Meetings with the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures in the UK to promote a Project to Establish a Platform for Research into Japanese Arts
The Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures (SISJAC) is located in the small town of Norwich in Norfolk County, about 2 hours by car north of London. Founded by the Sainsburies in 1999, the SISJAC is readily familiar to specialists in Japanese art history and archeology as a site for research into Japanese arts and culture.
In July 2013, the SISJAC and the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo (NRICPT) initiated a Project to Establish a Platform for Research into Japanese Arts. This Project gathers information in English on Japanese art exhibitions in the US and Europe and books and sources on Japanese art. The NRICPT previously made its Database of Literature on Cultural Properties, a collection of information related to Japanese art, publicly accessible. However, this information is solely from Japan. In the future, information gathered by the SISJAC will be included in the NRICPT’s database, and a system will be created to allow the NRICPT’s database to be searched for information on Japanese art in Japan and overseas.
To promote this Project, SARAI Mai of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems spent 10 days at the SISJAC from October 9 (Thurs.) to October 20 (Mon.), 2014. Ms. SARAI and staff members of the SISJAC verified information that had already been collected and they verified procedures for work to make that information publicly available.
During her stay, Ms. SARAI delivered a lecture on “Buddhist Wooden Sculptures in the Early Heian Period: From a Standpoint of Syncretisation of Shinto with Buddhism.” The lecture took place on October 16 (Thurs.) as one of the lectures that SISJAC hosts on the third Thursday of every month. Close to 80 citizens of Norwich listened to the lecture on Buddhist wooden sculptures during the Early Heian Period in a lecture hall in a cathedral near the SISJAC. After the lecture, members of the audience asked a number of questions, demonstrating a heightened interest in Japanese art.