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


Basic Research on the Sculptor Tōru KOMURO: Study meeting hosted by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems of Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties

Equestrian Statue of DATE Masamune (completed in 1935; the photo has been taken from a postcard)
Scene from the study meeting

 Tōru KOMURO (1899-1953) was a sculptor born in Tsukinoki Town (current Shibata Town), Miyagi Prefecture, and the creator of the Equestrian Statue of DATE Masamune (completed in 1935), which is located in Sendai Castle. The work is famous as a symbol of the tourist destination, but so far, it has not been widely known how he produced the equestrian statue.
 On August 26, 2019, Kyoko YASHIRO, an associate fellow at the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems of Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, made research presentations under the title “Basic Research on the Sculptor Tōru KOMURO,” analyzing the life and works of the sculptor based on the albums, diaries, and other materials he left and discussing the Equestrian Statue of DATE Masamune , one of his most prominent works.
 KOMURO published his works in group exhibitions in Tokyo during the prewar period while in Miyagi, his native land, he produced portrait sculptures, bronze statues, and wood-carved works of local distinguished people. In these creative activities, he must have cultivated relationships with local influential and knowledgeable people and garnered their support. In her presentations, YASHIRO also made it clear that when he produced the Equestrian Statue of DATE Masamune , he adopted the opinions of Sendai’s local historians as much as possible and expressed the figure of DATE Masamune as a feudal lord that carried out peace projects.
 Currently, energetic creative activities of sculptors in Tokyo are being clarified, but there are only a few materials to confirm in detail the works and movements of sculptors like KOMURO who developed productive activities in provincial areas, and therefore, it is necessary to further deepen research on these sculptors in the future.
 At the recent study meeting, experts in the modern history of sculpture, including Mr. Satoshi KODAMA of the Local Museum of Shibata. which houses materials concerning KOMURO, Prof. Shuji TANAKA of Oita University, and Dr. Taiko TOBARI of the Asakura Museum of Sculpture, were invited as commentators, and there was active exchange of opinions about differences between KOMURO’s works in Tokyo and Miyagi and the style of the Equestrian Statue of DATE Masamune .

/ YASHIRO Kyoko)

Applying Post-War Japanese Art Archives in Research: Seminar Held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems

Scene of the seminar

 The 4th seminar was held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems on July 23rd, 2019. The seminar was held in a mini symposium format with the theme, “Applying Post-War Japanese Art Archives in Research: The Case of Yutaka MATSUZAWA Archives.”
 In the first half of the seminar, there were four presentations and reports on the following: “Letters to Yutaka MATSUZAWA from the 50s and 60s” by Hideki KIKKAWA (Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems), “Investigation and Records on MATSUZAWA Yutaka Atelier Psi Room” by Mayumi KINOUCHI (Nagano Prefectural Shinano Art Museum), “Yutaka MATSUZAWA Archive: Potential Uses Considered from Naiqua Gallery-Related Materials” by Yūka MIYATA (The National Museum of Art, Osaka), and “Digitization and Storage of Video Media: In the Case of MATSUZAWA Materials” by Shuhei HOSOYA (art and media researcher, filmmaker). In the second half of the seminar, Jun SHIOYA (Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems) presided over a discussion on Yutaka MATSUZAWA’s artwork and activities, the significance of these archives from the perspective of art history, the applications of these archives, and the archive organization method (data organization and material preservation). During the break, some of Yutaka MATSUZAWA’s archives were viewed by the concerned parties and some information was exchanged.
 More than 40 people attended this seminar, including Yutaka MATSUZAWA’s family members, researchers from art museums and universities, and art writers. Presently, the Yutaka MATSUZAWA archives are being considered as the theme for grant-in-aid for scientific research, and there are plans to hold a symposium in 2020, the final year of this grant-in-aid research. Toward this end, the significance of Yutaka MATSUZAWA archives from the perspective of art history and cultural history will be studied in association with researchers from diverse fields.


