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Contact Information
Office: East Zone B-508

Phone: +81-(0)92-802-5044

Before coming to Kyudai, Schweizer has taught at universities in Germany (Heidelberg) and the US (NYU, Tulane). 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 First Global Age.


Monographs and Edited Volume

Ōsaki Hachiman: Architecture, Materiality, and Samurai Power in Seventeenth-Century Japan. 
Berlin: Reimer, 2016.

The Ōsaki Hachiman (1607), located in Sendai, Japan, is one of only a handful of surviving buildings from the Momoyama period (1568-1615). The shrine is a rare example of "lacquered architecture"—an architectural type characterized by a shiny, black coat made of refined tree sap and evocative of transitory splendor and cyclical renewal. The shrine's sponsor, the warlord Date Masamune, was one of the last independent feudal lords of his time and remains famous for dispatching diplomatic missions to Mexico, Spain, and Rome. Although his ambitions to become a ruler of Northern Japan were frustrated, his shrine stands as a lasting testament to the political struggles he faced, his global aspirations, and the cultural cloak by which he sought to advance these objectives.

(co-edited with Martin Hirsch and Dietrich O. A. Klose) Japanische Lackkunst für Bayerns Fürsten: Die Japanischen Lackmöbel der Staatlichen Münzsammlung München. Munich: Staatliche Münzsammlung, 2011. 

The State Numismatic Collection Munich (Staatliche Münzsammlung München) owns a group of twenty-two Japanese export lacquer cabinets dating from the sixteenth to early eighteenth centuries. Manufactured predominantly in Kyoto according to European taste such items of luxury furniture are hybrid objects that fuse Japanese, Chinese, South Asian and European elements. Transported via Nagasaki to Europe by the Dutch East Indian Company such cabinets were eagerly sought after by the members of Europe’s high aristocracy. The lavishly illustrated catalogue introduces to aspects of trade, style, iconography, usage, and conservation.

Zwischen Nostalgie und Exotismus: Die Gestaltungsmoden an japanischen Rüstungen des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts.
Neuried: Ars et Unitas, 2003.

This volume discusses Japanese armor of the sixteenth and seventeenth century as expression of social identity and political authority. A special focus lies on the style of “un-orthodox armor“ (kawari gusoku) that widely employs exoticising features or quotes obsolete armor styles from the formative period of Japan’s samurai rule.

Essays and Articles (select)

“Puppets for the Margravine: Japanese Ephemera and their (Mis)Construction in Eighteenth-Century Chinoiserie.” In Lucie Olivová (ed.): Chinoiserie. (European Studies in Asian Art and Archaeology; 2) Leiden and Boston: Brill, forthcoming.

“Furnishing Utopia: Hideyoshi’s Urban Landscape at Osaka.” In Stephen Whiteman (ed.): Mobilizing Landscape: Articulating Ideology in the Early Modern World. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, forthcoming.

“The Elector’s Japan: Reading Export Lacquer in Baroque Germany.” In Patricia Frick and Annette Kieser (eds.): Production, Distribution and Appreciation: New Aspects on East Asian Lacquer Wares. (European Studies in Asian Art and Archaeology; 1) Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2018.

“Kōgeihin toshite no kenzōbutsu: Toyotomi-ki Ōsaka-jō no sōshoku ni kan suru kōsatsu” 工芸品としての建造物:豊臣期大阪城の装飾に関する考察 [Buildings as objects: thoughts on the architectural decoration of Osaka castle during the Toyotomi era]. Shūbi 聚美 11 (April, 2014), pp. 68-79.

“Das unbeständige Original: Zur denkmalpflegerischen Problematik lackierter japanischer Architektur” [The changeable original: on the problem of conserving Japanese lacquered architecture]. Ostasiatische Zeitschrift, Neue Serie, 20 (Autumn, 2010), pp. 28-37.

co-authored with Avinoam Shalem: “Translating Visions: A Japanese Lacquer Plaque of the Haram of Mecca in the L. A. Mayer Memorial Museum, Jerusalem.” Ars Orientalis 39 (2010), pp. 148-173.

[translator] Fukuda, Miho 福田美穗: “‘Repair by Disassembly’ (kaitai shūri) in Japan” = Nihon ni okeru kaitai shūri 日本における解体修理. In K. Weiler & N. Gutschow (eds.): Authenticity in Architectural Heritage Conservation: Discourses, Opinions, Experiences in Europe, South and East Asia. Cham/Switzerland: Springer, 2016.