|■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
Two students from Chuo-ku Ginza Junior High School
On September 18, these students also visited us as part of their “comprehensive learning time” class. They toured the Conservation Science Section, the Restoration Studio (lacquer, paper, metal) of the Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques, and the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation on the third floor. Those in charge of each facility provided explanations and answered questions.
Five commissioners of the Policy Evaluation/Independent Administrative Institution Evaluation Committee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, and other organizations
On September 29, this group visited us as part of their inspection of organizations equipped with facilities related to cultural assets. After inspecting the Tokyo National Museum, they toured the Restoration Materials, Conservation and Biological Science Sections of the Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques on the third floor, as well as the Kuroda Memorial Hall, to learn about the surveys and studies conducted by the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo. Those in charge of each facility provided explanations and answered questions.
Director Erdenebat (left) and Director ISHIZAKI shaking hands with smiles after signing the agreement.
On September 9, 2008, an agreement for cooperation in protecting the national heritage was signed by between the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, and the Culture and Fine Arts Bureau of Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Mongolia. The agreement covers such activities as the implementation of joint business, research and development cooperation, fostering human resources and implementation of workshops, focusing on protecting the national heritage. While respecting the positions of both organizations, the agreement emphasizes cooperation in protection of both tangible and intangible cultural heritage.
Mr. SUZUKI Norio, the Director of our Institute, visited the Culture and Fine Arts Bureau of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science in Ulan Bator, and signed the agreement together with Mr. Erdenebat, Director of the Culture and Fine Arts Bureau, Mongolia. Mr. SHIMIZU, the Director of Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation, Mr. MIYATA, the Director of Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage, and several other members of our Institute also took place in the signature occasion.
Following the signing of the agreement, both parties also signed a memorandum on fostering human resources in protection of cultural heritage, according to the clauses of the agreement.
With these agreements, cooperation between our two nations in protection of our tangible and intangible cultural heritage is highly expected.
On August 19, “Energy and Environment Course” was held by the Japan Atomic Energy Relations Organization in the seminar room of the Institute for people associated with school education. It was followed by a tour of the facilities of the Institute with focus on analyses using radial rays that are employed in the restoration of cultural properties. The participants visited the Radiography Lab on the basement floor, the Analytical Science Section and Restoration Studio of the Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques, and the exhibit of materials displayed on the first floor. People in charge of each facility provided explanations and answered questions.
On July 3, 9 students of Beppu University (Graduate School of Literature) majoring in Cultural Properties Studies visited the Institute, led by two professors, to observe the state-of-the-art research on the science of cultural properties and restoration. Specifically, they visited the X-ray Room on the basement, the Restoration Materials Science and Analytical Science Sections as well as the Restoration Studio of the Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques, and the Special Exhibition on the 1st floor. Representatives of these sections explained their activities and answered questions from the students.
On June 13, 6 members of the Art Research Institute of Shanghai University visited the Institute as part of the investigation related to Western-style paintings in modern China and the investigation of Chinese Buddhist art. Persons in charge of these themes at the Institute spoke to them and answered their questions.
On June 12, the director and 3 members of the Planning Division of the Science and Technology Policy Bureau at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology visited the Institute as part of a preliminary inspection of organizations related to cultural properties in preparation for drafting a plan to establish a “digital museum,” a project promoted by the Agency. After inspecting the Tokyo National Museum, they visited the Analytical Science Section of the Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques on the 5th floor, Restoration Studios of the same Center on the 3rd floor and the Kuroda Memorial Hall. Persons in charge provided them with explanations of the investigations and research conduced by the Institute and answered their questions.
The Evaluation Committee considering the self-evaluation of the National Research Institutes for Cultural Properties in Tokyo and Nara was held on May 19, 2008. On this occasion, we presented to the Committee reports on all the projects that were executed during the fiscal year 2007 as member institutes in the Independent Administrative Institution, the National Institutes for Cultural Heritage. The status of all the projects was explained in terms of their implementation and/or results, and the Committee members were asked for their opinions. At a later date, we compiled our self-evaluation, taking into account the evaluations and opinions of the Committee members. The following is the outline of the completed self-evaluation regarding the projects executed by the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo.
