|■Tokyo National Research
Institute for Cultural Properties
||■Center for Conservation
|■Department of Art Research,
Archives and Information Systems
||■Japan Center for
International Cooperation in Conservation
|■Department of Intangible
Panels displayed at Ueno Junior High School in Taito-ku, Tokyo
Students were looking at the explanation of National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo on a touch panel.
On October 30th, the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo exhibited panels at a school festival at Ueno Junior High School in Taito-ku, Tokyo. We displayed two subjects: The clarifying of the structures of nohkan and ryuteki flutes by X-ray photography, and the survey and investigation of Buddha statues by X-ray photography.
The panels previously exhibited at the entrance of the Institute were reused, and both subjects were investigated using X-ray photography and results were seen.
Students at the junior high school know well that the state of ones chest can be revealed by X-ray photography during physical checkups. Therefore, we think that they understood what material of cultural properties this method is effective for and what can be revealed with the research results.
This is the second time that the panels of the Institute have been exhibited at the school festival at Ueno Junior High School in Taito-ku, Tokyo. Although the exhibition was on display for only one day, it provided a good opportunity for approximately 300 Ueno Junior High School students, teachers, and guardians to know that a research organization which protects cultural properties and hands them down to future generations exists near Ueno Junior High School.
We hope that this activity will continue cooperation with school education and with the local community.
“SO-IMAGINE” Tobunken version browser screen
The Department of Research Programming is now preparing for the launch of the Tobunken version of the information search engine “SO-IMAGINE” using associative searching technology within this year.
“SO-IMAGINE” is a search service that the National Institute of Informatics has developed and it is open to the public. This completely new search engine allows us to designate the information you wish to know much more precisely from various genres of data sources, such as the library’s bibliotheca database, database of books in stock of bookstores and secondhand bookshops, database on cultural properties, encyclopedia and tourism data, and deepen the association based on the retrieved data.
The search services of “SO-IMAGINE” combined with the independent database of the organization, such as the National Museum of Art version and the Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum of Waseda University version, have already started operating. Similarly, the Tobunken version will be an independent search service by combining “SO-IMAGINE” with “Tobunken art-related documents”, “Tobunken Odaka Collection”, etc. We will make public the data on approximately 400,000 items on the “Tobunken art-related documents”, and approximately 2,000 photos on the “Tobunken Odaka Collection”, taken by Odaka Sennosuke who first surveyed Bamian, Afghanistan as a Japanese researcher.
We hope that very useful data for studying cultural properties will be transmitted.
Digital Image Gallery of Cultural Properties
In April 2010, we added a Digital Image Gallery of Cultural Properties to the website pages of the Institute.
At present, the gallery includes the contents of “‘Talk on Ancient Romance’ viewed with infrared eyes”, “Incomplete picture of warriors hidden behind chrysanthemum blossoms”, and “Joint research on national treasure Hikone folding screens” – all in Japanese only.
With “‘Talk on Ancient Romance’ viewed with infrared eyes”, we made public the results of research on ‘Talk on Ancient Romance’ painted by Kuroda Seiki. This painting had been damaged in a fire during the air raids of 1945, but taking near-infrared photographs of it revealed some slight remains of the oil-painted ebauche.
With “Incomplete picture of warriors hidden behind chrysanthemum blossoms”, we received cooperation from the Pola Museum of Art and made public the research results of an optical survey on three Kuroda Seiki paintings – “Field (Nobe)”, “Chrysanthemum” and “Sieving red beans” owned by the Pola Museum.
With “Joint research on national treasure Hikone folding screens”, we introduced part of the results of a joint research investigation conducted by the Hikone Castle Museum and National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, during 2006 and 2007, in which the Hikone folding screens were repaired.
The gallery plans to show “Old photographs of Nagoya Castle Keep Palace” and other articles.
In February 2010, we created French webpages of Kuroda Memorial Hall:
The content of the French version is almost the same as that of the Japanese version, and includes the sections of “About Kuroda Seiki”, “Calendar and Traffic Access”, and “List of Works of Kuroda Seiki”. The French version is the fourth foreign language version after English, Chinese and Korean.
In 1884, Kuroda Seiki traveled to France to study law, but after two years he switched to painting and followed that pursuit for the rest of his life. He often stayed and did many paintings in the small village of Grez-sur-Loing between 1890 and 1893, until when he returned to Japan.
