Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties Center for Conservation Science
Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation
Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage


Attending the International Symposium at the National Art Museum of China, Beijing

Presentation of Hu Wei, Deputy Director of The National Art Museum of China

 Dr. Yasuhiro Hayakawa (Center for Conservation Science) attended the International Symposium on the National Art Collection’s Conservation held in the National Art Museum of China, Beijing. The National Art Museum of China is the largest art museum in China and established the conservation center a few years ago. The art museum has been promoting the conservation of art works in the conservation center and has completed communication and cooperation with foreign conservation institutions.
 Fourteen researchers and restorers in the field of conservation and restoration were invited from Japan, US, UK, Italy, Germany, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Nineteen talks on topics such as the philosophy of conservation, examples of paintings’ conservation and results of scientific investigation were presented in the symposium. Dr. Hayakawa presented the research work of the material analysis of the Japanese paintings using cutting-edge technology. More than 30 directors of public art museums in China also participated. It shows that China is actively promoting the establishment of philosophy and the acquisition of conservation for artworks.

A mission for the Project “Technical assistance for the protection of the damaged cultural heritage in Nepal” (Part 2)

Working with local experts at the site

 As part of the above-mentioned support project through the Networking Core Centers for International Cooperation in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage Project commissioned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, we have continued to dispatch staff to the site in Nepal.
 In view of its state of damage, it was determined that it is necessary to quickly provide a temporary support to Aganchen Temple (built in the middle of the 17th century), the main target of examination at the Hanuman Dhoka Palace in Kathmandu. Specifically, in terms of “countermeasures against leakage of rain at the top of the roof,” “ infilling temporary structure inside the building,” “providing support of collapsing outer walls” and “securing safety for prayers and tourists against falling objects,” Japanese experts of the project team drew up plans with the help of local experts and submitted the proposed plans to the Department of Archaeology. On the basis of these plans, emergency stabilization work was implemented. To supervise the details of design and provide technical advice, we dispatched experts from the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo (NRICPT) in three batches, that is, May 28th to June 4th, June 13th to 19th and July 3rd to 9th, 2016.
 This time around, we only provided temporary measures for this project. However, while exchanging views and opinions with local experts and artisans on a face-to-face basis, we could believe that the work was significant in terms of not only tangible contribution but also technology transfer to the site, which is also another objective of this project. We will continue to conduct research in an attempt for further restoration the historic heritage.

Investigation of Outer Walls of Brick-built Archaeological Sites to Implement Countermeasures against Leakage of Rain and Review of Emergency Measures in Bagan, Myanmar

Appearance of the Mae-taw-yat temple
An experiment on filling using hydraulic lime

 From July 18th to 29th, 2016, we carried out investigations of damage to outer walls of a brick-built temple as well as conducted review and experiments of restoration materials at the Mae-taw-yat temple (No. 1205) within the Bagan Archaeological Zone. These investigations and experiments were implemented on the basis of the outcome of the survey that verified the state of conservation of the mural paintings on the internal walls of the temple, which had been completed in the previous fiscal year and revealed that the main cause of exfoliation and chipping of the plaster layer is leakage of rain.
 A European expert on brick material conservation and restoration participated in this on-site work. With staff members of the Myanmar Ministry of Religious and Cultural Affairs and the Bagan Branch of the Department of Archeology, National Museum and Library, we verified the characteristics of burnt bricks manufactured during the Pagan Dynasty from a wide variety of angles. On the basis of the findings and considering Myanmar’s tropical rainforest climate, we selected materials suitable for restoration and conducted their tests as emergency measures for preventing leakage of rain. In consideration of the appearance at the archeological sites, we will continue to improve materials through monitoring the condition over time,. Furthermore, we performed multipoint measurements using a digital moisture meter to identify the distribution of moisture in the internal walls of the temple, and also took a video using a digital 4K camcorder to record the state of the external walls prior to the implementation of emergency measures.
 In this project, we aim not only to take temporary measures but also to establish a permanent method of addressing the problem. In anticipation of Bagan’s future, we will study reasonable ways that fit the current situation surrounding the protection of cultural properties in Myanmar and also work on capacity building of budding experts.

