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

January seminar at the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems

 On January 27, the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems invited KAWAGUCHI Masako (Head of the Research Library, Curation department, the National Museum of Western Art) to speak. Ms. KAWAGUCHI delivered a presentation entitled “Recent international trends concerning information on art-related literature: With a focus on the Art Discovery Group Catalogue developed with the Getty Research Institute (US).”
 The Art Discovery Group Catalogue as was mentioned in the title of Ms. KAWAGUCHI’s presentation is a bibliographic search system that came on line in 2013. According to Ms. KAWAGUCHI, the system “allows a search of the catalogues of over 60 art libraries in countries around the world along with 1.4 billion journal articles.” Moreover, the system has an interface in Japanese as well. This allows information to be provided by the National Diet Library in Japan in addition to information from major art libraries in the US and Europe. Pursuant to a 3-year plan, the Institute is currently creating a cultural properties archive, so presentations on recent trends overseas like that by Ms. KAWAGUCHI are a valuable source of information and a prominent indicator of efforts abroad. The Getty Research Institute in the US played a major role in the creation of the Art Discovery Group Catalogue, and Ms. KAWAGUCHI described some of the Research Institute’s efforts related to collecting and disseminating information in the Catalogue. In October of last year, the Director of the Getty Research Institute and colleagues visited the Institute, so the presentation provided information that would prove useful in discussions of future joint studies by the Research Institute and the Institute. The presentation mentioned the website of the National Museum of Western Art, and the Museum is actively working to make research information available on its website. This description was a valuable reference for determining the future direction of information dissemination by the Institute. The Institute plans to continue talks with an eye toward coordinating with the National Museum in the future.

Visit from the Getty Research Institute

Everyone from the Getty Research Institute, listening to a general explanation of our institute in the conference room
The visitors from the Getty Research Institute were very interested in the talk on research results by HAYAKAWA Yasuhiro, Head of the Analytical Science Section

 On October 22, Dr. Thomas Gaehtgens, Director of the Getty Research Institute of the American J. Paul Getty Trust, together with four staff members and 11 of the institute’s trustees, visited our institute to observe our activities. The purpose of the party’s visit to Japan was to tour historic sites and other points of interest in Kansai and elsewhere in Japan, and to carry out fact-finding relating to cultural property research.
We welcomed the party at our institute, and began by explaining our organization and other general information. Then YAMANASHI Emiko (Deputy Director, Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems) discussed the paintings of KURODA Seiki, who was connected with the founding of our institute. Next, HAYAKAWA Yasuhiro (Head, Analytical Science Section, Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques) introduced some of the latest research results using fluorescent X-ray analysis of works such as the Chinese phoenix of the Phoenix Hall of Byodo-in temple.
 Dr. Gaehtgens said that the Getty Research Institute, which conducts a diverse range of research work including disseminating information on art research, has a strong affinity with our institute, and would like to collaborate and cooperate in the future. It was decided to continue discussions on fields with potential for research collaboration.

Optical investigation of “Portrait of KOYA Yoshio (Man Holding a Plant)” by KISHIDA Ryusei (National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo)

Photographing images of “Portrait of KOYA Yoshio (Man Holding a Plant)” by KISHIDA Ryusei

