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


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.


Artistic Expression and Techniques Used in the Painting “Mahamayuri Vidyaraja (Kujaku Myoo)” Owned by Ninna-ji Temple―Seminar by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems

A scene from the seminar

 The sixth monthly seminar in fiscal 2018, organized by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems, was held on November 27th. Dr. Emi MIYAKO, a part-time lecturer at the Tokyo University of the Arts, was the guest speaker, giving a presentation entitled, “History of Technical Development of Coloring on Silk: A Study on the Painting of Mahamayuri Vidyaraja (Kujaku Myoo) Owned by the Ninna-ji Temple.” Designated a national treasure in Japan, the painting of Mahamayuri Vidyaraja is a work that some historians date as early as the Northern Song Dynasty. Its exceptionally high standard of artistry is expressed in its dynamic rendering of elements, including the feathers of the peacock that appear as if they are moving. Distinctive realism found in this work is in stark contrast to conventional styles of Japanese Buddhist paintings.
 Dr. MIYAKO is an art historian with numerous academic achievements, as well as an artist who has been producing many outstanding artworks. In her presentation, Dr. MIYAKO compared a same sized copy of a painting made by GENSYO of Jisyo-in of Ninna-ji Temple in 1779 (Edo period), which uses the sukiutsushi technique (tracing of the original by laying silk cloth over it) with the painting of Mahamayuri Vidyaraja, and revealed that the Japanese silk support was sewn together whereas the Chinese version was seamless. In addition, she presented many samples of silk cloths to show how different results can be when sizing is applied on the silk supports, even if similar painting techniques are used. An expression of artistry, or simply put “beauty” dwells in the “forms” in the work, and such “forms” are supported by realistic and physical techniques. However, this is one area, which classical methodology of art history was unable to tap. Through analyses of support, line drawings, coloring, and coloring materials, Dr. MIYAKO provided insightful knowledge, suggesting that further achievements can be expected from her future studies.


Presentation at the Fall Seminar of the Japan Art Documentation Society

Screenshot of the data from “Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Art Bibliography in Japan” represented by ADGC

 The 11th fall seminar of the Japan Art Documentation Society was held at Ochanomizu University in Tokyo on October 13th, 2018. Researcher Hideki KIKKAWA from the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems delivered a joint presentation with Ms. Masako KAWAGUCHI from the National Museum of Western Art, which was titled “Efforts to Enhance the International Visibility of Japanese Exhibition Catalog Papers: Contribution of ‘Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Art Bibliography in Japan’ in OCLC.” The presentation was based on the past report (http://www.tobunken.go.jp/materials/katudo/249516.html) regarding the entry of data as “Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Art Bibliography in Japan” in the OCLC Central Index that was started in January 2018, with a focus on the project’s background and contribution. Ms. Kawaguchi mentioned that the Art Discovery Group Catalogue (ADGC) was launched by the committee organized by world-famous libraries—following negotiations with OCLC—as one of the products of the framework of international collaboration in the field of fine arts library for the last ten years. She also stated that overseas art history databases were entered in the OCLC Central Index—one of the basic databases of ADGC—as the backdrop for the project. Kikkawa reported where “Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Art Bibliography in Japan” originated from, how the required data was collected and organized for the entry in OCLC, and how bibliographic data was provided for WorldCat.org and ADGC, in addition to the project’s further development in the coming years. “Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Art Bibliography in Japan” created during the editing process of the “Yearbook of Japanese Art” covers the latest outcome in fine arts research from Japanese galleries, museums, and universities. By transmitting such information widely, we would like to improve the research environment of cultural properties in Japan.