Workshops on the Conservation of Japanese Art Objects on Paper and Silk Held in Berlin

Lecture on handling a hanging scroll in Basic course
Practical work on restoration of a hanging scroll in Advanced course

 This workshop is held annually for the purpose of preservation and utilization of Japanese art objects such as calligraphic works and paintings overseas and developing understanding of these objects. In this year, it was conducted that Basic course “Japanese Paper and Silk Cultural Properties” from July 6th to 8th, 2016 and Advanced course “Restoration of Japanese Hanging Scrolls” from July 11th to 15th at the Asian Art Museum, National Museums in Berlin (Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin) with the support of Museum of Technology (Deutsches Technikmuseum).
 In Basic course, there were 15 restorers, conservators and students from nine countries. This course includes lectures on the materials used for the art objects, such as paste, animal glue, mineral pigments and paper. Practical works on producing a calligraphic work and a painting, and handling hanging scrolls were also conducted. In Advanced course, nine restorers were attended from seven countries. This course is comprised mainly practical works about “soko” (restoration technique based on traditional mounting) which is selected as Techniques for the Preservation of Cultural Properties by Japanese government. The practical works such as removing and attaching the rods of a hanging scroll, and demonstrations by the instructors like lining presented knowledge and techniques of restoring hanging scrolls. Discussions were held in both courses. In addition to a question and answer session, opinions about restoration and applications of Japanese techniques and materials were exchanged.
 Similar projects will be implemented with the aim of contribution of the preservation and utilization of Japan’s tangible and intangible cultural properties overseas by sharing information about conservation materials and techniques in Japan with conservators overseas.

Donation Received

Mr. Toru NAKAMURA and Director General Nobuo KAMEI (front row, left to right)

 As announced in the monthly report of April this year, the collection of Denzaburo NAKAMURA (1916-1994), Researcher Emeritus of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, was donated to us by a family member, Mr. Toru NAKAMURA, on April 30th. In response to the donation, Director General Dr. Nobuo KAMEI presented a letter of gratitude to Mr. NAKAMURA on June 2nd. It is meaningful for us that Mr. NAKAMURA has understood our projects and donated this important collection for the research of modern and contemporary sculpture history. We hope to utilize this collection for our future projects.

Facility Tour in June (1)

Visitors listening to an explanation about analysis equipment

Japan Analytical Instruments Manufacturers’ Association (JAIMA) (12 participants)
 On June 20th, members of JAIMA visited us to gain an understanding of the actual practice of advanced research and development regarding cultural properties at the Institute. They listened to an explanation by the researchers in charge regarding their operation, while looking around the photography room of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems and the experimental laboratories of the Center for Conservation Science and the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation.

Facility Tour in June (2)

Invitees listening to an explanation

Invitees to the Japan Foundation 2016 Central Asia + Japan Symposium (around 15 participants)
 On June 24th, invitees to 2016 Central Asia + Japan Symposium visited the Institute after participating in the symposium to take a look at our activities. They toured the Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage, Center for Conservation Science and the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation and listened to an explanation by the researchers in charge.

Seminar held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems―Basic Research on Gyokuyo Kurihara

A subject of gossip by Gyokuro Kurihara 1914
The legend of Kiyohime, Woman by Gyokuyo Kurihara 1921

 Tai TADOKORO, the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems, gave a presentation entitled “Basic Research on Gyokuyo Kurihara: Her Life and Artworks” in the department on June 28th.
 The Japanese-style painter Gyokuyo Kurihara, who achieved success mainly in Bunten (art exhibition sponsored by the Ministry of Education) in the Taisho period, left many paintings of little girls and women based on theatrical plays. While alive, she was thought to be the best female painter in Tokyo and to be even comparable to Shoen Uemura in Kyoto. Today, however, she is not very famous and has been little studied. TADOKORO overviewed her achievements as a painter focusing on the works displayed in exhibitions and then discussed changes in the expression seen in her works and her status in the world of art at that time. As well as materials such as art magazines and exhibition catalogues, photographs of her works appearing in women’s magazines revealed years of creation and a history of display in exhibitions of many of her remaining works. By overviewing her artworks based on this information, TADOKORO found that Gyokuyo changed the subject of her paintings around 1916 from little girls to women based on theatrical plays. TADOKORO also pointed out that strong influence from one of her teachers, Eikyu Matsuoka, can be seen mainly in the colors of the works in her last years. In particular, TADOKORO suggested that she tried a unique, unprecedented expression in the use of gold paint. Besides these creations, it came to light that she had played a major role in the world of painters, especially female painters, at that time through training of many disciples and the foundation of Getsuyokai, an organization of female Japanese-style painters, in cooperation with other female painters.
 We invited Mr. Toshiaki GOMI, who is familiar with Gyokuyo, to this seminar as a commentator from the Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture. Mr. Gomi gave us valuable information about the current situation of research on Gyokuyo, her remaining works in Nagasaki, and her descendants. In addition, together with Dr.Kaoru KOJIMA at Jissen Women’s University and Ms. Yuri YAMAMOTO at the Sakura City Museum of Art, attendants keenly discussed issues such as female painters and bijinga, pictures of beautiful women.

