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


The donation of the photo materials of Hata Shokichi during his study in Paris received

Self-portrait of Hata Shokichi. Taken in 1910
He pointed the camera lens at the mirror to shoot himself pressing the shutter. His writing on the negative tells that it was taken in Hotel Soufflot in Paris that was a favorite place to stay for Japanese intellectuals and artists.

 Hata Shokichi (1882-1966), a sculptor, was a professor at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts (present Tokyo University of the Arts) and Tokyo Higher School of Arts & Technology (present Chiba University), and created commemorative medals and reliefs as a non-regular employee of the Japan Mint and Decoration Bureaus. He went to France as an overseas business trainee of the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce between 1907 and 1910 and became the first Japanese sculptor admitted to the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts (National School of Fine Arts) where he studied sculpture. Twelve negatives during his stay in France have been kept by his bereaved family and Mr. Fumio Hata, a grandchild of Shokichi, donated them to this Institute. The photo negatives include those of his self-portrait, him with Yasui Sotaro, Fujikawa Yuzo and other Japanese artists who were in Paris at that time. We may say that the negatives are highly precious materials that help us look at his association with other Japanese in a foreign country. We will convert these negatives into digital photos and make them available on the web.


The Holding of a Study Meeting of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems “Issues Related to Letters to Seiki Kuroda from Saburosuke Okada”

A postcard written by Saburosuke Okada, dated December 5, 1896
A letter partly written by Yachiyo Okada under the name of Saburosuke Okada, dated June 30, 1911

 The National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, possesses a large number of letters sent to Seiki Kuroda (1866-1924), an oil painter deeply involved in the establishment of the institute. The Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems promotes republication and study on the letters as important materials to suggest a network of people surrounding Kuroda, while also asking for the cooperation of researchers outside the institute. As part of the efforts, we held a study meeting on August 31 for staffers at the department on letters from Saburosuke Okada, who established academia of Japan’s modern oil painting together with Kuroda. Presenters and titles of their presentations are as follows.
· Ms. Yuri Takayama (curator at the Fukuoka Prefectural Museum of Art)
“Letters to Seiki Kuroda from Saburosuke Okada: Republication and Bibliographical Introduction”
· Mr. Seiichi Matsumoto (deputy director of the Saga Prefectural Museum and the Saga Prefectural Art Museum)
“The Image of Saburosuke Okada observed in the novels of Yachiyo Okada”
 Seiki Kuroda said that letters in Saburosuke Okada’s own handwriting “are worthy of designation as a national treasure in the future.” This means that Okada rarely wrote a letter on his own. In the presentation by Ms. Takayama, she suggested that there is a difference in the handwriting in the letters sent to Kuroda under the name of Okada, and provided further insights into the persons who wrote the letters under the name of Okada. Okada’s wife Yachiyo, one of such persons, was also active as a novelist and drama critic. In the presentation by Mr. Matsumoto, he introduced a newly discovered manuscript of Yachiyo’s novel reflecting her own view on married couples as well as letters sent to Kuroda that were written by Yachiyo under the name of Okada. He showed the image of Okada through the eyes of a woman who was married to a painter. While letters in the modern age are generally seen as important as primary documents in the sender’s own handwriting, this study meeting offered an opportunity to reaffirm the difficulty of understanding letters through the case of letters written by other people under the name of a sender and the excitement of revealing new human relationships surrounding a sender by discovering his/her relationship with people writing letters for the sender.


The holding of a monthly workshop by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems: About “Sansui Zukan” said to have been painted by Gion Nankai and the Gajo (an album of paintings) possessed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art

“Monkeys” painted by Kawanabe Kyosai, in the Kindai Nihon Gajo album of paintings possessed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
©The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Charles Stewart Smith Collection, Gift of Mrs. Charles Stewart Smith, Charles Stewart Smith Jr., and Howard Caswell Smith, in memory of Charles Stewart Smith, 1914

 The Art Research, Archives and Information Systems held a monthly workshop on the topic and with the presenters mentioned below on June 4.

– Takuyo Yasunaga (researcher at the department): About “Sansui Zukan,” said to have been painted by Gion Nankai (possessed by the Tokyo National Museum)
– Ms. Eriko Tomizawa-Kay (Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures) “Modern Japanese-style painters observed in collections of paintings outside Japan and their drawing activities – mainly about the establishment and acceptance of ‘Kindai Nihon Gajo (commonly known as the Brinkley Album)’ ”
 