We hope that the people in France and other French-speaking countries will come to know that Kuroda Seiki, who is called the father of modern Japanese painting, had strong associations with France through the French webpages of Kuroda Memorial Hall.
Screen of Mobile Website
In January 2010, our Institute established a mobile website.
The website currently consists of “Newly arrived information”, “Greetings”, “Recruiting/Events/Tender Notices”, “Monthly Reports”, “Columns/Old Stories”, ”Research data search system”, “Tobunken Kids”, “Update History”, “Inquiries”, and a “Mobile Phone Standby Display”.
We will quickly and continuously transmit user-friendly information and provide interesting text such as columns. We would be very pleased if you visit our website on your way to work or school, or during breaks in study or research.
In December 2009, we created a new English version of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo’s Kids Pages.
The English version is composed of the “All our tasks”, “Active in the world”, “Why and what? Tobunken”, and “Link to cultural properties” pages in the same way as in the Japanese version.
Recently, the Institute has increasingly conducted activities linking to people overseas, including international cooperation for conserving and restoring overseas cultural properties originating in Japan and promotion of research collaboration with overseas researchers. These trends can also be seen in the Japanese Kids’ Pages “Tobunken shigoto zenbu (All our tasks)” and “Sekai de no katsuyaku” (Active in the world).
We created the English Kids’ Pages with the hope that children around the world will learn about activities of the Institute in the same way as Japanese children. The English Kids’ Pages are very unique among the websites in a country where English is not used as a native language, and are also the first cultural properties website for children.
Please visit the Kids Pages (English version):
From December 2009 we started accepting registrations to our mail magazine.
The mail magazine will offer information about what’s new with at the website.
To register, visit the Institute’s website:
Panels displayed in at Ueno Junior High School in Taito City, Tokyo
On October 31, the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo exhibited panels at the school festival of Ueno Junior High School in Taito City, Tokyo. We displayed two subjects: Wall Paintings of Kitora Tumulus: Removal of Wall Paintings and Restoration Work and Restoration of Screens Illustrating Views of Kyoto and its Environs (owned by Royal Ontario Museum, Canada): 2006 Program for the Conservation of Japanese Art Objects Overseas.
The panels previously exhibited at the entrance of the Institute were reused. At the exhibition on the removal and restoration of Kitora Tumuli mural paintings, however, we also displayed the tools used for the restoration work, such as a diamond wire-saw, spatulas and work clothes, and screened a recorded video of mural painting removal.
The panels exhibited at the entrance of the Institute have never been displayed outside the Institute before. Although the exhibition was on display for only one day, approximately 400 Ueno Junior High School students, teachers, and guardians were able to view the panels.
The Kitora Tumuli mural paintings have frequently been covered by media in recent years, and the Screens Illustrating Views of Kyoto and its Environs have frequently been issued on schoolbooks of social studies as a pictorial cut, so these cultural properties might be familiar for the students at the Ueno Junior High School. We think it was a good opportunity for people to realize that a research institute that conserves the cultural properties and hands them down is located close to Ueno Junior High School.
This year, the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo published a brochure for children entitled What’s the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo? The aim of this brochure is to introduce the Institute to elementary school children and junior high school students.
When compared to the 2008’s edition, the format of the 2009’s edition was changed to B5, the number of pages to 16, and the content has been changed so that the activities of the Institute are introduced as topics.
This brochure is scheduled to be distributed to public elementary and junior high school students in Taito City. Of course, they are also available for visitors at the Institute and at Kuroda Memorial Hall.
PDF copies of the children’s brochure can be downloaded from the Institute’s website at the following URL: http://www.tobunken.go.jp/~joho/japanese/publication/kids/2009.pdf
2008 Annual Report of National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo
We have published the 2008 Annual Report of National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo. TheAnnual Report comprehensively describes what the Institute achieved in its activities last year. The contents include the organization of Institute, annual plans and project reports, other research activities, private research achievements, research exchanges, major stored materials, and Institute-related materials.
One copy of the Annual Report are distributed as reference material to each national and prefectural art gallery and museum, prefectural and government-designated city board of education, buried cultural property center, and university library that has a cultural property research department.
