The overall editor has provided a Preface and a 53 page historical introduction which present successive periods of Japanese history in relationship to the major arts and their development. The four major arts selected are Ceramic, Lacquer, Metal and Textile and each section appears with superb photographs in color of the principal types of objects, representative masterpieces, and excellent brief notes placing them in this historical perspective. So far, so good. But a major shortcoming of the book as a whole is the lack of an index which would have made it of practical reference value. The Chronology and the List of Plates (107 in all -- with page references) is not enough. One could wish for a Bibliography as well. As it stands, it is a beautiful piece of book-making and an enchanting picture book in a somewhat neglected filed, with a distinguished text that deserves a better designation than introduction.