|■Tokyo National Research
Institute for Cultural Properties
||■Center for Conservation
|■Department of Art Research,
Archives and Information Systems
||■Japan Center for
International Cooperation in Conservation
|■Department of Intangible
Mr. Nobuo KAMEI, Director General of our Institute since April 2010 passed away on July 17th, 2018, of gastric cancer. He devoted himself to the growth and advancement of the Institute until his very last moment. Mr. KAMEI graduated from the Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering of the University of Tokyo and completed the doctoral course in the Department of Urban Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering of the same university in March 1973. He joined the Architecture Division, Cultural Properties Protection Department of the Agency for Cultural Affairs of the Government of Japan as a Technical Official in April of that year. He moved to the Nara National Cultural Properties Research Institute (current Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties) in 1975, then to the Board of Education of Nara City in 1984 and became President of the National Institute of Technology, Miyakonojo College in 2003. In 2005 he returned to the Agency for Cultural Affairs and served as Councillor of the Cultural Properties Department until he assumed the post of Managing Director of the Japanese Association for Conservation of Architectural Monuments, an incorporated foundation in 2008. During his service at the Agency for Cultural Affairs, he made a great contribution to the enhancement of the program for the registration of cultural properties and also played an instrumental role in the selection, repair and landscaping of the “Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Traditional Buildings.” In addition, Mr. KAMEI launched the “Hometown Forest for Cultural Properties” program designed to ensure that Japanese cypress bark and other resources required for the maintenance and repair of traditional buildings will be available for years to come. When the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake struck on January 17th, 1995, he demonstrated his leadership in the restoration of affected cultural properties as chief investigator.
Between April 2010 and March 2013 he was Director of the National Institutes for Cultural Heritage and concomitantly Director General of our Institute, the latter of which he continued to hold after he stepped down from the former organization. In the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake that occurred less than a year from his arrival at our Institute, he took Chairman of the Committee for Salvaging Cultural Properties Affected by the 2011 Earthquake off the Pacific Coast of Tohoku and Related Disasters that was set up by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. Mr. KAMEI successfully led the rescue operation that involved 6,800 people in total from around the country and lasted for two years.
Outside the Institute, he served as the chair of the Subdivision on Cultural Properties of the Council for Cultural Affairs since 2017. In that capacity he took the initiative in proposing recommendations concerning the “Preservation and Utilization of Cultural Properties for Assured Inheritance in the New Era.” His contribution to the protection and inheritance of cultural properties encompassed not only architecture, his own specialization, but also all other cultural properties.
All of us at Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties are deeply saddened by the loss of Mr. KAMEI, especially at a time when the national policy on the preservation of cultural properties is entering a new dimension following the March 2018 revision of the Act on the Protection of Cultural Properties. We renew our commitment to carrying on Mr. KAMEI’s last wishes of duly passing on our precious cultural properties to future generations.
Briefing at the Kuroda Memorial Hall
Thirteen members from School of Letters, Kyushu University, including students and a tour leader
On November 1st, the visitors toured in the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TNRICP) with the intention of learning how books and materials are stored and utilized. They received briefings at the Library and at the Kuroda Memorial Hall from the staff in charge.
Briefing at the Restoration Studio (Paper)
Nine members from Department of Cultural Properties Management of Korea National University of Cultural Heritage
On November 7th, with the intention of obtaining fundamental information on the studies of the preservation of cultural properties in Japan, the visitors toured in TNRICP. They received briefings at the Chemical Laboratory II, the Restoration Studio (Paper), etc. from the staff in charge.
Briefing at the Library
Four members from the Japan-China Economic & Cultural Promotion Organization and the Tiananmen Area Management Committee of Beijing City People’s Government
On November 20th, the visitors toured in TNRICP with the intention of learning restoration of cultural properties, data management for cultural properties, etc. They received briefings at the Library and other sites from the staff in charge.
Briefing at the Biological Science Section
Three members from the Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
On November 22nd, the visitors toured in TNRICP to receive briefings on the facility and research projects of TNRICP. They received briefings at Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems, etc.
Briefing at the Chemical Laboratory II
A Researcher from the National Museum of Iran and Another Researcher from the Research Center for Conservation of Cultural Relics (RCCCR)
On October 30, two Iranian researchers toured the Institute to see how environmental management is conducted at Japanese museums for the protection of the items housed there. They visited Chemical Laboratory II and other sections, where they received a briefing from the persons in charge.
Briefing at the Biological Science Section
Four members from the Council for the Protection of Cultural Properties in Sakegawa Village, Yamagata Prefecture
Due to rapidly aging cultural property administrators, it is becoming increasingly difficult to conserve and manage cultural assets year after year in Sakegawa Village. They came to the Institute on September 13th to find solutions to be reflected in their cultural property protection program. The members visited the Biological Science Section and others to receive briefings from the staff in charge.
Brief overview at the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation
Six Members including Vice-Chancellor from the Deccan College Post-Graduate and Research Institute in India
They visited the Institute to attend the “Seminar on Indian Cultural Heritage” on September 26th.
After a brief overview provided by the staff from the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation, the members toured the Performing Arts Studio and other sections.
Briefing at the Performing Arts Studio
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Tajikistan in Japan, Dr. Hamrokhon ZARIFI, Second Secretary, Mr. Azizu Nazarof, and Interpreter, Mr. Kireer
They paid a courtesy call on the Institute. The members also toured the Biological Science Section, the Library, and the Performing Arts Studio to receive briefings from the staff in charge.