Cultural Property Information with Linked Data: Seminar Held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems

Scene of the seminar

 The 3rd seminar was held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems on June 25th, 2019. Taiki MISHIMA (Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems) gave a presentation titled “Aggregation of regional cultural heritage information based on Linked Data,” and Mr. Ryoji MURATA (Tokyo National Museum) was invited as a commentator.
 Linked Data is a way to realize the Semantic Web. By tracing the links between structured Linked Data, relevant information based on individual needs can be gained. Linking open data to external resources based on Linked Data will improve data discoverability and its potential uses. In recent years, the attention is being paid to the utilization of regional cultural heritage because of the amendment made to the Act on Protection of Cultural Properties, and MISHIMA has focused on the utilization of regional cultural heritage “information” in Japan and has proposed the metadata schema and pointed out the issues involved when aggregating and publishing this information as Linked Data.
 As a result of an analysis of the information regarding a designated cultural heritage, published by local public bodies in Tokyo, commonalities and differences were clarified in terms of description items such as name, category, and location of cultural properties, the vocabularies used in the description items, and the description formats. In order to aggregate this information based on Linked Data, a metadata schema was created wherein information with unified vocabulary and description format prevailed along with the original information. One of the issues be highlighted was the relationships between vocabularies, such as “tangible cultural property” and “buildings,” which are specific to cultural property categories as data, and which would need the model for constructing the thesaurus.
 At the seminar, participants exchanged opinions on a broad range of topics, such as how cultural heritage information has been created, shared, and published on the basis of their experiences in dealing with cultural heritage.


Regarding the Notes by Researcher Takurei HIRAKO: Seminar Held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems

Portrait of Takurei HIRAKO (taken in 1908)
From the notes of Takurei HIRAKO, a sketch of Kongo-o-bosatsu (Vajrarāja) at Kongobuji Temple on Mt. Koya which burned down in 1926. Takurei often drew sketches of the ears of Buddhist statues.

 Takurei HIRANO (1877–1911) is a Buddhist art researcher who was active between the 1890s and the 1900s. He began working for the Tokyo Imperial Museum (present day Tokyo National Museum) from 1903 and was active in the front lines of research at that time, such as through his involvement in the issue of rebuilding Horyuji Temple. He died young at the age of 35 in 1911.
 In 2014, Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties received some materials in the possession of Takurei’s sculptor friend Taketaro SHINKAI (1868–1927) which included Takurei’s research notes. At the seminar which was held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems on May 31st, 2019, Dr. Tetsuei TSUDA (Aoyama Gakuin University) gave a presention on these research notes from the perspective of Buddhist art history titled, “Introduction to Research Materials: The Notes of Takurei HIRAKO Housed at Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties.”
 These notes include numerous sketches of Buddhist statues and paintings that Takuei drew at various temples in the Kansai area. Among them are detailed drawings of Buddhist statues that have now been lost and are a valuable resource for today’s researchers. In a notebook bound in Japanese style titled Kogeishiso can be found the inscription on a Buddhist statue thought to have been recorded by Takurei during its disassembly and repair. This is an example of rare information that cannot be discovered without performing similar repairs on Buddhist statues.
 After Dr. TSUDA’s presentation, Dr. Shuji TANAKA (Oita University) a specialist on modern sculpture described the relationship between Taketaro SHINKAI and Takurei, and Ms. Junko ONISHI (Tokyo University of the Arts) who is knowledgeable about the modern history of Buddhist art research described the network of researchers surrounding Takurei at the time, and information was shared. Dr. Yuzo MARUKAWA (National Museum of Ethnology) a specialist on informatics also participated in a discussion on how this material should be released and applied.


Release of Art Catalogue Digital Archive

Memorandum signing ceremony for the opening and operation of the “Project to Create Digital Copies of Art Catalogues,” which was pursued in collaboration with the Tokyo Art Club
Dedicated terminal of art catalogue digital archive