A study tour for a preservation society for folk performing arts in a disaster-affected area

Members of the Kariyado Shishimai preservation society and Haramamuro lion dance and stick performance preservation society

 A folk performing art called shishimai has been handed down in the Kariyado area in Namie Town, Fukushima Prefecture. It is a unique folk performing art that has both features of three-lion dances, which are common in the Kanto area, and deer dances or shishiodori, which are seen in the Tohoku area. However, this area has been classified as a restricted residence area due to the Fukushima No.1 Nuclear Power Plant accident and the residents had to evacuate separately to various places. As a result, shishimai was performed only twice in five years after the disaster. At present, even a meeting is not easy because some members of the shishimai preservation society have been moved to the Kanto area.
 Still, hoping to find a way to somehow keep it alive, the head of the society proposed a study tour for the members, which the Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage assisted. On June 18th, the society members visited Shishi Museum in Shiraoka City, Saitama Prefecture. They looked around lion masks, or shishigashira, in and out of Japan with a detailed explanation about the display and a lecture by Director Yuichi Takahashi. They then visited the head of the Haramamuro lion dance and stick performance preservation society in Kounosu City at his home to have an exchange between the two preservation societies. The lion dance in Haramamuro is performed by three lions, which is typical in the Kanto area, and has some points in common with the one in Kariyado. They watched a video of both performances and asked the head about measures to pass down the lion dance and the challenges they faced.
 Whether intangible cultural heritages will be maintained or not in the evacuation areas due to the nuclear disaster is a serious problem that can affect continuance of local communities. While much of their future is uncertain, we think that it is important to support them so as to contribute to the preservation even a little.

Research on Asuka-daibutsu using a portable X-ray diffraction device

Research on Asuka-daibutsu using a portable X-ray diffraction device

 In Asuka-dera Temple located in Asuka village, Nara prefecture, the statue of Shaka Nyorai (the so called “Asuka-daibutsu”), which is about three meters in height, is enshrined as the principal image of the temple. According to historical sources, the statue is considered to have been made by Tori Busshi in 606. It is an important statue because it is considered to be the first Joroku Buddha in Japan. However, there are various opinions as to which part of the statue was originally made by Tori Busshi because it was damaged by fire in the early Kamakura period.
 After the opening time of Asuka-dera Temple on June 16th and 17th in 2016, research on the preserved state and production techniques of Asuka-daibutsu was conducted by experts in art history, conservation science, restoration and three-dimensional measurement. This research was managed as a part of the “Japan-South Korea Joint Research on Bronze Buddhist Statues of East Asia from the 5th through the 9th Century” (the research representative is Prof. Fujioka of Osaka University.). From the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo (NRICPT), Yasuhiro HAYAKAWA, Masahide INUZUKA and Mai SARAI participated in this research and conducted the investigation of materials on the surface of the statue by using a portable X-ray diffraction device (RIKEN KEIKI Co., Ltd., XRDF), which was introduced to NRICPT in the last fiscal year.
 Scaffolding was constructed around the statue, and then we carried out the measurement on the surface of the head and body of the statue (the number of measured points was 10). Together with the 3 measured points on a fragment considered to have been a part of Asuka-daibutsu, the number of measured points was 13 in total during this research period.
 The crystal structure of materials can be obtained by the portable X-ray diffraction device. The chemical compounds can be identified from the information about the crystal structure by combining the information about the elements constituting materials obtained by X-ray fluorescent analysis conducted by Osaka University and the National Museum of Korea. In this research, copper compounds existing on the surface of the statue can be identified and the comparison of chemical compounds on different measurement points will be possible.
 We are now analyzing these data in more detail, and plan to report the results of the analysis within this fiscal year.

