Donation of Materials related to the FURUGORI family

Handwritten books by Mr. FURUGORI Yoshio

 On May 9, 2023, the FURUGORI family donated materials of historical significance to the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TOBUNKEN). In response to the donation, SAITO Takamasa, Director General of TOBUNKEN, presented a letter of gratitude to a representative of the family on June 15, 2023. The materials are on KURODA Kiyotsuna (1830-1917) and his son-in-law, KURODA Seiki (1866-1924), with whom the family had a special relationship.

 KURODA Kiyotsuna was from the Satsuma domain of the Tokugawa Shogunate, and held important positions in the Meiji government, and KURODA Seiki was a painter and contributed much to the modernization of the Japanese art world. As the precursor of TOBUNKEN was the Institute of Art Research, with an endowment bequeathed by KURODA Seiki, we have continued research on his paintings and other achievements since the founding of the institute. The donation was brought from such research.

 KURODA Kiyotsuna received personal care from Ms. FURUGORI Shizuko at his villa at Kogaicho, Azabu-ku (formerly called Nishiazabu, presently Minato-ku), and the bereaved FURUGORI family has a painting by KURODA Seiki that he had given them. SHIOYA Jun and YOSHIDA Akiko, Special Research Chair and Researcher of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems, respectively, visited the family to inspect the painting and were informed of the donated materials.

 The core of the materials, which comprise books bound in Japanese style, publications, letters, and other printed matter, is composed of 10 books written by Mr. FURUGORI Yoshio who was the son-in-law of Ms. FURUGORI Shizuko. Among them, Articles on KURODA Seiki and Articles on KURODA Kiyotsuna present a combination of the author’s personal memory of the KURODAs and rich information acquired from his survey, and two volumes of Azabu in those days provide details on the villa in Azabu, mentioned above, which had also been a subject of a painting by KURODA Seiki. The books are valuable primary sources with an original viewpoint and abundant information.

 The materials are being kept and prepared for access at TOBUNKEN Library. In addition, we plan to digitalize selected contents to facilitate contributions to a wide range of research.

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