1. Introduction

School of Tawaraya Sōtatsu, Poppies, 17th century. Ink and color on gold-leafed paper. Gift of Mrs. W. Scott Fitz. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Night Attack on the Sanjō Palace, from the Illustrated Scrolls of the Events of the Heiji Era (Heiji monogatari emaki), second half of the 13th century. Ink and color on paper. Fenollosa-Weld Collection. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Takashi Murakami, Dragon in Clouds—Red Mutation: The version I painted myself in annoyance after Professor Nobuo Tsuji told me, “Why don’t you paint something yourself for once?”, 2010. Acrylic on canvas. 367 x 1800 cm (12 ft. 1/2 in. x 59 ft. 5/8 in.). Courtesy of the artist. © 2010 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.

Soga Shōhaku, The Four Sages of Mount Shang, 1768. Ink and gold on paper. Fenollosa-Weld Collection. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Front cover and inside page, Lineage of Eccentrics: Matabei to Kuniyoshi by Nobuo Tsuji (Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd., 2012). Lineage of Eccentrics began as a series of articles in the magazine Bijutsu Techo (1968) and was published as a book by Bijutsu Shuppan-sha (1970), Prikansha Publishing (1988), and Chikumashobo (2004). It was translated into English for the first time by Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. (2012).

Takashi Murakami, Lots, Lots of Kaikai and Kiki, 2009. Acrylic and platinum leaf on canvas mounted on aluminum frame. 300 x 608 x 5.1 cm (9 ft. 10 1/8 in. x 19 ft. 11 3/8 in. x 2 in.), 5 panels. Private collection. © 2009 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.

AKIRA ©MASH・ROOM Co., Ltd., / Kodansha Ltd.


2. Transcendent Attacking a Whirlwind

Takashi Murakami, Transcendent Attacking a Whirlwind, 2017. Acrylic, gold leaf, and platinum leaf on canvas mounted on wood panel. 300 x 1000 cm (9 ft. 10 1/8 in. x 32 ft. 9 3/4 in.). Courtesy of the artist. ©︎ 2017 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.

Soga Shōhaku, Transcendent Attacking a Whirlwind, about 1764. Ink and light gold on paper. Fenollosa-Weld Collection. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Soga Shōhaku, The Daoist Immortal Li Tieguai (Tekkai), about 1770. Ink and light color on paper. William Sturgis Bigelow Collection. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Soga Shōhaku, The Daoist Immortal Liu Haichan (Xia Ma, Gama), about 1770. Ink and light color on paper. William Sturgis Bigelow Collection. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Soga Shōhaku, Zhong Kui (Shoki), the Demon Queller, 1770s. Ink on paper. William Sturgis Bigelow Collection. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


3. Dragon and Tiger

Soga Shōhaku, Dragon, late 1770s. Ink on paper. William Sturgis Bigelow Collection. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Soga Shōhaku, Tiger, late 1770s. Ink on paper. William Sturgis Bigelow Collection. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


4. Impossible Aim

Takashi Murakami, Impossible Aim, 1994. Acrylic, silver leaf, silkscreen on canvas. 80 × 800 cm (2 ft. 7 1/2 in. x 26 ft. 3 in.). Courtesy of the artist. © 1994 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.


5. Night Attack on the Sanjō Palace

Night Attack on the Sanjō Palace, from the Illustrated Scrolls of the Events of the Heiji Era (Heiji monogatari emaki), second half of the 13th century. Ink and color on paper. Fenollosa-Weld Collection. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


6. Sketches

Takashi Murakami, Transcendent Attacking a Whirlwind, 2017. Acrylic, gold leaf, and platinum leaf on canvas mounted on wood panel. 300 x 1000 cm (9 ft. 10 1/8 in. x 32 ft. 9 3/4 in.). Courtesy of the artist. ©︎ 2017 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.