 In the research project “Research on Modern Art in Terms of the History of Cultural Interaction” of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems, one aim is to conduct investigative research on cultural interactions, focusing on the East Asia region including Japan.
 As part of that work, an optical investigation was carried out on October 16 for two oil paintings by KISHIDA Ryusei held by the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo: “Portrait of KOYA Yoshio (Man Holding a Plant)” (1916), and “An Apple Exists on Top of a Pot” (1916).
 This investigation was carried in out only for works from the period when KISHIDA Ryusei was strongly influenced by European classic painters such as Albrecht Durer. Its purpose was to verify not only the design, but also the details of the picture surface such as technique and expression.
 The smooth surface seen in classic European art was obtained by layering, using techniques such as tempera and oil painting, but KISHIDA Ryusei originally picked up these techniques from reproduction plates, and thus it is important to observe works from that time to determine whether he understood the techniques, and to further explicate the history of reception. The photography went beyond just shining uniform light onto the picture surface to enable visualization of the brush strokes of the painter and the current status of surface. Light was also projected at an acute angle from the left side of the work to enable understanding of the unevenness of the surface due to oil painting (photographer: SHIRONO Seiji, Artificer, Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems). Reflected near-infrared photography was also carried out at the same time. From the images obtained through this photography, it was possible to confirm that there were no traces of repainting, fumbling or other difficulties, and that the image of the painting was quite settled by the time the painting was executed.
 This optical investigation was made possible through the cooperation of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo and the restorer SAITO Atsushi, and we would like to express our deep gratitude for their help. The results of this research will be published in The Bijutsu Kenkyu with the (provisional) title: “The Realistic Expression of KISHIDA Ryusei and the Formation of his Image as a ‘Poor Man’ artist: Focusing on His Recuperation Period in Komazawa Shin-machi.”

Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems Seminar: Two Research Presentations on letters addressed to KURODA Seiki

KO Hui-Dong (1886–1965), Self-portrait with a Crown on the Head, 1915, Tokyo University of the Arts collection

 The Art Research Materials Section of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems has been conducting a research project involving Documentary Research on Cultural Properties. This project seeks to reveal the diversity of value systems expressed in art from Japan and other parts of East Asia by analyzing primary materials. One of those primary sources consists of about 7,400 letters addressed to KURODA Seiki. These letters are curated by the Institute, which has been organizing and itemizing them.
 Research on letters addressed to KURODA Seiki has been conducted as part of this project, and one result of that research was a seminar that was held on August 6. The seminar was based on letters from students from parts of Asia, such as China and Korea, who were studying at the Tokyo Fine Art School and who were taught by KURODA as well as letters from the painter FUJISHIMA Takeji, who was closely associated with KURODA. During the seminar, YOSHIDA Chizuko (Tokyo University of the Arts) delivered a presentation entitled “Photographic Reproductions and Reprints of Letters from Foreign Students Addressed to KURODA Seiki with Annotations” and Kaoru KOJIMA (Jissen Women’s Educational Institute) delivered a presentation entitled “Letters from FUJISHIMA Takeji addressed to KURODA Seiki and KUME Ichiro.” YOSHIDA’s presentation covered 6 letters from figures who studied at the Tokyo Fine Art School and who then became highly active in the art world in their own respective countries. One such figure was KO Hui-Dong (1886–1965), a student from Korea. YOSHIDA’s presentation described the students and the contents of their letters. KOJIMA’s presentation, based on 37 letters from FUJISHIMA that are curated by the Institute and letters in the collections of other facilities, covered communication between KURODA and FUJISHIMA Takeji as the latter accepted his post in the Department of Oil Painting of the Tokyo Fine Art School. This growing closeness between FUJISHIMA and KURODA and KUME has not been noted in previous research on FUJISHIMA Takeji. KOJIMA’s presentation also corroborated the personnel situation at the Fine Art School.
 Plans are to subsequently feature the results of research by both presenters as Research Materials in Bijutsu Kenkyu (The Journal of Art Studies).

Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems seminar

A Catalog of Works from the 8th Exhibition of Works by the Hakubakai.

 At a seminar of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems on September 24th, UENO Kenzo (Professor in the Faculty of Humanities, Fukuoka University) delivered a research presentation entitled “A Newly Discovered Item: A Catalog of Works from the 8th Exhibition of Works by the Hakubakai.” The Hakubakai was a group of artists who painted Western paintings during the mid-Meiji Period (the 1890s) and was spearheaded by KURODA Seiki. There were 13 exhibitions of works by the Hakubakai, with the first taking place in 1896 and the last taking place in 1911. Professor UENO has previously researched the Hakubakai, but the newly discovered item is a catalog of works from the 8th Exhibition (1903), no copies of which were thought to exist. The 8th Exhibition featured works by AOKI Shigeru, who was a student at the Tokyo Fine Art School at the time, and his work received the first Hakuba Prize. The catalog of works had not been found, so researchers were left to surmise which works had been exhibited based on reports in newspapers, magazines, and other media from the time. The same held true for exhibited works by members of the Hakubakai like KURODA. The catalog of works revealed the AOKI, for example, exhibited 14 works based on myths and early Buddhism, such as “Jaimini (a philosopher of ancient India).” The catalog that Professor UENO described in his presentation is a very valuable item because it describes the titles and number of works that artists exhibited. Plans are to present this catalog of works as Research Material in Bijutsu Kenkyu (The Journal of Art Studies).

Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems seminar held

KURODA Seiki in Formal Attire (Photo: OGAWA Kazumasa, July 1914, in the collection of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo [donated by KANEKO Mitsuo])

 The Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems held its first seminar of 2013 on April 30. Research presentations were given on Hananokage (Illustrious Portraits), a Private Photography Magazine for Nobles, and Letters from OGAWA Kazumasa to KURODA Seiki. Presentations were made by SAITO Yoichi (Tojo Historical Museum, City of Matsudo) and OKATSUKA Akiko (Edo-Tokyo Museum, Tokyo) along with TANAKA Atsushi.
 Starting off, Mr. SAITO described results of his previous studies of Hananokage (published from 1903 to around 1908), a private photography magazine published by former daimyo (feudal lords) such as TOKUGAWA Yoshinobu and TOKUGAWA Akitake, i.e. Meiji-era nobles. Based on his studies, Mr. SAITO deduced that 4 volumes of Hananokage were published each year. Mr. SAITO focused on 5 editions published between March 1907 and March of the following year that featured Photography Critiques of submitted photographs authored by KURODA Seiki and photographer OGAWA Kazumasa (1860–1929). Based on these Photography Critiques, Mr. TANAKA appraised KURODA as an artist and OGAWA as a photographer, and Mr. TANAKA also described KURODA’s views on “photography.” Letters addressed to KURODA Seiki curated by the Institute include letters (7) from OGAWA Kazumasa. Ms. OKATSUKA is studying OGAWA based on these letters, and she described the relationship between KURODA and OGAWA. She also described the world of Meiji photography based on OGAWA’s relationship to nobles of the period. Plans are to publish the results of this research in vol. 411 of Bijutsu Kenkyu (The Journal of Art Studies) (scheduled for publication in Nov. 2013) and in subsequent volumes.

Presentation of results of an optical study of AI-MITSU’s Landscape with an Eye

Presentation of results of an optical study of AI-MITSU’s Landscape with an Eye

 On February 26, OTANI Shogo (Senior researcher, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo) delivered a presentation entitled “AI-MITSU’s Landscape with an Eye” at a seminar of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems. The work’s creator, AI-MITSU (born: ISHIMURA Nichiro, 1907–46), left behind a body of work through his unique sense of shapes and steadfast use of oil paints. As a painter, AI-MITSU is an essential part of Japan’s history of Western-style painting from the 1930s to 40s. Among his numerous works, Landscape with an Eye is not merely a result of surrealism in modern Japanese art; rather, the piece is renowned for its unique depiction of the fantastic amidst darkening times.
 The Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems previously conducted optical studies with the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo through a research project on Research on the Use of High-Resolution Digital Images and Comprehensive Research on Modern and Contemporary Art in January and April 2010. Full-scale color images and near-infrared reflectance images from those studies will be exhibited on the second floor of the Institute.
 A participant in the optical study of AI-MITSU’s Landscape with an Eye, OTANI presented the results of his research, which builds on study and discussion of the images obtained. OTANI’s presentation brought up several issues. Although AI-MITSU’s work is generally considered to be typical of surrealist painting in Japan, numerous questions remain, e.g. what specific impact did the work have and what was AI-MITSU trying to depict? Near-infrared reflectance imaging and near-infrared transmittance imaging were done, allowing a glimpse into the process AI-MITSU used to produce the work. The comprehensive presentation discussed a single work from multiple perspectives. It reviewed the work in terms of the motivation behind its creation and its motifs and depictions in light of the imaging information and it confirmed the work’s place in art history via remarks on and assessments of the work thus far.