 On the topic of “Sansui Zukan,” a painted scroll in the Edo period that is said to have been painted by Gion Nankai and depicting the Kumano pilgrimage routes running from Wakayama to the Nachi falls via Nakahechi, Hongu, and Shingu, Ms. Yasunaga discussed the possibility of the work having been painted by Gion Nankai [1676-1751], based on the geographically accurate depiction of Kumano and the characteristics of its expression by comparing the scroll with Nankai’s other newly found works and other measures. In addition, she also pointed out the scroll’s relationship with the learning activities of Chinese paintings by early Japanese bunjinga (literati painting) painters and new expressions of actual sceneries. However, attendees of the workshop provided various remarks such as the issue of whether the painting scroll was just a sketch and the relationship with other paintings of the same age.
 Ms. Tomizawa made presentations based on the survey of “Kindai Nihon Gajo” possessed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. While paintings included in this gajo are separated individually at present, it originally consisted of 95 paintings created by seven Japanese-style painters who were active in the Meiji era, including Kawanabe Kyosai, Hashimoto Gaho and Kawabata Gyokusho. Ms. Tomizawa’s research revealed that dealer and collector Francis Brinkley (1841-1912) originally asked Kyosai to create an album of 100 paintings. However, as Kyosai died in 1889, the creation of the album was divided among the other six painters, according to her research. Charles Stewart Smith, a prominent U.S. entrepreneur who stayed in Japan in 1892 and 1893, purchased the album from Brinkley and Smith’s bereaved family donated the album to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The album remains in the museum’s possession to this day.
 Among the paintings included in the album, 12 painted by Kyosai were temporarily returned to Japan and exhibited along with their sketches (possessed by the Kawanabe Kyosai Memorial Museum) at the exhibition “KYOSAI-Master painter and his student Josiah Conder” held at the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo, in the Marunouchi district of Tokyo from June 27 to Sep 6. The elaborate brushworks are prominently respected among other paintings in the album, so we recommend that you see them on this occasion.


A database of images from Bijitsu Gaho (The Magazine of Art) is available for public access

Imaging of A Painting of Mahamayuri

 Bijitsu Gaho(The Magazine of Art) is an art journal that was first published by Gahosha as Nihon Bijitsu Gaho in June 1894. In addition to “new works” by artists at the time, the journal also featured artworks and handicrafts dating from before the Edo period as “reference works.” The journal provides a glimpse into what works were considered classics in the Meiji era. The name of the journal changed to Bijitsu Gaho in 1899, and the journal continued publication until 1926.
 A database featuring images from Nihon Bijitsu Gaho and Bijitsu Gaho is now available for public access via the Institute’s website. The database allows searches by the names of artists and the names of pieces.
http://www.tobunken.go.jp/materials/gahou
The database currently contains images from Japanese Art Pictorial Vol. 1, No. 1 (June 1894) to Vol. 5, No. 12 (May 1899). Plans are to make images from subsequent volumes available as well. In addition, volumes prior to Vol. 3, No. 12 (June 1897) can be viewed with a book viewer, which users can peruse like flipping through a book, so we invite you to have a look.


Seminar held at the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems: Korea’s “Dong Yang Hua (East Asian Painting)”

The seminar featuring a presentation by Ms. INABA Mai

 The Modern and Contemporary Art Section of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems has continued Research on the History of Cultural Exchanges of Modern and Contemporary Art. This research project covers modern and contemporary art from Japan and other parts of East Asia. As part of that project, a seminar of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems on February 17th featured a presentation by Ms.INABA Mai, an Associate Professor at Kwangwoon University in South Korea. The presentation was entitled Korea’s “Dong Yang Hua(East Asian Painting)”.
 The genre now known as Dong Yang Hua in South Korea originally developed when Nihonga(Japanese style Painting) took hold in Korea during the era of Japan’s colonial rule. In criticism of Oriental Painting after the end of that rule, the term South Korean Painting referred to the same genre of painting but connoted establishment of an ethnic identity. The term Han Guk Hua(South Korean Painting) came into vogue starting in the 1980s. Professor INABA’s presentation described the political context for the term Dong Yang Hua and events leading up to use of the current term South Korean Painting. The presentation also covered related topics and featured examples of representative works.
 The concept of Nihonga was established after Japan’s modernization. This concept was actively discussed by critics, art historians, and artists in Japan from the 1990s to the early 2000s. Over the past few years, artists producing Nihonga have been re-examining the concept in light of Mineral Pigment Paintings and Gouache Paintings that have developed in parts of East Asia such as China and Taiwan. The seminar looked at the nature of Korea’s “Dong Yang Hua in light of its shared origins and its unique developments within national boundaries. The seminar provided a good opportunity to reconsider Nihonga in comparison. Friction between Japan and South Korea with regard to an awareness of history is constantly discussed. The seminar was attended by Ms. KIM Kibum (a curator at the National Hansen’s Disease Museum), who remarked that “we should not ignore the unfortunate circumstances under which the two cultures met. Instead, researchers from the two countries should delve further while looking at each other with fresh eyes.” Hopefully, researchers will ponder KIM’s words and events like this seminar will lead to future research.