The Annual Report is also posted on our Website inPDF format.
2009 Profile of National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo
The 2009 Profile of National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo has been published.
Profile visually and comprehensively introduces the activities, training sessions, advice and instructions, graduate education, international symposiums, open lectures, transmission of information, printed publication, and other such projects featured by our Institute’s research organizations, departments, and centers in the past year. The Profile is published in Japanese and English.
Copies of Profile are distributed to national and prefectural art galleries and museums, prefectural and government-designated city boards of education, buried cultural property centers, university libraries that have cultural property research departments, embassies, and friendship associations by one copy for each as reference material.
Copies of Profile are also distributed at the Kuroda Memorial Hall and the Research Institute, together withTobunken News, for use by the general public. Profile is also posted on our Website in PDF format.
From June 15 to 20, Director General Suzuki, Deputy Director General Nakano, Mr. Takayanagi of the Department of Management and Mr. Katsuki of the Department of Research Programming visited the ruins in the Xinjiang area of China. Xinjiang is located in the northwest part of China, and most of the area is desert. In ancient times, various oasis city states flourished in this area; the many ruins we visited on this trip were built in that period. We toured Jiaohegucheng, the Bezeklik stone caves, the Astana ancient tombs, and Gaochang in Turfan; the Subash Buddhist remains, the Kumutula stone caves, and the Kyzyl stone caves in Kuqa; and the Museum of Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in Urumqi. We had opportunities in each region to meet some of the people who worked on conserving cultural heritage. Although it was a short trip, it was significant in our learning about conservation of the ruins in the Xinjiang area.
In May 2009, we created a new children’s website aimed at elementary and junior high school students. In the section entitled “All about working at Tobunken”, visitors can learn about the activities of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo in card format.
We hope that children will take advantage of this website together with the What’s the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo?
(http://www.tobunken.go.jp/~joho/japanese/publication/kids/2008.pdf) (link rot) children’s brochure published last July for their independent research projects during summer vacation. Please take some time to visit the website at http://www.tobunken.go.jp/kids/index.html.
Annual Report of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo (2007)
Profile of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo (2008)
The Annual Report (2007) and the Profile (2008) of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo have been published. The Annual Report comprehensively describes what the Institute has achieved in its activities last year. In the wake of the unification of institutes within the National Institutes for Cultural Heritage, the annual plan, the project report and materials related to the Institute have been revised for the 2007 report.The Profile presents the research organization of the Institute as well as its various activities scheduled for the current year in two languages (Japanese and English) and in a visual form for easy understanding.
A copy each of the Annual Report and the Profile are distributed to national and prefectural museums and to libraries of universities with divisions on cultural properties study.Copies of the Profile as well as those of the TOBUNKEN News are distributed to the general public at the Institute and Kuroda Memorial Hall. The Annual Report and the Profile are available as PDF files for perusal on our website.
What is the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo?
This fiscal year, the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo published a brochure for children entitled What’s the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo? The aim of this brochure is to introduce the Institute to elementary school children and junior high school students. A cartoon character named “Tobunken no Empitsukun” introduces cultural properties and the activities of each of the Institute’s departments and centers in an easy to understand way. This brochure is scheduled to be distributed to the children of public elementary and junior high schools in Taito-ku. Of course, they are also available at the Institute and at Kuroda Memorial Hall for visitors.
PDF copies of the children’s brochure can be downloaded from the Institute’s website at the following URL: http://www.tobunken.go.jp/~joho/japanese/publication/
kids/2008.pdf The website for children will continue to be developed further.
An explanation was given on the “Powers Of Information,” a touch panel-type digital archive, from Professor Takano Akihiko, Director of the Research and Development Center for Informatics of Associations at the National Institute of Informatics.
As a part of the construction of the cultural property archives, the Department of Research Programming is now preparing for participation in the cross search site of art libraries “ALC (Art Libraries’ Consortium)” and the associative search site “Imagine.”
On June 9, Tanaka Atsushi, Yamanashi Emiko, Tsuda Tetsuei, Nakamura Setsuko and Katsuki Gen’ichiro visited Professor Takano Akihiko, Director of the Research and Development Center for Informatics of Associations at the National Institute of Informatics, and Project Associate Professor Marukawa Yuzo to exchange opinions about future efforts for the dissemination of related to cultural property.
