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

The 28th EAJRS Conference “Digital Strategies for Japanese Studies: Theories and Practices”

The 28th EAJRS Conference: Session at Professorboligen, the University of Oslo
The 28th EAJRS Conference: Resource Provider Workshop

 The 28th European Association of Japanese Resource Specialists (EAJRS) Conference was held at the University of Oslo, Norway from September 13th through 16th. From the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems of this Institute, Mr. Kikkawa attended the conference. EAJRS is an organization composed of librarians, professors, and museum and gallery curators who handle Japanese study materials in Europe. The 2017 conference was titled “Digital Strategies for Japanese Studies: Theories and Practices,” attracting more than 90 participants. At this conference consisting of 14 sessions, 30 presentations were made, regarding studies on the collections of Japanese materials overseas by the Chester Beatty Library, the C.V. Starr East Asian Library at Columbia University, and so forth; digital archive programs by the National Institute of Japanese Literature, the National Museum of Japanese History, the International Research Center for Japanese Studies, the Japan Center for Asian Historical Records, and the Shibusawa Eiichi Memorial Foundation; the expertise on references using internet tools by the National Diet Library; and initiatives by the EAJRS Conservation/Preservation Working Group.
 At the conference, we conducted a resource provider workshop and set up a booth to introduce our research programs and archives. We exhibited our publications and digital archives with explanations. Through talks during the period, overseas experts gave us concrete advice on how information should be disseminated through the institutional repository, as well as evaluation of our publications. This was really a good opportunity for us. You can access the EAJRS site ( to watch this conference. The 2018 conference is scheduled to be held at Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania.

Research Council Meeting on Yutaka MATSUZAWA Archives

Research council meeting on Yutaka MATSUZAWA Archives

 On March 14th, a research council meeting on the Yutaka MATSUZAWA Archives was held as part of the research project “Research/Study and Corpus Preparation of Modern & Contemporary Art.”
 Yutaka MATSUZAWA(1922-2006), known for his work and performance based on unique concepts, developed his own thoughts and concepts by assimilating oriental religious views, cosmic views, modern mathematics, astrophysics, etc., and expressed them in the form of art. As a highly important figure, he has been well regarded as a pioneer of “conceptual art” not only in Japan but also in the world. This research council meeting was held with the objective of sharing, among concerned parties, the summary and development activities of the Yutaka MATSUZAWA Archives, which are now being managed by the General Incorporated Foundation “MATSUZAWA Yutaka Psi Room” (Executive Director Haruo MATSUZAWA), and of confirming their value as research materials. First, the following researches and reports were presented: Ms. Yoshiko SHIMADA (Artist) “Current progress towards establishment of the MATSUZAWA Archives: March 2017”; Mr. Shuhei HOSOYA (Research Assistant, Film and Media Department of Tohoku University of Art and Design) “Current status of research on films related to Yutaka MATSUZAWA and their digitization”; Dr. Midori YAMAMURA (JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship for Research in Japan, Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties) “Letters of Yayoi KUSAMA – Character of Yayoi KUSAMA as seen through the Yutaka MATSUZAWA Archives”; and Dr. Reiko TOMII (Art historian, Co-founder of PoNJA-GenKon) “Position of the Yutaka MATSUZAWA Archives in archive studies” (in their order of presentation). In the discussions held following the presentations, experts of post-war Japanese art participated and opinions were exchanged on major tasks for the development of the Yutaka MATSUZAWA Archives, on the prevention of loss of archives of post-war and contemporary Japanese artists, and on the need to have specialized institutions to house archives for artists, etc.

Seminar Held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems – Preliminary Research on the Theory behind Genpei Akasegawa’s ‘Model 1,000 –Yen Note’

“First Public Hearing in the ‘1,000-Yen Note Trial’— Evidence, Courtroom and Deeds” (1,000-Yen Note Incident Colloquium Secretariat, 1966), TNRICP collection
Scene of the seminar

