Issue 05 October 2013

Dear Friends and Supporters,  To date the Sainsbury Institute quarterly e-magazine has been issued four times, concluding a full circle, and we are delighted to enter the second year of its publication. Our Friends scheme, which started around the same time, has also reached its first birthday. I would like to thank our friends and supporters on this occasion as we can only keep on moving forward strongly in our research and outreach with your interest in what we do and your generous support for that cause. In this issue Sir Hugh Cortazzi, former UK Ambassador to Japan, tells us how his involvement with Japan started and evolved through the […]

Letter from our Fellow: Nancy Broadbent Casserley

I was delighted to receive a short-term Lisa and Robert Sainsbury Fellowship in the autumn of 2012. The Fellowship provided a wonderful opportunity for me to extend my research on washi, or handmade Japanese paper, in two ways: I curated an exhibition on washi held at Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) in the spring of 2013, and I wrote a short book, which was published by Kew Publishing in 2013, about the two collections in the exhibition. The Fellowship gave me valuable time and space to carry out research at the Sainsbury Institute, SOAS, the National Art Library and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew which built on earlier research on 19th-century washi that I […]

My Japan: Audrey Sansbury Talks

Audrey Sansbury Talks on Japan, her family and her book, A Tale of Two Japans: Ten Years to Pearl Harbor Cover of A Tale of Two Japans. And Japan, I thought, I shall go back to Japan. So begins Audrey’s book. Since leaving the country of her birth, as war approached in 1941, Audrey has never let the faint memories of her childhood fade. Author of A Tale of Two Japans: Ten Years to Pearl Harbor and a long-time supporter of the Sainsbury Institute, she has woven together a story from her memories, along with a wealth of letters, reports and diaries of her family and friends, to revisit the Japan she so […]

The Sainsbury Institute Abroad: Summer in Niigata

This summer, Nicole Rousmaniere, Research Director of the Sainsbury Institute, and Simon Kaner, Head of the Centre for Archaeology and Heritage, were invited to spend a week in Niigata prefecture. Although known as ‘Snow Country’, the setting for Nobel Laureate Kawabata Yasunari’s famous novel, in the heat of August (high 30s centigrade on a cooler day) it is hard to imagine this area, which lies along the Sea of Japan coast, buried beneath metres of snow. Simon has been working with colleagues in Niigata for over a decade, researching the historic landscapes and archaeology along the Shinano River, Japan’s longest drainage. The area is famous for its iconic Flame pots, […]

The Institute and Our Community: Norwich University of the Arts

In addition to the Sainsbury Institute’s strong relationship with the University of East Anglia as our principle academic partner, one of the other members of the academic community in Norwich to which our Institute belongs is Norwich University of the Arts, or NUA. Just a stone’s throw from us and also in the historic centre of the city, NUA’s history goes back some 165 years to its original incarnation as Norwich School of Art. This year NUA celebrated its new full University status, and installation of actor John Hurt CBE as its first Chancellor, with a couple of other accolades; it has been voted top Specialist Art Institution in the […]

Museums in Japan: Niigata Prefectural Museum of History

One of the core research strands of the Institute is Japanese Archaeology and Heritage. On this edition of our e-magazine, we would like to introduce to you one of the leading Japanese museums in this area. This piece was written by Miyao Toru, Curator at the Niigata Prefectural Museum of History. Miyao-san first visited the UK in 1995 as part of the first tour of UK archaeology for Japanese archaeologists organized by Professor Kobayashi Tatsuo (now our Senior Advisor for Archaeology) and Simon Kaner (now Head of our Centre for Archaeology and Heritage). Since then, Miyao-san has helped facilitate a number of research initiatives in partnership with the Sainsbury Institute, […]

Treasures of the Library: Nampō Gafu: Album of Birds and Flowers

I would like to start my article for this e-magazine with a request to our readers to enlighten me on the album I am introducing here. Red and white plum blossom from Nampō Gafu: Album of Birds and Flowers. The book is bound in an accordion fold format and appears to have no evidence or trace of a title strip. In fact the book has no given title, preface or postface. The last page includes a postscript indicating that it was made (not printed, but hand painted) on the ‘First winter of Meireki 4 (1658)’. This date is rather peculiar, for Japan has a tradition of ascribing new era names […]

Interview with Supporters: Sir Hugh Cortazzi

Sadly, Sir Hugh Cortazzi left us 14 August 2018. The interveiw was conducted in October 2013. Sir Hugh Cortazzi Sir Hugh Cortazzi has been a guiding force in Anglo-Japanese relationship for well over six decades. Former British Ambassador to Japan, he has been one of the most dedicated and passionate supporters of the Sainsbury Institute since its inception in 1999. The Institute is hugely indebted to Sir Hugh for his generosity over the years both in his time and material wealth as he has donated much of his personal Japanese ceramic, antique map and rare book collections to the Institute. The collections are in their own right worth future academic […]