Japan-South Korea Symposium on “The Dynamics of Interaction between Objects and People – ‘Evaluation’ in Art History” commemorating the issue of Number 400 of the “Art Studies (The Bijutsu Kenkyu)” and Number 30 of the “Art History Forum”

Keynote lecture by Dr. Hong Sun-Pyo “Glory and humiliation of Korean art history – Issue of interpretation and evaluation of paintings in latter term of Korea”
Discussion taking place

 On February 27, we held the above-mentioned symposium at our Institute. The “Art Studies (The Bijutsu Kenkyu)” (first published in 1932) is an academic journal issued by the Department of Research Programming of our Institute, and the academic journal “Art History Forum” (first published in 1995) is issued by the Korean Art Research Institute of Hoshioka Cultural Foundation. This symposium came about because we have been interchanging with Dr. Hong Sun-Pyo, Director of the Korean Art Research Institute, stemming from his assistance as an overseas member for the editorial board of the Bijutsu Kenkyu. On February 27, Dr. Hong Sun-Pyo first made a keynote lecture, and then Dr. Chang Chin-Sung (from Seoul National University) and Dr. Moon Jung Hee (from Center for Art Studies) from South Korea made presentations. From our Institute, Watada Minoru and Emura Tomoko made presentations, and then a discussion was held. We took up the important issue of “evaluation” in art history and exchanged opinions.
 On March 12, we will hold a symposium in Seoul, South Korea (at Ewha Womans University), with the same presenters.

Optical Survey on “Landscape with an Eye” painted by Ai-Mitsu

Exhibiting images on the second floor of Institute

 With cooperation from the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, we conducted an optical survey on “Landscape with an Eye” pained in oil (1938, 102.0 x 193.5 cm) by Ai-Mitsu (1907-1948) on January 18. We took a full-color photographing and a reflection near-infrared photographing at that time. These two images are exhibited on the second floor of the Institute as an original-size panel. Following the above survey, we executed another survey using transmission near-infrared photographing on April 27. Taking the opportunity of the work’s restoration, we transmitted light from the back of the painting with the wooden frame removed. We were able to capture an image of the painting nearest to the canvas surface, i.e., an image of the work when it was created. This work is highly valued because of its unique expression in acceptance of Surrealism paintings in Japanese modern art. However, there are still ongoing discussions about how it was created and its motif. We must make a detailed investigation from now, using the images obtained by reflection and transmission near-infrared photographing. As long as we think of transmission near-infrared photo, we can recognize the depth of image that the painter had, and the traces that the painter left when he was trying to visualize the image as a real thing, in the form of a mysterious metamorphosis, which is different from an animal or a plant.

”Text Edition of 75 Years history of National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo” issued

Text edition of 75 years’ of history of National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo

 Editing is complete in 2006 for the issuing of a 75 years’ history of National Research Institute for Cultural Properties Tokyo, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the Institute in 1931.
 We issued the “text edition” which records the development of the Institute, the investigation, research and current status of the Departments and Centers, along with relevant materials for each (B5 size, 607 pages, issued on December 25, 2009). In March 2008, we issued the “data edition” which includes lists of the records of operations since the foundation and the accumulated data. These data and text editions represent the 75-year history of our Institute.
 The editors in the Departments and Centers played central roles in editing. In addition, we are very grateful for the cooperation received from many organizations and people from inside and outside the Institute.
 We hope that this document is used to not only look back on the 75 year history of the Institute, but also to share pride in this history, and have an opportunity to open a new vision as one of our future Institute’s activity. Part of the document will be made commercially available by the Chuokoron Art Publishing Corporation.

