Issue 13 Autumn 2015

Dear Friends and Supporters,  Welcome to the Autumn 2015 edition of our e-magazine.We hope you enjoy this edition. Warm Regards, Mami MizutoriExecutive Director

Artist Profile

Onishi Isao and the Beauty of Process Living National Treasure Onishi Isao (b. 1944), who specialises in urushi (lacquer) is truly an independent soul with a unique philosophy. Self-taught, he creates wonderfully perfect, large urushi dishes and bowls using the ‘hoop built core’ (magewa-zukuri) technique of bending strips of aged wood into rings and fitting them tightly together. In his studio in Ibaraki prefecture, Onishi works on his own, making everything by himself, including all of his tools and work surfaces. He even gathers his own urushi, which is a labour staking process, and carefully prepares the toxic liquid before applying it to his finished wooded forms. Onishi is the […]


A new publication edited by Anne Bouchy on Sasaguri, a town in Kyūshū In this issue, we catch up with a former Carmen Blacker Lecture speaker, Professor Anne Bouchy, Director of Studies at l’École française d’Extrême-Orient in France, on her recent publication, Le vivre ensemble à Sasaguri, une commune de Kyūshū. Dans l’entrelacs des dynamiques du dedans et du dehors – Études d’ethnologie du Japon (Living together in a Kyūshū Town: Sasaguri — The Interweaving of Dynamics between Inside and Outside). Sainsbury Institute (SISJAC): The book is a great culmination of a successful research project between French and Japanese scholars on the pilgrimages that take place in Sasaguri, a town in […]

The Sainsbury Institute Abroad

Centre Européen d’Études Japonaises d’Alsace (CEEJA) Centre Européen d’Études Japonaises d’Alsace (CEEJA), nestled in the idyllic Alsatian landscape, has been a friend and collaborative partner for the Sainsbury Institute for many years. CEEJA, established in 2001, is an active research community with the mission of furthering Franco-Japanese relations. They have a strong partnership link with the Department of Japanese Studies at the University of Strasbourg and works with many other universities in Europe and Japan to bring together experts from Japan and all over Europe. Simon Kaner, Head of the Centre for Archaeology and Heritage at the Institute, has been instrumental in developing Sainsbury Institute-CEEJA relationship. Simon is always mindful […]

Museums in Japan

Ryukoku Museum Ryukoku Museum is a significant addition to the vibrant cultural scene of Kyoto. Situated right in front of the Nishihonganji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the museum is dedicated to furthering knowledge and interest on Buddhism through utilizing a wide and comprehensive range of cultural artifacts in the handsome new building, which opened its doors in April 2011. The museum is affiliated to Ryukoku University, an educational institution established in 1639 within Nishihonganji Temple, and was established as part of the commemorative projects to celebrate the 370th anniversary of the founding of the university. With the core mission to promote world-class research, Ryukoku University offers ten graduate […]

Treasures of the Library

The Lisa Sainsbury Library holds a letter written in English by Mishima Yukio, who is considered to be one of the most distinguished literary figures of 20th century Japan, to the late Professor Geoffery Bownas in his lifetime. Geoffrey Bownas’ involvement with Japan began when he was drafted into the army in 1942 while still a student at Oxford University. It was in the army where he learned Japanese in order to decode Japanese transcrips. He later established the Japanese Studies department at Oxford University in 1954 and became the first Professor of Japanese Studies in 1965 at Sheffield University. Professor Bownas was also a devoted friend of the Institute […]

The Institute and Our Community

Sainsbury Institute’s technology-assisted teaching debut The Sainsbury Institute is very committed to exploring new ways of disseminating our research in Japan, including through the use of what are termed ‘new technology-assisted teaching’, such as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). The University of East Anglia is an active member of the FutureLearn initiative as well as other world-leading institutions including University College London, University of Edinburgh, the British Library and the British Museum. The Sainsbury Institute is currently involved in developing a MOOC-like series of programmes which are to be launched in January 2016 prior to the first incoming cohort of University of Tokyo undergraduates as part of the Sainsbury Institute […]