Reopening of the Kuroda Memorial Hall following renovations

The Special Exhibits Gallery of the Kuroda Memorial Hall. From the right, the pieces are KURODA Seiki’s Woman Reading, Maiko Girl, and Wisdom, Impression, Sentiment. The gallery is open to the public for 2 weeks during the New Year holidays and 2 weeks in the spring and fall.

 The Kuroda Memorial Hall that stands in one corner of Ueno Park is the Institute’s birthplace. The building where the Hall is now located was built in conjunction with a bequest by the Western-style painter KURODA Seiki, who is revered as ”the father of Japanese modern Western-style painting.” This is the same building in which the Art Research Institute, the predecessor to today’s National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, was established in 1930. The building houses the Kuroda Memorial Hall, a repository and gallery that showcases KURODA’s career as a painter. In addition to his bequest, KURODA Seiki also donated pieces of his work. These works, which include Lakeside and Wisdom, Impression, Sentiment, have been put on public display. In 2000, the Institute took over the building’s role as an exhibition site, and the Institute continued to manage the building until 2007, when the Tokyo National Museum assumed control over its management. Over a period of about 3 years, the building has been earthquake-proofed, and on January 2 the building reopened.
 Renovations involved the creation of a new gallery, designated the Special Exhibits Gallery, that seeks to give visitors greater insight into KURODA’s career as a painter. In addition to the works Lakeside and Wisdom, Impression, Sentiment, the gallery now also houses Woman Reading and Maiko Girl, which are works that were previously curated by the Tokyo National Museum. The gallery provides a place in which one can enjoy signature works by KURODA Seiki (the gallery will be open to the public for 2 weeks during the New Year holidays and 2 weeks in the spring and fall). The Kuroda Memorial Hall has exhibited KURODA’s works since its establishment. The Hall will be open to the public on days when the Tokyo National Museum is open, providing even more opportunities to enjoy KURODA’s works. Exhibitions at the Hall are arranged to allow an overview of KURODA’s career as a painter.
 Since the Institute relinquished its control over management of the Kuroda Memorial Hall, it has continued to focus on research into KURODA Seiki, who was closely involved in the Institute’s founding. Volumes on Kuroda that the Institute has published can be perused in the Library on the second floor of the Memorial Hall. In addition, the Institute’s website http://www.tobunken.go.jp/kuroda/index.html offers access to basic information for research into KURODA, such as high-resolution images of his works and the text of the diary he wrote. Please feel free to have a look.


Donation of materials relating to SHINKAI Taketaro and release of a database of glass dry plates

Photos for production of Kane no Ne (“Sound of a Bell,” 1924) by SHINKAI Taketaro From the recently donated documents relating to SHINKAI Taketaro. In order to produce Kane no Ne, Taketaro asked ABE Insai, who he always relied on to cast his own work, to pose as a model. The photographs of the model, taken from various angles, have survived.
Search result for Kane no Ne (“Sound of a Bell”) from the database of glass dry plates relating to SHINKAI Taketaro

 SHINKAI Taketaro (1868–1927) learned sculpture in Europe, and produced many notable works such as Yuami (“Bathing,” 1907, an important cultural property). He is known for making a major contribution to the modernization of Japanese sculpture. As noted in our activity report for November of last year, SHINKAI Takashi, grandson of Taketaro, has donated to our institute a set of glass dry plates primarily featuring Taketaro’s works. Recently he also donated a set of documents relating to Taketaro, including his notebooks, and photos/documents relating to his sculpture production. These documents are mentioned in the book SHINKAI Taketaro (Tohoku Shuppan Kikaku, 2002, in Japanese) written by TANAKA Shuji (Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education and Welfare Science, Oita University), who arranged these donations, and they are known to be important documents for elucidating the productive activities of Taketaro. Taking the recent donation as an opportunity, we plan to ask TANAKA to describe these materials in The Bijutsu Kenkyu, our institute’s journal of art studies. The documents also contain the notebooks of HIRAKO Takurei (1877–1911), a scholar of Buddhist art from the Meiji period who was close to Taketaro, and in the future we hope to examine these materials not only from the perspective of the history of modern Japanese sculpture, but also the history of Buddhist art.
 The glass dry plates donated last year have been digitized, and we have begun releasing them as a database on the institute’s home page (http://www.tobunken.go.jp/materials/sinkai). This site was produced by OYAMADA Tomohiro, Research Assistant, Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems. It showcases digital images of 182 glass dry plate photographs of the works of Taketaro, and paintings in the Nanga style by the father and son artists HOSOYA Fuo and Beizan under whom Taketaro studied in his home region of Yamagata. The database can be searched with text strings such as the names of specific pieces. It contains images of representative works of Taketaro as well works which are no longer extant. We hope you will make use of this resource.


