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


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.


Seminar Held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems: On One roll of “Buke Sumo Emaki (picture scroll of martial families’ sumo) by Sansetsu KANO”

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

 Once a month, by inviting not only the Institute’s staff members but also researchers from other institutions as the presenters, the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems holds a seminar to discuss cultural assets mainly focusing on arts and crafts. On Tuesday, 29th March, Yoshiya YAMASHITA (Curator of Japanese Painting of the Tokyo National Museum) delivered a presentation under the title mentioned above. This Emaki, owned by the Sumo Museum in Ryogoku, has an overall length of over 12 meters. Its existence had not been well known until it was recognized as a Sansetsu’s work and was displayed and publicly shown in the special exhibition “Kano Sanraku and Sansetsu” (March 30th to May 12th 2013) that Yamashita organized during his tenure at the Kyoto National Museum.
 First, the presentation has drawn attention to the Japanese style motif that changed the previous image of Sansetsu having been created based on the works of Chinese type motifs. Then, the scenes that depicted the moments of various sumo techniques such as “Kawazu-gake” winning technique and the viewers’ excitement were explained in detail and Sansetsu’s characteristics were confirmed from his way of depicting portraits, including especially the faces and looks. Further, focusing on the postscript by his heir Einoh, the presenter gave his view on the issue of Sansetsu’s supporters and the background of the birth of this Emaki.


Consultation on the Project and the Lecture by Deputy Director General Tanaka at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures (SISJAC)

Tanaka delivering a lecture at Third Thursday Lecture hosted by the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures

 The Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures (SISJAC) located in Norwich, a suburb of London, UK launched the “Shaping the Fundamentals of Research on Japanese Arts” project in July 2013 jointly with the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo. Under this project, in Europe and the United States, exhibitions of Japanese art have been held and English-written information about Japanese art in the form of books and literatures have been collected. (Information on these literatures can be retrieved at the “References on Cultural Properties” of the “TOBUNKEN Research Collections” website of the Institute: http://www.tobunken.go.jp/archives/).
 With the objective of confirming the progress of this project during this fiscal year and its continuation for the next fiscal year and beyond, Atsushi TANAKA, Deputy Director General, and Tetsuei TSUDA, Head of the Archives Section of Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems, visited the SISJAC from 16th to 21st February and had discussions with Mami MIZUTORI, Executive Director of SISJAC, and the data input staff.
 Also, on 18th (Thursday) during the stay, at Third Thursday Lecture that is held by SISJAC on the third Thursday of each month, Tanaka gave a lecture titled “The Portrait, Painted in 1916,” talking on the portrait of Ryusei KISHIDA. The lecture was held in the wooden lecture room that was newly built attached to the medieval cathedral, adjacent to which SISJAC is located. There was an audience of nearly one hundred and the seats were fully occupied. The audience listened to the lecture with enthusiasm, showing a great deal of interest in the modern Japanese art.


Workshop in September by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems

Heated discussions over the information of canvas silk and silk yarn between Mr. Shimura/Ms. Akimoto and the audience

 In the monthly workshop held on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems, Mr. Akira Shimura of the Silk Fabric Research Institute, Katsuyama Textile Corporation made a presentation under the title of “Conventional Techniques in Silk Production” as part of our research project, “Research on art expression, techniques and materials.” Ms. Noriko Akimoto of the Silk Fabric Research Institute also attended the workshop as a commentator. Mr. Shimura has been working on the restoration of traditional silk fabrics produced before the modern age. As a base material for Japanese paintings, canvas silk, the theme of this workshop, is very familiar not only to researchers of art history but also to Japanese art restorers. The attendees were engaged in diverse areas, including art history researchers and Japanese art restorers, which shows their strong interest in this field.
 For this workshop, Mr. Shimura told us about a variety of findings on canvas silk and silk yarn he accumulated during the process of technical restoration based on field research for canvas silk of various ages left until today. At the beginning, Mr. Shimura presented basic information on silk yarn. Then, receiving useful comments from Ms. Akimoto from time to time, the audience asked questions, and Mr. Shimura answered the questions. During the Q&A session, we, researchers, realized that some of our knowledge on canvas silk and silk yarn perceived as common sense resulted from misunderstandings or misperceptions. Thus, this workshop was a good opportunity for us to revise our understanding, such as the unit, “d (denier),” which is not related to the thickness (diameter) of silk yarn but to the volume of silk. The relations between back coloring and the density of the texture produced with warp and woof (space between threads) were also revealed through detailed observation of the canvas silk produced with traditional techniques and restored.
 The workshop, which proceeded in a Q&A session style, took more than two hours. However, the information and knowledge about canvas silk and silk yarn Mr. Shimura presented were very fresh to us. We also had a good opportunity to feel beneath our fingertip the real texture of canvas silk produced in different fabric thickness and density by Mr. Shimura and Ms. Akimoto, as well as glossed silk beaten with a wooden block (silk cloth). These precious experiences will surely assist us in our art research in the future.


