This landmark publication accompanies a major retrospective exhibition of Takashi Murakami’s paintings. Although other volumes on Murakami in English address the crossover between his fine art and commercial output, this book presents the first serious consideration of his work as a painter. It provides a sustained consideration of the artist’s relationship to the tradition of Japanese painting and his facility in straddling high and low, ancient and modern, eastern and western, commercial and high art. Lavishly illustrated with large-scale images of works that span his art student days to now—many reproduced together for the first time—the book contextualizes Murakami’s output in postwar Japan with essays that situate the artist in relation to folklore, traditional Japanese painting Nihonga, the Tokyo art scene in the 1980s and 1990s, and the threat of nuclear annihilation. The volume includes essays by curator Michael Darling, Michael Dylan Foster, Chelsea Foxwell, Reuben Keehan, and Akira Mizuta Lippit, as well as a biography and exhibition history, selected bibliography, and index.