The projects drawn up by the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo during the fiscal year 2007 with the aim of fulfilling its mid-term plan encompassed a wide range of activities, including surveys and research, international cooperation, publicizing and transmitting of information about the results of the surveys and research, and rendering of cooperation and advice to such bodies as the national government and local public bodies. The activity most highly evaluated by the Committee was our cooperation with the projects related to the conservation of the wall paintings of Takamatsuzuka and Kitora Tumuli. Both Institutes, Tokyo and Nara, were praised for achieving results in this difficult task beyond those planned for, in the midst of the great interest and scrutiny from the whole nation. Regarding the projects for international cooperation, it was noted that a maturing cooperative relationship was being developed with China and South Korea, and that further assistance had been rendered to such countries as Cambodia and Afghanistan under difficult conditions. In addition, our contribution to human resources development through the improvement of the knowledge and skills of people associated with various cultural properties, an endeavor achieved by hosting training and providing positive advice, was highly evaluated. However, it cannot be said that our efforts have been adequately conveyed to the general public and an improvement in our ability to publicize information is expected. As a result of the self-evaluation, we concluded that all the projects for the fiscal year 2007 had proceeded well and that sufficient results had been achieved. The results of this self-evaluation will be reflected in future project planning and the improvement of the administration of the Institute.
Director General Suzuki Norio (left) shaking hands with President Rhie Jong Chu (right)
Ceremonial photo with the party of the Korean National University of Cultural Heritage
Ceremonial photo with the staff of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo
On May 13, 2008, an agreement on cultural exchange was concluded between the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo and the Korean National University of Cultural Heritage. The agreement pertains to the promotion of comprehensive exchange, and its aim is for the Institute and the University to contribute toward promoting protection of cultural heritage by through cultural exchanges in the fields of academic research and education.
The signing ceremony was held at the Institute with the attendance of 4 representatives of the Korean National University of Cultural Heritage, including President Rhie Jong Chul. In the presence of many staff members of the Institute, President Rhie and Director General Suzuki Norio signed the cultural exchange agreement.
The Korean National University of Cultural Heritage was established under the Blue House for the purpose of protecting and transmitting traditional cultures, and consists of 6 departments including Cultural Properties Management, Traditional Landscape Architecture, Traditional Architecture, Traditional Art and Crafts, Archaeology, and Conservation Science. Comprehensive exchange in a wide range of fields can be expected in the future.
75 Years of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo – Archives
75 Years of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo – Archives, a record of the 75 years of the Institute supported by materials dating from the founding of the Institute’s predecessor, The Institute of Art Research, in 1935 to the present (2005), was published at the end of March. In this publication are materials that provide information on the history of research in various disciplines dealt with at the Institute. They include: documents collected during the years of The Institute of Art Research, such as an inventory of pre-World War II investigation of art objects, inventory of images of Western art collected by Yashiro Yukio, the Director General of the Institute in its early years, and a list of photographs taken by Wada Arata, Odaka Sennosuke and other former members of the Institute in their study of the arts of India and West Asia; a list of research topics, seminars and lectures in the years following the time that the Institute became a comprehensive research organization in matters related to cultural properties, including fields of conservation science and intangible cultural properties; and a comprehensive list of articles in the periodicals published by various departments at the Institute – namely, The Bijutsu Kenkyu (The Journal of Art Studies), Science for Conservation and Geino no Kagaku (literally, science of performing arts). The Archives has been published for the general public from Chuo Koron Bijutsu Shuppan with the same title.
Fire-fighting headquarters (head: Director General Suzuki, deputy head: Deputy Director Miura, Director Nagai of the Department of Management)
Transporting a victim
Participants at the fire drill
Experience using a fire extinguisher
A fire drill was held at the Institute from 10:30 a.m. on January 25.
Fire was assumed to have started from the hot-water supply room on the third floor of the building. Many members of the Institute who were working on that day participated in carrying out initial extinction, giving alarm, evacuating from the building and providing first-aid, led by the self-fire brigade composed of the staff of the Institute.
At 10:30 a.m., the fire alarm installed in the Institute rang and an announcement was made asking everyone to evacuate. Immediately, the self-fire brigade and the person who first found the fire started the initial extinction (simulation) using fire extinguishers and notified the fire department at 119 (simulation). They also guided the members of the Institute to evacuate outside the building.
In the meantime, fire-fighting headquarters and a first-aid station were established. Members of the self-fire brigade evacuated a staff who had inhaled smoke and was not able to escape with the others. They also carried out cultural properties that were in the building (simulation).
After the fire drill, Director General Suzuki thanked everyone for participating and commented on the importance of Cultural Properties Fire Prevention Day. He also pointed out the necessity for raising awareness about fire prevention. In the drill for fighting fire with a fire extinguisher, after learning about the types of extinguishers and their use, members of the Institute discharged water while shouting “Fire!” The Institute holds a fire drill every year on January 26 as an event related to the Cultural Properties Fire Prevention Day.