 An art catalogue is a brochure that is created in advance for selling items in individual and family collections at auction houses. It is an important resource listing the names and photographs of artworks that have been sold. Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties possesses 2,565 art catalogues, the largest collection among public agencies. Until now, the Institute has enabled the public to view this art catalogue information at its Library, by attaching photographs to cards. However, as the storage conditions of the original art catalogues were bad, the Institute, in collaboration with the Tokyo Art Club, began a project to convert these art catalogues into digital format from 2015 (see the April 2015 monthly report). Through the support of the Tokyo Art Club and many others, the project was completed after approximately 4 years of hard work and is now being opened to the public as a digital archive.
 The art catalogues recorded in the digital archive were created before World War II, including 2,328 catalogues in the collection of the Institute and 309 catalogues in the collection of the Tokyo Art Club for a total of 2,637 catalogues. In principle, the artworks selected for digital recording were those that were listed in art catalogues together with an image photograph, about 375,500 of which exist at this point in time. The digital archive is classified into bibliographic information and artwork information. Bibliographic information is information according to an art catalogue, whereas artwork information is information on individual artworks that can be viewed together with their photographic images. The Art Catalogue Digital Archive is open to the public during regular operating hours of the Library at the Institute, using a dedicated terminal. A variety of bits of information can be perused, and images and lists can be printed out for a fee (10 yen/page for black-and-white print outs and 50 yen/page for color print outs).


Art Critic Archives: Seminar Held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems

Scene of the seminar

 It can be said that what plays a major role in the world of visual arts is each piece of art created by an artist. However, it is also true that such people as artists, critics, and researchers talking with each other over pieces of art to value them comprise an essential part of the entire visual art world. The numerous remarks delivered by such people are important clues to understanding the visual arts in the era. Akihiko TAKAMI (born in 1955) who passed away suddenly at the age of 55 in 2011 was among the critics who devoted themselves to art criticism. At a seminar held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems on April 23rd, 2019, Mr. Koji KUROKAWA from Sakura City Museum of Art made a presentation about Takami’s activities as an aggressive critic.
 Mr. Kurokawa’s presentation titled “Art Critic Akihiko Takami’s Activities and Archives” was based on his careful investigation of many source materials in Takami’s archives such as manuscripts written by Takami and letters he exchanged with artists. The remaining preserved copies of Takami’s letters to artists show that he supported many young artists in their creative activities by spontaneously organizing exhibitions as a planner while writing several reviews in magazines such as BIJUTSUTECHO. At the seminar, the participants including Mr. Toshiya MOTAI, an artist who had a close relationship with Takami, openly discussed how these archives should be utilized going forward while tracing the footsteps of Akihiko Takami as an art critic. Many of the archives contain some information about artists or critics currently active in the art world and thus careful consideration must be given before disclosing them in some cases. During the discussion, the participants including Mr. Motai expressed their thoughts from different standpoints and it was a good opportunity to find a way to handle and effectively use Akihiko Takami’s archives.


National Treasure “Kichijoten” in the collection of Yakushiji Temple: Digital Content Released

Digital content of “Kichijoten” on a computer screen

 The Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems creates digital contents of any artworks investigated and studied at Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties to release those at the Library. We began releasing the digital content of “Kichijoten” (Beauty Goddess; National Treasure), owned in Yakushiji Temple in Nara. “Kichijoten” is the oldest existing picture and considered to have been created at Yakushiji Temple as the principal image for Kichijo-keka (confession of faults to Kichijoten). It is well known as a rare painting from the Nara period. The Institute conducted a joint research with the Nara National Museum, and we created this digital content according to the report on the research results issued in 2008. The dedicated computer in the Library shows the research results, such as the high-resolution color image, fluorescence image, near infrared image, X-ray image, and the results of the analysis of coloring material using X-ray fluorescence technologies. This computer may only be used for academic or research purposes and copying or printing the digital content is prohibited. However, you may freely access the large amount of artwork information containing a variety of digital images. The dedicated computer for viewing images is available during the opening hours of the Library. Please refer to the following URL for the instructions for use:
http://www.tobunken.go.jp/~joho/japanese/library/library.html


Digital Content Creation and Release of “Saichufu” by ITO Jakuchu

“Saichufu” digital content screen
Color image and near-infrared image comparative viewing screen
Enlarged partial detail

 The Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems creates digital content involving investigative research on artworks pursued by Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties and displays the content in the Library. The digital content of “Saichufu (Compendium of Vegetables and Insects)” (important cultural property) by ITO Jakuchu in the collection of the Yoshizawa Memorial Museum of Art, Sano (https://www.city.sano.lg.jp/museum/) has now been completed. A dedicated terminal can be used to view the results of color material studies through high-definition color images, near-infrared images, and fluorescent X-ray analysis. While they can only be viewed for academic and research purposes and copies cannot be made, an abundant amount of information on artworks can be freely referenced by applying digital image characteristics. “Saichufu” is the only silk scroll color painting by ITO Jakuchu in existence. The painting depicts approximately 100 species of vegetables and fruits and over 50 species of insects and amphibians, and is known for its delicate and quaint expressiveness. The image viewing terminal can be used during the hours when the Library is operational. Please refer to the following link if you would like to use it:
http://www.tobunken.go.jp/~joho/japanese/library/library.html


The Art of Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands: Seminar Held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems

Oleg Loshakov (1936–) (produced between 1989 and 1995). The distant mountain on the right is the snowcapped Mt. Chachadake on Kunashir Island.