Shapes of Metal Materials Used for Hira Maki-e Technique—Seminar by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems

Ongoing seminar

 For the fifth seminar in FY 2018, held on October 2nd by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems, Dr. Yoshimi KAMIYA from Kanazawa University delivered a presentation titled “Shapes of Metal Materials Used for Hira Maki-e Technique—Mainly Focusing on Namban Lacquer Examples .”
 Hira Maki-e (flat maki-e) is one of the Maki-e (Japanese lacquer technique sprinkled with gold or silver powder) techniques started in the Azuchi–Momoyama period. Compared to the existing mainstream techniques such as Togidashi Maki-e (polished maki-e) and Taka Maki-e (raised maki-e), it is a simpler technique, where gold or silver powder is sprinkled over the pattern drawn with Urushi lacquer. This technique is considered to have been used for maki-e works in Kodaiji style and Namban lacquerware produced in Kyoto as exports to Europe and Americaby orders from Europeans.
 The shapes of the metal powders found on lacquer fragments from Namban lacquerware and similar works produced in the early 17th century, which can be found both at home and abroad, as well as those for maki-e lacquer works made by the presenter for comparison, were observed carefully in a non-destructive manner by using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and reported.
 As a result, Maru-fun, round powders rasped off from the metal body were found for a piece of Namban lacquerware. However, some pieces for in which powder made from gold foil had been used was were recognized for the first time. And even, indicating the possibility that powder. This discovery requires us to re-examine the actual states of production techniques, producers, and workshops for exported lacquer in the early Edo period. This is also an important fact when considering the process of how Keshi-fun Maki-e (maki-e technique using powder from metal foil) first appeared and its history.
 For the seminar, Mr. Kazumi MUROSE, a holder of Important Intangible Cultural Property (maki-e) and lacquer art historians in and around Tokyo were invited for an active discussion about the kinds of materials the reported metal powders originate in, the relationship with maki-e masters or artisans depicted in the paintings of craftsmen (Shokuninn-e), the need of factual research in maki-e technical history, and issues on the definition of maki-e.
 This presentation revealed the fact that observation of fallen lacquer fragments with an electron microscope is very effective for verification of lacquer production techniques, particularly maki-e technique. Further accumulation and study of analyzed works are much expected for the positioning of and attaching significance to each reported case. Deepening of this research may contribute to clarification of the actual state of the painting technique history since metal powder is among the materials used widely not only for lacquerware but also for paintings.


The 52nd Open Lecture

Ongoing lecture

 The Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems held a two-day open lecture on October 26th and 27th, 2018 in the seminar room of Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties. Every autumn, the Institute invites people from the general public to attend presentations delivered by its researchers, along with outside lecturers on the outcomes of their research that they conduct on a daily basis. This program is not only held as part of the Lecture Series of the Ueno no Yama Cultural Zone Festival organized by Taito City but is also associated with Classics Day on November 1st, 2018.
 This year, the lectures covered four topics: “Creating a Database on Cultural Properties and Its Significance” (Tomohiro OYAMADA, Researcher of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems); “SESSON Shukei and the Genju School of the Rinzai Sect—Based on Daiyu-zan Hounji Temple” (Dr. Yuji MIZUNO, Assistant Professor at the University of Tsukuba); “Locality Expressed in Women in the Nude—In the Cases of Fujita, San Yu, and Chen Cheng-po” (Emiko YAMANASHI, Deputy Director General of the Institute); and “Linking Tradition to Modern Age: Forms of Flowers and Birds Painted by Qi Bai-shi” (Motoyuki KURE, Senior Researcher of Kyoto National Museum). The first two lectures were delivered on the 26th of October and the latter two on the 27th. The audience on both days totaled to 134 people. According to the results of the questionnaire survey, nearly 90% of the audience responded “satisfied” or “almost satisfied.” Thus, the open lecture received favorable reactions.


Presentation at the 8th International Conference of Art Libraries

Ongoing presentation
Art Library of the RijksMuseum

 Although there are innumerable libraries in the world including Japan, the United States and European countries have art libraries which specialize in art books and materials. Every two years, these countries hold an international conference for art libraries. During the 8th International Conference of Art Libraries held at the National Museum (Rijksmuseum) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands on October 4th and 5th, 2018, we made an oral presentation titled “The Contribution of the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties: Art Bibliography in Japan for OCLC Central Index.” The Institute has been collecting information on art exhibitions held in Japan, including literature-based information found in exhibition catalogues. We have provided data on approximately 50,000 items of literature appearing in exhibition catalogues from 1930 to 2013 to the OCLC Central Index. Although these Japanese art exhibition catalogues are highly specialized, they have had insufficient results in providing the public useful information compared to general magazines and papers. This initiative has resulted in offering OCLC users of the world new chances to find required materials. This conference is operated mainly by European countries and the United States, but after the presentation, we received feedback that this initiative in Asia is important to reinforce international cooperation among the art libraries.
We have been continually providing this kind of information in the OCLC Central Index. Recently, we offered approximately 2,800 items of literature-based information published in 2014. We are going to add additional literature data from 2015 by the end of 2018.