Celebrating the award with Ishimaru (from left to right: Director Nagai of the Department of Management, Director General Suzuki, Ishimaru, Goto)
Ishimaru Shinya of the Accounting Section, Department of Management received the Governor of Tokyo Award in the Workers’ Art Exhibition (section on calligraphy) from the Governor of Tokyo on December 2 and reported this to Director General Suzuki.
After congratulating Ishimaru, Director General Suzuki and Ishimaru talked about his work and various topics related to his creative activities.
This art exhibition, popularly known as Kinbiten, provides an opportunity for people working in Tokyo to present the results of their creative activities. It is an exhibition with a history of 60 years.
A total of 880 works including Japanese paintings, western-style paintings, three-dimensional formative art, craftwork, calligraphy and photography were exhibited. Of the 47 works presented in the section on calligraphy, the Governor of Tokyo Award is the most honorary award given. The judges commented that Ishimaru’s work is “characterized by very strong brush strokes and a feeling of youth permeates the entire work. The middle section of the three-part composition of the work, which moves from prelude to variation and finally to denouement, is very dynamic. The use of space between the lines is beautiful and the contrast between the parts where the brush strokes are clear and where they are somewhat faint is wonderful.”
Ishimaru has been strongly attracted to calligraphy from his childhood and studied in the Calligraphy Course of Daito Bunka University. Then he went on to graduate school to pursue further study in this field at the Department of Calligraphy, Faculty of Literature of the University and has produced scholarly achievements as well. Presently, he is a member of 2 calligraphy associations, The Yomiuri Shoho-kai and Ranjukai, and is engaged in creative activities in the limited free time he has from his work at the Institute. Working at the Institute, which is a base for studies associated with cultural properties, provides Ishimaru with good stimulation and he is doing his best to create better works of calligraphy and to contribute to the development of artistic culture.
(Ishimaru’s major works and activities can be viewed on his home page: http://www.h2.dion.ne.jp/~shinya-i/top.htm)
Director General Suzuki receiving donations from Director Shimojo and President Asaki (From left to right: Vice Director Yoshida, Director Shimojo, President Asaki, Director General Suzuki, and Director Nagai of the Department of Management)
Director General Suzuki presenting a letter of appreciation to President Asaki (President Asaki to the left and Director General Suzuki to the right)
Director General Suzuki presenting a letter of appreciation to Director Shimojo (Director Shimojo to the left and Director General Suzuki to the right)
An offer for donation was made by the Tokyo Arts Dealers’ Association to subsidize projects for the publication of the results of investigation and studies related to cultural properties conducted by the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo. Another offer was also made by the Tokyo Bijutsu Club to subsidize research projects of the Institute.
The Tokyo Arts Dealers’ Association has donated 1 million yen each twice a year since the autumn of 2001; this was their 13th donation. The Tokyo Bijutsu Club also donated 1 million yen last autumn and this spring, making the current donation its third one.
On December 17, Director General Suzuki received the donations at the Tokyo Arts Dealers’ Association in Minato-ku, Tokyo from Director Shimojo Kei’ichi of the Tokyo Arts Dealers’ Association and President Asaki Masakatsu of the Tokyo Bijutsu Club. In return, Director General Suzuki presented letters of appreciation to them.
The presentations were followed by an informal talk on the conservation of cultural properties and exhibitions of art objects.
We are most grateful for their understanding of the Institute’s work and donations and hope to use them for the projects conducted by the Institute.
Visitors listening to the Director’s explanation at the Analytical Science Section
Staff of Gansu Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology and Gansu Provincial Museum, who were in Japan upon invitation from Akita Prefectural Museum, visited the facilities of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo. After listening to explanations about the Institute from the Director of the Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques, they visited the Analytical Science Section of the Center and looked at the exhibit on the first floor lobby. They then met the Director of the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation to exchange opinions.
Members of the Henan Province Cultural Relics Bureau looking at the exhibit
On October 23, 5 members of the Henan Province Cultural Relics Bureau, who were in Japan on invitation from the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, visited the Institute to see its facilities and to exchange opinions. After receiving explanations about the profile of the Institute and projects for international cooperation from the Director of the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation, the group visited the Analytical Science Section and the Restoration Studio as well as the Radiography Lab of the Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques and saw the exhibit of materials on the Kitora Tumulus displayed in the lobby on the first floor. The Director of the Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques and persons in charge of the different facilities provided explanations and answered questions.
