Issue 01 October 2012

Welcome to the first edition of our quarterly e-magazine. The articles will enlighten you on the vision and passion that led to the creation of the Institute in the heart of Norwich, the valuable treasures of our Lisa Sainsbury Library, how we endeavor to be part of our local community and many hidden joys related to Japanese arts and cultures. In the future, this e-magazine will be sent exclusively to those who sign up to become a ‘Friend ‘ of the Institute. So hurry up and don’t miss the opportunity! – Mami Mizutori, Executive Director

Custom and Culture: Japanese National Holidays

October, November, December If you have ever believed that Japan is a nation of workaholics you might be surprised to learn how many days off people take for national holidays. Currently there are 15 national holidays laid down in the Public Holiday Law of 1948, last amended in 2005. Each of these non-working days has been designated as such because of its significance to the Japanese nation. Some are celebrated as days of grateful remembrance, while others are intended to nurture traditional customs and to build a better and more prosperous society so that Japan thrives as one harmonious nation – to paraphrase the Public Holiday Law itself. By examining […]

Letters from Fellows at the Sainsbury Institute

From Sadamura Koto The Sainsbury Institute fellowship for Japanese Studies Young Scholars 2011–12 provided me with an excellent opportunity to conduct research at world-renowned museums and institutions, to collect material for my PhD dissertation and to work with scholars and curators in the UK and beyond. I was based in London for the whole year so that I could examine European collections of works by Kawanabe Kyōsai [1831-1889], a late 19th century Japanese painter. My main focus was the Israel Goldman collection, which is on long term loan to the British Museum. This is one of the finest and most comprehensive Kyōsai collections in the world and it is still […]

The Institute and Our Community

A Japanese Garden in Norwich Cathedral When asked to design a garden for Norwich cathedral I imagined something in the surrounding landscape, but found that it was actually to be in the new ‘Hostry’ or welcoming hall for visitors to the cathedral. Inside this beautiful modern building is an exhibition area at the end of which, behind a glass screen was a ‘dead’ space, not accessible by the public and yet on full view through the glass. This was the location for the proposed garden. The idea for a Japanese garden came from one of the Canons at the cathedral, who wanted akaresansui garden in this space at the very entrance […]

The Sainsbury Institute Abroad

Study trip to examine the impact of the March 2011 disaster on cultural heritage in Japan In July 2012, a team of 4 people, consisting of myself, two MA students doing Japan-related studies at UEA and SOAS and a researcher currently doing an internship at the Sainsbury Institute, visited Japan for two weeks. I am currently an Academic Associate of the Sainsbury Institute, having been a Fellow, and I also lecture in the School of World Art Studies and Museology at UEA. Funded by a grant from the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, the study trip was part of an ongoing collaboration between the Centre for Archaeology and Heritage at the Sainsbury Institute […]

Museums in Japan

Jōmon Exhibitions and the Sainsbury Institute ‘Dogū, a Cosmos: Ancient Clay Figurines’ is an exhibition being held at Miho Museum in Shiga prefecture from September 1st to December 9th 2012. Spreading over 10 galleries, this is the first large-scale show of Jōmon dogū (clay figurines) ever held in the Kansai district. Among the 320 objects on display are twenty one Important Cultural Properties and three National Treasures; the ‘Jōmon Venus’, the ‘Dogū with Palms Pressed Together’ and the ‘Hollow Dogū.’ The Sainsbury Institute was a creative driving force behind the exhibition. The initial idea came from Research Director Professor Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere, and we have been honoured by supervision from […]

Interview with Founders and Staff

Dame Elizabeth Esteve-Coll: Part 1 Dame Elizabeth’s Relationship with Japan Dame Elizabeth Esteve-Coll, formerly Vice-Chancellor of the University of East Anglia (UEA) and Director of the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum, has been a trustee of the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures since its establishment in January 1999. In her distinctive warm strong voice, she shared her experience of being present at founding the Institute with Professor Nicole Rousmaniere, the founding director and presently the research director of the institute. ‘My first real encounter with Japan was preparation for the Japan-Britain exhibition “Visions of Japan” in 1991, soon after I became director of the V&A […]

Treasures of the Library

“Atlas Japannensis: being remarkable addresses by way of embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Emperor of Japan: containing a description of their several territories, cities, temples, and fortresses, their religions, laws, and customs, their prodigious wealth, and gorgeous habits, the nature of their soil, plants, beasts, hills, rivers, and fountains with the character of the ancient and modern Japanners.”Collected out of their several writings and journals byPrinted by Tho. Johnson for the author, and are to be had at his house in White Fryers, 1670. The Atlas Japannensis is the oldest book owned by the Lisa Sainsbury Library. The original Dutch version was published in Amsterdam in […]