Contribution of the Digital Publications of Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties to the Getty Research Portal

The results showing on the Getty Research Portal

 Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties has been promoting a joint research project with the Getty Research Institute in the United States. On May 2017, the digital data of exhibition catalogues and art magazines published during the Meiji period that are controlled by the Institute became searchable and accessible on the Getty Research Portal (GRP). We became the first contributor of such data in Asia. The digital data of the “Year Book of Japanese Art” was published in 70 issues by the Institute from 1936 to 2013. “Bijutsu Kenkyu (Journal of Art Studies)” (the 1st issue to the 419th issue) and “Science for Conservation” (the 1st issue to the 57th issue) have also become searchable and accessible on the GRP. As a result, the total number of titles provided by the Institute is over 636. Although these publications were accessible from our website (Tobunken Research Collections: http://www.tobunken.go.jp/archives/; “Science for Conservation” in PDF: http://www.tobunken.go.jp/~ccr/pub/cosery_s/consery_s.html) and our repository (https://tobunken.repo.nii.ac.jp/), the searchability and accessibility of this data from the GRP that has numerous users in the world, through a virtual art library resulted in a drastic change. This initiative enhanced the potential of overseas countries accessing our achievements in the research of cultural properties. As part of this joint project between the two Institutes, we are currently digitalizing valuable information owned by the Institute such as the exposition and exhibition publications during the Meiji, Taisho, and Showa periods. We will also add these digitalized publications to the GRP by the end of June 2019.


Presentation at the 29th EAJRS Conference: (G)localizing Japanese Studies Resources

The appearance of the 29th EAJRS conference venue (Vytautas Magnus University)
Ongoing presentation

 The 29th European Association of Japanese Resource Specialists (EAJRS) conference took place at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, the second largest city in Lithuania, from September 12th through 15th, 2018. EAJRS is an association comprising librarians, professors, curators, and other specialists who handle Japanese studies materials in Europe. The 2018 conference organized under the title of “(G)localizing Japanese Studies Resources” attracted 82 members from 20 countries (44 from Europe, 34 from Asia and 4 from North America). Mr. Hideki KIKKAWA, Researcher of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems of this Institute reported the progress of the “Project to Make Japanese Exposition and Exhibition Materials Published from the Meiji to the Showa Open Access,” on which the Institute has been working together with the Getty Research Institute. During the Q & A period after the presentation, the expectations for the project were expressed and a lot of requests were made. This period provided us with a precious opportunity for further development of the project in the light of the received requests such as the one requiring the materials covered under the project to be increased or expanded. The annual conference consisted of 14 sessions, where 31 presentations were delivered, including the ones on studies of Japanese material collections and facilities having such collections delivered and introduced by overseas institutions, as well as a variety of activities and services to support overseas Japanese studies introduced by Japanese institutions. Opinions were actively exchanged in various places of the venue. Please access the URL of EAJRS for details of the conference program (https://www.eajrs.net/). The 2018 conference successfully ended after deciding the 2019 conference schedule to be held in Zurich (Switzerland).


Seminar on Wat Rajpradit’s Door Panels Made in Japan and Mother-of-pearl with underpaint

