the pieces into the decoration of her newly erected mansion Favorite near Rastatt.

This article has two foci. First, it contextualizes the genre of textile appliqués within its Japanese culture of origin where such items served as ephemeral festival decoration, fashionable accessories, and tools of sophisticated pastime in the milieu of urban merchants. Secondly, the article explores practical and theoretical aspects of intercultural transfer and discusses the fundamental re-reading of transferred artifacts against the background of chinoiserie in central Europe.

The appliqués at Schloss Favorite are significant in several respects. They count among the oldest surviving examples of this genre worldwide. They become even more valuable from the fact that their maker, Fujiya Saburōbei, can be unambiguously identified from existent documentation as a leading manufacturer of oshi-e and purveyor to the Dutch East India Company. While there is no conclusive evidence, there is a strong possibility that the appliqués at Schloss Favorite came to Europe as private merchandise of the famous traveler and author, Engelbert Kaempfer (1651–1716). Lastly, the pieces constitute exceedingly rare material evidence for the role of textiles and other ephemera in both early modern Japan and Europe as well as related practices of collecting and display..
Membership in Academic Society
  • Japanese German Association of West Japan
  • Japanese Art Society of America JASA
  • European Association for Asian Art and Archaeology EAAA
  • European Association for Japanese Studies EAJS
  • Japanese art history association
  • College Art Association CAA
  • Association for Asian Studies AAS
  • Japan Art History Forum JAHF
Educational Activities
Undergraduate and graduate teaching, supervising. All courses offered are taught in English. The courses focus on art and architectural history, material, and visual cultures in Japan. The principal period is late Medieval to Early Modern (Muromachi to late Edo) with occasional examples from the prehistorical through contemporary periods. Select seminar titles: "Drama, Sex, and Poetry: Ukiyoe," "Architecture and Urbanism in Japan," "Samurai as Patrons of Art," "Making Sense: Iconography, Facture, and Materiality in the Arts of Japan."
Professional and Outreach Activities
Involvement in community politics and promotion of academic activities.
Advertising for Kyushu University and the IMAP program as well as joint research at universities in the US (NYU, Columbia, Yale, UCLA), Germany (Heidelberg, Berlin, Munich), Austria (Vienna, Salzburg), UK (Glasgow, Edinburgh, London), Australia (Melbourne)..