The activities of Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties and its research on rakanzu (Arhat painting)

Event - Sainsbury Institute - Sainsbury Centre

Thursday 16 November, 2023
2:30pm GMT - 5:00pm GMT

Tobunken Lecture

Please read the news page to find out more about the background to this new lecture series.

Talk timetable

14:30 Gallery talk at the Living Area, Sainsbury Centre
15:10 Chanting by Mr Hideto Kobyashi (Hasedera Temple)
15:30 Lecture start (Now fully booked)
16:25 – 16:45 Q&A (Now fully booked) 

Please note: these events will be given in Japanese with an English translation. 


Dr MAIZAWA Rei (Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties)

About the Talk

Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties was established in 1930 as Japan’s first art research institute. Throughout its almost 100-year history, the institute has made a great contribution to the research and protection of cultural properties by collecting materials such as photographs of artworks and documents and researching works of art using scientific technology.

My recent research on an Arhat painting, which I conducted with colleagues, achieved success not only through conventional art historical methods such as iconographic and stylistic analysis, but also through employing a multidisciplinary approach that delved into the history of Arhat paintings using the Institute’s archives, analysis of colouring materials using scientific methods and by collaborating with conservation scientists.

Arhats are the nearest entities to humans among the Buddhist deities, and they are depicted in various forms. There are many paintings of Arhat in existence in Japan from the medieval period. The painting I would like to focus on is thought to be from the Yuan dynasty in China and it is an example of a rare depiction of such a Buddhist deity. I will also talk about the background of the belief in the Arhat paintings, their history in the modern period and on colouring materials.

About the Speaker

Dr MAIZAWA Rei completed a doctoral programme in the Department of Aesthetics and Science of Arts at Keio University Graduate School. After working as a curator at the Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts, the Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of History, and the Chado Research Center Galleries, she joined the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems of the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties in 2018. She specialises in the history of Buddhist art in medieval Japan.

Admission is free and all are welcome. Booking essential.

To book a seat, email up to two days before the lecture, stating your name, number of seats required and a contact number. The lecture will be held at the Sainsbury Centre, Norfolk Rd, Norwich NR4 7TJ

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