KURODA Seiki in Formal Attire (Photo: OGAWA Kazumasa, July 1914, in the collection of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo [donated by KANEKO Mitsuo])
The Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems held its first seminar of 2013 on April 30. Research presentations were given on Hananokage (Illustrious Portraits), a Private Photography Magazine for Nobles, and Letters from OGAWA Kazumasa to KURODA Seiki. Presentations were made by SAITO Yoichi (Tojo Historical Museum, City of Matsudo) and OKATSUKA Akiko (Edo-Tokyo Museum, Tokyo) along with TANAKA Atsushi.
Starting off, Mr. SAITO described results of his previous studies of Hananokage (published from 1903 to around 1908), a private photography magazine published by former daimyo (feudal lords) such as TOKUGAWA Yoshinobu and TOKUGAWA Akitake, i.e. Meiji-era nobles. Based on his studies, Mr. SAITO deduced that 4 volumes of Hananokage were published each year. Mr. SAITO focused on 5 editions published between March 1907 and March of the following year that featured Photography Critiques of submitted photographs authored by KURODA Seiki and photographer OGAWA Kazumasa (1860–1929). Based on these Photography Critiques, Mr. TANAKA appraised KURODA as an artist and OGAWA as a photographer, and Mr. TANAKA also described KURODA’s views on “photography.” Letters addressed to KURODA Seiki curated by the Institute include letters (7) from OGAWA Kazumasa. Ms. OKATSUKA is studying OGAWA based on these letters, and she described the relationship between KURODA and OGAWA. She also described the world of Meiji photography based on OGAWA’s relationship to nobles of the period. Plans are to publish the results of this research in vol. 411 of Bijutsu Kenkyu (The Journal of Art Studies) (scheduled for publication in Nov. 2013) and in subsequent volumes.