These two individuals were once involved in the establishment of “Imagine” and provided technical support for the launch of “Cultural Heritage Online,” a portal site operated by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. Advice from these two individuals who are also versed in the field of cultural property study were highly suggestive for those engaged in the construction of cultural property archives.
The inaugural issue of TOBUNKENNEWS DIGEST
The inaugural issue of TOBUNKENNEWS DIGEST has been published. TOBUNKENNEWS DIGEST is the English version of TOBUNKENNEWS. However, rather than being a simple translation of TOBUNKENNEWS (Japanese version), we will make a careful selection of articles to be included so that it may serve as an official bulletin published twice a year by the Institute for overseas readers.
Just as the purpose of TOBUNKENNEWS is to communicate to the public the various activities of the Institute in a way that is easy for everyone to understand, in TOBUNKENNEWS DIGEST we will endeavor to communicate to readers overseas, in a similar way, various activities of international cooperation that the Institute promotes.
The activities of the Institute in 2006 are summarized in the inaugural issue. From now on, two issues will be published each year in order to communicate the activities of the Institute as promptly as possible. We sincerely hope that TOBUNKENNEWS DIGEST will play a role in communicating a part of the work of international cooperation promoted by the Institute.
Annual Report 2006
The Annual Report for the fiscal year 2006 and the Profile for 2007 have been published. The Annual Report is published each year to introduce comprehensively the various activities executed by the Institute during the previous year. The Profile, on the other hand, introduces in English and Japanese the various activities that the Institute plans to execute during the present fiscal year. Materials are presented visually to make it easier to understand these activities.
The Annual Report and Profile are distributed to national and prefectural museums, galleries and libraries of universities that offer studies in fields related to cultural properties. They are also available in PDF file from the Institute’s website.
The Profile, in particular, is also distributed to the public along with TOBUNKENNEWS at Kuroda Memorial Hall and the Institute.
National Treasures which are at a 20% or greater risk of being subjected to inland intraplate earthquake with JMA seismic intensity of 5+ or higher within the next 50 years
(○ = architectures △ = those fine arts and craftworks indicated in red
Red and green lines indicate positions of inland active fault.)
(from presentation material for “Construction of GIS Database of Cultural Properties and Earthquake Hazard Assessment” by FUTAGAMI Yoko)
The National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo holds in-house research seminars. During these seminars, researchers of the Departments and Centers in the Institute present the results of their research projects along topics they themselves have established, and all the researchers in the Institute are given opportunities to freely discuss their thoughts.
The first In-house Research Seminar was held on Tuesday, June 5. Futagami Yoko of the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation presented her project entitled “Construction of GIS Database of Cultural Properties and Earthquake Hazard Assessment” in which she discussed the importance of using GIS as disaster prevention measures for cultural properties.
The schedule for forthcoming seminars is as follows:
2nd Seminar July 10, 2007
“Study of Sotan”
(WATADA Minoru, Department of Research Programming)
3rd Seminar Oct. 2, 2007
“Development of New X-ray Detectors for Cultural Properties”(tentative title)
(INUZAKA Masahide, Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques)
4th Seminar Dec. 4, 2007
“Shelters for Buddha Images Carved on Rock Surfaces”(tentative title)
(MORII Masayuki, Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques)
5th Seminar Jan. 8, 2008
“A Study on the Iconography of Buddhist Art”(tentative title)
(KATSUKI Gen’ichiro, Department of Research Programming)
6th Seminar Feb. 12, 2008
“Ningyo Joruri Bunraku”(tentative title)
(KAMAKURA Keiko, Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage)
7th Seminar Mar. 4, 2008
(MIURA Sadatoshi, Deputy Director General)
(Dates and contents are subject to change)
The National Research Institute for Cultural Properties will feature reports on the activities of the Institute every month on its website. The aim of this Monthly Report is to provide the most recent information concerning the various activities undertaken by the Institute as a whole or by its individual Departments and Centers. For example, in this issue a report is made of investigation conducted by researchers on damages caused to cultural properties by the earthquake that shook the Noto Peninsula on March 25 within a month of the disaster. There is another report on the various activities undertaken to conserve the mural paintings of the Takamatsuzuka Tumulus.