Conference in preparation for the Japan-South Korea Symposium on “The Dynamics of Interaction between Objects and People – ‘Evaluation’ in Art History”

Image taken from the Conference

 In 2010 we will issue Number 400 of the in-house journal of the Institute’s Department of Research Programming “Art Studies (The Bijutsu Kenkyu)”. The Korean Art Research Institute of Hoshioka Cultural Foundation will issue Number 30 of the “Art History Forum”. Stemming from his assistance last year as an overseas member for the editorial board of the Bijutsu Kenkyu Mr. 洪善杓, Director of the Korean Art Research Institute and professor at the Ewha Womans University, an agreement was made to jointly hold a symposium, commemorating both journals.
 On January 28, we welcomed five guests – Professor洪善杓, Mr. 鄭干澤 (Professor at Dongguk University), Ms. 文貞姫 (Scholarship Director at the Korean Art Research Institute), Mr. 張辰城 (Associate Professor at Seoul National University) and Mr. 徐潤慶 (full-time researcher at Korean Art Research Institute) – and held a conference with the researchers at our Department of Research Programming in preparation for the symposium.
 As a result of the conference, we decided to hold the symposium with a theme of “Evaluation” in Tokyo (at our Institute) at the end of February 2011 and in Seoul (at Ewha Womans University) in the beginning of March 2011. We will have an keynote report (In Tokyo by Professor Mr. 洪善杓, and in Seoul by Mr. Tanaka of our Department of Research Programming) at the start of the symposium, followed by the presentation of research papers by two researchers from our Department and two researchers on the Korean side, after which comprehensive discussions will be held. Although the presentations will be given under the same theme, it is expected to have differences in the awareness of issues and thinking between the researchers of both countries, and we hope that understanding of these differences will deepen future mutual understanding and simultaneously further cooperative relationship between both journals.

Presentation at Art Documentation Research Forum

Tanaka Atsushi giving a presentation.
Poster session

 On December 4 and 5, a research forum commemorating the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Art Documentation Society was held at the Heiseikan Auditorium of Tokyo National Museum (for the lecture) and the Heiseikan small hall (for presentations such as exhibits). The forum was subtitled as “The Current Status, Issues, and Future of the coalition of M(useums), L(ibraries) and A(rchives)”, and the presentations and exhibits were given by nine relevant organizations concerned with cultural properties as well as art. Our Institute’s Department of Research Programming participated in the forum, and I gave a presentation under the title “Focusing on the Digital Archives of the Yearbook of Japanese Art”: I referred to the significance of the Yearbook of Japanese Art, which was first issued in 1936 and continues to be issued today, and mentioned various issues concerned with the editing of the yearbook in the information age. Then I presented suggestions for the utilization of information accumulated to date and further active publication. For the exhibition, I introduced our Institute’s database of the interior photos of Nagoya Castle prior to its destruction by fire. As one of the accomplishments of the joint research with the National Institute of Informatics, I also introduced the database (prototype edition) on the association retrieval site So (Imagine), which contains valuable photos of various Asian areas taken by our former researcher Odaka Sennosuke in 1932. The presentations and exhibitions allowed me to introduce the current status of Department of Research Programming in terms of information transmission, and also gave a glimpse into the future.

Interview with Mr. Hieda Kazuho

Mr. Hieda Kazuho being interviewed
At the Education Ministry’s Art Research Institute after evacuation to Sakata City, Yamagata - Mr. Hieda (far right), and Mr. Umezu Jiro (far left) who was a staff member of the Institute

 The Japanese-style painter Hieda Kazuho (born in 1920), holder of the Cultural Order, is Professor Emeritus of Tokyo University of the Arts and a founding member of Sougakai. He graduated from Tokyo School of Fine Arts in 1943, and from the following year he worked for the Art Research Institute, the former National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, as a temporary employee for one year.
 The institute is currently editing Text Edition of 75-year history of National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, which will be published this year. As such, we interviewed many associated persons to ask them about the history of the Institute so that we can compile records.
 On April 14, we visited Mr. Hieda at his home in Tokyo, and he talked his early years at the Institute. In 1944, when war damage increased because of air attacks and the Institute was forced to evacuate its materials, Mr. Hieda took part in the evacuation work. He told us that he stayed at an evacuation home – Sakata City, Yamagata – for half a year, to protect the materials, until he received call-up papers in August 1945, and went home to Nara to enter the army. In the train that was on the way home, he found out about the end of the war. Despite his advanced age, he gave us an interview that lasted over 90 minutes, and we have a record of his valuable experience.

