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 Second Korean Art History Colloquium at Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties

The seminar room on January 26.

 The Archives Section at the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems currently organizes Korean painting research materials, such as prewar glass plates and mounted photographs.* In organizing the data, we exchange opinions with both Japanese and Korean researchers. As a part of the project, Dr. Mok Soohyun (Director, Institute of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, at the Association of Korean Modern & Contemporary Art History), a leading researcher on modern art history in Korea, was invited to the institute. In conjunction with a review meeting on materials, a colloquium titled, Korean Art History Colloquium was held on January 26 in the institute’s basement seminar room, where the first colloquium was held in November. The colloquium was designed as an opportunity for researchers and students in Japan to come into contact with the recent trends and current state of Korean art history. The event, titled stablishment of Museums in Korea, was hosted and translated by Mr. TASHIRO Yūichiro, a researcher at the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems. The colloquium was attended by researchers and graduate students from related fields, including Professor KIDA Emiko of Ōtani University and Professor Lee Mina of Tokyo National University of the Arts, and full and frank academic discussions were held. The Archives Section hopes that we can continue to organize the data accumulated by the institute and serve as a bridge between researchers from overseas and Japan.

*Funded by the Overseas Korean Cultural Heritage Foundation. “Photographs of Korean Paintings at Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties” (September 2023 – August 2024, research representative: TASHIRO Yūichiro)


Korean Art History Colloquium at Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties.

The seminar room on November 18.

 The Archives Research Center, Archives Section, Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems of the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Propertiesis currently carrying out a project to organize Korean art research materials, including pre-war glass plates and albums*. Researchers not only from Japan but also from South Korea are consulted for the project. On November 17th, the institute invited Professor Chang Chin-Sung, a leading Korean art history scholar at Seoul National University, to a review meeting on materials. In conjunction with the meeting, the Korean Art History Colloquium, headed by Professor Chang, was held in the institute’s basement seminar room on November 18th (Saturday). The colloquium was designed as an opportunity for researchers and students in Japan to come into contact with the trends and current state of Korean art history research. The colloquium, organized and interpreted by researcher TASHIRO Yuichiro, covered paintings from the early Joseon period under the title “Reading Dream Journey to the Peach Blossom Land by Ahn Gyeon.” Researchers and graduate students from related fields, including Professor Itakura Masaaki (University of Tokyo) and Professor Kanno Chiaki (University of Tsukuba), participated in the colloquium to engange in full and frank academic discussion. The institute will continue to organize the accumulated data, and at the same time serve as a bridge between researchers in Japan and from abroad.

*Funded by the Overseas Korean Cultural Heritage Foundation. “Research on Photographs of Korean Painting at Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties” (September 2023 – August 2024, research representative: TASHIRO Yuichiro)


Guide for the TOBUNKEN Library – for Researchers from Korea National University of Cultural Heritage

Prof. Yi Ki Sung, viewing the collection of books at the library of TOBUNKEN.

 On September 1, 2023, a group of researchers and graduate students from Korea, including Professor Yi Ki Sung from the Korea National University of Cultural Heritage, Department of Archaeology, visited the library of the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TOBUNKEN). The group came to Japan for a research presentation at the Korea-Japan Cultural Properties Forum, held at Waseda University on August 31, and TOBUNKEN was selected as a destination to visit during their stay in Japan.
 The library tour was followed by an explanation of the history of TOBUNKEN and the structure of its library collection provided by the staff. The institute’s collection of books, accumulated since 1930, contains valuable materials on Korean art history and archaeology, which attracted the group’s full attention.
 One of the tasks of the Archives Section* is to provide information on cultural properties to professionals and students and to create an environment in which materials can be effectively used, including visitors from overseas. We hope that the priceless materials of our institute, which are highly valued worldwide, will be widely utilized and contribute to the research and development of our cultural assets, a common heritage of humankind.

*The Archives Section provides guidance sessions as occasion demands for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as museum staff. If you would like to participate in a session, please submit a request with reference to “TOBUNKEN Library Guidance for undergraduate/graduate students and museum staff.” : https://www.tobunken.go.jp/joho/japanese/library/guidance.html (Japanese only)


Additional Release of Illustrations in the Art Magazine Kokka

Fan-paper album of Hoke-kyo Sutra in Kokka Vols. 419
Cabinets

 Kokka is an art magazine that was first published in 1889, and its publication has continued to the present day. It is known as a significant academic publication in the field of Japanese and Asian art history. Since its first issue, Kokka has introduced outstanding works of art with gorgeous illustrations, each of which has become an important basic resource for art historical research. Over the past 130 years, researchers publishing in Kokka have painstakingly accumulated and provided an enormous amount of fundamental data.

 In 2014, Kokkasha, the publisher of Kokka, donated camera-ready copy (kamiyaki) illustrations of the artworks published in Kokka to the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TOBUNKEN) Library. These camera-ready copy illustrations were pasted on mounts, amounting to 45 cardboard boxes in volume. While organizing the materials, we previously released the illustrations from Kokka Vols 800 [1958] to 1200 [1996], and now we are releasing additional illustrations from Vols. 400 [1924] onward. These are valuable documents from the Taishō era (1912–1926) to the beginning of the Shōwa era (1926–1989).

 These illustrations are arranged in the TOBUNKEN Library cabinets in order of volume number, along with the illustrations previously released. As the staff have rearranged all the illustrations in Kokka, we believe it will now be easier to view the materials than before. Visitors to the TOBUNKEN Library can browse the collection freely. We hope you will make use of these valuable materials.


The 2nd Seminar Held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems: A Study on the Formation of Korean Art History, Focusing on Japanese Settlers in Colonial Korea

Q&A Session

 On May 30, 2023, TASHIRO Yuichiro (Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems) gave a presentation titled A Study on the Formation of Korean Art History: Focusing on the Japanese Settlers in Colonial Korea.
 Among the Japanese living in Korea during the colonial period (1910-45), many were involved in the administration, research, education, collection, and production (manufacturing) of arts and crafts. However, many of them died on the Korean peninsula or ceased their activities after repatriation to Japan, and among them some have been forgotten in Japan since the end of World War II.
 The presenter, with a personal history as a “Japanese in Korea,” having stayed in the Republic of Korea while studying the history of ceramics, has been interested in the Japanese who had spent time in the Korean Peninsula as he did. At the same time, he has felt that their influence on the current understanding of art history has been significant.
 With this in mind, the presenter has decided to undertake research on the Japanese in Korea as a long-term research project separate from his work on the history of ceramics. Specifically, the presenter plans to focus on Japanese in Korea who were active in art history and relevant fields by analyzing (1) the framework (historical view and value evaluation) they formed and (2) their human networks, to clarify how they played a crucial role in our understanding of art history in Korea after 1945.
 In the presentation, the presenter introduced his previous research on the reception history of Joseon white porcelain, a catalyst for his interest in the Japanese living in Korea (TASHIRO Yuichiro, The Concept of Akikusade: A Reflection on Modern Japanese Perception of Joseon White Porcelain, Korean Journal of Art History, No. 294, Korean Art History Association, 2017). He also presented the results from his material research, conducted in parallel with his academic pursuit of ceramic history, followed by the prospectus of this project. As the word “conjecture” in the Japanese title suggests, this presentation is the first step of an ongoing research project. The presenter hopes to continue his study on clarifying the role of Japanese residents in Korea in the formation of Korean art history.


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