Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties Center for Conservation Science
Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation
Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Attending the 7th International Conference of Art Libraries

Appearance of Palazzo Strozzi, the Venue of the 3-Day Conference

 An international conference of art libraries was held in Florence, Italy for three days from October 27th through 29th, 2016. This biennial conference was organized by the Committee of Art Discovery Group Catalogue composed of chief librarians of art libraries in Europe and the United States. This 7th conference attracted almost 100 experts from art libraries throughout the world. The presentations and reports conducted during the session were diverse and fulfilling with a focus on projects for the “Art Discovery Group Catalogue” (, a batch retrieval system dedicated to the arts field operated by the organizer, in addition to the latest programs on which such museums of the world are working.
 The “Art Discovery Group Catalogue” is a retrieval system born from the platform for art bibliographies (, in which art libraries from 15 countries participated, after its positive dissolution. This is a joint international project launched in 2014, in which major art libraries of the world join by using WorldCat ( operated by the Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC), a library service NPO in the United States composed of universities and research institutions of the world.
 In FY 2016, the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties will provide data on papers placed in Japanese exhibition catalogues for OCLC. As a result, in FY 2017, our data will be retrievable with “WorldCat,” the largest joint list of world libraries, and also with the “Art Discovery Group Catalogue” having a partnership with OCLC.
 Carefully watching the international movements on art libraries and art bibliography information in the future, we will clarify the roles this Institute should fulfill for utilization in research projects.

Research on Asuka-daibutsu using a portable X-ray diffraction device

Research on Asuka-daibutsu using a portable X-ray diffraction device

 In Asuka-dera Temple located in Asuka village, Nara prefecture, the statue of Shaka Nyorai (the so called “Asuka-daibutsu”), which is about three meters in height, is enshrined as the principal image of the temple. According to historical sources, the statue is considered to have been made by Tori Busshi in 606. It is an important statue because it is considered to be the first Joroku Buddha in Japan. However, there are various opinions as to which part of the statue was originally made by Tori Busshi because it was damaged by fire in the early Kamakura period.
 After the opening time of Asuka-dera Temple on June 16th and 17th in 2016, research on the preserved state and production techniques of Asuka-daibutsu was conducted by experts in art history, conservation science, restoration and three-dimensional measurement. This research was managed as a part of the “Japan-South Korea Joint Research on Bronze Buddhist Statues of East Asia from the 5th through the 9th Century” (the research representative is Prof. Fujioka of Osaka University.). From the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo (NRICPT), Yasuhiro HAYAKAWA, Masahide INUZUKA and Mai SARAI participated in this research and conducted the investigation of materials on the surface of the statue by using a portable X-ray diffraction device (RIKEN KEIKI Co., Ltd., XRDF), which was introduced to NRICPT in the last fiscal year.
 Scaffolding was constructed around the statue, and then we carried out the measurement on the surface of the head and body of the statue (the number of measured points was 10). Together with the 3 measured points on a fragment considered to have been a part of Asuka-daibutsu, the number of measured points was 13 in total during this research period.
 The crystal structure of materials can be obtained by the portable X-ray diffraction device. The chemical compounds can be identified from the information about the crystal structure by combining the information about the elements constituting materials obtained by X-ray fluorescent analysis conducted by Osaka University and the National Museum of Korea. In this research, copper compounds existing on the surface of the statue can be identified and the comparison of chemical compounds on different measurement points will be possible.
 We are now analyzing these data in more detail, and plan to report the results of the analysis within this fiscal year.

FY2015 Activities of Archives Working Group of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo

 The National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo established the Archives Working Group in FY2013 to make further efforts to widely and effectively transmit the results of various studies on cultural properties that the Institute has worked on.
 In FY2014, as a part of the efforts above mentioned, a new system was established to organize a vast amount of research information/information resources and facilitate their disclosure. Furthermore, the existing retrieval system for the material database of the Institute was renewed as “TOBUNKEN Research Collections” ( Users comment favorably that a scope of accessible information has expanded as the retrieval of variety of information related to cultural assets has become facilitated.
 In FY2015, with the aim of providing the entire list of research products that have been published by the Institute since its foundation till today, a new page “List of Publications of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo” ( ) was added to the Institute’s website. Based on this list of research products, it is planned to sequentially post those research products which can be published on the website (as PDF files etc.). In addition to the Institute’s website, those research products will also be included in the “open access repository” currently being promoted by the National Institute of Informatics, thereby developing a usage environment open to more people.
 Nowadays, “opening of academic information on natural science” seems to be entering the new phase, where the Cabinet Office issued the open science policy. The Archives Working Group is planning to hold an active discussion also on how to handle the experimental data, useful illustrations, etc. in the field of natural science that have not been able to be sufficiently included in the paper medium.