Ordination hall doors of Wat Rajpradit
Ongoing seminar

 On July 30th, 2018, the above seminar was conducted at Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TNRICP) with ten research presentations delivered by eleven experts.
 Wat Rajpradit is a first-grade royal Buddhist temple located in Bangkok, Thailand. It was built at the request of King Rama IV in 1864. The windows of the ordination hall (ubosot) and the inner sides of the entrance doors of the Temple were mother-of-pearl with underpaint and the panels were decorated with lacquer paintings. For the mother-of-pearl with underpaint, thin strips of abalone or other shells were placed on the base material after coloring, line drawing and metal foil were applied on the reverse of the shell pieces. At the request of the Fine Arts Department of the Ministry of Culture of Thailand and the Temple, TNRICP started providing technical assistance for the restoration project in Thailand in 2012. From 2013 through 2015, two door panels were brought to Japan to conduct a detailed scientific survey and trial restoration in collaboration with experts inside and outside the Institute.
 At this seminar, the results of an optical survey implemented in Thailand and the interpretation of icons found in the lacquer painting patterns were also reported, in addition to the outcomes of the scientific surveys such as X-ray photography of door panels, fluorescent X-ray analysis of pigments, and organic analysis of lacquer coating film and undercoat. These outcomes identified the techniques and materials used for decorating the door panels, showing evidence that they were made in Japan. In addition, the manufacturing techniques used on these door panels and the Japanese style of mother-of pearl with underpaint that existed in Japan and Thailand were considered, while how and when such techniques evolved were also studied.
 The technique of mother-of-pearl with underpaint was used for a short period from the end of 18th century until the late 19th century. Its technical genealogy has not been fully clarified yet. We will continue to provide technical support for the door panel restoration project at Wat Rajpradit while conducting research and study on door panels and mother-of-pearl with underpaint in both Japan and Thailand.


Renewed memorandum of agreement on a joint project with the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures

Signing ceremony

 In July 2013, Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties signed a memorandum of agreement on a five-year joint project with the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures (SISJAC) located in Norwich in the County of Norfolk, UK and worked on the project of “Shaping the Fundamentals of Research on Japanese Art” while sending researchers of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems to give lectures on Japanese art at the SISJAC every year. In the project of “Shaping the Fundamentals of Research on Japanese Art”, SISJAC has collected and entered data related to the study of Japanese arts written in English to be added to the database of our institute. By the middle of June 2018, 4675 items including 2584 titles of articles on Japanese cultural properties, 1631 titles of art exhibitions and movie festivals held overseas, and 460 titles of books on Japanese cultural properties published overseas had been sent and gathered into the database of our institute to enable cross-searches.
 To continue these projects, Dr. Simon Kaner, General Director of SISJAC and Yamanashi, Deputy Director General of the institute signed the renewed memorandum of agreement on the joint project on July 13th at the SISJAC. Continuation of the joint project would help to enrich the database and enhance research exchange.


International Symposium Titled “Use of Standard Vocabularies in Art and History Areas – Getty Vocabulary Program Activities and Japan”

Panel Discussion (Source: Center for Integrated Studies of Cultural and Research Resources of the National Museum of Japanese History)
Consultation with Mr. Ward and persons in charge from related institutions

 An international symposium titled “Use of Standard Vocabularies in Art and History Areas – Getty Vocabulary Program Activities and Japan” took place at the National Museum of Japanese History on June 16th, 2018. Researcher Hideki KIKKAWA attended the symposium from the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems so as to report on the progress of providing data on Japanese artist names to the Union List of Artist Names of the Getty Research Institute. You may not frequently hear the word “standard vocabularies,” which supports the informatization and distribution of personal and geographical names by standardizing their notation. For this symposium, planned by Dr. Makoto GOTO (Professor at the National Museum of Japanese History), Mr. Jonathan WARD (Senior Editor of the Getty Vocabulary Program) gave a lecture on the concept of Getty Vocabularies and their current utilization status, and Ms. Sophy Chen (Associate Researcher at the Institute of History and Philosophy, Academia Sinica) lectured about multilingualization of vocabularies. Following these lectures, researchers from Japanese related institutions also gave reports on personal name information, corporate area information, contemporary art information, and operation of Linked Open Data. During the panel discussion, contributions made by Japan to Getty Vocabularies were discussed. Additionally, on June 18th, 2018, Mr. Ward and persons in charge from the National Museum of Japanese History, the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, and the Tokyo National Museum were invited to this Institute to consult on how standard vocabularies associated with cultural properties should be in Japan. These opportunities allowed us to share the possibility of collaboration among the institutions creating standard vocabulary databases in Japan.