Research on the Conservation and Management System of Wall Paintings in the Republic of Turkey

Meeting at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey
Inspection of wall paintings in a church in Ihlara Valley

 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation conducted a field survey from June 18th to 24th to understand the conservation and management system of wall paintings in the Republic of Turkey. In Ankara, we visited the Department of Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Properties, Faculty of Fine Arts, Gazi University, which has restored many wall paintings in the country, and listened to an explanation of methods of conservation and restoration that were actually used in each project. We then had a meeting with the officials including the deputy director of the General Directorate for Cultural Heritage and Museums at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and agreed on the development of a cooperative system with the Center to further enhance maintenance and management of wall paintings in Turkey. In a courtesy visit to Hiroshi Oka, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of Japan to Turkey, we discussed topics such as the latest security situation and cultural policy in the country based on recent world affairs.
 As an inspection, we visited Kaman-Kalehöyük Archaeological Museum established with ODA from Japan, with guidance by Sachihiro Omura, Director of the Japanese Institute of Anatolian Archaeology, and studied the conservation state of the wall paintings in churches scattered across the Göreme district in Cappadocia and Ihlara Valley.
 We will continue to inspect the wall paintings in various locations in Turkey. At the same time, we are planning activities to educate conservation and restoration specialists in wall paintings and conservation and management workers who will lead operations in the future while learning about current maintenance and management of wall paintings in Turkey as well as finding room to improve and challenges to undertake.

Her Royal Highness Princess of Kingom of Bhutan Ashi Kesang visited the Institute

Her Royal Princess Ashi Kesang and Director General Kamei

 Her Royal Highness Princess Ashi Kesang Choden Wangchuk of the Kingdom of Bhutan visited the Institute on May 10th, 2016. She inspected the Institute’s activities for restoring and reproducing cultural assets with a view to helping the country conduct activities to preserve its cultural assets. After an opening address by Director General KAMEI, the Department of Research Support and Promotion gave a brief explanation. This was followed by an explanation of the Institute’s collaborative projects related to Southeast Asia, South Asia and cooperation to Bhutan by Dr. TOMODA, Head of the Conservation Design Section of the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation, and another collaborative projects for restoring Japanese antiquities overseas by Dr. KATO, Head of the Resource and Systems Research Section of the Center. Dr. HAYAKAWA, Deputy Head of the Center for Conversation Science, described instruments for analyzing the materials of cultural assets while Senior Researcher Dr.MORII and Special Researcher Dr. KIDA explained how to conduct a survey into cultural assets of textiles or prevent patina deterioration of Japanese paintings.
 Her Royal Princess listened to the explanations by our staff members intently and the Institute believes that we played a small part of supporting restoring cultural assets in Bhutan.

Special Exhibition: Seiki Kuroda, Master of Modern Japanese Painting: The 150th Anniversary of His Birth

The exhibition hall –Seiki Kuroda’s atelier is reproduced and sketches of Talk on Ancient Romance and others are on display.
The exhibition hall – From the section that reproduces the mural painting for the entrance of Tokyo Station for the Imperial Family, Wisdom, Impression and Sentiment is viewed.