Dialogue: The Generation of “Form”: In Leiko Ikemura’s Case

The dialogue with Leiko Ikemura

 We held a public dialogue with Leiko Ikemura, an artist living in Berlin, Germany, on June 9 (Tue.) Before this, the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems held an international symposium “Reconsidering ‘Form’: Towards a More Open Discussion” in January 2014, and Ms. Ikemura served as a speaker in the symposium. (We published a report on the symposium. For details, please see
 The dialogue event was the second phase of the symposium. Emiko Yamanashi and Mai Sarai from the department asked Ms. Ikemura questions and she gave answers to the questions. In the trilateral dialogue, Ikemura delivered various talks, starting with the production concept of her most recent work “Usagi Kannon,” a terracotta statue more than three meters in height. Then she talked about practical issues including production techniques, materials, the selection of media, and ways to realize production concepts. In addition, she frankly and fully discussed the act of creation, such as her attitude toward production, inner feelings and conflicted feelings at the time of creation, and the state of mind she is trying to reach through art.
 When she draws a picture, Ikemura said, “I capture the moment when the object and I are integrated. What I want to draw is not an object. I want to capture the sense that the object is connected to me and my body. That is the connection between myself and the world and experience, and I am trying to make it into a painting.” That statement was very impressive.
 The contents of the dialogue will be made available on the website of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo. We hope you will look forward to this.

Visit to the Getty Research Institute in the United States and consultation for joint research

Getty Museum
Getty Research Institute

 On June 16 and 17, Atsushi Tanaka, deputy director general of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo (Tobunken), and Mai Sarai at the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems visited the Getty Research Institute (GRI) that plays a leading role globally in the dissemination of information on artworks and art research with the help of Ms. Ann Adachi, a video art researcher living in Philadelphia. They had a consultation with officials at the GRI to seek the possibility of joint research. In October 2014, GRI Director Thomas W. Gaehtgens and other staff members inspected Tobunken. Following the visit, both institutions decided to hold a consultation to seek concrete ways of cooperation.
 The GRI is located on a hill overlooking the coast in Santa Monica in Los Angeles and the UCLA campus. The GRI is part of a complex facility generally referred to as the Getty Center that comprises such institutions as the Getty Conservation Institute and the J. Paul Getty Museum having five pavilions.
 Jean Paul Getty, the founder of the Getty Center, had an idea that the revolutionary digital technology in the 21st century would enable the integration of art, humane studies and natural science, and that the Getty Center should offer a platform for the integration. Based on the idea, the GRI has been organically organizing a range of projects in cooperation with museums and research institutes not only in the United States but also in Europe, aiming to form a cooperative model to integrate accesses to all artworks.
 Sarai gave a presentation titled “Approaches to the Creation of Japanese Cultural Properties Database at the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo; Tobunken,” and introduced Tobunken’s current efforts to disseminate research information on cultural properties to Mr. Gaehtgens and other senior officials at the respective departments.
 Tobunken’s digital archives on cultural properties and artist database are contents that are highly likely to be linked to the Getty Center, and we received favorable reviews from staffers at the GRI. We will reach an agreement to promote cooperation between both institutions and eventually exchange memorandums.
If Tobunken’s digital contents could be searched on the GRI’s portal site, which is connected to the world, information on Japanese art and cultural properties will certainly become available to a larger number of people in the world. We will continue to enhance Tobunken’s ability to disseminate information.

