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Distributed for Leiden University Press

Ghosts and Spirits from the Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art

Felix Tikotin: A Life Devoted to Japanese Art

Ghosts and Spirits from the Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art tells the life story of Felix Tikotin (1893–1986), one of the twentieth century’s most important European art collectors. Tikotin built successful galleries in Dresden and Berlin before World War II, and during the conflict he went into hiding but managed to survive and keep his collection intact. He donated his huge collection of Japanese Art to the city of Haifa in 1960 and founded the Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art there. This catalog contains more than one hundred works of art featuring Japanese ghosts and spirits, including paintings, prints, and miniature carvings called netsuke.  

264 pages | 182 color plates | 8 1/5 x 10 1/5

Art: Middle Eastern, African, and Asian Art

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β€œOn traditional Japanese robes, cords around the waist were threaded through netsuke, carvings made of ivory, wood, metal, horn, ceramic, coral, stone and nuts. The netsuke depict animals, humans and deities, and collectors sometimes vie for the creepier forms. . . . Established collections, kept intact, are the subject of two new books. . . . Ghosts and Spirits from the Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art explains how the German dealer and collector Felix Tikotin amassed his collection, starting in the early 1900s. During World War II, he hid the valuables in a basement in The Hague, and his collection survives in a museum he founded in Israel. In the new book, netsuke represent demon masks, mythical beings riding fish, and exorcists.”

Eve M. Kahn | New York Times

Table of Contents


      Kris Schiermeier

Life and Work of Felix Tikotin (1893-1986)

      Jaron Borensztajn

Felix Tikotin: Memories of a Pioneer Mad About Japanese Art

      Willem van Gulik

Felix Tikotin’s Early Years in Germany

      Patrizia Jirka-Schmitz

Things That Go Bump in the Night: Ghosts and Demons in Japanese Art

      Ilana Singer Blaine


      Ilana Singer Blaine



Demons, Monsters and Exorcists

Oni and Other Japanese Demons

The Tengu, Demon of the Mountains

Shoki, Exorcist of Demons

Animals with Supernatural Powers



Dragons and Snakes

Selected Bibliography


Time Line

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