 In recent years, neighboring countries such as China, South Korea, and Taiwan have made progress in researching modern and contemporary art, and opportunities to view this progress, such as at exhibitions, have increased in Japan. However, brisk artistic activities have largely been unheard of in the North of Japan, even in regions such as Sakhalin which is presently Russian territory. Mr. Hisashi YAKOU’s (Hokkaido University) presentation at a seminar held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems on March 26th entitled, “The Art of Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands” was very fascinating as he described artistic trends in this region based on field work after the Second World War.
 As Sakhalin was a Japanese territory prior to the Second World War, the landscape was depicted by Japanese painters such as Shoji KIMURA (1905–91) and Kojiro FUNAZAKI (1900–87). It became a territory of the Soviet Union after the war, and Russian painters created motifs based on this region. The painter Givi Mantkava (1930–2003) who moved there from Georgia depicted the landscape of the Far East, applying a modernistic technique and laid the foundation of Sakhalin art. Numerous artists from Moscow and Vladivostok visited Kunashir (Kunashiri) Island and Shikotan Island. Among them, the activities of the Shikotan Group attracted particular attention as they spent several months of almost every summer in Shikotan Island from 1966 to 1991. Of their works, landscape paintings of Mt. Chachadake on Kunashir Island and the bay area in particular are suggestive of traditional western paintings themes, for example, on a view of Naples. Mr. YAKOU made the intriguing point that there may exist a political intent in terms of the Europeanization of the border area.


Participated at the 3rd Research Conference of the Japan Society for Digital Archive

System configuration diagram

 The 3rd Research Conference of the Japan Society for Digital Archive was held from March 15th to 16th, 2019 at the Yoshida Campus in Kyoto University. Three employees from Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties attended the conference to make a poster presentation concerning the cultural property information database and gather information on recent trends in digital archives.
 The poster presentation showed the publications archive, which is a database primarily for the collected materials and publications of the Institute. The “Yearbook of Japanese Art” and “TOBUNKEN Research Collections” (www.tobunken.go.jp/archives/) which are published and released using the archive system were also described, focusing on the archive’s construction and management. We exchanged opinions with parties concerned with digital archives, and the presentation was a precious opportunity to understand the kind of cultural property information database that is demanded of us. We reacknowledged how we provide basic information that contributes to cultural property research.
 By participating in the research presentation, we gathered wide-ranging information was collected on digital archives in general, not just cultural properties. We gained knowledge of technical issues and system issues related to digital archives, as well as local research and utilization of digital archives by the community. In recent years, there has been a trend toward digital archive collaboration. This conference became a good opportunity for us to consider external provisioning and tie-ups with outside information sources and not simply transmit information on cultural property.
 The program for the 3rd Research Conference of the Japan Society for Digital Archive can be found at the following website.
http://digitalarchivejapan.org/kenkyutaikai/3rd/3rd_program


Affiliation to NACSIS-CAT (CiNii Books)

Bibliographic data on book in the Institute collection appearing on CiNii Books.

 Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties has become a member of the NACSIS-CAT/ILL Catalog Information Service. It has prepared a system for uploading the bibliographic data on book stored at each of its research departments (Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems, Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage, Center for Conservation Science, and the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation) to CiNii Books (https://ci.nii.ac.jp/books/).
 The purpose of joining NACSIS-CAT is twofold: (1) the widespread visualization of collected book information; and (2) the improvement of our bibliographic data (standardization). With respect to (1), we will further promote the use of our collected book information released at TOBUNKEN Research Collections (http://www.tobunken.go.jp/archives/) on the Institute’s official site by releasing it to many more researchers and students via upload to CiNii Books. With respect to (2), we have been requested to create a highly effective system by standardizing bibliographic data provided by us through data tie-ups with outside agencies (The Getty Research Institute and OCLC. etc.). As NACSIS-CAT allows users to reference and utilize various domestic and overseas library catalog data, it is an infrastructure system suitable for the Institute to efficiently engage in standardization work.
 The task of uploading 300,000 books from our library to CiNii Books and standardizing bibliographic data is currently underway. While this will take some time until completion, we will prepare a system of providing our collected books and information that we have collected over many years to contribute to the research activities of many more people.