An English-language version of the TOBUNKEN Research Collections is now available

English-language version of the TOBUNKEN Research Collections search page

 The Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems has now made databases that were created by departments of the Institute publicly accessible. Information that is essential to research on cultural properties is available via the TOBUNKEN Research Collections (
 On April 30, 2015, an English-language version of the TOBUNKEN Research Collections was made available. A button for Japanese and English on the top right of the page allows uses to switch between Japanese and English language versions of the page. This project is one of the results of “Shaping the Fundamentals of Research on Japanese Art,” which is a project that the Institute conducted with the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures (SISJAC) in England. In addition to the page having an English-language version, the following features have been added.
*Within References on Cultural Properties, a search limiter has been added for Information on Japanese Art Outside of Japan (compiled by the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures).
 Five databases of art-related publications have been accessible thus far, but these databases have now been joined by a database of foreign publications on Japanese art (approximately 718 sources that were published since 2013, which is when the project began) compiled by the SISJAC.
*A page to search Information on Modern-Contemporary Art Exhibitions and Film Festivals was added under Information Search.
 Compiled by the SISJAC, this information includes exhibitions and film festivals (approximately 520 events that took place since 2013, which is when the project began) that took place overseas (primarily in Europe and the US) in English.
 The Art-related Publications database was made publicly available online by Tobunken. The SISJAC collected information on Japanese art overseas, and this information is now publicly available in the Institute’s Art-related Publications database. This work was done to help provide a platform for research on Japanese art in Japan and overseas. Hopefully, the databases will prove of benefit to users, and plans are to add subsequent data in the future.

A catalogue of the collection of KUNO Takeshi is now available

 KUNO Takeshi left an indelible footprint on the history of Buddhist sculpture. KUNO’s collection has been organized, and a catalogue of photographs and other images of Buddhist sculptures in Japan and elsewhere around the world is now available to the public. The collection is massive, with more than 7,000 images, and was assembled by KUNO, who was a researcher at the Institute. After KUNO passed away in 2007, his family donated the collection to the Institute.
 KUNO joined the Institute of Art Research (the forerunner of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo) in 1944, and he researched history of Buddhist sculpture for 38 years until he retired in 1982. After retiring, he founded and sponsored the Buddhist Art Research Institute near his home. He collected materials over a number of years and made those materials available for use by researchers (a brief biography of KUNO can be found at the link below).
 Most of the photographs are of Buddhist sculptures that have been categorized by the temple or shrine where they are found in prefectures and major cities. Providing an extensive view of Buddhist statues throughout Japan, the photographs convey the zeal of an extraordinary person. The photographs are extremely important materials and include images of Buddhist statues as they were being restored. KUNO oversaw the editing of A Compilation of Buddhist Statues (Gakuseisha), and some of the photographs can be found in that work. A Compilation of Buddhist Statues features descriptions of major Buddhist statues in different regions.
 The catalogue allows searches by the name of the shrine or temple where the statue is found and by the name of the piece. If you would like to view this collection, please fill out the Application for Use Form (word / PDF) and submit it to the Library.

Publication of a report of an international symposium

The front cover of “Reconsidering ‘Form’”

 From January 10 (Fri.)–12 (Mon.), 2014, the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems held the 37th International Symposium on the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Properties. The title of the symposium was “Reconsidering ‘Form’: Towards a More Open Discussion” and the symposium featured presentations mostly by Institute staff members who study tangible cultural properties. The tone of the symposium was set by asking fundamental questions such as what is an object’s “form” and why do we consider “form,” and the symposium covered methodological approaches to “form.” Thus, the symposium was attended by researchers who study the intangible such as noh drama and waka poetry. The symposium attempted to highlight different perceptions of “form” in different disciplines. Artists also took the podium to describe their perspective of creators of works and they candidly talked about their perceptions in relation to the act of creating a work. This was a fresh perspective for researchers who seek to delve into a work starting with its “form.”
 Research presentations and the discussion that took place at this international symposium were consolidated into a report that was published on December 17, 2014. This proceedings is being sold by Heibonsha and is available at book stores. For details, please check out the following webpage.

Meetings with the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures in the UK to promote a Project to Establish a Platform for Research into Japanese Arts

The lecture at the Cathedral Hostry

 The Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures (SISJAC) is located in the small town of Norwich in Norfolk County, about 2 hours by car north of London. Founded by the Sainsburies in 1999, the SISJAC is readily familiar to specialists in Japanese art history and archeology as a site for research into Japanese arts and culture.
 In July 2013, the SISJAC and the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo (NRICPT) initiated a Project to Establish a Platform for Research into Japanese Arts. This Project gathers information in English on Japanese art exhibitions in the US and Europe and books and sources on Japanese art. The NRICPT previously made its Database of Literature on Cultural Properties, a collection of information related to Japanese art, publicly accessible. However, this information is solely from Japan. In the future, information gathered by the SISJAC will be included in the NRICPT’s database, and a system will be created to allow the NRICPT’s database to be searched for information on Japanese art in Japan and overseas.
 To promote this Project, SARAI Mai of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems spent 10 days at the SISJAC from October 9 (Thurs.) to October 20 (Mon.), 2014. Ms. SARAI and staff members of the SISJAC verified information that had already been collected and they verified procedures for work to make that information publicly available.
 During her stay, Ms. SARAI delivered a lecture on “Buddhist Wooden Sculptures in the Early Heian Period: From a Standpoint of Syncretisation of Shinto with Buddhism.” The lecture took place on October 16 (Thurs.) as one of the lectures that SISJAC hosts on the third Thursday of every month. Close to 80 citizens of Norwich listened to the lecture on Buddhist wooden sculptures during the Early Heian Period in a lecture hall in a cathedral near the SISJAC. After the lecture, members of the audience asked a number of questions, demonstrating a heightened interest in Japanese art.

