UENO Naoteru (left) and KO Yu-seop (early 1930s)
Complete Works of KO Yu-seop 3 (Discussion on the aesthetics of Korean art history) (Seoul, Institute of Eastern Culture, 1993) quote from the illustrations in the volume of illustrations
Scene from the seminar
UENO Naoteru (1882-1973) successively held important posts such as the Director of Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts and the President of Tokyo University of the Arts. He made huge contributions to the art world in a variety of ways such as teaching at universities, running museums such as art museums and protecting cultural assets, in addition to his research activities as an aesthetic and art historian. After the death of his second daughter UENO Aki (1922-2014), who was a researcher emeritus of the Institute, the materials related to Naoteru were donated to Tokyo University of the Arts, and they are currently managed by the Geidai Archives Center of Modern Art of the university.
At the seminar of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information System held on January 28th, Ms. ONISHI Junko (part-time lecturer at the Faculty of Cross-Cultural and Japanese Studies of Kanagawa University) and Mr. TASHIRO Yuichiro (curator at The Gotoh Museum), who have organized and researched the materials related to UENO Naoteru, each gave a presentation. Until the last fiscal year, Ms. ONISH worked in the Educational Materials Office, the predecessor organization of the abovementioned center, and her presentation titled “About the materials related to UENO Naoteru: A focus on the relationship with Japanese art history” provided an overview of the materials and presented the broad nature of Naoteru’s personal network as revealed through these materials. Also, Mr. TASHIRO’s presentation titled “Handwritten scripts of KO Yu-seop found in the materials related to UENO Naoteru” introduced the letters and handwritten scripts of KO Yu-seop (1905-1944), who is currently called the father of art history research in South Korea. UENO Naoteru was a professor at Keijo Imperial University from the last year of the Taisho era to the first year of Showa era, and KO Yu-seop studied under UENO while studying at the university. The materials introduced showed the exchanges between the two men and the early period of archaeology and art history research in South Korea. In particular, the presentation by Mr. TASHIRO indicated that the materials related to UENO Naoteru were important for tracking the development process of stone monument research into which KO Yu-seop put great effort.
Because a state of emergency was declared in response to the spread of COVID-19, the current seminar was held for the first time both in person and online. Researchers living in remote locations, including South Korea, were able to participate in the seminar, and the merits of holding a seminar online were realized.
Search screen of the auction artworks database
Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TOBUNKEN) has been working jointly with Tokyo Art Club to create a digital copies of the auction catalogue (art catalogue) (visit https://www.tobunken.go.jp/materials/ekatudo/206112.html to see the monthly report for April 2015). The result was initially made available from May 2019 only at the Library as Auction Catalogue Digital Archive (visit https://www.tobunken.go.jp/materials/ekatudo/817176.html
to see the monthly report for April 2019). Starting from January 15th, 2021, part of the text data of the Auction Catalogue Digital Archive is now available on the website within the Artworks on Japanese Auction Catalogues page on TOBUNKEN Research Collections (https://www.tobunken.go.jp/archives/information-search/auction-artworks/?lang=en).
The Artworks on Japanese Auction Catalogues makes public the text data of about 337,000 items listed in 2,328 catalogues issued prior to the end of World War II out of a total of 2,565 catalogues owned by TOBUNKEN. It is basically a database of text data from the artwork with pictures. The images of the items are not available, but searches can be done on the abundant text data included in the auction catalogue and are expected to be used for a variety of purposes.
The TOBUNKEN Library was normally open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, but from the standpoint of preventing the spread of COVID-19, the Library schedule was changed to Wednesdays and Fridays only for visitors with advance reservations from June 10th, 2020. Furthermore, following the state of emergency declaration on January 7th, 2021, the Library is now open only on Fridays since January 15th. Under these circumstances, the number of people who can use the Library is limited, resulting in increased needs for open access to the data. Going forward, we ask you to use both the Auction Catalogue Digital Archive for viewing images and Artworks on Japanese Auction Catalogues for text data accessible from all over the world in accordance with the purposes.
