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 57th Public Lecture: Look at Form, Read Form

Lecture by Ms.HARUKI Shoko
Lecture by Mr. OKAMURA Yukinori

 The “Public Lectures” organized by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems, are held every autumn and present the research outcomes of the researchers to the public. From 2020 to 2022, to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, the lectures were held on a small scale with limited audiences and presented only by internal researchers on a single day. However, this year the lectures returned to the program design of four years ago, with external lecturers invited and the lectures held for two days.
 On the first day, October 20, 2023, lectures titled Nishinoto’in Tokiyoshi’s garden: a study of the Hasegawa school’s wisteria screens by Ms. ONO Mayumi (Head, Japanese and East Asian Art History Section of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems) and Wish to protect the nation in the Ishūretsuzō depictions of Ainu chieftains by Ms.HARUKI Shoko (Curator, Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum) were presented, demonstrating the latest knowledge and interpretations of Edo period paintings.
 On the second day, October 21, the lectures were How to preserve and utilize art gallery materials, presented by Mr.KIKKAWA Hideki (Head, Archives Section of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems) and Connecting the history of Hiroshima Panels to the future, presented by Mr. OKAMURA Yukinori(Curator, Managing Director of Maruki Gallery for the Hiroshima Panels). These lectures provided concrete examples of how modern and contemporary materials and works should be passed down.
 There were 139 participants from the public on both days. As a result of a survey of the audience, 86% of the respondents answered that they were “very satisfied” or “generally satisfied.”


An Exhibition of Japanese Art in Rome in 1930: The 5th Seminar Held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems

Exterior of Palazzo delle Esposizioni, where the Roman Exhibition was held.
Exhibited Japanese-style paintings at tokonoma set in the gallery.

 An Exhibition of Japanese Art held in Rome, Italy in 1930 (called the “Rome Exhibition”) can be called a “legacy,” as it influenced the following generations, while at present, exhibitions that introduce Japanese art and culture are more commonly held outside of Japan. This Rome Exhibition, held with full financial backing by Baron OKURA Kishichiro, the second president of Okura Zaibatsu (Okura conglomerate), is highly recognized by its size and uniqueness. It exhibited as many as 168 modern Japanese-style paintings, and had 16 tokonoma of various sizes, recessed spaces in Japanese-style reception rooms to show paintings in an original Japanese manner.
 At a seminar on this Rome Exhibition, held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems on September 22, 2023, three researchers made presentations of the outcome of their research, which was conducted under grant by the Pola Art Foundation. Ms. TANAKA Sachiko of the Okura Museum of Art talked about Four Aspects of the Holding the Exhibition of Japanese Art in Rome in 1930, with details about the process of how the decision to hold the Rome Exhibition was made, and the involvement of the Italian contributors. Mr. YOSHII Daimon of the Yokohama History Museum presented Materials Related to the Exhibition of Japanese Art in Rome, owned by Okura Museum of Art, providing an overview of various materials, including minutes and reporting letters, held by the Okura Museum of Art. Mr. SHINOHARA, Satoshi Shinohara, of the Teaching Qualification Center and the Matsumae Commemoration Hall of Tokai University presented Japanese-style Painting Syndrome: Mainly on the works of KABURAGI Kiyokata’s Works discussing how the painters set their strategy to reach outside of Japan based on trend analysis of the painters whose works were exhibited, especially the works of KABURAGI Kiyokata.
 Because of its importance, much previous research has focused on this exhibition. The research presented in this seminar demonstrated great progress in the aspect of the discovery of related materials owned by the Okura Museum of Art. We expect further utilization of these precious materials related to the holding of the Roman Exhibition.


