"Imperial Museums of Meiji Japan offers more than specific analyses of several iconic Meiji buildings and their complex contexts. . . it suggests a basic paradigm for studying architecture in modern Japan not as a series of buildings or as the work of particular designers, but as a set of intersections between discourses that range far outside the formal, spatial, and technical dimensions that until recently occupied historians of Meiji architecture."
"While Tseng's focused study may at first attract those who have a direct interest in the topic, the book's engrossing, eloquent narrative works it into a volume of uncommon general appeal. Comprehensively viewed, the book moreover addresses issues not only advancing architectural and museum studies in Meiji Japan, but also straddling the far-reaching concerns of empire, nationalism, modernization, westernization, cultural heritage, and cultural policy at the same time that it delves into localized concerns of the administration of the Imperial Household, the formation of the Imperial Museums' collections and the evolution of their treatment of object-artifacts."
-Museum Anthropology Review
"Clearly written and handsomely produced..This knowledgeable study highlights the political purposes and architectural designs of the four institutions, with secondary attention to their collections and exhibitions."
-Journal of Japanese Studies
"Tseng's presentation is smart, deft, and clean. Her writing is crisp and steady, rather elegant at times, and mostly free of burdensome jargon. The volume is graciously and colorfully illustrated with many striking images-some captured by the author herself-that please the eye and edify the mind. This work should prove rich enough in technical architectural details to satisfy those who are so inclined. Tseng marshals an admirable range of source materials, both visual and textual. In addition to the buildings themselves, she consults architectural plans and drawings, official and private reports by designers, critical reviews, and even a novel, all to good effect. Her assessment of these materials is insightful yet judiciously measured as to inspire confidence in the reader. In sum, Tseng's strong work contributes much to an emerging scholarship on cultural struggles and public exhibitions in Meiji Japan."
-Journal of Asian Studies