Lee, Sherman E. The Cleveland Museum of Art. Ohio. 1961
From the Preface: The earliest Western Interest in Japanese are was shown by the patrons of the Rococo style in Europe. Modern Western interest began with the French discovery of the Japanese woodblock print and the minor arts of Lacquer, Sword-furniture, and the like. The Rococo was, above all else, a decorative style; and much of the impact of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century French painting can be described as decorative. Rather than perpetuate the still common Occidental opinion that Japanese art is but a secondary rendering of Chinese style, we should learn from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and seek for as least one of Japan's original artistic contributions in the area of decorative art and style.