Donation and Publication of Materials of MATSUSHIMA Ken

Mr. KAWAI Masatomo (center, left) and Director General SAITO Takamasa (center, right)
Examples of the donated materials

 Mr. MATSUSHIMA Ken (1944~1998) was the head of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems of Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TOBUNKEN), known at the time as the “National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo.” Materials related to his work were donated to TOBUNKEN by his brother-in-law, Mr. KAWAI Masatomo., and we have begun to make some of the materials available to the public. Mr. MATSUSHIMA had worked for a long time in the cultural properties administration at the Agency for Cultural Affairs, and has been a lifelong researcher of Japanese Buddhist sculpture. The donated materials, including research documents, photographs, and restoration records of Buddhist sculptures throughout Japan, are extremely valuable. We have been in possession of some of the materials since 2015, and since then have made some progress in organizing them; finally, all of the materials were officially donated in September 2023. In response to the donation, Mr. SAITO Takamasa, Director General of TOBUNKEN, presented a letter of gratitude to Mr. KAWAI on 2 October 2023. We have posted a list of the materials on our website as “Materials of MATSUSHIMA Ken” (https://www.tobunken.go.jp/materials/matsushima) and the materials are also available in our library. We will continue to add data as needed. Please make use of this valuable resource.


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)


Reconstruction Research of the Kuwayama Gyokushū Collection – The 4th Seminar Held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems

The seminar

 At the 4th seminar of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems, held on July 25, 2023, YASUNAGA Takuyo (Head, Trans-Disciplinary Research Section, Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems) gave an online presentation titled Reconstruction Research of the Kuwayama Gyokushū Collection.
 Kuwayama Gyokushū (1746-99) was a literati painter who worked actively in Wakayama in the mid-Edo period. Gyokushū was largely self-taught, but developed his own painting style through interactions with literati painters such as Ike Taiga (1723-76) in Kyoto. He is also highly regarded for publishing excellent painting theories such as Kaiji-Higen.
 Materials related to Gyokushū had been kept by members of the Kuwayama family in Wakayama who were his descendants, but unfortunately some were sold, and some of the remaining materials were temporarily lost after World War II. However, in recent years, several missing materials have been rediscovered as being held by relatives of the Kuwayama family. These materials are highly valued, because they include Chinese calligraphy and paintings formerly owned by Gyokushū, as well as painting tools and seals. In addition, The Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TOBUNKEN) holds a collection of photographs taken during a survey of the Kuwayama family collection in 1944, which show its contents before they became scattered.
 In the seminar, the presentation began with a discussion of the art historical significance of the Kuwayama Gyokushū collection, with works selected from the present collection of the Kuwayama family. Based on this study, an attempt was made to reconstruct the lost parts of the Kuwayama family collection using the photographs and also auction catalogs of the TOBUNKEN archives. Such reconstruction research also revealed possibilities for future use of the TOBUNKEN archives.
 In a question-and-answer session held after the presentation, discussions were held on the prospects for using materials of the TOBUNKEN archives such as cabinet cards, and the survey of the Kuwayama family collection of 1944. It is expected that such reconstruction research will lead to reconsideration of the value and meaning of not only the remaining materials, but also the lost materials, and to advance discussion on the significance of preserving these materials.


Catalog Release of the KATORI Hotsuma Papers

KATORI Hotsuma (reprinted from Nihon Bijutsu Kōgei No.185, March 1954)
Examples of the KATORI Hotsuma Papers

 The Archive Section of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems has published information on the “KATORI Hotsuma Papers” on its website as an outcome of the “Expansion of Specialized Archives and Comprehensive Reference” project.
 KATORI Hotsuma (1874-1954) was a metalworker, historian of metalworking, and poet during the Meiji and Showa eras. He played a significant role in promoting and advancing the field of craftsmanship, not only within the realm of metalwork, but also in the broader world of crafts. Known for his works that skillfully combined classical motifs such as incense burners, flower vases, kettles, and Buddhist temple bells with deep technical expertise, he also made significant contributions to the study of Eastern metalworking history.
The KATORI Hotsuma Papers were donated to The Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TOBUNKEN) in 1964 by his family following his passing. This collection includes diaries, design sketches for his artworks, and research records of metalwork from various regions in Japan. Consequently, it serves as a valuable resource not only for research on KATORI Hotsuma himself, but also for the broader study of Japan’s metalworking history. We have undertaken efforts such as preserving these materials and cataloging them, and we are pleased to announce the public release of the papers. The preparation for the release of the papers was led by TAMURA Ayako (Research Assistant of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems), and various information about the papers was provided by former staff member Ms. NAKAMURA Setsuko.
 We hope you will use the materials that TOBUNKEN has accumulated over the years as evidence to solve research problems related to cultural properties and as an opportunity to create new research in various fields.