Performance of Tokiwazu-bushi (from left to right: TOKIWAZU Hidemidayu, TOKIWAZU Kikumidayu, TOKIWAZU Kanetayu, TOKIWAZU Mojibei, KISHIZAWA Shikimatu, and KISHIZAWA Shikiharu)
Performance by hayashikata (hayashi ensemble) (from right to left: KATADA Kiyo, KATADA Kiyomi, and UMEYA Tomoe)
Performance by hayashikata (from left to right: KATADA Masahiro and KATADA Takashi)
Performance by hayashikata (HOUSEI Chiharu)
The Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage recorded a live performance (audio recording) of “Odoriji (Tokiwazu-bushi)” at the Performing Arts Studio of Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties on January 29th, 2021. This recording aims at producing an audio recording of kikyoku (rarely performed tunes) “Hidakagawa Mitsuomote (Hidaka River three masks)” and “Tojin (foreign lady)” and preserving it as a joint project co-organized by the Executive Committee for recording Tokiwazu-bushi Hidakagawa Mitsuomote and Tojin and the institute.
Both tunes that were recorded this time are odoriji, which are performed as accompaniment for dancing, and as the dance pieces came to be rarely performed, the music pieces were practically no longer performed. Although how they were created is not well known, there are hardly any practice books left that appear to have been published in the period spanning the end of the samurai period to the Meiji period (all books are published by Tamasawaya Shinshichi) and a film of performance by “Kikujuro no kai” (30th anniversary of the master registration) (held by a private individual). The practice books revealed that the dance pieces were choreographed by NISHIKAWA Koizaburo I (head of Nagoya Nishikawa School). This time, based on these materials, the performances were reproduced and performed.
In “Hidakagawa Mitsuomote,” a butterfly vendor performs three roles, i.e., a priest Anchin, Kiyohime (Prince Kiyo), and a shoke (young priest in training) while changing from one mask to another. As the title “Hidakagawa” suggests, the play is based on the Dōjōjimono, that is, tales that are taken up in Noh plays, jōruri (dramatic narrative chanted to a shamisen accompaniment), and kabuki, and this one is a witty dance piece by a vendor who plays three different characters with a sense of humor. Furthermore, part of the Japanese song “Choucho (butterfly)” based on a German folk song with the Japanese lyrics “choucho, choucho, nanoha ni tomare, nanohani aitara, sakurani asobe” is used as a verse, which is interesting.
“Tojin” is a play made up of Chinese-style music and a dance full of exoticism. It begins with music created from taiko drums and sho bells called Togaku (Tang-era Chinese music) (which is not directly related to Togaku in gagaku (Japanese court music)). A man with his hair shaped in benpatsu (queue) and a woman who piled her hair high on the top of her head dance, and both of them are in Chinese-style costumes. The verses are filled with mysterious words like a spell and are pretty much kuruwa banashi (lovers’ conversation) between the two performers in a comical atmosphere.
The performers were TOKIWAZU Kanetayu (seventh generation, tategatari or first jōruri performer), TOKIWAZU Kikumidayu (wakigatari or second jōruri performer), TOKIWAZU Hidemidayu (sanmaime or third jōruri performer), TOKIWAZU Mojibei (fifth generation, tatejamisen or first shamisen player), KISHIZAWA Shikimatu (wakijamisen or second shamisen player), KISHIZAWA Shikiharu (uwajōshi or high-tone shamisen player), HOUSEI Chiharu (Japanese flute), KATADA Kiyo (kotsuzumi or small hand drum), KATADA Kiyomi (ōtsuzumi or knee drum), UMEYA Tomoe (taiko or drum), KATADA Masahiro (ōdaiko or big drum), and KATADA Takashi (bell).
The Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage will continue to record plays that get few occasions to be performed and invaluable live performances of an exhaustive list of plays, and carry out joint projects like this as the opportunity arises. The records will be used in Japanese dance performances by the Executive Committee and can be listened as research material at the institute.
For your information, the recording was carried out in which all performers used masks, similar to those used on the stage of kabuki to curb the spread of COVID-19.