A KURODA Seiki exhibit at the Museum of Kyoto

A gallery talk by UEDA Sayoko (curator at the Museum of Kyoto) at an exhibit of images based on an optical study of Wisdom, Impression, Sentiment
A life-sized image of Talk on Ancient Romance

 Spurred by a bequest from the oil painter KURODA Seiki, the Institute located the Kuroda Memorial Hall to highlight his achievements. The Hall displays KURODA’s masterpieces works, such as Lakeside and Wisdom, Impression, Sentiment. An exhibit entitled “A Master of Modern Japanese Oil Painting: The KURODA Seiki Exhibit” has been shown once a year since 1977 at art museums around the country. In 2007, KURODA’s works were transferred to the Tokyo National Museum. Since then, the Tokyo National Museum and Our Institute have jointly organized a traveling exhibition of his works. This year marks the 90th anniversary of KURODA’s death, so the exhibit was shown in Kyoto, which was occasionally the setting for KURODA’s works like Maiko and Talk on Ancient Romance. The exhibition took place at the Museum of Kyoto from June 7 to July 21. 
 In addition to KURODA’s works such as Lakeside and Wisdom, Impression, Sentiment, the exhibit featured an installation with images from an optical study that was conducted at the Institute. The massive work Talk on Ancient Romance was destroyed during the war, but a life-sized image (189×307 cm) of the work was created based on surviving photographic plates in the Institute’s collection. This image was shown at the exhibit, providing an opportunity to again appreciate the size of the work. On June 7, the day that the exhibit opened, SHIOYA Jun delivered a special lecture on “KURODA Seiki and Modern Art in Japan.” On June 21, UEDA Sayoko, a curator at the Museum of Kyoto delivered a lecture entitled “What did KURODA Seiki see in Kyoto?” based on the results of the latest research. On June 20, students from the Music Department of the Kyoto City University of the Arts put on a concert of French music, which was fitting since KURODA studied in France. Such events delighted a number of guests. The exhibition was warmly received before it concluded, with attendance of close to 40,000 visitors. This figure clearly surpassed the usual number of visitors to the traveling exhibition. 
 The Kuroda Memorial Hall that normally shows KURODA’s works is undergoing renovation. Once the Hall re-opens on January 2, 2015, the traveling exhibition that took place each year will end with the exhibition in Kyoto. In addition to Lakeside and Wisdom, Impression, Sentiment, other works by KURODA such as Woman Reading and Maiko will be displayed in the special room. The Hall will be open on additional days so that more visitors can appreciate KURODA’s works in Ueno.


Seminar of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems: Letters from LIAN Quan to OMURA Seigai

A portrait of LIAN Quan (from the Educational Materials Office of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts)

 The Modern/Contemporary Art Section of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems is proceeding with a research project on “Research on the history of cultural exchanges in modern and contemporary art.” This project covers modern and contemporary art in Japan and other countries in East Asia. As part of this project, ZHAN Xiaomei, Associate professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology delivered a presentation entitled “Letters from LIAN Quan to OMURA Seigai” at a seminar of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems on April 25. LIAN Quan (1863‐1932) was a modern Chinese man of letters who was active as a collector of calligraphic works and paintings and as a poet. LIAN made several trips to Japan, where he exhibited his collection and published catalogs. LIAN wrote to OMURA Seigai (1868‐1927), who was known to be an authority on Oriental art history, and 34 of those letters were among the materials related to OMURA that were recently donated to the Educational Materials Office of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts. ZHAN’s presentation was based on a study of those letters. LIAN Quan had 1,000 or so fans with paintings by Ming and early Qing painters such as TANG Yin, WEN Zhengming, and WANG Jianzhang. The letters to OMURA mostly concern the sale of LIAN’s fan collection, and the text indicates the extent of the trust LIAN had in OMURA. The letters also reveal that OMURA was indebted to LIAN Quan since LIAN introduced OMURA to notables in the world of calligraphic works and paintings such as WU Changshuo and WANG Yiting when OMURA traveled in China from year 10 of the Taisho era (1921) to the following year. The letters are valuable documents that vividly depict the exchange between Japanese and Chinese at the time. TAKIMOTO Hiroyuki, a writer and researcher of Chinese painting and YOSHIDA Chizuko of the Educational Materials Office of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts attended the seminar and furthered discussion. Plans are to reprint the letters by LIAN Quan in the research journal Bijutsu Kenkyu (The Journal of Art Studies), which is edited by the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems, and have ZHAN Xiaomei describe them.


Donation of photographic plates related to SHINKAI Taketaro

Image of Resolve by SHINKAI Taketaro (created in 1907, no longer extant) from a photographic plate

 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.