Donation of Lectures’ Texts by Takeshi Kuno for the Hakuho Society

 The late Mr. Takeshi Kuno (1920-2007) was engaged in research on the sculpture of Buddhist sculptures for 38 years from his entrance into the precursor of this institute, the Institute of Art, in 1944 until his retirement in 1982. After retirement, he established the Research Institute for Buddhist Art next to his residence. As the head of the Institute, he provided valuable materials collected over many years for researchers. After he passed away, the bereaved family donated his research notebooks with his handwritten comments, photographic materials, and so forth to our Institute. These materials, which total 7,480 items, mainly relate to Buddhist statues located in Japan and overseas. Since March 2015, they have been open to the public as “materials donated by Takeshi Kuno” at the library of our Institute.
 Mr. Kuno organized the Hakuho Society for Buddhist art lovers in his Institute for Buddhist Art, and devoted himself to on-site observation tours and lectures for its members. The invitation notices inserted in his research notebooks reveal these activities. However, the details of his lectures were unknown. Under these circumstances, Mr. Hisamori Takahashi, who had helped the operation of the Hakuho Society, offered to donate the listed lectures, which we accepted in September. This is a list of lecture records distributed to the members each time Mr. Takeshi Kuno gave a lecture to the Hakuho Society. The members transcribed taped lectures in turns, and Mr. Kuno checked the transcriptions before distribution. This has enabled us to understand the details of his lectures for the Hakuho Society. These listed lectures will be released as part of the “materials donated by Takeshi Kuno” after registration.


Publication of PDF files of articles published in “The Bijutsu Kenkyu

 The first issue of “The Bijutsu Kenkyu” was published in January, 1932, based on a concept proposed by Yukio Yashiro, then director general of The Institute of Art Research affiliated with the Imperial Arts Academy, the predecessor to the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo. Since then and up to the present day, the magazine has been playing a leading role in cultural property research at home and abroad by publishing articles on cultural properties, pictorial commentaries, research materials and other documents while covering Asia widely. The Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems has been making preparations for the publication of the magazine’s back issues on the Web as part of the entire institute’s archives and in response to opinions and requests for the publication by the Evaluation Committee.
 For articles published in issues from the first to the 200th, we contacted their authors and their inheritors to obtain approval for the publication. As for articles for which we obtained approval, we have made, or will make, them accessible on the Web sequentially, and now users can search and browse texts of those articles on the “TOBUNKEN Research Collections” website. However, we prioritized efforts to establish an environment where users can search and browse texts of articles on the Web as early as possible. Therefore, concerning plates carried in the magazine along with the articles and possessed by temples, shrines and museums, we did not obtain approval for the publication from individual possessors, but instead we masked these pictures or drawings. For articles published in issues up to the 200th and the authors of which are unknown, we will follow a prescribed procedure. For articles published in issues later than the 200th, we are making preparations for their serial publication. We hope that the publication of the PDF files will promote further utilization of “The Bijutsu Kenkyu” by a wider range of people and organizations.