 On January 31st, 2017, the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information of Systems Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties hosted a seminar led by guest researcher Daisuke KAWAI entitled “Preliminary Research on the Theory Behind Genpei AKASEGAWA’s ‘Model 1,000-Yen Note.’”
 Genpei AKASEGAWA (1937–2014) was a multifaceted figure who was active as an avant-garde artist, manga creator, illustrator, writer (of both novels and essays), and a photographer. Mr. KAWAI gave a talk covering the period from the January 1963 creation of AKASEGAWA’s printed exhibition invitation that was a single-sided reproduction of Japan’s 1,000-yen note to the conclusion of “1,000-Yen Note Trial” in 1970 in which he AKASEGAWA was ultimately unable to overturn the charge of violating Japan’s currency counterfeiting law. KAWAI analyzed AKASEGAWA’s own writings and looked at how AKASEGAWA’s concept of the “Model 1,000-Yen Note series” was formed. KAWAI pointed out that AKASEGAWA’s “Model” concept was his way of attempting to legitimize his work of art in a historical and theoretical context. KAWAI pointed out features of AKASEGAWA’s later writings and creative activities that continued to espouse the “Model” concept.
 Mr. Hirokazu MIZUNUMA of the Chiba City Museum of Art participated in the seminar as a commentator, offering a different view of “art” from that held by the artists involved in the 1,000-Yen Note Incident. He also discussed the court trial through the lens of relational art. The result was a lively exchange of views.

Acceptance of visitors and other activities under the 2016 project for inviting, giving training to, and exchanging with, Japanese-art librarians from outside Japan (commonly known as the JAL Project)

 The JAL (Japanese Art Librarian) Project is a project started in fiscal 2014the fiscal year before last supported by grants from the Agency for Cultural Affairs and led by the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo with the purpose, among others, of reconsidering the ideal framework of the service to provide information materials on Japanese art and related information by inviting to Japan experts (including librarians and archivists) who handle Japanese-art related materials outside Japan.
 The nine invited experts visited related organizations in Tokyo, Kyoto and Nara from November 27 to December 10, 2016. The group visited this institute on November 30 and we showed them in the library, etc. book materials, photos taken in the surveys of artworks, files of modern and contemporary artists, and moreover, the materials and projects related to art sales catalogues, and explained how we provide information on the Internet. Furthermore, the group exchanged information and discussed researches with our institute’s researchers and officials of related organizations in Japan. On December 9, the last day of the training, an open workshop was held in the lecture room of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo where the invitees made recommendations regarding the dissemination of information on Japanese art. It became a good opportunity to review how we provide information on cultural assets on a global basis.
Preceding the invitation, Dr. Emiko Yamanashi, Deputy Director General of this institute, had been asked to serve as a Member of the Executive Committee of JAL2016 and gave a seminar on information on Japanese art for graduate students of the University of Pittsburgh. Moreover, as the three-year project was to be completed at the end of fiscal 2016, an “Answer Symposium” ( was held on February 3, 2017, to respond to the suggestions and recommendations made so far.

Seminar Held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems: Acupuncture the Earth in Hiroshima – by Roberto Villanueva, the Last Eco Art in His Career

Sketch of “Sacred Sanctuary (Acupuncture the Earth)” by Roberto Villanueva (1994)

 On October 3rd, 2016, Ms. Midori YAMAMURA, who has been working for this Institute since July, 2016, as a foreign fellow from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, made a presentation titled “Acupuncture the Earth in Hiroshima – by Roberto Villanueva, the Last Eco Art in His Career” at the seminar organized by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems.
 Roberto Villanueva (1947-1995) is a Filipino artist who implemented art with natural materials involving local residents. He called his approach “Ephemeral Art,” which attracted much attention. In her presentation, Ms. Yamamura defined “Eco-Art History” (historical science where environmental issues and art are handled in an interdisciplinary manner) in Europe and the United States first. After looking back at Roberto’s activities in the 1970s and thereafter together with the 1990 Luzon Earthquake and the Eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991, she presented the background and overview of “Sacred Sanctuary,” a participatory approach in art created by Roberto and realized at “Hiroshima Art Document 1995” by volunteers after he had passed away. Ms. Yamamura studied “Ephemeral Art” in relation with modernism including colonialism and the social scale in the Philippines. Perceiving it in the context of “Eco-Art History” in Asia, she presented the relation between this work and the cultural situation in Japan after the Cold War while further examining the “artistic characters unique to Asia.” As commentators, Mr. Masahiro USHIROSHOJI (Kyushu University) and Mr. Masato NAKAMURA (artist, Tokyo University of the Arts) also joined the seminar, where opinions were exchanged actively.
 Her presentation will be reflected in “Mountains and Rivers (without) End: An Anthology of Eco–Art History in Asia,” an anthology to be published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Donated Materials Related to Kikuji YAMASHITA

“Part of the Materials Owned by Masako Yamashita”

