Accepting MAEDA Seison’s Collection
The Maeda Seison’s Collection (referred to as the Collection) was donated to the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TOBUNKEN) on October 11th, 2022. It comprises materials that were collected and owned by MAEDA Seison (1885-1997), a Japanese-style painter. It was donated by Ms. AKIYAMA Hideko, the third daughter of Seison, via her eldest son, Prof. AKIYAMA Terufumi (professor emeritus of Ochanomizu University, Director of Meguro Museum of Arts, Tokyo). TOBUNKEN gave a letter of gratitude to Ms. AKIYAMA on November 8th, 2022.
The Collection consists of the materials of 113 titles of 275 items: 109 titles of books (total of 270 books), three cassette tapes, and a set of two records. It includes texts on the ancient practices of arms including armors, printed books of the Edo era such as history books, art books of KŌNO Bairei, orihon* associated with the title piece of KAJITA Hanko’s Original Painting Draft, and collections of sketches of KOBAYASHI Kahaku and SAKAI Sanryō, who are his junior fellows from the Nihon Bijutsuin (Japan Art Institute). They are indispensable materials for future studies on MAEDA Seison.
Further, the Collection includes cassette tapes of “Seison’s Reunion with Joshishin: the Admonitions of the Court Ladies (Copy)**.” This is a recording of the investigation on Joshishin painted by KOBAYASHI Kokei and Seisen held at Seison’s house in Kita-Kamakura, including an interview of Seison in 1974. This was arranged by Dr. AKIYAMA Terukazu, professor at the University of Tokyo, Faculty of Letters; researcher emeritus of TOBUNKEN; husband of Seison’s daughter; and father of Prof. AKIYAMA Terufumi. Dr. KAMEDA Tsutomu and Prof. HARADA Ryukichi of Tohoku University as well as Dr. TSUJI Nobuo, Ms. SEKI Chiyo, and Mr. KONO Motoaki of TOBUNKEN at that time participated in this investigation. Therefore, they are also precious as TOBUNKEN’s activity records. Considering its nature, the Collection is essential for the research of Seison and his artworks. Furthermore, it is useful for the current wider research of cultural properties as the materials show how the cultural property investigation was conducted at that time.
The MAEDA Seison’s Collection, donated in 2022, will be available at the TOBUNKEN Library. We plan to make the book materials of the Collection open to access through a joint operation with the Getty Research Institute, and digitize cassette tapes and records to enable long-term utilization for research. We hope that the Collection will contribute to research on MAEDA Seison, modern Japan-style paintings, and further, on cultural properties.
*orihon: a long strip of paper with writing on one side that is then compacted by folding in zig-zag fashion
**Joshishin: Admonitions of the Court Ladies (Copy): Reproduction painted by KOBAYASHI Kokei and MAEDA Seisen of the Admonitions of the Instructress to the Court Ladies housed in the British Museum. This is housed in the Tohoku University Museum.