• Library Visitor’s Guide
https://www.tobunken.go.jp/joho/english/library/library_e.html
Archives (documents) information can be found at the bottom of this page. The Papers are accessible in our library.

• KATORI Hotsuma Papers
https://www.tobunken.go.jp/joho/japanese/library/pdf/archives_KATORI_Hotsuma.pdf


Long-Term Preservation of Digital Data – The 3rd Seminar Held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems

Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS)

 OYAMADA Tomohiro of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems made a presentation titled Long-Term Preservation of Digital Data on June 27, 2023. With the ongoing digitization of many areas of society and industry, it goes without saying that the long-term preservation of the digital data we produce is critical. Various technological tests have been conducted on the preservation of digital data, and many recording media for long-term preservation are now available. However, we know that many types of recording media and playback devices have disappeared from the market. Therefore, we must say that for long-term preservation of digital data, media management is more necessary than media technology.

 In this presentation, the long-term preservation of digital data was examined from both technical and operational perspectives. For technical aspects, Blu-ray Discs, LTO, HDD, and SSD were compared as representative recording media. For operational aspects, the contents of the OAIS reference model, an international standard for the long-term preservation of digital data, were shown. Finally, our own proposal for a long-term preservation system for digital data that would be less burdensome for daily operations was reported and discussed.

 The Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties has created digital data on valuable cultural materials and made it available on its website and other media. To ensure that these digital data can be used forever, we will continue to investigate the preservation of digital data.


Donation of Materials related to the FURUGORI family

Handwritten books by Mr. FURUGORI Yoshio

 On May 9, 2023, the FURUGORI family donated materials of historical significance to the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TOBUNKEN). In response to the donation, SAITO Takamasa, Director General of TOBUNKEN, presented a letter of gratitude to a representative of the family on June 15, 2023. The materials are on KURODA Kiyotsuna (1830-1917) and his son-in-law, KURODA Seiki (1866-1924), with whom the family had a special relationship.

 KURODA Kiyotsuna was from the Satsuma domain of the Tokugawa Shogunate, and held important positions in the Meiji government, and KURODA Seiki was a painter and contributed much to the modernization of the Japanese art world. As the precursor of TOBUNKEN was the Institute of Art Research, with an endowment bequeathed by KURODA Seiki, we have continued research on his paintings and other achievements since the founding of the institute. The donation was brought from such research.

 KURODA Kiyotsuna received personal care from Ms. FURUGORI Shizuko at his villa at Kogaicho, Azabu-ku (formerly called Nishiazabu, presently Minato-ku), and the bereaved FURUGORI family has a painting by KURODA Seiki that he had given them. SHIOYA Jun and YOSHIDA Akiko, Special Research Chair and Researcher of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems, respectively, visited the family to inspect the painting and were informed of the donated materials.

 The core of the materials, which comprise books bound in Japanese style, publications, letters, and other printed matter, is composed of 10 books written by Mr. FURUGORI Yoshio who was the son-in-law of Ms. FURUGORI Shizuko. Among them, Articles on KURODA Seiki and Articles on KURODA Kiyotsuna present a combination of the author’s personal memory of the KURODAs and rich information acquired from his survey, and two volumes of Azabu in those days provide details on the villa in Azabu, mentioned above, which had also been a subject of a painting by KURODA Seiki. The books are valuable primary sources with an original viewpoint and abundant information.

 The materials are being kept and prepared for access at TOBUNKEN Library. In addition, we plan to digitalize selected contents to facilitate contributions to a wide range of research.


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.


The Collection of HAYASHI Tadamasa-related letters and reference materials”, available on the National Museum of Western Art Website

Top page of The Collection of HAYASHI Tadamasa related letters and reference materials on the website of the National Museum of Western Art
Letter of Edmond de Goncourt to HAYASHI Tadamasa, dated August 2, 1895, in The Collection of HAYASHI Tadamasa related letters and reference materials. Goncourt (1822-1902) was a French art critic. He asked for HAYASHI Tadamasa's help in writing his now famous biography, Hokusai (published in 1896).