Receipt of images of works depicted in the art journal The Kokka

Front cover of Issue 1426 of The Kokka

 The Kokka is an art journal that was first published in 1889. With a history of over 125 years, the journal prides itself on publication of 1430 issues. Since La Gazette des beaux-arts, which was first published in Paris in 1859, ceased publication in 2002, The Kokka became the world’s oldest surviving art journal.
 The journal’s elegant style, replete with images of works in an especially large format (the journal was initially published in royal octavo format but changed to B format after 1944), has remained the same since it was first published. The journal was founded by OKAKURA Tenshin and TAKAHASHI Kenzo, who were passionate about spurring art to develop, and the founders’ enthusiasm is apparent in the journal. The journal identified development of research into Oriental art history as one of the reasons for its publication, and The Kokka has truly become an important academic journal in the area of the history of East Asian art.
 The Kokka was edited by the Kokka-sha., and on September 25 the Kokka-sha. donated printed images of artworks featured in issues of the journal. These images were from around Issue 800 to Issue 1200 of The Kokka. Together, the mounted and organized images occupied some 45 cardboard boxes.
 Artworks featured in The Kokka were carefully selected by researchers of art history, and images of the works are a vital basis for research into the history of East Asian art. These images have been sequentially catalogued and shelved in cabinets in the Institute’s Library. Visitors are free to peruse the images in the Library, so you are invited to take advantage of these valuable materials.

Seminar leading up an international symposium

 Prior to the international symposium on Reconsidering “Form”: Towards a More Open Discussion that the Institute is hosting, Asae OZAWA (Tokai University, Japanese architectural history), who will be making a presentation during the 1st session, was invited to participate in a seminar to enhance discussion when the symposium takes places. The seminar started at 3 PM on September 9th(Tues.) in the Seminar Room of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems. 
 In her talk about The Creation and Establishment of “Styles” in the Modern Age: The Imperial Tour and Accommodations during the Tour, Ms. OZAWA related the common view that royal tours (or “Imperial Progresses”) made by the Emperor Meiji were intended to bolster the image of a Westernized Imperial family. Citing the architectural forms of early Meiji Period accommodations like Anzaisho (a Temporary Court Site) and Okoyasumisho (a Brief [Imperial] Rest Site), Ms. OZAWA instead argued that Japanese architecture was overwhelmingly used. When Western architecture was used, it was altered; until recently, the form of the throne was fashioned with fixtures such as single tatami mats and bamboo blinds. Even when forms from different cultures were incorporated, the existing relationship between forms and people was considered, as Ms. OZAWA revealed. 
 In the field of architecture, classification has become possible for the first time with a discussion of the similarities in what people expect and what their views will be. These expectations and views are the basis for forms. This seminar has led to a reexamination of the ways in which forms are discussed in various fields.

Seminar leading up an international symposium

 The Institute usually hosts international symposia, and this year the Institute will host a symposium on the topic of Reconsidering “Form”: Towards a More Open Discussion. The symposium consisted of 3 sessions: “Forms”as Groups, “Forms”as Individual and That which Supports“Form”. The symposium will include research on form in the various field, such as fine art, archaeology, and architecture. We also target at the form in the traditional performing arts, and classic literature. The symposium seeks to explore new avenues of discussion presented by the methodologies used in those fields. The symposium covers a wide range of topics, so presenters were invited to participate in a seminar as groundwork for a discussion. To start with, Kouji KUWAKINO (Osaka University), who will be making a presentation during the 3rd session, visited the Institute, and a seminar took place starting at 3 PM on August 2nd. Mr. KUWAKINO gave a talk on Early Modern Italian Gardens and Mnemonic Devices. Using the garden at the Villa di Castello, built on the outskirts of Florence in the 16th century, as an example, Mr. KUWAKINO described the deciphering of forms using mnemonic devices, which flourished in Western Europe from the 15th to the 17th century. 
 The 15th century marked the start of the Age of Exploration and printing technology was invented, leading to a rapid increase in the quantity of information. Mnemonic devices were developed to organize and store that information, and ideas that linked information and certain forms spread. Those ideas are even reflected in buildings and gardens. This stimulating seminar examined part of the context for forms.

