Crosscurrents of Courtly Exchange

A conference related to the exhibition Japan: Courts and Culture We are delighted to announce that tickets for the conference Crosscurrents of Courtly Exchange, which will take place on Tuesday 14th – Wednesday 15th February, are available now for purchase from Royal Collection Trust’s website. Organised by Royal Collection Trust in collaboration with the Sainsbury Institute, the event will give attendees a unique experience that spans multiple venues and provides a deeper exploration of the themes of the exhibition. Focussing on themes of courtly gift-giving and cultural diplomacy, this two-day international conference examines exchanges between the British and Japanese royal and imperial families from 1600 to the present. On Monday […]

December 2022 Message from the Acting Director

As preparations for the festive season get into full swing, it is quite insightful to reflect how rapidly and profoundly the world has changed since last December. In the UK, we have seen a return to in-person events and an almost total loosening of restrictions related to the pandemic. Only last February, as the first in-person events returned after the COVID restrictions, we welcomed the postgraduate workshop of the British Association of Japanese Studies and Japan Foundation in February, and later in the year, as Japan loosened its travel restrictions, our research and activities have almost returned to pre-pandemic levels, and we were overjoyed to be able to reconnect with […]

Report on the talk ‘Dealing with Disasters through Art: Japanese Artists and Their Strategies’

In this time of the climate crisis, war in Ukraine, and economic instability, Professor Hans Bjarne Thomsen’s Third Thursday Lecture on November 17 looked at the visual representation and lessons from one single historical disaster—the 1855 Ansei-Edo Earthquake. The case study is part of a broader project by Prof. Thomsen that looks at the long and diverse histories of natural and human-made disasters in Japan that have occurred over the past few centuries up to the recent Fukushima nuclear disaster. This critical study encompasses the representations of such disasters as well as their impact ranging from trauma to forms of affective reparation, as well as how art can potentially prepare […]

Digitising the Chiddingstone Castle Collection of Japanese Lacquer: A Workshop Report

On the 11th of October, a workshop on digitising Japanese urushi lacquerwares was held at Chiddingstone Castle as part of the project supported by the Ishibashi Foundation Digital Futures Initiative. Led by Dr Ryoko Matsuba and assisted by Naomi Collick, curator at the Castle and Yuhan Ji, Ishibashi Foundation Digital Project Officer, the workshop is made possible by the collaboration between SISJAC and the Art Research Centre (ARC) at Ritsumeikan University in Japan. We were also joined remotely by Professor Ryo Akama and Professor Keiko Suzuki (Art Research Centre, Ritsumeikan University), Kazumi Murose (urushi artist and Living National Treasure), Tomoya Murose (urushi artist), Masami Yamada (curator at the V&A Museum), […]