 HAYASHI Tadamasa (1853-1906) was an art dealer in Paris at the end of the 19th century, having dealt in Japanese paintings, ukiyo-e prints, and crafts, and is known for having led the Japonism trend. The Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TOBUNKEN) has a collection of letters HAYASHI received from art critics, collectors, and art dealers between 1884, when he opened his store in Paris, and 1905, when he returned to Japan, where died the following year. In 2001, TOBUNKEN published Correspondance adressée à HAYASHI Tadamasa (in French; Kokushokankokai publisher), which is a reprinting of these letters.
 This collection of letters was deposited at the National Museum of Western Art in 2016, and in March 2023, The Collection of Hayashi Tadamasa related letters and reference materials was made public on the museum’s website.
The Collection of Hayashi Tadamasa related letters and reference materials | The National Museum of Western Art (nmwa.go.jp)
 This website was established as part of a National Center for Art Research project, and allows users to search for images and reprints of letters by month and year sent, sender, and list of letters. We hope that many people will use this site to contribute to the research on the history of modern French art and the history of art exchange between Japan and France.


Study of Shuten-dōji Handscrolls: The first Seminar in 2023 Fiscal Year Held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems

The Seminar

 On April 28, 2023, EMURA Tomoko gave a presentation titled Study of Shuten-dōji Handscrolls: Interim Investigation Report. This research has been in progress since 2022, conducted under a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B), and focuses on SUMIYOSHI Hiroyuki’s Shuten-dōji Handscrolls (six volumes in total, owned by Grassi Museum of Ethnology in Leipzig, hereinafter referred to as “the Leipzig scrolls”). This presentation was made in the form of an interim report on the investigation. EMURA introduced the works that she and her colleagues investigated in 2022, and considered the characteristics and genealogy of each scroll. Furthermore, thanks to the kind invitation of Dr. MIYAZAKI Momo (The Museum Yamato Bunkakan), EMURA was able to join her in the conduction of a survey on sketches of the Shuten-dōji Handscrolls (six volumes, Museum for History and Literature of Osaka Aoyama University). In addition, based on an inscription on the underside of the lid of the box that contained the scroll sketches, it became clear that the calligraphers of the Leipzig scrolls were NARUSHIMA Chuhachirō (Ryūshū) and NARUSHIMA Senzō (Kōzan), father and son, retainers of the shogunate. In addition, Dr. KOBAYASHI Kenji (National Institute of Japanese Literature), a research co-investigator of the project, gave a presentation titled Survey report on the Ibuki-dōji picture scrolls (private collection). This work included modification of Nara Ehon books into picture scrolls, and has many points in common with the contents of the first three volumes of the Leipzig scrolls. Mr. NAMIKI Seishi, who is the Program-Specific Professor of Kyoto Institute of Technology and a research co-investigator, participated as a commentator. In addition, researchers from inside and outside the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties participated online. This year, we will proceed with the survey with consideration given to the opinions received during the research discussion.


Guidance Session for the TOBUNKEN Library – for Graduate Students of Aoyama Gakuin University

Introduction, in the conference room
Explanation about the investigational photographs of cultural properties

 The Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TOBUNKEN) introduced guidance for the TOBUNKEN Library to 4 graduate students of Aoyama Gakuin University (led by Prof. TSUDA Tetsuei) on April 12th. At the beginning of this guidance session, KIKKAWA Hideki explained how to use the library and how the collection was developed in the conference room on the second floor of TOBUNKEN. We then moved to the library and its stack rooms, where our staff introduced various materials, including the Auction Catalogue Digital Archive, investigational photographs of cultural properties, and auction catalogues. The participants handled the digital archives, books, and photos, listened to the explanations, and actively asked questions from the viewpoint of how they could use them for their own research.

 The Archive Section of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems has a mission to collect, organize, and conserve materials concerning cultural property studies and prepare an easily accessible and effectively usable environment for experts and students working in areas related to cultural properties. As a part of this mission, we continue to actively hold guidance sessions. 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” (Japanese only).