Students listening to explanations by a person in charge in the Restoration Studio
On October 19, 10 students from Yasuda Gakuen Junior High School and High School in Sumida-ku visited the Institute as part of their study theme, “learning about the traditions of Japan.” They visited the Analytical Science Section and the Restoration Studio of the Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques and saw the exhibit of materials on the Kitora Tumulus displayed in the lobby on the first floor. After listening to explanations by persons in charge and having their questions answered, the group visited the Kuroda Memorial Hall where they also listened to explanations and had their questions answered by a person in charge.
Six students from Taito Junior High School, Okachimachi, Taito-ku visited the Institute on September 21. This visit was a part of their social studies program to learn about various types of work being undertaken in society. They toured the special exhibit on the first floor, the Library, a restoration studio and the Analytical Science Section of the Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques, and the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation. Staff in charge of each section explained the work being done in their respective sections and answered questions from the students.
Twelve members of a study group on state-of-the-art technology from the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, Inc. composed of people from private enterprises, universities and organizations visited the Institute to see the portable x-ray fluorescence apparatus and to study about the conservation of the mural painting of Kitora Tumulus (Genbu). They toured the Analytical Science Section and the special exhibit on the first floor, received explanations from the staff in charge, exchanged opinions and asked questions.
Director Arak SUNGHITAKUN visits the Institute (fourth person from the right)
Director Arak SUNGHITAKUN of the Fine Arts Department, Ministry of Culture of the Kingdom of Thailand visited the Institute on August 21. He was in Japan from August 20 to 26 upon invitation from the Japan Foundation. He visited the Institute as part of his tour of inspection on activities related to the conservation of cultural properties in Japan.
At the Institute, he met with the Director General and then continued to visit the various facilities of the Institute. At the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation, he consulted with researchers on such matters as the way for continuing the joint research between Thailand and Japan, which is currently being undertaken, in the future and the preparation for the international conference that is scheduled to be held in Thailand during the next fiscal year.
Four staff members of the Shanghai Museum during their visit to the Institute
On Friday, July 22 four members of the staff of the Shanghai Museum visited the Institute. They were in Japan to conduct investigation in relation to the establishment of new laboratories at the Shanghai Museum. After meeting with the Director General, they were led on a tour of the various laboratories within the Institute by him.
The National Research Institutes for Cultural Properties in Tokyo and Nara conduct self-evaluation of their work based on their 5-year plan and annual plan. The results of this self-evaluation are reflected on their projects to improve the administration of both Institutes. Self-evaluation for the fiscal year 2006 was recently completed and its report is being printed now.
The number of items related to research and projects in 2006 totaled 89: 1 for improving managerial efficiency, 40 for the Institute in Tokyo and 48 for the Institute in Nara. This number is less than that in the previous year since in this period of the 5-year plan research and projects from previous fiscal years were reconsidered, adjusted and integrated. As usual, each of the Departments and Centers of both Institutes prepared its record of performance and self-evaluation form. On May 17 and 24, the Evaluation Committee studied these and presented their comments. From this year all the Departments and Centers at the Institutes presented reports of all their projects to the Committee. Moreover, rather than evaluating project by project, the Committee was asked to present a comprehensive evaluation of the activities of the Institutes as a whole along a list of pre-established evaluation items. Taking into account the evaluation and comments made by the Committee, a summation of the self-evaluation was made. It was confirmed that all the projects had proceeded well and that the initial aims of the projects had been achieved. As for future issues, it was decided that there is a need to actively incorporate funds from outside sources, install large research apparatuses and improve our facilities.
The gist of the results of self-evaluation was reported to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
Director General Suzuki receiving donations from Director Shimojo and President Asaki From left to right: Vice Director Yoshida and Director Shimojo of the Tokyo Art Dealers’ Association, President Asaki of the Tokyo Bijutsu Club, Director General Suzuki of the Institute, Director Nagai of the Department of Management, and Goto
Offers of donation were made to the Institute from the Tokyo Art Dealers’ Association to fund its projects to publish the results of investigation and studies concerning cultural properties and from the Tokyo Bijutsu Club to fund research projects of the Institute.
The Tokyo Art Dealers’ Association has donated 1,000,000 every spring and autumn since the autumn of 2001 and this is the twelfth time. The Tokyo Bijutsu Club donated 1,000,000 last autumn and this is the second donation.
On May 28, Director General Suzuki received the donations from Director Shimojo Kei’ichi of the Tokyo Art Dealers’ Association and President Asaki Masakatsu of the Tokyo Bijutsu Club at the Tokyo Art Dealers’ Association in Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo. The ceremony was followed by an informal meeting to discuss matters related to cultural projects such as the conservation of cultural properties and the exhibition of art objects.
We greatly appreciate the understanding that has been shown to us about the projects undertaken by the Institute and wish to make use of these donations for the promotion of our projects.