48th Public Lectures

Scene of lecture

 Over the two days October 31 (Friday) and November 1 (Saturday) of this year, the public lectures organized every fall by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems were held at 1:30 p.m. in the underground seminar room. The general title for the lecture series was “Dialogue between Objects and Images.” These lectures are held to raise awareness of the public about some of the general knowledge obtained through our day-to-day research on cultural properties. This year marked the 48th time these lectures have been held.
 At the first session, TSUDA Tetsuei, Head of the Art Research Materials Section, gave a talk entitled “The Concept and Function of Ichiryu Sōshō Keizu (Illustrated live of succession in Bukkoji community of Shinran’s School),” and this was followed by a presentation by Dr. ITO Daisuke, professor of Graduate School of Nagoya University, entitled “Two Principles of Beauty in Pictures of the Insei Period―The Rise of Portraits.” There was fair weather on the day of the lecture, and it was attended by 108 people.
 At the second session, SHIOYA Jun, Head of the Modern/Contemporary Art Section, spoke on the topic “The Shochuhi Memorial in Sendai―Toward Recovery from the Disaster.” After this was a lecture by KAWATA Akihisa, Professor, Chiba Institute of Technology, entitled “Representations and Realities.” During the talk by Mr. SHIOYA, he asked Mr. TAKAHASHI Yuji, who was actually engaged in the restoration work, to take the podium and give a report. Unfortunately, the day of the lecture was rainy and cold, but nevertheless there were 55 attendees.
 Based on figures from a questionnaire survey conducted on both days, 91.7% of attendees were satisfied on the first day, and 83.7% on the second day.


July seminar of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems

The seminar underway

 The Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems conducts a seminar every month. Starting at 3 PM on July 29 (Tues.), TSUDA Tetsuei, Head of the Art Research Materials Section delivered a presentation on the Origins of the Hollow Interiors of Wooden Sculptures from the Heian Period. The seminar took place in the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems’ seminar room. The presentation also featured some of the results of Basic Research on Ancient and Medieval Statues of Omi [the previous name for Shiga Pref.]: Compilation of Basic Data and Images (2012-2014), which is research that TSUDA chaired. Seminar attendees included NISHIKAWA Kyotaro, a former Director General of the Institute. After TSUDA’s presentation, NISHIKAWA described his views on the presentation and he offered various suggestions based on his years of on-site experience restoring Buddhist sculptures and the valuable insights he gained from that experience. The views and suggestions that NISHIKAWA offered were captivating and couched in a way that even non-experts would be able to understand. Moreover, those views and suggestions included a wealth of specialized knowledge regarding techniques for sculpting Buddhist statues that one would seldom be privy to otherwise. NISHIKAWA generously offered his views and suggestions, resulting in a great opportunity for the presenter as well as seminar attendees to hear them.


Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems seminar entitled Research on and Development of an Internet Version of Mizue: Prospects for the Digital Publication of Art Historical Resources and Art Archives

Homepage of the online version of Mizue

 The Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems conducts a monthly seminar to share information on relevant research. A seminar entitled Research on and Development of an Internet Version of Mizue: Prospects for the Digital Publication of Art Historical Resources and Art Archives began at 2 PM on March 25, 2014. During the seminar, presentations were given by TSUDA Tetsuei, Head of the Art Research Materials Section, KIKKAWA Hideki, an Associate Fellow at the Institute, MARUKAWA Yuzo, Associate Professor of the National Museum of Ethnology, and NAKAMURA Yoshifumi and YOSHIZAKI Mayumi of the National Institute of Informatics. The presentations covered Mizue, an art journal that was first published in 1905. The journal subsequently suspended publication in 1992, it resumed publication in 2001, and it then suspended publication again in 2007. Since this journal has been published for almost a century, it has had a profound effect on art in modern Japan, and it clearly has documentary value. Moreover, volumes prior to volume no. 90, which were published in the Meiji Era, are hard to obtain and few institutions have those assembled volumes in their collections. Accordingly, issues of the journal are treated as valuable written works by the Institute. At the same time, there was a growing call for the journal to be made publicly available. Since most of the copyrights to articles and other pieces in the volumes published during the Meiji Era had expired, the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems and the Center for Research and Development into the Informatics of Association of the National Institute of Informatics drew on their extensive know-how to jointly research and develop a way to make those issues available internet. This project started in 2011 and lasted 3 years. With Mizue serving as a test case, this joint research and development looked at one possible way of publishing information on cultural properties primarily in text format. This effort was originally part of a Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems research project on General Research regarding the Publication and Utilization of Research on Cultural Properties. The seminar on March 25 was conducted for the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems to internally share information regarding the results of this research and development. The internet version of Mizue that resulted from joint research and development has been made publicly available as Mizue from the Materials Archive of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo. Please feel free to have a look (http://mizue.bookarchive.jp/).


The Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems hosts its 46th public lecture series

A lecture underway 1
A lecture underway 2

 This year marks the 46th public lecture series of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems. Lectures on the topic of Dialogues on Objects and Images were given in the Institute’s basement seminar hall starting at 1:30 PM on both October 19th (Fri.) and 20th (Sat.). Cultural properties and artworks are immobile objects that engender vivid imagery in people’s minds. With this in mind, the lecture series seeks to inform more people of new information about the Objects and Images they encounter every day.
 Presentations were made by PAI Shih-ming, an Associate Professor at National Taiwan Normal University (on the 19th, entitled Firsthand Experiences from Ueno Modern to Modern Culture: The modern Japan that CHEN Cheng-po encountered) and MARUKAWA Yuzo, an Assistant Professor at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (on the 20th, entitled The Lines and Dots of Art History that Engender Mental Associations: What can be gleaned from archives). Presentations were also made by YAMANASHI Emiko, Assistant Director of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems (on the 19th, entitled Painters who Depicted the Mausoleum of the Tokugawa Shoguns) and TANAKA Atsushi, Director of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems (on the 20th, entitled October 20th, 1912: Ueno & Art) from the Institute. Despite the great weather on both days, lectures on the 19th had an audience of 96 and lectures on the 20th had an audience of 80.


Survey and photography of Bukkoji Temple’s “Zenshin Shonin Shinran Dene [Illustrated Biography of Shinran, Zenshin Shonin]”

High-resolution digital photography of a picture scroll

 The “Zenshin Shonin Shinran Dene [Illustrated Biography of Shinran, Zenshin Shonin]” (2 scrolls) are picture scrolls depicting the life of Shinran (1173–1262) from his entry into the priesthood until the erection of his mausoleum following his death and were passed down by Bukkoji Temple, Kyoto. These scrolls were produced under the influence of picture scrolls of Shinran’s life that were passed down by Senjuji Temple, Mie Pref. The second set of scrolls is known to include text and portrayals that are hard to accept. And it is said that those text handwriting was those of the Emperor Godaigo. In principle, Bukkoji Temple’s picture scrolls are not shown to the public. Since the scrolls have been carefully passed down, they lack any evidence of restoration efforts like repaired creases. Despite its aging, silver paint on the scrolls has retained its brilliance. The scrolls are also notable for their colors, which remain as vivid today as when the scrolls were originally produced. Nevertheless, there are strongly divergent views on the date of production, with one view dating the scrolls back to the middle ages (15th century) and another placing the date in the modern age (the 17th century or afterwards).
 With the understanding and cooperation of the Temple’s administrative office, Tetsuei TSUDA, Tatsuro KOBAYASHI, and Seiji SHIRONO of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems studied and photographed Bukkoji Temple’s “Zenshin Shonin Shinran Dene” on February 23 and 24, 2011 in the Temple’s great hall. Since previous opportunities to study the scrolls were severely limited, the current research sought to obtain basic data on such illustrated biographies and digitally photograph each illustration in high resolution so that Bukkoji Temple’s picture scrolls could contribute greatly to the study of cultural properties. Findings from this research were presented along with an interim report at a seminar of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems on February 29th (Tetsuei TSUDA, “Bukkoji Temple’s ‘Illustrated Biography of Shinran’”). The scene in the first scroll, “Dream at the Rokkakudo [shrine],” features the most distinctive portrayals, so wall panel of this scene was displayed on the wall of the floor corridor of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems to further publicize the existence of this work. This research was undertaken with a 2011 grant from the Metropolitan Center for Far Eastern Art Studies. This research is one result of a research project of the Institute’s Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems entitled Study on Digital Imaging of Cultural Properties. (Tetsuei TSUDA, Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems)


Seeking to make the Meiji Period art journal Mizue available on the Web

Cover of Issue 1 of Mizue (July 1905 edition)