7th Conference of Department of Research Programming 2010

 The 7th conference of Department of Research Programming 2010 was held on December 17. The following were the presenters and titles of their presentations:
 Sarai Mai (a researcher at Department of Research Programming)
 “Essay on the history of Shinto-Buddhism syncretized sculptures at the beginning of the Heian Period concerning the Bhaishajya-guru standing Buddha statue at Kyoto Jinkoin Temple
 Mr. Sasaki Moritoshi (a curator of Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts)
 “Acceptance of ‘Beisong-like good behavior for connecting Buddhism bond’ and insertion of Buddhist print into statue”
 Based on a survey conducted at the Kyoto Jinkoin Temple at the beginning of October, Sarai introduced the Bhaishajya-guru standing Buddha statue in the main hall, which had been relatively unknown. Sarai also pointed out that the statue is probably an important creation when considering that Shinto-Buddhism syncretized at the beginning of the Heian Period. This statue will be mentioned in the Bijutsu Kenkyu (Journal of Art Studies) published by our Institute.
 Mr. Sasaki expounded the religion of inserting prints (Inbutsu, Shubutsu) into Buddha statues, which started to become popular from the late Heian Period, from the viewpoint of accepting faith in the Beisong Period of China. That is, he made the valuable observation that inserting prints into Buddha statues was based on folk-literature collected in the “Jizobosatsu-Ogenki” issued in the Beisong Period, and meant a “deed hoping for a mysterious auspice”. He made an important report that made us consider how the people at that time accepted continental learning and culture. Mr. Mizuno Keizaburo (an emeritus professor at Tokyo University of the Arts), Mr. Asai Kazuharu (Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University) and professors majoring in the history of sculptures joined in this conference, and had active discussions.
 All the views at the discussion were very important and we will consider them as we advance our research. This sharing of awareness of issues will be a driving force that stimulates our study. We are trying to determine a good way to hold a conference in the future so that this conference functions as a place that acts as a driving force.

Symposium by Center for Japanese Studies of University of California, Berkeley

 From September 25 to 27, 2009, a symposium titled “Tracing Japanese Buddhism” was held in commemoration of 50 years since the founding of the Center for Japanese Studies of University of California, Berkeley. The American, Japanese and European researchers who are majoring in Buddhism-related areas, such as Buddhist religion, Buddhist history and Buddhist art history, met and gave many lectures and reports. Vivid discussions were held with nearly 80 participants each day, offering precise opportunities to learn about each other’s research results. On the first day, there was a panel discussion on Buddhism art history on the topic of “Numinous Materials and Ecological Icons in Premodern Japanese Buddhism”, Sarai made presentations on the Healing Buddha of Jingoji temple, an outstanding statue sculpted from one wood, of the early Heian Period, as one of the panelists. Other panelists conducted reports that included the latest information, such as knowledge on recent research results about the species of trees used for carved wooden statues. In the US there seems to be many unknown things about Buddhist statues, partly because there is small number of researchers on Buddhist sculptures in Japan. We wish to positively promote international exchange, making use of opportunities like this, so that people will be interested in Japanese Buddhist statues.

Investigation of Buddhist statues at The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

X-ray image of the head of Indra (The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco)