Presentations at the “Present State of the Yutaka MATSUZAWA Archives and Their Application” Symposium

RATI Poetry and Painting Exhibition “Avant-Garde Art Display” (Nanshin Kaikan, 1951) Group Photo (from Yutaka MATSUZAWA Archives)
Scene of a presentation (photo contributed by Hiromasa NAGANUMA)

 The symposium “Present State of the Yutaka MATSUZAWA Archives and Their Application” was held at Suwako Museum and Akahiko Memorial Hall in Shimosuwa Town, Nagano Prefecture, on February 16th, 2019. Hideki KIKKAWA of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems gave a presentation entitled “Application of the Yutaka MATSUZAWA Archives to Art History Research: Examples of Two Avant-Garde Art Events Held in Suwa City in 1951.”
 This symposium was held as part of the “Yutaka MATSUZAWA Archives Application Project,” an initiative implemented in association with local communities in order to support the creation of art galleries and history museums, which was led by the Agency for Cultural Affairs in 2018. It was sponsored by the archives application committee comprising members from Yutaka MATSUZAWA’s surviving family members, volunteers, and Nagano Prefectural Shinano Art Museum. In the first part of the symposium, presentations related to the archives were delivered by six people: Haruo MATSUZAWA (Executive Director of the General Incorporated Foundation MATSUZAWA Yutaka Psi Room), Arata TANI (art critic), Yoshiko SHIMADA (artist), Kenya HIRAGA (Director of Nagano Prefectural Library), and Hideki KIKKAWA. In the second part of the symposium, a discussion moderated by Toru MATSUMOTO (Director of the Nagano Prefectural Shinano Art Museum) was held, in which participants expressed their views on the archives’ application and exchanged opinions on their application from the perspective of their respective expertise.
 The Yutaka MATSUZAWA Archives comprise a vast amount of precious materials from the 1950s to the 2000s. In applying them toward the art history research mentioned in this symposium, the theme for grants-in-aid for scientific research “Research into Post-1968 Expressive Community: Yutaka MATSUZAWA Archives as the Cornerstone” (Basic Research ©, FY2018–2020) will continue to be pursued in association with researchers from diverse fields.


Pair of Hanging Scroll Paintings of the Fudōmyōo (Skt.Acala): Seminar Held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems

Scene of the seminar [image: Fudōmyōo (Skt. Acala) and Two Attendants at Zenrin-ji Temple]

 The 9th Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems Seminar was held on February 28th, 2019. Rei MAIZAWA (Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems) gave a presentation entitled “Pair of Hanging Scroll Paintings of the Fudōmyōo (Skt. Acala): Zenrin-ji Temple and Kōki-ji Temple,” and Tetsuei TSUDA (Aoyama Gakuin University) was invited as a commentator.
 The presentation was with regard to “Fudōmyōo (Skt. Acala) and Two Attendants” at Zenrin-ji Temple, Kyoto, and “Fudōmyōo (Skt. Acala) and Four Attendants” at Kōki-ji Temple, Osaka. After providing a detailed description of the pair of paintings and the style of painting, Maizawa deduced that they were produced in the late Kamakura Period and the late Nanbokucho Period, respectively. Indicating the similarity between the two paintings in that the Skt. Acala is depicted in the center flanked by two attendants, she went on to explain how the preexisting Skt. Acala image found in Zenrin-ji Temple was most likely used as a reference when producing the rare image of the “Fudōmyōo (Skt. Acala) and Four Attendants.”
 The belief in the Skt. Acala, a deity in esoteric Buddhism, was popular in the early Heian Period. Numerous depictions of the Skt. Acala were made in the form of sculptures and paintings. Original Skt. Acala images that did not exist earlier were produced during the Middle Ages in Japan, and “Fudōmyōo (Skt. Acala) and Four Attendants” at Kōki-ji Temple is one of them. A detailed consideration of the pair of images will reveal some insights into the diverse production of Skt. Acala images.
 At the seminar, internal and external researchers engaged in a lively discussion on how the Skt. Acala was worshiped, the origin of the pair of images, and what they express.