 The materials related to Kikuji YAMASHITA (1919-1986) previously possessed by his wife Masako YAMASHITA (1926-2014) were donated from a certain person as of September 30th, 2016. Kikuji is one of the artists representing the Showa era. His works and materials, as well as related works, had also been donated to the Itabashi Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura & Hayama, and the Tokushima Modern Art Museum. The materials provided for this Institute had been kept on hand by Masako until she passed away. Their volume is so large that the book racks about 6 m in length are filled with them. These materials include photos Kikuji may have taken, and materials cut off to be used for his works, which help us to research and understand him deeply. Among them, the photos taken during World War II, when he served on active duty, and after the war as an employee working at the Educational Movie Division of Toho are valuable in the study of the modern history of Japan.
 The Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems has accepted the archives of modern artists including Taketaro SHINKAI and Hotsuma KATORI to make them available at the Library. We are now organizing these donated materials owned by Masako to make them accessible while giving consideration to private information, privacy or material conservation issues.

Participation in the 27th Annual Conference of the EAJRS (European Association of Japanese Resource Specialists): “International Cooperation between Japanese Studies Libraries”

On-going 27th Annual Conference of the EAJRS

 The annual conference of the EAJRS (European Association of Japanese Resource Specialists) was held at the Central Library of Bucharest University in Romania from September 14th through 17th, 2016. The EAJRS is mainly composed of librarians, university professors, museum and art gallery staff members, and other experts who are stimulating interest in and encouraging research in Japanese studies in Europe. At its annual conference for 2016 titled “International Cooperation between Japanese Studies Libraries,” a wide variety of presentations and reports were made through 11 sessions, including the history of Japanese studies, the history of collecting Japanese materials, the program to dispatch Japanese librarians to overseas, the program to invite overseas Japanese studies librarians to Japan, the latest trends in digital humanities, and the project to conserve old Japanese books. (For more information, please access the website of the EAJRS: I made a presentation under the title of “Expansion of Cultural Archives at the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TNRICP): Providing Contents of The Yearbook of Japanese Art for Global Academic Information Infrastructure” to introduce information transmission projects we have been working on this year, including the provision of data for the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC). During the exchange of opinions after the presentation, many people expected us to release our research information accumulated in the Institute. During the term of the conference, lots of exhibition booths were installed by relevant institutions and companies in the lobby of the venue for information sharing and PR activities. At the general assembly held on the final day, it was decided that the next annual conference for 2017 would take place in Oslo, Norway, and the conference ended. With many suggestions on improvement of the accessibility to Japanese cultural property information, attending the conference was a good opportunity for me to think over our archive activities in the large framework of transmitting information on Japanese studies.

Conclusion of an Agreement regarding the Implementation of the “Project to Formulate the Basic Grounds for Sending Information on Cultural Assets Centered on Fine Arts and Crafts both Domestically and Internationally”

Results of a search on OCLC WorldCat website

 The National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo (NRICPT) concluded an agreement regarding the implementation of the “project to formulate the basic grounds for sending information on cultural assets centered on fine arts and crafts both domestically and internationally” with the National Museum of Western Art (NMWA), Tokyo on June 27th, 2016. NMWA was established on the basis of the collection of Japanese business tycoon Kojiro MATSUKATA in 1959. The database of its collection has been acclaimed highly as the norm by experts both at home and abroad as it meets the requirements of the study of art history. The purpose of signing the treaty this time around is for NRICPT to step up its efforts at sending information about the cultural assets in Japan that it discloses on the Internet by making use of NMWA’s method of, and experience in, disseminating information. As the first project under the concluded treaty, we plan to provide the global library service organization Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC) with the “information on literature listed on the exhibition catalogues published in Japan,” which has been included in the Year Book of Japanese Art that NRICPT compiles and publishes. Through a project like this, we will continue to improve accessibility to information on research on Japanese art overseas.

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.

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.