Donation of YUKI Somei’s rough draft of his manuscript for A Description of the Graves of Artists

YUKI Somei’s manuscript for A Description of Graves of Artists

 The Japanese-style painter YUKI Somei (1875–1957) is known as a figure who contributed to a revolution in modern Japanese-style painting. He did this by developing a style based on naturalism in the middle of the Meiji Period and by participating in the forming of Kinreisha (an organization encouraging Japanese-style painters) with painters such as HIRAFUKU Hyakusui and KABURAKI Kiyokata during the Taisho period. Many of YUKI’s written works about art survive today. Some of these works contain empirical information based on documentary research that is valued even today. These works include A Study of the Graves of Tokyo Artists (1931), A Description of the Graves of Tokyo Artists (1936), and A Description of the Graves of Artists (1953). These 3 works compile information on the graves of artists (with a focus on “artists” in the traditional sense), and they are valuable sources that provide clues to the past.
 AOKI Shigeru, the head of the Association for the Study of Modern Japanese Art History and a visiting research at the Institute, donated YUKI’s rough draft of his series of descriptions of graves to the Institute. Like the printed edition, the rough draft features the date when different artists died, their age at death, and a biography. However, YUKI continued to revise the draft copy by adding information even after the printed edition came out. The assembled rough draft is more than 10 inches thick. The work conjures up YUKI’s devotion to compiling descriptions of graves. This work can be viewed in the Institute’s Library.


Publication of “YOKOYAMA Taikan’s Yamaji (the Mountain Path)” and display boards in the Institute’s entrance lobby

Front cover of “YOKOYAMA Taikan’s Yamaji”
Display boards on Research on YOKOYAMA Taikan's Yamaji in the Institute’s entrance lobby

 This spring, the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems published volume 6 of the Archive of Art Studies, entitled “YOKOYAMA Taikan’s Yamaji.” The Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems started publishing the Archive of Art Studies in 2002. This volume summarizes the results of 3 years of research on YOKOYAMA Taikan’s Yamaji conducted jointly with Eisei Bunko. In the past, individual research reports were made available via the Institute’s website, but the full nature of that research has now been revealed to the public thanks to the cooperation of a number of individuals.
 Vol. 6 of the Archive of Art Studies features Yamaji (painted in 1911) in Eisei Bunko’s collection and a variant of that piece, Yamaji (painted in 1912), in the collection of the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto. This volume assembles information on the individual pieces based on their restoration and analysis of the pigments used as well as textual information regarding the pieces, such as critiques when they were presented and a description of their provenance. Reliable articles based on surveys of the pieces and other materials have been authored by ARAI Kei (Tokyo University of the Arts), OGAWA Ayako (Tokyo National Museum), SATO Shino (Yokoyama Taikan Memorial Hall), TAIRA Yuichiro (Tokyo University of the Arts), TAKEGAMI Yukihiro (Association for Conservation of National Treasures), NOJI Koichiro (Nerima Art Museum), HAYASHIDA Ryuta (Kumamoto Prefectural Museum of Arts), MIYAKE Hidekazu (Eisei Bunko), and SHIOYA Jun, who were involved in restoring and studying the pieces. Hopes are that this case study of research on a single work will, like previous volumes of the Archive of Art Studies, contribute to future studies of art history. Vol. 6 is available from Chuo Koron Bijutsu Shuppan. Please see the website below for details.
 http://www.chukobi.co.jp/products/detail.php?product_id=635.
 In conjunction with the publication of this volume, display boards describing Research on YOKOYAMA Taikan’s Yamaji were exhibited in the entrance lobby on the first floor of Institute starting on March 28. The display boards provide an overview of the research with a focus on images of Yamaji in Eisei Bunko’s collection (the same images are featured in Vol. 6). Thanks to high-resolution images taken by SHIRONO Seiji of the Institute, visitors to the Institute will be able to see for themselves the ingredients of the pigments used in Yamaji.


Work to move the bronzed black kite of the Shochuhi Russo-Japanese war memorial in Sendai

Movement of the bronzed black kite of the Shochuhi memorial (Feb. 7, 2013)