Association Retrieval Site “So (Imagine)” and Art Documents Retrieval Database

So (Imagine)

 The Department of Research Programming has made public its database for retrieving art documents starting from October of last year (during trial operation). The database consists of 268,000 cases and allows users to browse, from an overwhelming amount of data, art documents published between 1966 and 2004 by using three search categories: editors/authors, keywords and titles of journals. The Department, whose major goals are to accumulate and disseminate information, is now promoting collaboration with other sites to enhance dissemination. One such collaboration is with the unique association retrieval site “So (Imagine) ” that was started by the National Institute of Informatics. Mr. Nakamura Yoshifumi, a researcher of the National Institute of Informatics and a visiting researcher in our Department from this year, demonstrated the operation of this site at a research seminar of the Department held on April 21. If the art documents retrieval database is successfully associated with “So (Imagine),” we expect that a simultaneous display of information from various fields, not just that of art, will be possible.

‘Yearbook of Japanese Art, 2007 Edition’ Issued and “Reviewing Exhibition Catalogs” Symposium Presented

‘Year Book of Japanese Art, 2007 Edition’
“Reviewing Exhibition Catalogs”Symposium

 ‘The Yearbook of Japanese Art, 2007’ edition was issued on March 25, the 64th volume since it was first published in 1936. Needless to say, this yearbook is a collection of materials that records trends in “art” in the corresponding year, with a focus on domestic movement; this book looks at the basic material of Japanese art.
 Meanwhile, on March 20, the aforementioned symposium was hosted by the Japan Art Documentation Society (Venue: Umene Memorial Library of Wako University). The keynote report was followed by five presentations, including my presentation, entitled ‘Yearbook of Japanese Art and Exhibition Catalogs’. I reported on how the “exhibition catalogs” have been treated as materials in the “Yearbook of Japanese Art”, which has a history of over half a century, along with some issues regarding the current problems. Starting in 1984 the exhibition catalog in the Yearbook has been treated as “document materials”; starting in the 1999 edition, it has shown the documents included in the exhibition catalogs by providing one chapter on documents included in “art exhibition picture records”. This is to demonstrate that the exhibition catalogs include precise materials and data from an academic viewpoint. These catalogs have increased in tandem with the increase in establishment of new museums and art galleries since the 1980s. For example, the newest “2007 edition” includes 325 “picture records” from among 1888 exhibition data cases; 943 documents were selected from those records and are shown in the catalog. The importance of “exhibition catalogs” in terms of research is widely recognized: When editing the ‘Yearbook of Japanese Art’, I reported on how we can overcome the difficulty of closely investigating the documents as data and proceeding with a new edition while aiming at a comprehensive collection.

“Phoenix Hall of Byodo-in Temple, the Wall Behind the Buddha Investigation Material List: Color Image Edition” issued

“Phoenix Hall of Byodo-in Temple, the Wall Behind the Buddha Investigation Material List: Color Image Edition”

 The Institute examined the wall-behind-Buddha in the Phoenix Hall in 2004 and 2005, in cooperation with Byodo-in Temple in Uji-city, Kyoto. This examination was carried out along with the repair of the national treasure seated Amitabha Tathagata and canopy in Phoenix Hall, which was carried out for five years starting in 2003. In this project, entitled “Heisei Large Repair”, the halo and pedestal, as well as the Buddha, were brought out from the Hall, and the wall behind the Buddha, which usually cannot be seen in detail, became visible. The examination included the color, fluorescence, and near infrared photography of this wall, as well as a pigmentation survey. This was the first time that the entire wall behind the Buddha was photographed since its founding. On January 23, a news conference was held at Byodo-in Temple and it was reported on newspapers and NHK news.
 The material list that will be issued includes a near infrared image edition in 2009, and a fluoroscopic image/ fluorescent X-ray analysis data edition in 2010. There are various opinions on the subject and date of the painting of the wall behind the Buddha, so we hope that a series of reports will provide useful information on the future study of art history.

