Filled with magnificent examples of Chinese paintings from four dynasties, spanning the 8th through the 17th century, this book traces Japan’s role in preserving part of China’s cultural heritage. Exploring a high point in the cultural exchange between China and Japan, this volume presents forty masterpieces of the Tang, Song, Yuan, and Ming dynasties that made their way to Japan over a period of eight centuries. These paintings are significant as mirrors of the two cultures. The book explores themes such as the role of Japan in preserving key parts of China’s cultural and artistic heritage; the aspects of Japanese identity that derive from traditional Chinese culture; the use of Chinese paintings as models for key traditions of Japanese painting; and the use of Chinese paintings as status symbols in Japan. Filled with exquisite reproductions, the book offers in-depth analysis of each painting, including its religious or secular significance and provenance in China and Japan.