The JAL Project 2015: for inviting, giving to training to, and exchanging with, Japanese-art librarians from outside Japan

JAL Project: Overseas Invitees Visiting the Institute

 The JAL Project (Chairman of the Executive Committee: Mr. Sachio Kamogawa Director of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo) was started in 2014 to invite overseas experts handling Japanese art materials (such as librarians and archivists) to Japan for a review on how Japanese art materials and related information should be provided. Director Emiko Yamanashi and Researcher Hideki Kikkawa of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems of the Institute were commissioned as members of that committee. Kikkawa visited Germany and Chez Republic to interview the invitees in advance, and was involved in training guidance and study tours of the related institutions in Japan.
 On October 3 and 5, he interviewed Ms. Cordula Treimer of the Library of the Museum of Asian Art of the Berlin State Museums, and Mr. Jana Ryndova of the National Gallery in Prague jointly with Mr. Takeshi Mizutani of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, as well as toured the locations to understand how Japanese art information was handled and released.
 Nine overseas experts in handling materials visited Japan from November 16 through 23 to tour the related institutions located in Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara and Fukuoka. They came to this Institute on November 18 to have discussions with our researchers after the introduction of our book materials, photos of researched works, files of modern and contemporary artists, and sales catalogs, as well as relevant projects, at the library. In response to the request from the invitees in 2014, we also organized an “Exchange Meeting with Overseas Experts in Japanese Art Related Materials” for 2015 to offer them an opportunity to interact with persons working for related institutions in Japan. Twenty-eight participants actively exchanged professional opinions in an amicable atmosphere.
 On November 27, the last day of the training program, an open workshop was held at the auditorium of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. Like 2014, the invitees made proposals on the transmission of Japanese art information, which provided us with a good opportunity to reconsider how we should globally transmit information on cultural properties.

2015 International Symposium on Conservation of East Asian Cultural Heritage in Nara,– Poster Presentation

Poster Presentation
Explanation using iPad

 “2015 International Symposium on Conservation of East Asian Cultural Heritage in Nara” was held from August 26 to 29 at the Nara Kasugano International Forum IRAKA in Nara Prefecture, and we made poster presentations at a two-day expert meeting program held on August 27 and 28. With the title of “Formulation of Cultural Property Research Information Archives – Efforts by the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo,” we made presentations on such topics as: (i) utilization of information resources and system building (ii) renovation of the library collection database retrieval system currently available on the institute’s website (using WordPress Works to make it possible to search all databases in a cross-sectoral manner and display search results collectively, changing from the current system in which users need to search respective databases individually), (iii) making research databases available for public use (using WordPress to make it easier to search existing image and text contents, and adding contents to the databases by releasing undisclosed images and other materials sequentially), (iv) cooperation and collaboration with organizations at home and abroad (cooperation with the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures in Britain and the planned joint research with the Getty Research Institute in the United States,) and (v) future activities.
 In addition to poster exhibitions, we conducted demonstrations using iPad and tablet devices, and also had the audience actually use the system. Through these efforts, we gave presentations in such a way that the audience could understand our measures for the renewed integrated retrieval system and library collection databases more precisely and clearly.
 We received feedback from the audience that they could understand the increased contents and better user-friendliness of the retrieval system and therefore make more use of the system for a wider range of purposes. In addition, we also received opinions that expect us to offer information to a large-scale portal website or to promote further cooperation with other institutions handling similar documents and materials. All opinions offered valuable insights unique to experts in cultural heritage in East Asia, their conservation, or information systems. We had a meaningful exchange of information concerning measures to offer the institute’s library collection at home and abroad.

Presentation in the symposium “Advancement of Art Resources in a Global Context”

Symposium “Advancement of Art Resources in a Global Context”

 On June 6 (Sat.), the “Advancement of Art Resources in a Global Context – Contact point between global digitalization strategies and academic specialized research” was held at the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo as part of the annual meeting of the Japan Art Documentation Society. Representing the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Deputy Director General Atsushi Tanaka and Mai Sarai, senior researcher at the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems, attended the symposium as presenters. With an eye to increasing the quantity of art resource information, which has been internationally requested, this symposium was intended to confirm the situations surrounding relevant organizations regarding issues related to the specialization and advancement of information in Japan and to deepen discussions on the issues.
 First, representatives from the National Museum of Western Art, the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD) and the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, respectively gave presentations on their own methods of offering information on art and cultural properties. Mr. Tanaka and Ms. Sarai from the institute gave a presentation under the title “Formulation of Specialized Archives on Cultural Property Information – Efforts by the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo,” and introduced the history of the institute, archives activities and digital contents, and reported the institute’s efforts and measures on the provision of information at a global level (cooperation with the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures and with the Getty Research Institute, etc). Following the individual presentations, a panel discussion between presenters and a keynote speech by Akiko Mabuchi, the director general of the National Museum of Western Arts, were held in the symposium.
 In this symposium, we again presented the effectiveness of art and cultural property information and resources that have been accumulated and maintained by the institute over many years in research activities under the current situation surrounding art resource information to relevant officials at home and abroad. At the same time, we could obtain many suggestions on the provision and dissemination of information at a global level by learning pioneering activities of other institutions.