 Through a project on General Research regarding the Publication and Utilization of Research on Cultural Properties, the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems is seeking to coordinate with other bodies to effectively display the journal on the Web and utilize accumulated research on cultural properties. Among art journals in the Institute’s collection, some Meiji Period art journals are defunct and their copyrights have expired. Numerous readers here in Japan and overseas wish to view Mizue, one such journal, so as part of the project the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems is seeking to coordinate the National Institute of Informatics to make the journal available on the Web. On September 13th, a conference to achieve that end was held at the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo. The goal would be to display the journal on the Web with a full index and links; article searches would allow readers to view images of the main text on the Web. Representatives of both institutes determined steps to achieve that goal and effective ways to display the journal on the Web. Representatives of both institutes reaffirmed their intent to display Issues 1-10 within a year and later display issues from the Meiji Period up to Issue 89 as part of the project.


Study and photography of a wooden statue of the monk Shoshin while seated in Gunma Prefectural Museum of History

 This study took part on June 21 (Tues.) and was part of a Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems research project on the Multi-faceted Study of Artistic Representations and Art Materials and Techniques. With the cooperation of Inuzuka Masahide of the Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques and Hagiwara Hajime, adjunct instructor at Musashino Art University, Tsuda Tetsuei and Sarai Mai of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems studied and photographed a wooden statue of the monk Shoshin (a cultural property designated by Gunma Prefecture that was sculpted by Daishin in the Kamakura period) from Hofuku-ji temple in the Town of Itakura, Gunma Prefecture on exhibit at the Gunma Prefectural Museum of History. Researchers had become aware of the statue’s existence following a full-fledged study by the late Kuno Takeshi, an emeritus researcher at the Institute, in which Kuno became aware of the statue’s inscriptions. Some time later, the statue underwent full-scale restoration, but its obtuse and complicated inscriptions remained unclear.
 The aims of the current study were to accurately ascertain the statue’s structure and the conditions under which it is kept and to use infrared photography to discern its undeciphered inscriptions. This study also sought to verify the existence of a container holding the monk’s bones in the head of the statue. X-ray photography was attempted to meet these goals. Plans are to continue studying the statue and present findings and photographs from the study in Bijutsu Kenkyu.


Publication of Research Materials: Techniques of Hollow Dry Lacquer Sculpture

Research Materials: Techniques of Hollow Dry Lacquer Sculpture

 This research sought to elucidate the techniques used to produce hollow dry lacquer statues of Buddha during the Tenpyo period as part of a Department of Research Programming research project on the Multi-disciplinary Study of Art Techniques and Materials pursuant to a 5-year program that started in 2006. Research Materials: Techniques of Hollow Dry Lacquer Sculpture reports on the results of this research. This volume includes basic data on individual sculptures and images such as X-ray images (black and white) of statues and their internal structures, a feat that would not be possible with surface observation alone. This volume includes a CD version of the Lexicon Database for Color-related Terminology Found in Nara Period Historical Documents, which was part of a research project that took place at the same time.


Five Hundred Arhats from Daitoku-ji Temple – Report on a Study of Inscriptions

 An Agreement on Optical Study of Buddhist Art and Creation of HD Digital Content was concluded between the Institute and Nara National Museum in 2010 as part of a Department of Research Programming research project on Research on the Use of High-Resolution Digital Images. Results of joint research by the Institute and Nara National Museum on the Five Hundred Arhats from Daitoku-ji Temple are reported in Five Hundred Arhats from Daitoku-ji Temple – Report on a Study of Inscriptions. This volume contains images with better rendering of inscriptions that were hard to read with the naked eye. Publication of this volume has revealed most of the details of these inscriptions and represents a significant achievement in elucidating the circumstances governing the production of Five Hundred Arhats from Daitoku-ji Temple.


vPublication of Library Catalogue 8 of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo – Works in Chinese

Library Catalogue 8 of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo - Works in Chinese

 Library Catalogue 1 of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo: Western Art – Works in European languages & Works in Japanese was published in March 2002 as part of a Department of Research Programming research project on the Enrichment of Cultural Archives (overseen by the Library). Additional catalogues have been published since, as demonstrated by publication of Library Catalogue 8 – Works in Chinese, the eighth volume of the library catalogue. This catalogue lists about 12,000 works in Chinese at the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo. Publication of this catalogue has revealed the full state of works in Chinese held by the Institute and should lead to greater use of these works.