Bibliotheca of late Professor Suzuki Kei donated

Siku Quanshu

 The bibliotheca of the late Suzuki Kei, Professor Emeritus at Tokyo University and a member of The Japan Academy, was donated to the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo (Prof. Suzuki died on October 18, 2007 at the age of 86). Among his books, all 1500 volumes of “Wenyuange Edition Siku Quanshu”, over 500 volumes of Si Bu Cong Kan Chu Bian Suo Ben and Da Qing Li Chao Shi Lu were offered by his bereaved wife Teruko, and brought to the Institute on December 11. As is widely known, Siku Quanshu was compiled by order of Qianlong, Emperor of China, and is highly valuable because it is the largest Chinese classical encyclopedia. This Institute praises the academic contributions of Professor Suzuki, who was the leading authority on Chinese picture history. We will consider the use and conservation of precise materials and proceed with formatting so that they can be used by many researchers. We also plan to issue a volume tentatively entitled Catalog of Books Donated by Professor Suzuki Kei next year.

42nd Public Lecture: “The Dynamics of Interaction between Objects and People

Presentation of Professor Aoki Shigeru
(on the 2nd day)

 On October 8 and 9, 2008, a public lecture was held in the basement seminar room of the Institute. Both presentations on the first day were related to the topic of the search for the origin of Buddhist art: Katsuki Gen’ichiro of the Department of Research Programming spoke on “the search for the origin of Hāritī (the protector of children),” and Nakagawara Ikuko of the Nagoya University on “the donors depicted in the cave temples of Kucha region and their religion.” On the following day, Tanaka Atsushi of the Department of Research Programming gave a lecture on “artists in photographs, with focus on Kuroda Seiki” in which he considered a artist’s creations and lives based on photographs. Aoki Shigeru of Bunsei University of Art spoke about “the year 10 of the Meiji era: the Seinan War and the Map of Ueno Park” in which he traced the course of the history of Ueno based on the Ueno Park Survey Map, a copperplate engraving.
 The number of attendees was 150 on the first day and 127 on the second day. Responses to questionnaires showed that the presentations were well received.

Field study on KURODA Seiki in France and Belgium

On Kuroda Seiki street, Grez-sur-Loing

 The Department of Research Programming is continuing the study and translation of letters in French addressed to KURODA Seiki (around 250 letters) stored in this Institute, as a part of the research project “Documentary Material Research on East Asian Art”. We are planning to issue a report “Collection of letters in French to Kuroda Seiki” (tentative title) in the next year, by adding a diary in French written by Kuroda (in 1888) stored in the Tokyo National Museum to the letters. As a field study, we visited places where KURODA stayed such as Paris, Grez-sur-Loing village, Barbizon village in France, and Brussels and Blankenberge in Belgium. The visit was conducted from September 10 to 15, and we identified the spots and executed investigation. The results will be announced in the above report.

Visit of the Director General for Planning and Coordination, Cultural Heritage Administration, Korea

Mr. Choi Tae Yong, Director General for Planning and Coordination of the Cultural Heritage Administration (left), and Director General Suzuki of the Institute
Shirono Seiji, the Institute's photographer, (left) explained the special roentgenography to Mr. Choi Tae Yong, Director General for Planning and Coordination (center) and Mr. Cho Hyun-Jung, Information Management Office (right), both of the Cultural Heritage Administration, Korea.

 On August 22, Mr. Choi Tae Yong, Director General for Planning and Coordination and Mr. Cho Hyun-Jung, officer of the Information Management Office, both of the Cultural Heritage Administration, Korea, and Mr. Choi Byoung Mi of the Korean Cultural Center at the Korean Embassy in Japan visited the Department of Research Programming. The purpose of their visit was to investigate cases overseas on matters of the management of cultural heritage archives and digitization of cultural properties and to hold discussions with persons in charge of such matters. After talking with the Institute’s Director General Suzuki, they visited the Library of the Department of Research Programming and observed the data input work. They also visited the Image Laboratory where Shirono Seiji, the Institute’s photographer, explained the newest special roentgenography showing the differences in fluorographic images of silk made in Japan, Korea and China. The visitors listened with great interest to the results of studies using high technology and exchanged opinions. The Republic of Korea is now promoting the construction of cultural heritage archives and the digitization of data on a national basis, and the information provided by the Institute seemed to be of great use to them.

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