October 2022 Message from the Acting Director

The summer months have firmly come to an end here in the UK, and with the autumnal weather rolling in, the new academic year and new projects and initiatives that it brings make for an exciting start of the autumn. This year, two major archaeology projects made our colleagues spend a lot of time outdoors, making the change in the seasons particularly noticeable.  

As we enter October, we are delighted to announce the opening of the exhibition Circles of Stone: Stonehenge and Prehistoric Japan, an exhibition at Stonehenge itself which looks at the remarkable similarities occurring in the UK and Japan at the time that Stonehenge was built and used through a selection of Japanese artefacts, some on show for the first time outside of Japan. The exhibition opening, which allowed guests to visit the exhibits as well as the monument itself, was attended by his Excellency Mr Hajime Hayashi, Ambassador of Japan to the UK, as well as Sainsbury Institute and English Heritage staff, colleagues, partners and friends – Professor Simon Kaner has provided more detail about the exhibition and opening in this issue. We would like to congratulate Professor Kaner and the English Heritage team for all their work in bringing together an important exhibition at one of the UK’s most internationally recognised heritage sites. Admission to Circles of Stones is free to Stonehenge ticketholders and will be on display until August 2023 – you can read more information and how to visit here.

The entrance to the exhibition Circles of Stone: Stonehenge and Prehistoric Japan.

At Arminghall Henge, a little closer to our home in Norwich, excavations for the Later Prehistoric Norfolk Project have now also concluded. Sainsbury Institute staff were fortunate enough to be able to visit the site and receive a tour from Project Lead Dr Andy Hutcheson – you can also view a tour of the site here.  The site received over 300 visitors across its two public Open Days. We will look forward to hearing more on the project as the desk-based research and laboratory analysis is undertaken over the next few months.

Dr Andy Hutcheson shows Sainsbury Institute staff around the excavation site at Arminghall Henge.

September has been a busy month for the Sainsbury Institute as the activities that accompany the beginning of the academic year got underway. We welcomed our latest cohort of the MA in Interdisciplinary Japanese Studies, who already have a busy programme of exhibition visits, lectures and workshops lined up. In the same way as previous years, students will learn about Japan through their exchange with academic colleagues of UEA’s Centre for Japanese Studies, researchers of the Sainsbury Institute, and unique collections of the Sainsbury Centre and other resources on campus. They will also have a chance to pursue their own independent research projects, and last years’ dissertation subjects ranged from representations of disability in Japanese manga to scrutinising cultural heritage policies related to the sites of Meiji Industrial Revolution.  There are also some talks and events lined up for October run by UEA, such as an artist talk by Yuken Teruya on Monday 17th October, roundtable discussion with photographer Hayahisa Tomiyasu and poet Sayaka Osaki on Wednesday 19th October, organised by the National Centre for Writing and Centre for Japanese Studies, and the first of the Centre for Japanese Studies’ Autumn Research webinars, which will take place on Thursday 13th October.

Looking to the Sainsbury Institute’s Third Thursday Lecture series, I would like to thank Helen McCarthy for a fascinating talk last month on the subject of anime and manga fanzines in the UK, a report of which has been written by current MA student Asha Bardon, with a recording of the lecture also available and an extended Q&A with Helen which you can view on our website. This month, we are very much looking forward to a talk by Despina Zernioti CMG, Director of the Corfu Museum of Asian Art on the topic of Japonisme and the founder of the museum, Gregorios Manos which we hope you will be able to join.

With warm wishes for an interesting and busy autumn,

Dr Eugenia Bogdanova-Kummer
Acting Director

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