“Phoenix Hall of Byodo-in Temple, the Wall Behind the Buddha Investigation Material List: Fluorescent Paintings Edition” issued

 Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (Tobunken) has published “Phoenix Hall of Byodo-in Temple, the Wall Behind the Buddha Investigation Material List: Fluorescent Paintings Edition,” a report on the results obtained in a survey of the murals on the wall behind the Buddha image in the Phoenix Hall which was conducted jointly with the Byodo-in Temple in 2004–2005. This publication is the third volume in a series, following on from “Phoenix Hall of Byodo-in Temple, the Wall Behind the Buddha Investigation Material List: Color Image Edition” (published in 2008) and “Phoenix Hall of Byodo-in Temple, the Wall Behind the Buddha Investigation Material List: Near-infrared Image Edition” (published in 2009). It is anticipated that these three volumes will provide important basic materials for future research on the Phoenix Hall murals.


Contribution of books owned by the late Professor Suzuki Kei

 We reported in Tobunken News Vol. 36 that, among the books of the late Professor Suzuki Kei (passed away on October 18, 2007), the leading authority on Chinese picture history and Professor Emeritus at Tokyo University, the “Wenyuange Edition Siku Quanshu”, “Si Bu Cong Kan Chu Bian Suo Ben” and “Da Qing Li Chao Shi Lu” were offered by his bereaved wife Teruko to the Institute in December 2008. On October 26, Ms. Suzuki Teruko additionally donated the series of publications – “an authorized collection of all-time books” and “Tien-i-ko tsang Ming-tai fang-chih hsuan-kan”. These donated series of publications enrich the library of the institute. We will arrange and register them in sequence so that many people can read and make use of them.


Displaying Achievements of Cooperative Program for the Conservation of Japanese Art Objects Overseas in Tokyo National Museum

Exhibition

 From May 11 (Tuesday) to 23 (Sunday), we displayed art objects that had returned to their homeland of Japan and whose restoration had been completed by the domestic craft centers at the end of 2009, in the planning exhibition room on the first floor of the Heiseikan of Tokyo National Museum. The exhibition took place under the title “Special display: Restoration of Japanese Art Objects Overseas”, and also had the purpose of making publicly known the achievements of the Cooperative Program for the Conservation of Japanese Art Objects Overseas.
 Three art objects were displayed in the above exhibition – Folding screen of Kabuki Acrobatic Performance and Audience owned by the Ashmolean Museum (UK), Wakaura Gold-Lacquered Shogi Board owned by the Cologne Museum of East Asian Art (Germany), and Incense Shelves with Makie Decoration of the Eight Views of Lake Biwa owned by Museum Velké Meziucí (Czech Republic). This kind of exhibition takes place in the Heiseikan of Tokyo National Museum around this time every year. We hope that continuing to hold exhibitions will let as many people as possible know something about the international cooperation that the Institute is working for.


“Phoenix Hall of Byodo-in Temple, the Wall Behind the Buddha Investigation Material List: Near-infrared Image Edition” issued

 While the Heisei Large Repair of the Phoenix Hall was being implemented from 2003 to 2008 at the Byodo-in Temple, the seated Amitabha Tathagata, along with the halo and pedestal, were transferred to a specially installed studio on the temple grounds. We took this opportunity to conduct a detailed optical survey of the painting in front of the wall behind the Buddha, with support and cooperation from Byodo-in Temple, in 2004 and 2005. We used high-definition digital camera techniques and recorded the current status of the painting in detail. As a report on the results, the “Phoenix Hall of Byodo-in Temple, the Wall Behind the Buddha Investigation Material List: Near-infrared Image Edition” was issued on February 26. This follows the issue of “Phoenix Hall of Byodo-in Temple, the Wall Behind the Buddha Investigation Material List: Color Image Edition” in 2009. As is well known, the panel painting on front of the Wall Behind the Buddha is usually behind the principal Buddha image, Amitabha Tathagata, so it is not easy to view the whole painting in detail. This edition, therefore, will prove very useful use not only for the study of the painting on the wall behind Buddha, but also for the study on Buddhist paintings during the Heian period. In 2011, we will issue the “Phoenix Hall of Byodo-in Temple, the Wall Behind the Buddha Investigation Material List: Fluoroscopic Image Edition.”


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