 This year marks the 150th year since the birth of Western-style painter Seiki Kuroda (1866-1924) who made a great contribution to modernizing Japanese art and establishing the Institute. To commemorate this milestone, the Special Exhibition: Seiki Kuroda, Master of Modern Japanese Painting: The 150th Anniversary of His Birth was held at the Heiseikan, Tokyo National Museum from March 23rd through May 15th, 2016. The Institute, which has continued to conduct research and studies on Kuroda since its estublishment, was involved as an organizer in planning and composing the exhibition, resulting in making the exhibition that reflects the outcome of our research.
 In this exhibition, over 200 pieces of his works were collected together ranging from those he created while he was studying in France to those sent to Hakubakai that he led and those exhibited at Bunten, to sketches in his late life, not to mention familiar masterpieces such as Reading and Lakeside. Moreover, as an attempt unique to this exhibition, paintings by French painters who influenced Kuroda while he was studying in France and those by Japanese Western-style painters with whom Kuroda got involved were also exhibited. As regards French paintings in particular, we invited Mr. Atsushi MIURA, an expert of French modern art and professor of the University of Tokyo, as a guest curator. French works, including Shepherdess with her flock (owned by Musee d’Orsay) by Jean-Francois Millet whom Kuroda looked up to and Froreal (owned by Musee d’Orsay, deposited in Musee des beaux-arts d’Arras) by Raphael Collin, his mentor, were also on display, providing a good opportunity to compare these with the counterparts by Japanese Western-style painters in order to identify what Kuroda learned from the mainstream of Western art and tried to bring over to Japan.
 In the exhibition, while the audience appreciated Kuroda’s original works, real-size images of works that were destroyed by the fire during a war, including Morning Toilette and Talk on Ancient Romance, were also displayed. The mural painting for the entrance of Tokyo Station for the Imperial Family completed in 1914 based on Kuroda’s concept was burnt down in an air raid in 1945, but based on some photographs, a corner was set up to allow the audience to feel the ambience using images of Tokyo Station in those days as well.
 The exhibition not only coincided with the cherry blossom viewing season and Golden Week holidays but also received good reviews from various media; as a result, it drew as many as roughly 182 thousand visitors in total. With this exhibition, the Institute believes that Kuroda’s great presence was felt anew. The exhibition offered an opportunity to take a comprehensive view of his career as a painter and life on the one hand. On the other hand, there are still materials yet to be elucidated, including the letters addressed to him that the Institute owns. The Institute will continue to conduct research and studies on Kuroda and publicize the outcome on the Bijutsu Kenkyu (The Journal of Art Studies) and its website.

Seminar Held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems: Considerations on Seven Yakushi Nyorai (Sk: Bhaisajya-guru-vaidurya-prabha) Statues at Keisokuji Temple in Shiga Prefecture

Seminar of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems

 The Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems of the Institute organizes a monthly seminar to consider cultural assets centered on fine arts and crafts not only among staff members but also with researchers invited from other organizations as presenters. For May, it held a seminar on Tuesday, the 31st, when Mr. Masanori Nishiki, an associate fellow of the Tokyo National Museum, was invited to give a presentation titled “Considerations on Seven Yakushi Nyorai Statues at Keisokuji Temple in Shiga Prefecture.”
 These wooden statues at Keisokuji Temple that were featured in the presentation have been known as a rare example of existing statues of the type from early on, but it had scarcely been dealt with as a subject of a consideration.
 In the presentation, based on the knowledge gained form field investigations of each statues and the recognition that this set of statues are rare examples of the Tendai school, he supposed that the original wooden statues enshrined in Konpon Chudo of Enryaku-ji Temple in Mt. Hiei, while paying attention to the fact that they were statues with no gold leaf gilded. He went on to share his thoughts with the audience based on his recognition that it was a reproduction in the area.
 The presentation was followed by a question and answer session, in which seminar participants exchanged views and opinions actively with the presenter.

Research Workshop “Art Archives – Then and Now” held

The seminar is being conducted.

 The Institute held a seminar titled “Art Archives – Then and Now” on May 14th. This workshop invited Ms. Birgit Jooss, an archivist and art historian who takes the initiative in contemporary German art archive activities (next head of the Documenta Archive in Kassel, former head of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg, the German Art Archive, and the Archive, Academy of Arts, Berlin, respectively), in an attempt to bring the significance and issues associated with the archive into question.
 On the day, Mr. Fujio Maeda, a guest professor of Chubu University and professor emeritus of Keio University, gave a presentation titled “Art Libraries and Artist Archives: German Tradition in the Iconic Turn” in which he described the history of archives in the nation. In a lecture titled “Art Archives in Germany: An Overview” delivered by Ms. Jooss, she classified typical art archives in Germany into “Archives of Artists’ Personal Papers,” “Regional Art Archives,” “Art Archives Focused on Particular Subjects,” “Museum Archives,” “Archives for Individual Artists” and “Documentation Centers” and described their respective features and backgrounds of establishment. In general discussions, the audience exchanged questions and answers actively with the presenters and issues common to Japan and Germany were also cited and the seminar ended on a high note. Moreover, prior to the seminar, we gave a facility tour to those concerned, including Ms. Jooss, when they inspected the Material Reading Room and the Library, and exchanged views and opinions.
 This workshop was co-hosted by the Art Library SIG of the Japan Art Documentation Society (JADS) and the Institute under the sponsorship of the Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura & Hayama and the Yoshino Gypsum Art Foundation. It was also an event organized as part of the “Integration of Producer Information through Collaboration between Museums and Research Institutes,” which was given grants-in-aid for scientific research by the Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JPSP) (Representative Researcher Yuzo Marukawa (National Museum of Ethnology)) as well. Ms. Masako Kawaguchi (The National Museum of Western Art) and Mai Sarai (The Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems of the Institute) served as a moderator for the seminar.