Use of WordPress for the Cultural Property Database – WordCamp Osaka 2018

Ongoing presentation

 Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TNRICP) drastically renewed the cultural property database in 2014 by using WordPress, a content management system. WordPress is an open source system used on a third of the websites in the world now. Its formal event, WordCamp, took place 128 times in 48 countries and regions in 2017 alone. In the Word Camp Osaka 2018 (https://2018.osaka.wordcamp.org/) held in Osaka on June 2nd, 2018, three researchers: Tomohiro OYAMADA, Yoko FUTAGAMI, and Taiki MISHIMA gave a joint presentation titled “Make a cultural property information database using WordPress” so as to report on how to customize and operate using WordPress for the cultural property database. After the presentation, active information exchange was carried out based on lots of questions asked by people engaged in system operation at local governments and research institutions.
 Each of the operations required for TNRICP is unique. The information system which accumulates and transmits its achievements also requires uniqueness. We shall willingly release findings accumulated through the development and operation of the information system, in addition to our research outcomes.


Reading Books on the Art of Painting by the Early Modern Tosa School – Seminar by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems

Ongoing seminar
Shukou Meijun-zu (Quails in Autumn Field)” Painted by TOSA Mitsuoki and TOSA Mitsunari possessed by the Tokyo National Museum: http://webarchives.tnm.jp/

 For the monthly seminar by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems held on June 26th, 2018, Senior Researcher Mayumi ONO delivered a presentation titled “Study of “Honcho Gaho Taiden” written by TOSA Mitsuoki – Getting “Gaguseihou Heisenhou Gokuhiden” as a Clue” with Ms. Miho SHIMOHARA (Kagoshima University) as commentator.
 TOSA Mitsuoki (1634-1654) is a painter regarded as “a contributor to the revival of the Tosa family” since he reacquired the position of court painter (edokoro azukari) that had for many years been held by the Tosa family. Mitsuoki painted lots of new and elegant works by introducing Song and Yuan painting styles and sketches into the traditional Yamato-e painting.
 Honcho Gaho Taiden (possessed by Tokyo University of the Arts) is one of the books on brushwork written by Mitsuoki representing the early modern period. For this seminar, the coloring method mentioned in this book was compared to those referred to in the books on the art of painting at the Kano school: Honcho Gaden by KANO Einou and Gasen by HAYASI Moriatsu, and sketches by KANO Tsunenobu which are owned by the Tokyo National Museum. For example, as for the color called urumi, Mitsuoki wrote that “after applying cochineal red, indigo blue is attained.” However, the books on brushwork for the Kano school indicate another method under which whitewash is mixed. Accordingly, when referring to Tsunenobu’s sketches, urumi is mentioned as notes of Yamabato-zu (picture of turtledoves) and Kuzu-zu (picture of arrowroots). It turns out that actual colors unique to turtledove legs and arrowroot flowers are consistent with the coloring method Mitsuoki wrote about. These comparisons have clarified that the contents of Honcho Gaho Taiden are more practical and concrete than those of the other brushwork books.
 At the seminar, various comments were offered from the viewpoints of the Tosa, Sumiyoshi, and Kano schools, as well as research on Japanese-style painting. By further studying Mitsuoki’s book along with these researchers, the study of brushwork in the Edo period is expected to advance.


Donation of Materials Related to Mr. Tamon MIKI

Mr. Tamon MIKI (Photographed in 1993)
The manuscript titled “Movements in the World of Sculpture in ‘91” written for the December issue in 1991 of “Sansai,” an art magazine, and its printed page

 Mr. Tamon MIKI, who passed away in April 2018 at the age of 89, wrote as an aggressive critic in modern and contemporary art with focus on sculpture. After working for the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, and the Cultural Properties Protection Department of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, he held directorial posts at the National Museum of Art, Osaka, the Tokushima Modern Art Museum, and the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum.
 His bereaved family has indicated their intention to donate his manuscripts related to fine arts to the Institute through an intermediary, Ms. Eri NAKAYAMA working as a curator for the Koriyama City Museum of Art. The manuscripts include valuable materials regarding the postwar art trends, in addition to his achievements such as fine art articles written for newspapers and magazines, notebooks with records of his overseas visits in detail, and scrapbooks to organize handouts for exhibitions held at galleries. After they are filed at this institute, they will be accessible for browsing and utilization as research materials.


