SHINKAI Taketaro (1868–1927) studied sculpture in Europe and he presented works such as Bathing (an important cultural property created in 1907). SHINKAI is known as a sculptor who contributed significantly to the modernization of Japanese sculpture. SHINKAI Takashi, grandson of SHINKAI Taketaro, donated a set of photographic plates through TANAKA Shuji (Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education and Welfare Science, Oita University). The plates feature SHINKAI’s works and Nanga (Southern School paintings) by HOSOYA Fuo and his son HOSOYA Beizan whom SHINKAI studied under in his home prefecture of Yamagata. SHINKAI himself was asked to take the photos. The plates also include images of works that are no longer extant, such as Resolve, which won first prize at the Tokyo Industrial Exhibition in 1907. SHINKAI’s photographic works are valuable materials that relate the history of modern Japanese sculpture. SHINKAI Takezo, Taketaro’s nephew, posthumously compiled photos by his uncle, and these photos joined the Institute’s collection prior to World War II (they can be viewed in the Library). The donated plates were used to produce the photos compiled by SHINKAI Takezo. Plans are to make copies of all of the images featured in the plates and include them in digital archives on the Institute’s website.
Image of Resolve by SHINKAI Taketaro (created in 1907, no longer extant) from a photographic plate