 Erected on the ruins of the keep of Sendai Castle (or Aoba Castle), the Shochuhi memorial was erected in 1902 to commemorate the fallen from the Imperial Army’s 2nd Division, which was located in Sendai. The Shochuhi memorial is currently under the care of Gokoku Shrine, Miyagi Prefecture. As was previously reported (Jan. and June, 2012), the black kite in bronze that sat atop the memorial’s stone pedestal fell as a result of the Great East Japan Earthquake. With its Secretariat in the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, the Committee to Rescue Cultural Properties Damaged by the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami worked to rescue the memorial as a cultural property. Bronze fragments that were scattered around and atop the pedestal were previously collected. The bronzed black kite had been left as it was for a prolonged period, but it was finally moved this February.
 Work started on February 4 and was supervised by Bronze Studios and Sekiho, which have previously worked to restore outdoor sculptures. A 4.5×4 m bed of steel plates was placed on the ground in front of the east side of the Shochuhi memorial. On February 7, a 25-t all-terrain crane lifted the bronzed black kite and placed it atop the bed of steel plates. A covering was then fashioned from corrugated plastic panels, and all work was completed on February 9. Snow occasionally fell during the work but was cleared. Luckily, lifting of the bronzed black kite was marked by good weather on the 7th; lifting proceeded as relevant personnel and members of the local media looked on. Movement will allow inspection inside the broken neck of the black kite statue. The head of the statue was found to be joined to the body by a mortise-and-tenon joint and an inscription was found to read “Head joined October 4, 1902/At the Tokyo Fine Art School/ In Commemoration of this Date.” Such discoveries are important to the study of the Shochuhi memorial. Like previous work to rescue the Shochuhi memorial, movement of the bronzed black kite was carried out thanks to donations to the Institute from Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. (President: MURAKAMI Takashi) to help with the Cultural Property Rescue Program.
 Movement of the bronzed black kite under cover will prevent damage to broken areas by rain for the time being. Nevertheless, the bronzed black kite was damaged extensively by the fall, e.g. its left wing broke off, so it is far from its majestic visage prior to the disaster. Other threats have yet to be dealt with, such as bronze adornments atop the pedestal falling off and complete collapse of the pedestal due to penetration by rainwater. Future steps must be taken to conserve this rare memorial from the Meiji Era.


Conference held prior to publication of the Archive of Art Studies: Yokoyama Taikan’s Yamaji [the Mountain Path]

Conference underway

 As mentioned in previous updates, the Institute has studied Yamaji by Yokoyama Taikan since 2010 through joint research with Eisei Bunko. Results of the 4th survey of the piece, occasioned by its restoration, are finally being summarized. A conference primarily for individuals involved in the surveys was held at the Institute on August 3rd. At the conference, the individuals listed below (including myself) reported on their own research topics related to Yamaji (individuals are listed in the order in which they made presentations):
 TAKEGAMI Yukihiro (Association for Conservation of National Treasures), ARAI Kei (Tokyo University of the Arts), TAIRA Yuichiro (Tokyo University of the Arts), OGAWA Ayako and MIYAKE Hidekazu (Eisei Bunko), HAYASHIDA Ryuta (Kumamoto Prefectural Museum of Art), SATO Shino (Yokoyama Taikan Memorial Hall), and NOJI Koichiro (Nerima Art Museum)
 Presenters discussed the piece with personnel of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems.  Presentations covered a range of topics, including reports on the restoration, analysis of the piece based on surveys, and re-examination of points raised during presentations. Multiple researchers investigated a single work from multiple perspectives. Such an approach is unprecedented in the study of modern Japanese-style painting, making the conference a groundbreaking event. Plans are to summarize the results in volume 6 of the Archive of Art Studies (published by the Institute) for publication next spring.


A survey of the Shochuhi memorial and work on the memorial with a cherry picker

Survey with the cherry picker. The bronzed black kite that had fallen from the pedestal is evident at the bottom right.
The damaged bronze adornment and top of the pedestal. The stone leaves blossoming from the pedestal’s center are barely restrained by a loosened bolt.

 Erected on the ruins of the keep of Sendai Castle (or Aoba Castle) in 1902, the Shochuhi memorial commemorates the fallen from the Imperial Army’s 2nd Division, which was located in Sendai. As was reported in January of this year, the memorial features a black kite in bronze atop a stone pedestal close to 20 m high that was damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake last year (evident by the fall of the bronzed black kite). Following a survey of the damage and collection of fragments in January, damaged to the top of the pedestal was surveyed and fragments were collected with a cherry picker on June 26th as part of the Cultural Property Rescue Program.
 The survey and work to collect fragments included individuals from the Gokoku Shrine, Miyagi Pref., where the Shochuhi memorial is located, as well as Mitsuro MIKAMI (Miyagi Museum of Art) from the Council to Conserve Damaged Cultural Properties in Miyagi Prefecture, personnel from the Japan Institute for the Survey and Conservation of Outdoor Sculpture (a firm with experience surveying and conserving outdoor sculptures in Japan), and personnel from Hashimototen Co., Ltd. (a local construction firm). Also participating in the survey were Akio HASHIMOTO of the Department of Crafts, Faculty of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts and Chizuko YOSHIDA of the Educational Materials Office of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts. Work was supported by a donation from Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. to the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo to help with the Cultural Property Rescue Program.
 The survey found a number of bronze fragments scattered atop the pedestal, and these fragments were collected. A survey of the remaining portion of the bronze adornment determined that one of the stone leaves was barely restrained by a loosened bolt, cracks ran through the narrow portion of the base supporting the bronzed black kite, and the bronze adornment that was perched atop the pedestal had struck the projecting cornice at the top of the pedestal before leaving a hole at the foot of the pedestal when it fell. The stone leaves that had come free were secured with bands and the top of the pedestal was covered with blue plastic tarp, but these are only stop-gap measures. If a large earthquake were to strike again, the stone leaves could fall to the foot of the pedestal. Rainwater from holes in the cornice and the damaged pedestal could seep into the pedestal and cause it to collapse. Steps to deal with the bronzed black kite that had been left where it fell at the foot of the pedestal need to be devised along with steps for the future.


