Inside ‘Japan: Courts and Culture’. Join Rachel Peat from Royal Collection Trust discussing her new book with Nicole Rousmaniere

Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2020
Third Thursday lecture - Sainsbury Institute

Thursday 16 July, 2020
12:00am BST


Rachel Peat (Royal Collection Trust)

Professor Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere (Sainsbury Institute)

We are pleased to announce that July’s Third Thursday Lecture will be presented online on 16 July. You can enjoy the lecture live from the comfort of your own home, complete with slides and an audience Q&A. We look forward to seeing you there virtually, and we particularly welcome new attendees.

About the Talk

Rachel Peat, curator of Non-European Works of Art at Royal Collection Trust, has worked for the last three years researching and bringing together some of the most important examples of Japanese material in the Royal Collection. The Royal Collection contains one of the finest holdings of early modern and modern Japanese works in Europe, significant for both the unique provenance and the exceptional quality of the objects. The book that she has just edited, Japan: Courts and Culture, tells the story of four centuries of diplomatic, artistic and cultural exchange between Britain and Japan. The book features new research on previously unpublished works, and showcases the unparalleled craftsmanship behind important examples of porcelain, lacquer, armour, embroidery, metalwork and works on paper. 

Rachel Peat will be in discussion with Nicole Rousmaniere, explaining the stories behind the objects chosen for the book which reveal the special relationship between the two island nations. These works of art illustrate four centuries of engagement from first encounters and early trade to diplomatic relations and modern partnership. Highlights include one of the first two samurai armours to arrive on British soil, sent by Shōgun Tokugawa Hidetada to James I in 1613, and the future King George V’s first-hand account of having his arms tattooed with a dragon and a tiger on a visit to Japan as a teenager in 1881. Exquisite imperial gifts range from an embroidered folding screen sent to Queen Victoria by the Emperor Meiji to mark her Diamond Jubilee in 1897, to a cosmetic box by the great lacquer artist Shirayama Shōsai, presented to Queen Elizabeth II by the Emperor Shōwa (Hirohito) on the occasion of her Coronation in 1953. 

Nicole Rousmaniere is the Research Director of the Sainsbury Institute and professor of Japanese Arts at the UEA. In 2019 she was the lead curator of the ‘Manga’ exhibition at the British Museum and an editor of Manga published by Thames and Hudson.

 More information about Japan: Courts and Culture is available here.

How to book

Booking is essential. Use our booking form or email us.

We will send you an email containing a link for joining us before the event. To view the lecture or participate in the Q&A, please click on the link provided and enter your details when prompted. We recommend using Google Chrome web browser.


We are currently adjusting to remote working, and as such we will not be able to cancel your place at this event. If you do not plan to attend this online event, please disregard subsequent emails.

If you have any questions or concerns about this event, please contact us.

This event is part of the Japan-UK Season of Culture 2019-2020

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The Third Thursday Lecture series is funded by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and Yakult UK.