November 2021 Message from the Executive Director

As we enjoy the autumn colours, good news from Japan with the Japanese government’s announcement that pandemic travel restrictions are being eased, and it will now be possible for non-Japanese visitors (including students and researchers) to enter the country, allowing so many plans, on hold throughout the pandemic, to begin to be realised. 

Our main focus this month is on events next week. We are delighted to welcome Rebecca Salter, President of the Royal Academy of Arts, to Norwich to deliver the 5th Robert Sainsbury Lecture on Thursday 18th November. This talk, which also represents our November Third Thursday, is the first time we hold a Third Thursday at the University of East Anglia rather than in the city centre. We are pleased to be co-hosting with our colleagues from the Sainsbury Centre, the Sainsbury Research Unit for the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, and the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. As well as a live audience, we will also be live-streaming the talk to the global audience who have been zooming in for our Online Third Thursday’s through the pandemic.

We will be back at the Norwich Cathedral Hostry for our December Third Thursday. Over the coming two months we will be consulting widely on the best format for these talks in the future, and welcome any feedback on the hybrid approach we have taken since September.

We are also marking two decades of the Sainsbury Institute in our headquarters in the Cathedral Close. We have been working through the archives reminding ourselves of some of the highlights of the last twenty years, and developing a new Sainsbury Institute Online Timeline, to which we will continue to add.
Do take a look and let us know if there are particular aspects or stories you would like to see enhanced.

The rest of this e-bulletin comprises two reports. One is for the Beyond Japan podcast series, hosted by our own Oliver Moxham. Conceived of as a way of maintaining and enhancing our networks during lockdown, this series of weekly interviews is listened to by a large global audience. This report features some feedback from a selection of the speakers whose research we have profiled. 

The other is on the October Third Thursday lecture, about Amanohashidate by Zoe Shipley, graduate of our MA Interdisciplinary Japanese Studies. We were very grateful to our Research Fellow in our Centre for Archaeology and Heritage, Dr Andy Hutcheson, for stepping in at the last moment, and look forward to rescheduling the talk by our Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellow Dr Eiko Honda. 

I end this month with the sad news that Sakata Yoshie (interview video in Japanese, created by Doshisha University) with whom we worked for the exhibition Washi: The art of Japanese paper at the Norwich University of the Arts in 2013, passed away on 1st November following a long illness. We offer her family and friends our sincere condolences. 

Professor Simon Kaner
Executive Director

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