Inspection of Japan-made Works of Mother-of-Pearl with Underpaint Found in Bangkok, Thailand

Study of door panels of Wat Nang Chi ordination hall

 Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TNRICP) is providing technological support to restore the door panels of Wat Rajpradit (built in 1864), a first-grade royal Buddhist temple located in Bangkok, Thailand, at the request of this temple and the Fine Arts Department, Ministry of Culture of Thailand. Lacquerwork produced by employing the “mother-of-pearl with underpaint” technique, which was used to make these door panels, was primarily exported to the West in the 19th century. However, TNRICP confirmed for the first time that these door panels were Japan-made, on the basis of the technique and materials utilized, indicating that Japan-made mother-of-pearl with underpaint had also been exported to Thailand.
 Restoration work is not just the behavior of repairing damage but should also be an opportunity to better understand the cultural property concerned. When it was discovered that the door panels at Wat Rajpradit were Japan-made, there were reports of works made with a similar technique at several locations in Thailand. A careful inspection was conducted, which included detailed record-making through polarized light photography of a portion of these works of mother-of-pearl with underpaint located in Bangkok, such as the door panels at Wat Nang Chi, a temple maintained in its present form since the reign of King Rama III (1824–1851), and the cover plates of the palm leaf manuscripts stored at the National Library of Thailand. The study was performed from January 27th to February 2nd, 2019, in association with experts from related Japanese and Thai agencies.
 Even among Japan-exported lacquerwork, there are few cases of scientific research being pursued into works of mother-of-pearl with underpaint, and its background is unclear. Palm leaf manuscripts are palm leaves on which sutras or other documents are written, and bound with string. A pair of cover plates are used to protect palm leaf manuscripts. As palm leaf manuscripts are unique to Southeast Asia and South Asia, it is surmised that the cover plates, as with the door panels, were produced after an order was placed from Thailand. There is great potential for works of mother-of-pearl with underpaint found in Thailand, such as the door panels at Wat Rajpradit and Wat Nang Chi, to contribute to research into this technique itself, and studies will continue to be pursued in Japan and Thailand.


Presentation of Research into Materials of Ichimatsu Tanaka and Tsugiyoshi Doi -Seminar Held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems

The workshop is in session.

 The Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems held their 8th workshop on January 29th, 2019, and gave presentations on the following two subjects.
– Tomoko EMURA: “The Eyes and Hands of Ichimatsu Tanaka—Materials of Ichimatsu Tanaka; centered on survey on paintings recorded by Ichimatsu Tanaka while he was residing in Tsuruoka”
– Ms. Takiko TATARA (part-time instructor, Kyoto University of Art and Design): “Signs of Changeover of Generations in the Modern Kyoto Art World—Point on materials formerly owned by Tsuyoshi Doi”
This seminar was related to Exhibition “Making notes of Japanese Art History―The research notes of Aimi Kōu, Tanaka Ichimatsu, and Doi Tsugiyoshi,” which was held at Jissen Women’s University’s Kosetsu Memorial Museum and Kyoto Institute of Technology’s Museum and Archives from May through August 2018 (cf. our May 2018 monthly report), and we also unveiled additional materials that were discovered after the exhibition. This seminar attracted many researchers from inside and outside Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties and lively discussions were held from a variety of angles. Both Ichimatsu Tanaka and Tsugiyoshi Doi were researchers who built the foundation for research into Japanese art history, authored a large number of books and chalked up a substantial track record, and their records, which underpinned their research, and the materials they collected must be better assembled in the form of an archive. We will organize the staggering amount and variety of analogue materials by leveraging digital features in a bid to create an archive of cultural properties that will contribute to a wider range of research down the road.