Study and photography of Yokoyama Taikan’s Yamaji [the Mountain Path] (Eisei Bunko collection) after its restoration

Study and photography of Yokoyama Taikan’s Yamaji (Eisei Bunko collection)

 As previous reports have occasionally mentioned, joint research on Yokoyama Taikan’s Yamaji [the Mountain Path] with Eisei Bunko Museum has taken place as part of a Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems research project entitled Documentary Research on Cultural Properties. Taikan’s Yamaji in Eisei Bunko’s collection was exhibited at the 5th Bunten Art Exhibition (sponsored by the Ministry of Education) in 1911 and is an important work that inaugurated new forms of expression in Japanese painting with its vivid strokes. Upon completion of the piece’s restoration this spring, high-resolution images of the piece were taken on May 12th at the Kumamoto Prefectural Museum of Art, where the piece is held, by Seiji SHIRONO (National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo), and the piece was studied by Hidekazu MIYAKE (Eisei Bunko Museum), Ryuta HAYASHIDA (Kumamoto Prefectural Museum of Art), Ayako OGAWA, and Jun SHIOYA (also of the Institute).
 Yamaji features extensive use of coarse paints made from mineral pigments, though this was not readily apparent in conventional images. The images taken during this study adeptly convey the nuances of the piece’s texture. In conjunction with the results of X-ray fluorescence analysis performed in the fall of 2010, high-resolution images should help distinguish the pigments used in the piece. Plans are to summarize these results in one volume and report them this year by means of a conference in August of this year.


Lecture by Melanie Trede

A discussion underway

 Japanese art objects are found in collections in the US and Europe and are greatly treasured. Experts overseas are also actively researching Japanese art history. Heidelberg University in Germany is one of the key sites of that research, and Melanie Trede, a professor at the University, was invited to Japan, where she delivered a lecture at the Institute’s seminar hall on March 5th entitled “Hachiman Engi Paintings as Cultural Memory: Using the Past to Serve the Present.”
 “Cultural memory” is a political, social, and religious context that many people share when they recall a given work. An expert in Japanese art history, Professor Trede is often cited in the US and Europe by researchers in other fields as well. Her lecture examined the political nature of the Hachiman Engi by focusing on sources ranging from medieval picture scrolls to modern paper currency and was quite thought-provoking.
 A lecture by Mari TAKAMATSU (adjunct instructor at Meiji University) lasted close to 2 hours as a result of consecutive interpretation and was followed by a discussion chaired by Tetsuei TSUDA (the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems) featuring comments by Takahiro TSUCHIYA (researcher at the Tokyo National Museum) and Jun SHIOYA (the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems). The day’s program received positive reactions from researchers of history and Japanese literature. The lecture on the Hachiman Engi provided a valuable impetus for the exchange of opinions by experts in different specialties or experts specializing in different eras.


Rescue of the Shochuhi memorial in Sendai

The Shochuhi memorial before the disaster.
The Shochuhi memorial after the disaster. The black kite in bronze that was perched atop the pedestal has fallen beak first to the foot of the pedestal.

 A number of cultural properties were seriously damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake last year. Within its Secretariat in the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, the Committee to Rescue Cultural Properties Damaged by the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami has been involved efforts to rescue cultural properties in regions like coastal areas hit by the tsunami. As of January, the Committee worked to rescue the Shochuhi memorial (Gokoku Shrine, Miyagi Pref.) erected on the ruins of the keep of Sendai Castle (or Aoba Castle).
 The Shochuhi memorial was erected in 1902 to commemorate the fallen from the Imperial Army’s 2nd Division, which was located in Sendai. The memorial features a black kite in bronze with its wings outstretched atop a stone pedestal close to 20 m high. The recent earthquake caused extensive damage and left the memorial in a pitiful state, causing the black kite at the top to fall to the foot of the stone pedestal and breaking its left wing. During work in January 22nd and 23rd, bronze fragments that could be collected by hand were collected by personnel in conjunction with individuals from the Gokoku Shrine. Future steps like movement of the bronzed black kite itself were also discussed.
 The Shochuhi memorial was crafted on commission by the Tokyo Fine Art School (now the Tokyo University of the Arts). Masao KAWABE designed the memorial, Ichiga NUMATA crafted the original of the black kite adornment, and Sanshiro SAKURAOKA and Shinobu TSUDA cast the black kite in bronze. In other words, the memorial brought together the cream of the Fine Art School. The plaque in the center of the stone pedestal is inscribed “Shochu” [summoning the spirits of the loyal fallen] as was written by Prince KOMATSU Akihito. Conveying heroism, this plaque was exempted from metal requisition during the War. How will the damaged plaque be salvaged and will it be passed on to future generations? Numerous difficulties, such as raising funds, are anticipated, but the memorial is a valuable cultural property. With this in mind, we at the Institute fervently hope to return the plaque as a new symbol of the spirit of recovery.