The Canoe Summit was held at the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts, Guam 2016

Introducing the crews at the Canoe Summit
Demonstration of canoe navigation

 The National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo (NRICPT) held the first Canoe Summit at the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts in Guam on 26th of May, 2016. The summit was part of the “Networking Core Centers for International Cooperation in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage Project; Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage in the Island Countries of Oceania” scheme, which has been commissioned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan.
 The Festival of Pacific Arts is held once every four years, and was attended this year by 27 Pacific countries and regions. The festival gathers artists, specialists on Pacific cultures, and community leaders. During the two weeks of the festival, a wide range of issues relating to Pacific culture were discussed and traditional dances and crafts were performed.
 During the festival, NRICPT held the “Canoe Summit” in partnership with the Anthropological Institute of Nanzan University, the Traditional Arts Committee, Guam, and the Tatasi (Seafaring) subcommittee, Guam, with the support of UNESCO and the Organizing Committee of the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts, Guam. About 100 people attended the summit, and specialists and crews who are involved in activities aiming to preserve the cultures of Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia introduced their traditional navigation systems and discussed their cultural revival activities.
 The canoe is a symbol of Pacific culture and has important value as an aspect of intangible cultural heritage. It has recently been reevaluated as an important form of sustainable transport. However, a more pressing issue is how regional traditional cultures can be protected from the threat of globalization and natural disasters caused by global warming. Some attendees of the Summit felt that sharing information about the revival of canoe culture throughout the entire Pacific region was a very important contribution to ensure that the richness of Pacific culture will be passed on to the next generation.

A Mission for the project “Technical assistance for the protection of the damaged cultural heritage in Nepal”

The presentation on the survey result at DoA
A survey on the salvaged members from Shiva Temple

 NRICPT has conducted a survey and assistance to protect the damaged cultural heritage by the Nepal Gorkha earthquake in 2015 since last fiscal year. This year, NRICPT was entrusted by the Agency for Cultural Affairs to conduct the programme “Networking Core Centres for International Cooperation on Conservation of Cultural Heritage” (Technical assistance for the protection of the damaged cultural heritage in Nepal) and dispatched personnel to the sites from April 28 to May 8.
 In this mission, we handed printed reports on the survey result conducted last fiscal year to the director general of the Department of Archeology (DoA) and made a presentation at the DoA office to around 30 members of the technical staff in Nepal and the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu. The Participants showed high expectation of our future technical assistance through asking questions actively after the meeting.
 Meanwhile, as a main survey, we conducted survey on identification of the original location and numbering of salvaged members from Shiva Temple, which collapsed by the earthquake in Hanumandhoka palace in Kathmandu. In addition, we implemented photo documentation of each member. Through this research on the members, we revealed that the temple underwent restoration over three times at least. In Nepal where there is scarce record on the past restoration work, we expect the data gained from these members to serve as valuable information for the future reconstruction planning.
 We will continue to conduct surveys on the traditional building construction methods, structure, urban design and intangible cultural heritage with the participation of external experts from various fields. While carrying out these local activities with Nepalese people, we are hoping to be able to transfer a wide array of technologies to them.
 For your information, the abovementioned report is available at the Institute’s website. Please, find the details at the following:
http://www.tobunken.go.jp/japanese/publication/pdf/Nepal_NRICPT_2016_ENG_s.pdf

Seminar Held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems: Reading letters addressed to Seiki Kuroda from Yoshimatsu Goseda

Yoshimatsu Goseda (right) and Seiki Kuroda
From a commemorative photo of a get-together among Bun-ten exhibitors (“Bijutsu Shinpo” Vol. 12, No. 2 December 1923)