Web content “KURODA MEMORIAL HALL: KURODA Seiki Oil Painting Optical Survey” is released

Web Contents " KURODA MEMORIAL HALL: KURODA Seiki Oil Painting Optical Survey" Top Page
"Lakeside" color photograph
"Lakeside" color photo (left) and near-infrared photo (right)

 KURODA Seiki (1866–1924) left a significant mark on the history of modern Western-style painting in Japan as a painter and educator. The Japan Art Academy–affiliated Institute of Art Research was established as an institution to conduct research on art as part of KURODA’s will. The Institute’s successor, the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TOBUNKEN) has, to this day, as one of its activities, conducted research on KURODA’s paintings and his activities. 
 From October to December 2021, as part of its research on KURODA Seiki, TOBUNKEN conducted an optical survey of 148 oil paintings by KURODA that are housed in the KURODA MEMORIAL HALL. In the optical survey, color photographs were taken to record colors, shapes, and textures at high resolution; near-infrared photographs to record differences in the reflection and absorption of near-infrared rays; and fluorescence photographs to record the fluorescence emitted by a material when irradiated with light of a specific wavelength on a screen to obtain information that cannot be read by the naked eye. In addition, X-ray fluorescence analysis was conducted on KURODA ‘s representative works such as “Lakeside,” “Maiko,” “Reading,” and “Wisdom, Impression and Sentiment,” as well as on the palette used by KURODA, to determine the elements contained in the painting materials. These photographs and the results of the analysis were published as the web content “KURODA MEMORIAL HALL: KURODA Seiki Oil Painting Optical Survey” on March 31, 2023.
 (https://www.tobunken.go.jp/kuroda/image_archives/main/)
 In “Lakeside,” for example, the artist drew every hair on the model’s eyebrows, used uneven white paint to express the stripes on the clothing, and changed the size of the fan held by the model several times based on the lines of the rough sketch. Currently, the above four works and color photographs of all 148 oil paintings in the KURODA MEMORIAL HALL collection are available on the web for your viewing and research.


Publication of X-ray film database

X-ray film database screen (Digital images can only be viewed in the reference room.)

 Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TOBUNKEN) was one of the first in Japan to research and investigate cultural properties using scientific methods. In the 1950s, we began photographing cultural properties using X-rays and have accumulated a vast number of X-ray films over many years of experience. Some have already been published as ” List of X-ray film, ” available in PDF in the ” Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties Institutional Repositories – Publications “.
 (https://tobunken.repo.nii.ac.jp/
 However, TOBUNKEN has many X-ray films in addition to this catalog, and we have made this list available on our website as the “X-ray Film Database,” and digital images are also available in our library.
 (https://www.tobunken.go.jp/materials/xray_pic
 The approximately 4,150 films released recently include many works, such as Buddhist sculptures, Buddhist paintings, crafts, and modern Western-style paintings, These are valuable images that contribute to research. We will continue to add data as needed; please use it.


Lacquer Work Expert MIKI Sakae’s Activities in Thailand – Focusing on Materials from the Same Period – the 9th Seminar Held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems

the 9th Seminar

 As in Japan during the Meiji era, Thailand in the late 19th and early 20th centuries had foreign experts in various fields working for government agencies, some of them Japanese.
 One such artist was MIKI Sakae (1884–1966), a graduate of the Tokyo School of Fine Arts (presently Tokyo University of the Arts), Department of Lacquer Technology, who went to Thailand in 1911 to work for the Imperial Household Agency’s Technical Affairs Bureau (the predecessor to the current Art Bureau of the Ministry of Culture). Thereafter, he served as a teacher and principal of a national art school and was active in the field of lacquer work until 1947, when he returned to Japan. At the 9th seminar by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems held on March 2, 2023, FUTAGAMI Yoko (Head, Cultural Properties Information Section of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems) gave a presentation titled Lacquer Work Expert MIKI Sakae’s Activities in Thailand –- Focusing on Materials from the Same Period –.
 Because of the above background, MIKI Sakae is often featured in the field of prewar Japanese – Thailand exchange. However, most references to his activities in Thailand were limited to large-scale projects, such as the production of the throne for the coronation of King Rama VI, which he was involved in immediately after his trip to Thailand, as well as palace repairs, and did not go into the details of his daily work. Therefore, we used mainly the recent status reports MIKI contributed to in the alumni magazine Monthly Bulletin of the Tokyo School of Fine Arts Alumni Association to decipher the work he was involved in on a daily basis.
 From an article in Monthly Bulletin of the Alumni Association we learned that, in 1917, MIKI had decorated the king’s daily articles with gold or silver lacquer and employed other Japanese techniques, using an abundance of materials imported from Japan. On the other hand, it also shows that, during the same period, materials and techniques were modified to suit the objects to be decorated and the climate of Thailand. MIKI was accepted in Thailand because of his Japanese lacquer craft skills and flexible application as well as his serious attitude toward his work which, due in part to personnel cutbacks caused by administrative reforms, led him to take on important work, including supervision of large-scale construction projects. This presentation is an interim report on MIKI Sakae’s activities in Thailand and will be further discussed and compiled into a report.