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

The seminar underway

 A seminar was held in the Seminar Room in the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems starting at 2:00 PM on March 24 (Tues.). The seminar featured a research presentation from KAWAI Daisuke, an Associate Fellow of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems, on “Anti-art, De-subjectification, and Anonymity: Focusing on the Yamanote Line Event and AKASEGAWA Genpei” and a research presentation from KIKKAWA Hideki, another Associate Fellow of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems, on “A Panorama of Sightseeing Art at Tama: Mount Fuji, locomotives, girls, and wells”.
 KAWAI’s presentation mentioned the “de-subjectification of works,” which is one of the features common to art from around the world in the 1960s. This “de-subjectification” became evident as “anonymity” in Japanese art of the period. KAWAI substantiated this point through an analysis of materials related to the Yamanote Line Event put on by NAKANISHI Natsuyuki and other artists in 1962 and the activities of AKASEGAWA Genpei at the time (since AKASEGAWA was affected by the Yamanote action).
 KIKKAWA’s presentation covered An Exhibition of Sightseeing Art at Tama, which is the first event put on by the Tourist Art Research Institute. KIKKAWA used the drawing A Panorama of Sightseeing Art at Tama and the video piece Das Kapital by NAKAMURA Hiroshi to look back at the exhibition. KIKKAWA’s presentation included information that was presented at a symposium commemorating the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the PoNJA-GenKon listserve in September of last year as well as subsequent research he had done.
 The seminar was attended by the painter NAKAMURA Hiroshi and the artist and post-war art researcher SHIMADA Yoshiko. NAKAMURA arrived after KIKKAWA’s presentation and provided attendees with an explanation of the Tourist Art Research Institute and his own work at the time in a question-and-answer session following the presentations.

The JAL Project 2014: for inviting, giving to training to, and exchanging with, Japanese-art librarians from outside Japan

The JAL Project During a tour of the Institute

 The JAL Project (Head of the Executive Committee: KAMOGAWA Sachio, the Director of the Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo) seeks to invite specialists dealing with Japanese artworks overseas (such as librarians and archivists) to visit Japan. The Project also seeks to foster a network of specialists in Japanese artworks. In addition, the Project seeks to reconsider the way in which information on and documentation of Japanese art is provided based on feedback from specialists who have visited Japan as part of the Project. The Project started this year. TANAKA Atsushi, Assistant Director General of the Institute, and KIKKAWA Hideki, an Associate Fellow of the Institute, were tapped to join the Executive Committee of the JAL Project. Mr. KIKKAWA has met with potential invitees in their home countries, he provides them with training guidance, and he accompanies them during their tours of institutions in Japan.
 Ann ADACHI-TASCH is one of the invitees the JAL Project. Ms. ADACHI-TASCH served as the program coordinator for the C-MAP global research initiative of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. MIZUTANI Takeshi (a member of the Project’s Executive Committee and a librarian at the Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo) and Mr. KIKKAWA toured MoMA QNS and the EAT with Ms. ADACHI-TASCH on November 12.
 Seven specialists were invited to visit Japan, and these visitors received training at institutions in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nara starting on December 1. On December 3, the specialists visited the Institute, where they were given an overview of the Institute and its project to create an archive of cultural properties. The specialists examined library materials, photographs of studied artworks, and artist files . And then They exchanged information with researchers from the Institute. The specialists offered suggestions such as enhanced content in Romanized Japanese to facilitate dissemination of information overseas and allowing open access to photographs from studies. On the final day of training (December 11), an open workshop was held in the lecture hall of the Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. This workshop provided a good opportunity to gain a fresh sense of what information on cultural properties is desired in the US and Europe.