Exhibition “Making notes of Japanese Art History―The research notes of Aimi Kouu, Tanaka Ichimatsu, and Doi Tsugiyoshi”

The cover of the exhibition brochure
The exhibition at Kosetsu Memorial Museum, Jissen Women’s University

 Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties collects the materials of its former researchers and utilizes them as research archives. Approximately 70 items of the Tanaka Ichimatsu (1895 – 1983)archive, such as notebooks, records, and photographs, were displayed to the public for the first time in the exhibition “Making notes of Japanese Art History―The research notes of Aimi Kouu, Tanaka Ichimatsu, and Doi Tsugiyoshi” jointly held by Kosetsu Memorial Museum, Jissen Women’s University, and the Museum and Archives of Kyoto Institute of Technology. This exhibition gathers together the study notes of the three researchers who led Japanese art history from the Meiji period to the Showa period: Aimi Kouu(1874 – 1970), Tanaka Ichimatsu, and Doi Tsugiyoshi(1906 – 91). The exhibition allows visitors to experience how these predecessors of Japanese art history viewed and recorded the artworks they studied. Tanaka was skilled at drawing from childhood; his sketches of artworks throughout his life are excellent and suggest the importance of recording by hand, even in the current digital age. The exhibition was held at Jissen Women’s University in Tokyo between May 12th and June 16th, 2018, was visited by a total of 953 people for 32 days, and closed successfully. The exhibition is scheduled to be held at Kyoto Institute of Technology from June 25th to August 11th.


Storage, Conservation and Provision of Archives at the University of California, Los Angeles – Seminar by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems

Seminar in Progress
Part of the Finding Aid for Yoshida Yoshie Collection

 In the seminar conducted on May 23rd, 2018, by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems, Researcher Hideki KIKKAWA delivered a presentation titled “Storage, Conservation and Provision of Archives at the University of California, Los Angeles – Taking YOSHIDA Yoshie Collection as an Example.” The presenter visited the departments involved in the storage, conservation, and provision of archives at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and consulted with the concerned personnel on the occasion of opening the collection on YOSHIDA Yoshie, a Japanese critic, at UCLA in February 2018. Based on his visit and consultation at UCLA, the presenter reported the outlines of UCLA and its group of libraries, as well as how to manage archives, while discussing not only a budget scale for archives but also a more effective way of operating archives at domestic institutions with less personnel assigned. From outside the Institute, artist Ms. Yoshiko SHIMADA, who was involved in the donation to UCLA, and curator Mr. Yukinori OKAMURA from Maruki Gallery for the Hiroshima Panels, the gallery of Mr. and Mrs. Maruki, who had close relationships with YOSHIDA Yoshie, attended the seminar to exchange opinions from the viewpoints of specialists during the discussion after the presentation. In recent years, when artists and concerned personnel who pioneered postwar Japanese art have begun to pass away, Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties is now expected to partially assume the role of securing the access to their archives without dissipation at a permanent institution.


Joint Research on Kokuzo Bosatsu (Akashagarbha Bodhisattva) and Senju Kannon (Sahasrabhuja Avalokitesvara) (owned by the Tokyo National Museum)

Analysis of coloring materials using X-ray fluorescence spectrometry

 Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties and the Tokyo National Museum (TNM) have jointly conducted optical research on Buddhist paintings in TNM’s collection. As part of this joint research, high-resolution photography with image dividing technique and analyses of coloring materials using X-ray fluorescence spectrometry were conducted on paintings of Kokuzo Bosatsu (Akashagarbha Bodhisattva) and Senju Kannon (Sahasrabhuja Avalokitesvara) from May 22nd to 23rd, 2018. These Buddhist paintings, which are representative of the later part of the Heian period, were produced with a particularly sophisticated aesthetic sense and a highly developed painting technique; the delicate and elegant depiction of their subjects is their most significant feature. Through this joint research on Buddhist paintings of the Heian period, high-definition color, near-infrared, and fluorescent images have been obtained. A comprehensive analysis of coloring materials using X-ray fluorescence spectrometry was carried out for the essential parts of the painting such as the subjects’ faces, bodies, clothes, accessories, belongings, and halos, as well as the canopies and backgrounds. The results of this analysis are not only beneficial for the understanding of each artwork but are important indicators for Japanese art history. After this, we will conduct further research, examine our results, and proceed to publish them as research materials.


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