A Guide to Appreciating “KURODA SEIKI: A Selection from the Kuroda Memorial Hall Collection” Published

Cover of “KURODA SEIKI: A Selection from the Kuroda Memorial Hall Collection”

 The Kuroda Memorial Hall, one of the exhibition facilities of the Tokyo National Museum (TNM), was originally built as the Institute of Art Research, the predecessor of Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TNRICP). The memorial hall for works of Seiki Kuroda (1866-1924), a Western-style painter who was active from the late 1800s to early 1900s, was built in 1930, with his works being donated by members of his family. Against this background, even after ownership of the memorial hall was transferred to the TNM, TNRICP continued its research into the artist.
 Now, TNM and TNRICP have edited and produced a guide entitled “KURODA SEIKI: A Selection from the Kuroda Memorial Hall Collection,” to help visitors to the memorial hall appreciate his works. This 40-page guide describes his 46 main works, such as Lakeside and Wisdom, Impression, Sentiment, with color illustrations and easy to understand explanations of the masterpieces and paintings by the artist, known in Japan as “the father of modern Japanese western-style painting”. (Price: \700 including tax; for inquiries, contact Insho-sha, Sho Bldg. 7th floor, 3-14-5 Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0027; Tel.: 03-6225-2277). We would be pleased if this guide can help you to appreciate his works when you visit the memorial hall.


Presentation at “JinMonCom 2018 – Data for Historical and Humanities Research”

View of the presentation (KIKKAWA)

 On December 2nd, 2018, Hideki KIKKAWA and Tomohiro OYAMADA presented the database of Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties in the session “Data for Historical and Humanities Research (www.metaresource.jp/2018jmc/)” at the JinMonCom 2018 organized by the IPSJ SIG Computers and the Humanities, one of the research groups of the Information Processing Society of Japan (IPSJ). This session was aimed at introducing databases that are not widely recognized yet in the IPSJ and promoting more active data use. KIKKAWA and OYAMADA presented the system overview of the TOBUNKEN Research Collections (www.tobunken.go.jp/archives/), the database of photographic negatives and plates which is the largest among our image databases, and the database of Art exhibitions and Obituaries which is based on the Year Book of Japanese Art published since 1936.
 Additionally, various databases published by the National Diet Library, Shibusawa Eiichi Memorial Foundation, Tokyo National Museum, the University of Tokyo and Aozora Bunko were presented and attracted the attention of the participants. In addition to publishing and managing the database of cultural properties, our Institute will make further efforts to spread the database of cultural properties and make it useful for survey/research.


The 7th Seminar by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems – “Illustration of Lotus Sutra” and “Mandala of Kasuga Shrine”: Two Major Works in Seikado

View of the seminar by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems

 The Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems held the 7th Seminar with two external speakers on December 27th, 2018. The first presentation entitled “Origin of the Scrolls of Diseases – ‘Illustration of Lotus Sutra’ owned by Seikado Bunko” was given by Dr. Satomi YAMAMOTO of Kyoritsu Women’s University, and the second presentation “Takashina style in ‘Mandala of Kasuga Shrine’ owned by Seikado Bunko Art Museum” was given by Prof. Masahiko AIZAWA of Seijo University. They focused on the two collections of Seikado that deserve the attention but are not widely presented yet.
 According to Dr. YAMAMOTO, it can be deduced from the ending prayer that the ” Lotus Sutra” in Seikado Bunko, illustrating sutra on the head of the scroll, was created in 1140 (Shaoxing (Shoko) 10) by 40 people who made a Buddhist connection with each other and were led by Daoyin (Doin) of the Tendai sect of Buddhism who was active in the South Song Dynasty in the mid-12th century. She explained that its Biyu Chapter (Hiyu-Bon) illustrates a sick person who receives a bowl of medicine and the Lotus Sutra states that people who vilify the sutra would suffer from sickness such as dwarfness, hunchback and bad breath, which are illustrated in the “Illustration of Lotus Sutra.” Additionally, she made interesting remarks that the National Treasure “Yamai-no-Soshi,” drawn from the late Heian period to the Kamakura period, may have been inspired by the text of the Lotus Sutra and this illustration of the Lotus Sutra in Seikado Bunko, and that the creation of “Yamai-no-Soshi” must be considered while taking into account the situation of Japan and China in the 12th century, the worship of the Lotus Sutra, and the relationship between monks and general worshippers then.
 Prof. AIZAWA presented that “Mandala of Kasuga Shrine” which is owned by Seikado Bunko Art Museum and said to be from the 14th century, is a unique work that puts names of each building in white rectangles and illustrates gods of Ten Shrines, their Buddhist metamorphoses, and divine deer, in addition to the scenery of Kasuga Shrine, rare except for the Mandala of Kasuga Shrine owned by the MOA Museum of Art. He explained that what is interesting is that, compared to the one of the MOA Museum of Art which has been corrected many times, this artwork largely keeps its original form and uses high-quality paints to draw gods and Buddha in delicate touches. He presented in a detailed slide that it must have been drawn by a follower of Kanetaka TAKASHINA who drew “The Miraculous Origins of the Kasuga Deity” owned by the Sannomaru Shozokan (Museum of the Imperial Collections). He also made an in-depth remark that such “Mandala of Kasuga Shrine” may have had the function of inviting the god and making Kasuga on the spot by spreading the scroll, in the same way as “Mandala of Hie-Sanno Shrine.”
 More than 20 external attendees attended the seminar, and it was very meaningful.