Participation in a symposium commemorating the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the PoNJA-GenKon listserve group and tours of libraries with art-related collections and archives

Day 2 of the Symposium (at the Japan Society)

 On September 12 and 13, 2014, a symposium was held to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Post-1945 Japanese Art Discussion Group/Gendai Bijutsu Kondankai (PoNJA-GenKon). The symposium (co-organized by Department of East Asian Studies at New York University [Associate Professor Thomas Looser] and PoNJA-GenKon) was entitled “For a New Wave to Come: Post-1945 Japanese Art History Now” and was held at the Drawings and Prints Study Center of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York University, and the Japan Society. PoNJA-GenKon seeks to provide a forum for experts in the English-speaking world to discuss their interest in contemporary Japanese art. PoNJA-GenKon has previously organized symposia and panel discussions in cooperation with universities, research institutes, and art museums such as the University of Michigan, the Getty Research Institute, and the Guggenheim Museum. On Day 1 of the workshop, the author of this article, Hideki KIKKAWA, delivered a presentation entitled “Seeing A Panorama of Sightseeing Art at Tama: Nakamura Hiroshi’s Notebook at Tobunken.” Panorama is a drawing of the exhibition “Sightseeing Art at Tama River Exhibition” in March 1964 by “Sightseeing Art Research Institute,”, and this drawing is now in the collection of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo. KIKKAWA’s presentation used the drawing and video to describe the exhibition in detail, and the presentation also examined its significance to the art scene at the time. The symposium featured 16 research presentations by specialists and academics. A panel discussion took place each session and featured active discussions.
 The symposium was accompanied by tours of libraries with art-related collections and archives (such as C.V. Starr East Asian Library at Columbia University,Watson Library at Metropolitan Museum of Art,Archive at MoMA, and the Art & Architecture Collection at New York Public Library). The author of this article discussed research materials on Japanese art with representatives of those institutions.
 The author’s participation in the symposium and tours of facilities were made possible thanks to the Japan Foundation.

Redesign of the Information retrieval system for the Research Materials Database

Top page of The Information retrieval system for the Research Materials Database

 The Information retrieval system for the Research Materials Database  ( has been redesigned. This redesign reflects some of the work to create an Institute-wide research materials archive by the Archives Working Group last year. The Working Group falls under the Institute’s Archives Management Committee. The redesign involved extensive revamping of both the operability of the Information retrieval system and database content.
 The Institute’s Research Materials Database made information on Japanese volumes and in sales catalogs available online in 2002. Since then, the database has made available library information from different departments, information on sources in related fields, information on exhibitions, and information on traditional musical instruments. The database distributes useful content specific to institutes researching cultural properties. That said, database users asked for improved operability since they wanted to be able to Search Across Multiple Databases in the System, perform an Advanced Search Using Multiple Keywords, or Sort Search Results. The database was previously constructed using SQL, which is a database language, and Microsoft’s ASP.NET, which is a web application framework. These components have been changed to a combination of MySQL and WordPress (PHP). As a result, problems have been resolved and the database’s operability has improved.
 Content has been increased so that the database now has 530,000 pieces of information on papers and articles featured in the Institute’s publications. Previously, the database only included papers featured in the research journals Bijutsu Kenkyu (The Journal of Art Studies), Geino no Kagaku (Performing Arts Studies), and Science for Conservation. Now, however, the database includes various reports of research results, the Yearbook of Japanese Art, TOBUNKEN News(News from the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo), and Annual Reports. The database also includes bulletins and articles besides papers. As a result, access to articles describing the status of research projects and the Institute’s research results has improved.
Approaches to facilitate access to highly specialized information and allow its efficient use are being considered. If you have any comments or questions about using the system, please let us know by using the database’s Comments or Questions form (ご意見・お問い合わせ).

Seminar on Aspects of Art Archives held

 As part of a research project on General Research regarding the Utilization of Research on Cultural Properties, KAJIYA Kenji (Hiroshima City University) and UESAKI Sen (Keio University Art Center) were invited to attend a seminar on archives of modern art in Japan and the US on February 25th. Also present at the seminar was KIKKAWA Hideki, an Associate Fellow in the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems. The seminar took place in the Institute’s seminar hall.
 The first portion of the seminar featured individual presentations. Citing the example of the letters of Clement GREENBERG, Mr. KAJIYA described his use of archival institutions in the US (such as the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art, the Getty Research Institute, and MoMA) from the perspective of an art historian. Mr. UESAKI used the Sogestsu Art Center’s database of ephemera to describe the thoughts of an archivist. Mr. KIKKAWA sought to provide an introduction to archive materials as a librarian by citing an example of notes made by the artist NAKAMURA Hiroshi. In the second portion of the seminar, a discussion took place based on the individual presentations that had been given. During the discussion, similarities and differences in how the presenters viewed archives from their individual perspectives became apparent. The Seminar had 95 attendees, which included personnel not affiliated with the Institute. Experts actively exchanged opinions during the event. The seminar provided a good opportunity to reconsider Archives that are Instrumental to Art Studies.

to page top