A survey of Yokoyama Taikan’s Yamaji (Eisei Bunko collection) from front to back

Yokoyama Taikan’s Yamaji (Eisei Bunko collection), Imaging of the back of the painting

 As reported last October, the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems is conducting joint research with Eisei Bunko on Yokoyama Taikan’s Yamaji (the Mountain Path) as part of a research project entitled Documentary Research on Cultural Properties. Taikan’s Yamaji in Eisei Bunko’s collection was exhibited at the 5th Bunten Art Exhibition (sponsored by the Ministry of Education) in 1911 and is an important work that inaugurated new forms of expression in Japanese painting with its vivid strokes. After the piece was studied last fall, it was restored by one of the Kyushu National Museum’s conservation facilities. The mounting was dismantled, the cover was removed, and the back side of the painted silk cloth was visible, occasioning a second survey on December 9th with the aid and cooperation of the Museum and the Association for Conservation of National Treasures, which supervised the restoration. Looking at the picture through the thin silk cloth from the back revealed a process of manufacture that was not apparent from the front. The piece’s characteristic brownish tint to represent leaves in fall appears to have been dotted on later on, but the survey of the back of the piece revealed that the color was applied in an earlier stage of the piece’s production.
 The current survey team included MIYAKE Hidekazu of Eisei Bunko; HAYASHIDA Ryuta of the Kumamoto Prefectural Museum of Art, which curates Yamaji; ARAI Kei and TAIRA Yuichirou of the Tokyo University of the Arts, both of whom were on the previous survey team; and SHIRONO Seiji and SHIOYA Jun of the Institute. Mr. SHIRONO took high-resolution images of the back of the painting. Such an imaging survey of a piece during its restoration is rare. The back of the painting is not visible unless the painting is removed from its mounting, so images of the back provide extremely valuable information.


45th Public lecture series, Dialogues on Objects and Images, hosted

Presentation by TAKAGISHI Akira (Nov. 11th)
Presentation by SASAKI Moritoshi (Nov. 12th)

 In order to further publicize the results of its day-to-day research, the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems hosts a public lecture series each fall for personnel from the Institute and other facilities. This year marked the 45th of these lecture series. The theme of this year’s lecture series was a new one, Dialogues on Objects and Images, and dealt with various aspects of cultural properties as immobile objects that engender vivid imagery in people’s minds. Four art history researchers from the Institute and other facilities gave presentations Nov. 11th and 12th in the Institute’s seminar hall.
 The theme for Nov. 11th was “Multiple streams of styles in Japanese art history: Selection and modification of styles.” SARAI Mai, a researcher in the Department, gave a presentation entitled “From the Early to Late Heian Period: Sculpting of the Juichimen Kannon [eleven-headed Kannon] at Rokuharamitsuji Temple while TAKAGISHI Akira, an associate professor in the graduate school of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, gave a presentation entitled “From the Kamakura Period to the Muromachi Period: The origins and revival of the medieval Yamato-e painting style.” Ms. SARAI focused on “style,” a concept particular to art history, as she discussed sculptures during a transition in styles in the mid-10th century with specific attention to the context in which those sculptures were produced. Mr. TAKAGISHI expanded on his own multilayered view of changes in Yamato-e style paintings evident in picture scrolls from the end of the Heian Period–Muromachi Period.
 The theme for Nov. 12th was “Concepts of antique art.” WATADA Minoru, Head of the Department’s Trans-Disciplinary Research Section, gave a presentation entitled “Foundations for Chinese-style paintings of the Muromachi Period: Shubun and Sesshu” while SASAKI Moritoshi of the Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts gave a presentation entitled “Buddhist print design from the Heian Period–Kamakura Period: Buddhist images on stamps.” Antique art tends to be described merely in terms of shape, but Mr. WATADA shed light on conditions during the creation of “Autumn and Winter Landscapes,” one of Sesshu’s works (in the Tokyo National Museum’s collection) and the works of Shubun, his teacher, as well as the roles of those works. Similarly, Mr. SASAKI shed light on conditions during the creation of Buddhist prints stored inside Buddhist statues as well as the roles of those prints. Although completely forgotten today, the “concepts” of those works were brought to light.
 Lectures were unusually well attended, with an audience of 128 on Nov. 11th and 108 on Nov. 12th. The seminar hall was packed. In each presentation, presenters described the results of their latest research. Despite the academic content of the lectures, audiences remained enthralled and appeared to enjoy these novel topics.


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