Participation in seminars at Wat Rajapradit

Seminar
Lacquer door of Wat Rajapradit

 Wat Rajapradit (built in 1864), a first-class royal temple located in the old city of Bangkok, Thailand, uses lacquered doors made in Japan for its worship hall. The Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TOBUNKEN) conducts research on those door components and provides technical support for their restoration. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the start of activities related to the repair of the door components of Wat Rajapradit, and a seminar entitled “Rajapradit Pisitsilp” (meaning “The Wonderful Art of Rajapradit” in Thailand) was held at the temple on March 20, 2023.
 The seminar included a round table discussion on the background to the restoration project and one on technical matters and the restoration process.
In addition to experts from the Department of Fine Arts, Thailand Ministry of Culture, which is implementing the restoration project, and a monk from Wat Rajapradit, Japanese participants included FUTAGAMI Yoko (TOBUNKEN) for the former discussion and Mr. YAMASHITA Yoshihiko (lacquer art conservation researcher and expert) for the latter.
 On the same day, a ceremony was held to attach several repaired door components to the door frame of the worship hall. There was also a tea ceremony and Japanese food stalls on the temple grounds, a dance performance by a dancer wearing traditional Thailand costume and Japanese kimono, and cosplayers dressed as Touken-ranbu* characters, providing an opportunity to deepen familiarity with Japan. Due to the spread of COVID-19, our research and study in Thailand was suspended for three years, but we would like to once again deepen our research and research exchange regarding cultural properties.

* video game with a Japanese sword motif


Donation of Materials Related to Mr. SHIMAZAKI Kiyomi

Application form for membership in the Sōzō Biiku Kyōkai, 1952.
FINGER PAINTING by Ruth Faison Shaw, edited by MIYATAKE Tatsuo; 1968 edition on the left, 1955 edition on the right (Cover art by EI-Q)

 SHIMAZAKI Kiyomi (1923–2015) was an art educator who served for many years as the head office secretary of the Sōzō Biiku Kyōkai, which had a profound influence on postwar Japanese art education. SHIMAZAKI left behind a vast amount of materials related to the Sōzō Biiku Kyōkai, some of which were donated to the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TOBUNKEN) by his bereaved family.
 The materials of SHIMAZAKI Kiyomi have been researched and studied by Ms.NAKAMURA Maki, part-time employee, Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Cultural History and temporary staff, Tokyo Keizai University Historical Data Office, and were presented at the seminar of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems in 2021. The report is available at the following URL:
Activities and Archives of the Sōzō Biiku Kyōkai: the 5th Seminar Held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems :: 東文研アーカイブデータベース (tobunken.go.jp)
 Ms. NAKAMURA also catalogued the donated materials and contributed an article titled “Art Education in Post-war Japan as Seen in the Activity Records of the Sōzō Biiku Kyōkai” to The Bijutsu Kenkyu (The Journal of Art Studies) No. 439 (March 2023), which includes an introduction. As described in this article, the donated materials include pamphlets, journals, letters to SHIMAZAKI Kiyomi, schedule books, and diaries published by the Sōzō Biiku Kyōkai, which reveal the activities of the Society as well as its interactions with artists and critics such as EI-Q and KUBO Sadajirō. We will take some time for sorting before the exhibition is open to the public, but we hope you will find it a valuable resource for research on the history of Japanese art education and art history in the postwar period.