Minister Kibi’s Adventures in China, Scroll 1, 12th century. Ink, color, and gold on paper. William Sturgis Bigelow Collection, by exchange. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Minister Kibi’s Adventures in China, Scroll 4, 12th century. Ink, color, and gold on paper. William Sturgis Bigelow Collection, by exchange. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


7. Poppies

School of Tawaraya Sōtatsu, Poppies, 17th century. Ink and color on gold-leafed paper. Gift of Mrs. W. Scott Fitz. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Takashi Murakami, Kawaii - vacances (Summer Vacation in the Kingdom of the Golden), 2008. Acrylic and gold leaf on canvas mounted on aluminum frame. 300 x 900 x 5.1 cm (9 ft. 10 1/8 in. x 29 ft. 6 3/8 in. x 2 in.), 6 panels. Private collection. © 2008 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.


8. Kawaii - vacances

Takashi Murakami, Kawaii - vacances (Summer Vacation in the Kingdom of the Golden), 2008. Acrylic and gold leaf on canvas mounted on aluminum frame. 300 x 900 x 5.1 cm (9 ft. 10 1/8 in. x 29 ft. 6 3/8 in. x 2 in.), 6 panels. Private collection. © 2008 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.

Pau Audouard, Portrait Photograph of Antoni Gaudí, 1878. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Images of Sagrada Familia via Flickr.

Utagawa Hiroshige III, True View of the Foreign Buildings along the Kaigandōri Seen from the Yokohama Wharves (Yokohama hatoba yori kaigandōri ijinkan no shinzu), about 1875. Ink and color on paper. Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


9. Scenes from the Nakamura Kabuki Theater

Attributed to Hishikawa Moronobu, Scenes from the Nakamura Kabuki Theater, 1684–1704. Ink and color on gold-leafed paper. Gift of Oliver W. Peabody. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


10. Lots, Lots of Kaikai and Kiki

Takashi Murakami, Lots, Lots of Kaikai and Kiki, 2009. Acrylic and platinum leaf on canvas mounted on aluminum frame. 300 x 608 x 5.1 cm (9 ft. 10 1/8 in. x 19 ft. 11 3/8 in. x 2 in.), 5 panels. Private collection. © 2009 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.

Takashi Murakami, Kawaii - vacances (Summer Vacation in the Kingdom of the Golden), 2008. Acrylic and gold leaf on canvas mounted on aluminum frame. 300 x 900 x 5.1 cm (9 ft. 10 1/8 in. x 29 ft. 6 3/8 in. x 2 in.), 6 panels. Private collection. © 2008 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.

Soga Shōhaku, Asahina in a Tug of War with a Demon, about 1763–64. Ink and color on paper. Fenollosa-Weld Collection. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Kikugawa Masamitsu, Tenaga Carried by Ashinaga, mid-19th century. Stained ivory, gilding, coral, silver, and shakudo. William Sturgis Bigelow Collection. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Sozan, Demon Stung by a Bee, 19th century. William Sturgis Bigelow Collection. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Asahi Gyokuzan, Skull, Snake, Frog, and Severed Heads, 1900. Stained ivory and horn with pigment. William Sturgis Bigelow Collection. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


11. Oval Buddha Silver

Takashi Murakami, Oval Buddha Silver, 2008–2011. Sterling silver. 136.5 x 80.5 x 78 cm (4 ft. 5 5/8 in. x 2 ft. 7 5/8 in. x 2 ft. 6 5/8 in.). Courtesy of the artist. © 2008 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.

Shaka, the Historical Buddha, late 10th–early 11th century. Cherry with polychrome and gold; single woodblock construction. Denman Waldo Ross Collection. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Hakuin Ekaku, Three Deities, 18th century. Ink on paper. Gift of the Gitter-Yelen Collection. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Bodhidharma (Daruma) on a Reed, 14th century. Ink, color, and gold on silk. William Sturgis Bigelow Collection. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


12. Dragon in Clouds—Red Mutation

Takashi Murakami, Dragon in Clouds—Red Mutation: The version I painted myself in annoyance after Professor Nobuo Tsuji told me, “Why don’t you paint something yourself for once?”, 2010. Acrylic on canvas. 367 x 1800 cm (12 ft. 1/2 in. x 59 ft. 5/8 in.). Courtesy of the artist. © 2010 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.