Members of the Kyoto Prefectural Assembly Standing Committee for Culture and Education being briefed in Chemistry Lab #2
Attendance: Thirteen members of the Kyoto Prefectural Assembly Standing Committee for Culture and Education
Purpose of visit: Inspection of initiatives and facilities for the conservation, management, and utilization of cultural properties
Yasuhiro Hayakawa, Deputy Director of the Center for Conservation Science, explained the work being done at the Center.
Saudi Arabian experts who are being given an explanation in the Performing Arts Studio
Six Saudi Arabian experts
The party visited the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties as it wanted to make an inspection of a variety of institutes that represent Japan. The Head of the Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage gave them an explanation of our work.
Visitors from Heritage Conservation Centre listening to an explanation
On March 27th, 2017, a party of three members from Heritage Conservation Centre, National Heritage Board in Singapore visited the TNRICP for the purpose of exchanging opinions on the objectives of lacquer research and inspecting instruments used for the research, with a view to introducing analytical instruments for lacquer and related materials. They were given an explanatory tour by researchers at the Chemistry Laboratory.
Visitors from Toppan Printing listening to an explanation
On March 27th, 2017, two employees from the overseas business promotion department at Toppan Printing Co., Ltd. visited the TNRICP to refer projects in order to contribute overseas heritage conservation. Leading researchers briefed their operations at the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation.
Members of JACAM receiving explanation
On February 13th, 2017, ten members of the Japanese Association for Conservation of Architectural Monuments (JACAM) visited the TNRICP to improve future conservation and repair techniques as part of the development and training of specialists in the repair of historic buildings. The group toured the Performing Arts Studio, the Library, the Radiography Laboratory, and the Biology Laboratory and received explanations about the work being done in these areas from the researchers in charge.
Mokwon University students receiving explanation
On January 13th, 2017, eight third-year students from Department of Microbial and Nano Materials, Mokwon University in Republic of Korea visited the TNRICP to learn microbial control techniques to preserve cultural properties. They were given an explanatory tour by researchers at the Biological Laboratory and the Performing Arts Studio.
Masakatsu ASAKI, Chairman of the Tokyo Art Club (center) and Nobuo KAMEI, Director General of TNRICP (right)
Tadahiko MITANI, President of Tokyo Art Club (left) and Nobuo KAMEI, Director General of TNRICP (center)
The Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TNRICP) has received charitable contributions from the Tokyo Art Dealers’Association (Director: Jun NAKAMURA) to support research publication (the publishing enterprise) and from the Tokyo Art Club Co., Ltd. (President: Tadahiko MITANI) to support research projects. The transfers into TNRICP’s bank account were made on November 30th, 2016.
As a token of gratitude for the donations, Nobuo KAMEI, Director General of TNRICP presented a certificate of appreciation to both Masakatsu ASAKI, Chairman, and Tadahiko MITANI, President, of the Tokyo Art Club. As Jun NAKAMURA, Director of the Tokyo Art Dealers’ Association was unable to attend, Mr. ASAKI accepted a certificate of appreciation on his behalf.
We are very thankful for the donations and for the understanding of the work we do at the research institute. We aim to make good use of the funds in upcoming endeavors.
Teachers from Kyoritsu Women’s University and Metropolitan Museum of Art receiving an explanation
Two teachers visit from Kyoritsu Women’s University Faculty of Home Economics
On December 5th, 2016, a professor from Kyoritsu Women’s University visited Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TNRICP) to learn things that would assist in student education regarding textile preservation and restoration theory and hands-on museum training. Also, a member from the Metropolitan Museum of Art joined to attain knowledge of restoration of textiles. They toured the Library, the Performing Arts Studio, and the Chemistry Laboratory and received explanations about the work being done in these areas from the researchers in charge.
Nomura’s employees listening to an explanation
NOMURA Co., Ltd. 20 attendees
On November 7th, 2016, a party of 20 visited the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo (NRICPT) for the purpose of acquiring accurate knowledge of “cultural assets” and contributing to their exhibition in an environmentally friendly manner at facilities including museums. They attended a lecture in the seminar room, followed by a facility tour to the Library and the Analytical Science Section, where researchers in charge described their business activities.
Participants in a Cultural Affairs Agency Workshop for Fine Arts and Crafts Repair Specialists receive an explanation.
Cultural Affairs Agency Workshop for Fine Arts and Crafts Repair Specialists 34 attendees
On November 17th, 2016, a party of 34, who participated in a Cultural Affairs Agency Workshop for Fine Arts and Crafts Repair Specialists, visited NRICPT on the belief that it would be extremely useful to take a look at the national center for research on cultural assets in Japan. After receiving an explanation in a conference room in the basement, they took a tour to its facilities, such as the Performing Arts Studio and the Physical Laboratory, where researchers in charge described their business activities.
A set of documentary materials formerly held as part of the collections of Ms. Masako Yamashita was donated by Ms. Noriko Nakamura on October 13, 2016. The donation of these materials is much appreciated by the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (Tobunken), as the donation reflects an in-depth understanding of Tobunken’s activities, and the materials will be of great importance for Tobunken’s research work. We believe that these materials have an important role to play in Tobunken’s future operations.