 Tsuda and Sarai of the Department of Research Programming studied two Buddhist statues (Brahma and Indra), which were made in Japan during the Nara period, and collected relevant materials at The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco from March 10 to 12, 2008 as part of the Department’s project on the study of art materials and techniques. These statues had originally been at Kohfukuji in Nara, but were bought by an American collector after they passed into private hands.
 The two statues were made by a special technique that was used in the Nara period, hollow dry lacquer technique. The outer frame is composed of hemp cloth and urushi (lacquer) and the inside is left hollow except for an inserted wood that functions as support. Since a great amount of lacquer, which is very expensive, was needed and since such statues are not structurally strong, there are not many examples of hollow dry lacquer statues remaining today. In that sense, it may be said that these statues are extremely valuable.
 A photograph taken at Kohfukuji some time around 1905 shows, among many damaged Buddhist statues, these two statues, also greatly damaged. Among the documents at The Asian Art Museum related to these statues are X-ray images that provide some information concerning the restoration of the statues. For example, while the head of Indra is missing in the Kohfukuji photograph taken in the Meiji period, X-ray image of the statue unexpectedly shows the possibility that the head is that of the original. Knowledge obtained in this investigation needs to be further studied from many angles. We hope to continue the study of the technique and style of hollow dry lacquer statues with the cooperation of The Asian Art Museum.

Study of “the original” (3): fundamental principles for the restoration of cultural propertie

 The Department of Research Programming holds workshops on the theme of “the original” in preparation for the International Symposium on the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Property which it will host next fiscal year. In December discussion was held with Director General Suzuki Norio who has been engaged in the restoration of cultural properties for many years.
 Today, the fundamental principle for the restoration of cultural properties in Japan is to conduct the minimum necessary treatment without hindering the scientific, historical and aesthetic value of cultural properties and keeping in mind the maintenance of the present condition. However, the question as to where the focus should be placed with regard to the material or the form of cultural properties or on which point in the history of a given cultural property the appearance of that cultural property should be maintained is a matter that is closely related to the fundamental question of where the essential value of cultural properties lies. It is a matter for which a standard rule cannot be laid and which requires many important decisions to be made during restoration.
 What was of interest was the comment that in Japan people have a unique sensitivity and sense of value that find beauty in the changes that passage of time brings to cultural properties – what is often referred to as “ageing” – and hope to transmit it. There was much active discussion since such a way of looking at cultural properties, not merely looking at them in their original but also placing focus on the value brought about by history, has something in common with the idea of “the original” that we wish to propose in the Symposium.

41st Public Lecture

November 2, Emura making a presentation entitled “Eyes and Hands of Korin”
November 3, Yamanashi making a presentation entitled “Yashiro Yukio and The Institute of Art Research”
Yamanashi also spoke about Kuroda Seiki, who was honored as the father of western paintings in modern Japan, and his works.
Kuroda Seiki, the father of western paintings in modern Japan, was also a central figure in the establishment of The Institute of Art Research
November 3, Arayashiki Toru making a presentation entitled “Kuroda Seiki’s French Experience: From the Artists’ Village Grez-sur-Loing to Kuroda Memorial Hall”

 As a part of the activity to disseminate the results of art historical study, the Institute holds a public lecture once a year for two days in autumn. Until last year, this lecture was hosted by the Department of Fine Arts, but with the change in the structure of the institution, the Department of Research Programming is in charge from this year. The 41st of the series of lectures was held on November 2 and 3.
 On Friday, November 2, Emura Tomoko and Nakabe Yoshitaka gave lectures on paintings of the pre-modern period, particularly on those of Rimpa School which are highly evaluated internationally. Emura in her “The Eyes and Hands of Korin” spoke about the expressions of Ogata Korin, focusing on his Flowering Plants of the Four Seasons (formerly in the Tsugaru Family collection, now in a private collection). Nakabe of The Museum Yamatobunkakan in his “Yashiro Yukio’s View on Rimpa School” spoke on the way works by artists of the Rimpa School were received and evaluated in the modern period by looking at this matter from the eyes of Yashiro Yukio, a researcher in the initial period of the study of art history in Japan.
 On Saturday, November 3, Yamanashi Emiko and Arayashiki Toru reported on the studies related to modern art and modern art history. Yamanashi in her “Yashiro Yukio and The Institute of Art Research” studied the ideal image, with concrete details, for The Institute of Art Research, the forerunner of the present Institute as conceived by Yashiro Yukio, who also became its first director when it was established in 1930. Arayashiki of Pola Museum of Art in his “Kuroda Seiki’s French Experience: From the Artists’ Village Grez-sur-Loing to Kuroda Memorial Hall” spoke in concrete terms about what Kuroda Seiki, the person who played an important role in the formation of the system of art in Japan and who was also a central figure in the establishment of The Institute of Art Research, gained through his experience during his study in France and particularly in his stay at Grez-sur-Loing outside Paris.
 It appears that interest in cultural properties is increasing year by year. We hope to continue to develop the study of fine arts and to communicate to people the abundant world of art.

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