Front cover, Nobuo Tsuji vs. Takashi Murakami: Battle Royale! Japanese Art History by Nobuo Tsuji and Takashi Murakami (Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd., 2017).

Soga Shōhaku, Dragon and Clouds, 1763. Ink on paper. William Sturgis Bigelow Collection. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Soga Shōhaku, The Four Sages of Mount Shang, 1768. Ink and gold on paper. Fenollosa-Weld Collection. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


13. Dragon and Clouds

Soga Shōhaku, Dragon and Clouds, 1763. Ink on paper. William Sturgis Bigelow Collection. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Front cover, Kisō no keifu: Matabei—Kuniyoshi (Lineage of Eccentrics: Matabei to Kuniyoshi) by Nobuo Tsuji (Chikumashobō, 2004). Lineage of Eccentrics began as a series of articles in the magazine Bijutsu Techo (1968) and was published as a book by Bijutsu Shuppan-sha (1970), Prikansha Publishing (1988), and Chikumashobo (2004). It was translated into English for the first time by Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. (2012).

Takashi Murakami, Dragon in Clouds—Red Mutation: The version I painted myself in annoyance after Professor Nobuo Tsuji told me, “Why don’t you paint something yourself for once?”, 2010. Acrylic on canvas. 367 x 1800 cm (12 ft. 1/2 in. x 59 ft. 5/8 in.). Courtesy of the artist. © 2010 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.


14. Conclusion

Soga Shōhaku, Dragon and Clouds, 1763. Ink on paper. William Sturgis Bigelow Collection. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Takashi Murakami, Dragon in Clouds—Red Mutation: The version I painted myself in annoyance after Professor Nobuo Tsuji told me, “Why don’t you paint something yourself for once?”, 2010. Acrylic on canvas. 367 x 1800 cm (12 ft. 1/2 in. x 59 ft. 5/8 in.). Courtesy of the artist. © 2010 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.

Takashi Murakami, And then, and then and then and then and then / Green Truth, 2006. Acrylic on canvas mounted on board. 100 x 100 cm (3 ft. 3 3/8 in. x 3 ft. 3 3/8 in.). Courtesy of the artist. © 2006 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.

Takashi Murakami, And then, and then and then and then and then / Original Blue, 2006. Acrylic on canvas mounted on board. 100 x 100 cm (3 ft. 3 3/8 in. x 3 ft. 3 3/8 in.). Courtesy of the artist. © 2006 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.

Takashi Murakami, Lots, Lots of Kaikai and Kiki, 2009. Acrylic and platinum leaf on canvas mounted on aluminum frame. 300 x 608 x 5.1 cm (9 ft. 10 1/8 in. x 19 ft. 11 3/8 in. x 2 in.), 5 panels. Private collection. © 2009 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.

Attributed to Hishikawa Moronobu, Scenes from the Nakamura Kabuki Theater, 1684–1704. Ink and color on gold-leafed paper. Gift of Oliver W. Peabody. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Takashi Murakami, Kawaii - vacances (Summer Vacation in the Kingdom of the Golden), 2008. Acrylic and gold leaf on canvas mounted on aluminum frame. 300 x 900 x 5.1 cm (9 ft. 10 1/8 in. x 29 ft. 6 3/8 in. x 2 in.), 6 panels. Private collection. © 2008 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.

Night Attack on the Sanjō Palace, from the Illustrated Scrolls of the Events of the Heiji Era (Heiji monogatari emaki), second half of the 13th century. Ink and color on paper. Fenollosa-Weld Collection. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

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