Report at the 2018 East Asia ICOMOS Workshop

National Palace Museum of Korea where the workshop took place (Seoul)
Excursion in Gyeongbokgung (Seoul)

 On December 21st, 2018, the 2018 East Asia ICOMOS Workshop “Towards a New Exchange and Cooperation: The Recent Practices of East Asia ICOMOS in the Protection and Management of Cultural Heritages” was held in the National Palace Museum of Korea in Seoul, the Republic of Korea. This workshop was organized by the ICOMOS-Korea and sponsored by the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea, with the aim of outlining policies and methods related to the protection of cultural heritages in Japan, China and Korea and examining how the ICOMOS participates in and contributes to these activities.
 As requested by the ICOMOS-Korea and Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea, I reported the activities of Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties related to the World Heritage under the title of “Activities of Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties for a good implementation of the World Heritage Convention.” In this report, I presented our activities such as the publication of survey research reports and glossaries related to the World Heritage Committee and the organization of the World Heritage Seminar. I explained that these activities aim mainly at providing information to local government officers who are involved in the recommendation and protection of the World Heritage Sites, and that they are conducted in cooperation with the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan. Masahiko TOMODA of the Institute also participated in the workshop as a member of the Japan ICOMOS National Committee and reported its activities with the Vice President Yuga KARIYA.
 Korean participants said that they also find it challenging to provide information related to the World Heritage Convention to local government officers. Politicization caused by the overheating interest in the World Heritage Sites seemed to be a common issue in Japan, China and Korea. I hope that the exchange with experts from nearby countries, as in this workshop, will lead to the creation of highly specialized recommendation documents and the appropriate protection of World Heritage Sites in each country.


Consultation and Lecture at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures (SISJAC) in the UK

A scene from the lecture

 Located in Norwich, the county capital of Norfolk, SISJAC is among the prominent institutions of studies on Japanese arts and culture in Europe. Since 2013, SISJAC and Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties have been working on a joint project—“The Project to Shaping the Fundamentals of Research on Japanese Art”—through which documents related to Japanese art that are written in English and published outside Japan are provided by SISJAC and made available on the Institute’s website. Also, as part of the project, researchers of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems have been visiting Norwich annually to hold consultation with SISJAC and conduct lectures on related topics. In fiscal 2018, two researchers, Tomoko EMURA and Takuyo YASUNAGA, visited Norwich from November 13th to 16th to achieve the mission.
 During the consultation, various issues were addressed, including low number of access to the data provided by SISJAC and problems caused by special English characters and inconsistencies in romanized Japanese characters in entering data. In response, the Institute presented an estimate of the number of access to the data and its future policy to standardize the entry of special English characters and romanized Japanese.
 On November 15th, YASUNAGA gave a lecture entitled “A pair of scroll paintings: The triple images of Yosa Buson’s ‘Kite and Crows’” at the Weston Room of Norwich Cathedral, with interpretation provided by Dr. Simon KANER, Executive Director of the Sainsbury Institute. The lecture was conducted as part of a regular lecture event focused on general audience and offered by SISJAC on every third Thursday of the month. This event enjoyed an attendance of about 80 people who listened with much enthusiasm, showing the popularity of Japanese art in the UK.


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