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

December Facility Visit

Giving an explanation in the restoration studio (December 6)

 Five students of the Kanazawa College of Art, majoring in Japanese-style painting (and others)
 They came to view the site of conservation and restoration of cultural properties on December 6. They toured the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation and the Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques on the fourth floor, the restoration studio of the Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques on the third floor, and the Library of the Department of Research Programming on the second floor. Those in charge of each facility provided explanations and answered questions.

7th Conference of Department of Research Programming 2010

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

5th Public Lecture “Inheritance of Izumi-style Kyogen (Noh farce)” in Kanazawa

 The Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage held an annual public lecture at the Ishikawa Prefecture Noh Theater on December 12, jointly hosted with the Kanazawa University integration project — Japan-China cultural heritage project. Kanazawa City has the character of a locality where Noh has flourished since the Edo Period, and the Hosho-style Yokyoku and Izumi-style Kyogen are performed. We spotlighted the Izumi-style Kyogen this time. The tradition varies greatly between Kanazawa and Nagoya, even though the style is the same Izumi. We gave a lecture on the historic background and difference in actual performance, and asked the performers to act out a kyogen based on their different traditions. Although the audience was small, unlike in Tokyo, there were many ardent listeners, and the performances were well received.

Holding a local workshop for the conservation of materials

Lecture at the workshop

 The purpose of the workshop shown in the above title is to give lectures to persons in charge of conserving cultural properties in local districts so that they learn fundamental knowledge of conservation on December 13, we held this 15th workshop at the Kochi Prefectural Museum of History, hosted by the Kochi Education Board and Tobunken. Although we usually cover each item of temperature/humidity and atmospheric environment in detail, we gave lectures focusing on measures against biotic damage on this occasion. The major reason for these lectures is that the problems of bugs and mold and countermeasures against them are serious concerns for the persons in charge of the conservation of cultural properties in Kochi. The following four persons conducted lectures using their areas of expertise and viewpoints: Mr. Asaga Hiroshi, the Cultural Property Conservation Instructor at the Arts and Culture Section of the Agency for Cultural Affairs; Mr. Okamoto Keisuke, the Art and Culture Section Manager of the Kochi Prefectural Museum of History; Mr. Miura Sadatoshi, the Director of the Japan Institute of Insect Damage to Cultural Properties (a honorary researcher of our Institute); and Ms. Sano Chie, the Head of the Conservation Science Section at the Tobunken Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques.
 A great many people participated in the workshop from the expanse Kochi prefectural area. Wee felt their high level of interest through the eagerness of their questions and discussions. We are holding this workshop session at the request of the local residents. Please do not hesitate to ask us if you have any requests.

Joint Research in Cambodia and Thailand

Survey on lichen species growing thickly on sandstone (Ta Nei site in Cambodia)

 From the end of November to the beginning of December, we conducted research and investigation on local cultural properties in Cambodia and Thailand. At the Ta Nei site in the Cambodian Angkor Site group, we conducted a survey on the relationship between the various plants, which grow thickly on the stones at the site, especially on the lichen and moss species and the environment, together with Professor Julia Caneva at Roma Tre University in Italy. In Thailand, in order to survey the effect of a chamber on site conservation, we observed the Buddha leg stone and relief carved in the laterite of Prachin Buri in the east and the Great Buddha of Wat Sri Chum at the Sukhothai ruins. We conducted a survey on the lacquer used for the Buddha statues in Ayuthea and Bangkok. In addition, at the Fine Arts Department, we had discussions with Thailand, our partner in joint research, on how to proceed with future research. This included discussions in regard to the presence of the Department Director.

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