Publication of “Report on the joint research on “Hanshan and Shide” by Yosa Buson from the collection of Myohoji Temple,”

Report cover

 Since 2021, Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties(TOBUNKEN), in collaboration with Myohoji Temple in Marugame City, Kagawa Prefecture, has been researching the restoration of damaged portions of “Hanshan and Shide” by Yosa Buson by combining black and white film taken by TOBUNKEN in 1959 and modern image formation technology. It is an Important Cultural Property owed by Myōhōji Temple.(Refer to the August 2021 Activity Report)
https://www.tobunken.go.jp/materials/
katudo/910046.html

 As a result of this research, the restored sliding doors were dedicated in the main hall of Myohoji Temple in November 2022. (Refer to the November 2022 Activity Report)
https://www.tobunken.go.jp/materials/katudo/1018231.html
 The report focuses on the results of the production and dedication of these restored sliding doors and presents the history and findings of the two previous restorations of Buson’s works at Myohoji Temple. The possibilities of utilizing the photographic materials and archives that TOBUNKEN has accumulated over the years are published as a joint research report that includes a wealth of images.
 The report includes two essays, “In Search of the Lost Collection of Hanshan and Shide: Miracle of the Cultural Properties Archive” (by EMURA Tomoko, Director of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems) and “Reconsidering Hanshan and Shide by Yosa Buson from the collection of Myohoji Temple” (by YASUNAGA Takuyo, Head of the Department’s Trans-Disciplinary Research Section), along with 1) a color image, 2) a near-infrared ray image, 3) a 4 x 5 inch black and white negative photo image taken in 1959, and 4) a restored image compiled using image forming technology.
 In addition, color and near-infrared ray images of “Cycad” and “Landscapes (4 pieces),” and color images of “Bamboo” and “Jurō (God of longevity)” are included, and each piece is accompanied by detailed explanations, covering all of Buson’s works in Myohoji Temple.
 Buson’s works at the temple are all designated as Important Cultural Properties. They represent standards of the period during which Buson stayed in Kagawa Prefecture. However, images of Buson’s works at Myohoji Temple have never been published in detail. Moreover, this report, and the restored sliding doors dedicated to the temple, are essential for future Buson research.
 The report has been donated to major museums, art museums, libraries, and universities throughout Japan. Therefore, those interested in reading can access it in their local libraries.


TOBUNKEN Library Stack Room Reform Completed

Installing the electrically-operated bookshelf bases on the rails
Electrically-operated bookshelves being set

 The Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TOBUNKEN) maintains materials, including books and photographs, collected by TOBUNKEN’s departments and centers (the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems, the Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage, the Center for Conservation Science, and the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation) mainly in the TOBUNKEN Library. The library itself consists of the reading room and stack rooms; however, the aforementioned materials can be accessed by external researchers at the Library, which is open three days a week.

 Almost 23 years have passed since TOBUNKEN moved to its current building in 2000. During these years, TOBUNKEN has continuously been collecting materials, including books and photographs, through its research activities. Furthermore, it has recently had more opportunities to receive donations of archives from the collections of ex-employees and related researchers. Through these activities, the Library has been able to accumulate many more materials, and enhance the quality of those materials. At the same time, we foresaw that the bookshelves would be overflowing in the near future. Therefore, we reconstructed the bookshelves as part of the framework entitled “planned management of investigational research equipment.”

 During this reconstruction, the fixed bookshelves were replaced with electrically-operated bookshelves in almost one-fourth of the total floor space of the second-floor stack room. The reconstruction started on January 10th, 2023. After taking out the materials from the bookshelves, removing the fixed bookshelves, laying the rails for new bookshelves, setting the new electrically-operated bookshelves, and setting the materials back to the new shelves, the renovation was completed on the 30th. The space which was previously home to five fixed bookshelves (612 shelves, 526m in total) now accommodates nine new electrically-operated bookshelves (1,248 shelves, 1,073 in total), with capacity almost doubling.

 We apologize for any inconvenience resulting from the Library’s temporary closure during the reform. We continue to work to collect, pass down, and utilize materials valuable for research and conservation of cultural properties. We hope that the TOBUNKEN archives can well serve your research activities.


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