 The Institute owns a large number of letters addressed to Seiki Kuroda (1866-1924), a Western-style painter who was deeply involved in establishing the Institute. Regarding them as valuable materials that help us look into a network of personal contacts involving Kuroda, the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems has worked on their republication and research, while seeking cooperation from outside researchers. As part of this initiative, Mr. Takuro Tsunoda, a curator of the Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Cultural History, was invited to give a presentation titled “Reading letters addressed to Seiki Kuroda from Yoshimatsu Goseda – Profile, Tokyo School of Fine Arts, and History of Western-style Painting in the Meiji Period” at the seminar of the department held on April 21.
 In recent years, Yoshimatsu Goseda (1855-1915), who is one of the leading Western-style painters in the first half of the Meiji period, has been reevaluated and reviewed through exhibitions and studies by Mr. Tsunoda. Yoshimatsu, who grew up in a family of machie-shi (town painters), went to France earlier than Seiki Kuroda and won a prize at a salon, displaying his talent. After returning to Japan in 1889, however, his activities were rather low-profile. Thus, he was treated as a person whose existence has been forgotten in art circles. Mr. Tsunoda’s presentation this time dealt with the details surrounding the latter half of Yoshimatsu’s life, which had not been told very much, through 25 letters that he addressed to Kuroda since 1908. In many of these letters, Yoshimatsu, who was trying to sell his old works to the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, asked Kuroda, who was a professor of the school, to go between. Kuroda replaced the previous generation, including Yoshimatsu, and led the world of Western-style painting in those days. In fact, a great many Western-style paintings that Yoshimatsu created in the early Meiji period while he was in Europe, such as “Ayatsuri Shibai,” were included in the collection at the school, where Kuroda worked, allowing you to make a survey of the trends in Western-style paintings from the early to the late Meiji period. Mr. Tsunoda’s presentation was an attempt to find positive significance in the creation of the history of Western-style painting in the Meiji period from exchanges between Yoshimatsu and Kuroda, which went beyond their respective positions, and reminded us of the importance of these letters that describe the background.

Receiving Papers of Researcher Emeritus Denzaburo NAKAMURA

Part of the papers of Denzaburo Nakamura

 We received papers of Mr. Denzaburo NAKAMURA, a researcher emeritus of the Institute (1916-1994), from Mr. Toru Nakamura, a family member of the deceased, as of April 30th. Denzaburo was a researcher on Japanese modern sculpture and held a position at the Institute of Art Research attached to the National Museum (currently, Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems of the Institute) from 1947 until he resigned from the post in 1978. He researched on authors of sculpture, such as Auguste Rodin, Morie Ogiwara, Denchu Hirakushi, Taketaro Shinkai and Seibo Kitamura, and also conducted a systematic survey into sculpture organizations that existed in the Meiji period and later, thereby taking the initiative in empirical research in the Japanese history of modern sculpture. On top of these, he was engaged in research on the trends in contemporary art of the times centered on sculpture and stereoscopic molding as well as critiquing, which contributed to authors’ creative activities significantly. The materials that the family member donated to the Institute were: 1) Publications by, and documents related to, the Rokuzan Art Museum; 2) Materials related to Rokuzan Ogiwara; 3) Materials related to Koun, Kotaro and Toyochika Takamura; 4) Materials related to Taketaro Shinkai; 5) Materials related to Nika 70-nenshi (Nika Association, 1985) ; 6) Materials related to the Institute of Art Research and the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo; 7) Materials related to the Cultural Project to Commemorate the Centennial of the Opening of the Country; and 8) Materials related to the Metallplastik aus Japan, each of which is invaluable materials for research on the history of modern and contemporary sculpture.
 Today, these archives generated by a certain individual or organization are widely recognized as valuable research resources and in recent years, heated debate has been conducted by those concerned as to how to prevent them from being scattered and lost, put in place an environment to better utilize them and hand them down to succeeding generations. We have received archives built by our former staff members, including Yukio YASHIRO, Jiro UMEZU, Kei KAWAKAMI, Takeshi KUNO, Osamu TAKATA and Ichimatsu TANAKA, positively and organized them better through initiatives, such as “Research and Development for Storage and Use of Record of Investigation into Works by Various Academic Predecessors and Image Materials and Others – Taking over the Perspectives of Art Historians” (Representative Researcher: Atsushi TANAKA, Basic Research (B) 2009-2012), and offered them through the material reading room. We will try our best to make public the papers of Denzaburo NAKAMURA donated around September this year while paying attention to issues associated with personal information, privacy and material preservation.

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