Issue 14 Winter 2016

Dear Friends and Supporters,  Welcome to the Winter 2016 edition of our e-magazine. We hope you enjoy this edition. Mami MizutoriExecutive Director

Artist Profile

Manga: Three Generations Manga, literally translated as ‘pictures run riot’, is a form of sequential art that is basically made of a narrative sequence of images. The artistic origins of manga derive from two traditional literary practices, traditional Japanese narrative handscrolls dating from the twelfth century onwards, and printed books, especially the low cost illustrated novels (kibiyôshi) printed in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Manga in the 20th century reflects many international currents. And today it is big business. The Japanese manga industry in one year during 2014 generated approximately 2.5 billion pounds. Manga in a variety of forms is increasingly becoming popular in Europe. New technologies will only help […]

Letter from Our Fellow

Eriko Tomizawa-Kay From 2013-14, as part of my fellowship at the Sainsbury Institute, I undertook research, and completed several papers and presentations; for example, I introduced a cross-section of Meiji-period art held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection, and attempted to explain why certain types of art were included in the collections, whilst others were excluded. I cast a light on the early dissemination of, and market for, modern Japanese-style paintings (nihonga), a term coined around 1880 in a surge of nationalist sentiment. Nihonga’s exposure in Japan, and its appreciation by the general public, was considered in conjunction with the development of new distribution channels, including department stores and […]

The Sainsbury Institute Abroad

Top sales in academia: the Chair of the Management Board of SISJAC makes his first official visit to Japan The importance of top sales in promoting and strengthening relationships cannot be emphasised enough. More and more often, Prime Ministers around the world take CEOs of big companies and Directors of major museums with them when they visit foreign capitals. The value of top sales cannot be under-estimated in academia either, and for organizations of any size. Many years of diligently building up a network is essential, but in order to reach a higher level of recognition for what you are doing and to gain support, you need the most senior […]

Museums in Japan

Kokugakuin University Museum The Kokugakuin University Museum is nestled in the heart of the vibrant Shibuya district in central Tokyo. It is a university museum whose parent institution—Kokugakuin University—is held in great esteem, with a long history of patronage by the imperial family. Its history dates back to the 19th century when the University was initially established as the Office for Japanese Classics Research in 1882 to study Shinto beliefs. In 1946, shortly after the end of the Second World War, Kokugakuin became one of the earliest educational institutions in Japan to be granted the status of university by the Occupation administration (the GHQ) in order to continue research on […]

Treasures of the Library

The Lisa Sainsbury Library holds 65 historic maps of Japan and the rest of the world. Produced in Japan and Europe, the important collection is on long-term loan to the Library by Sir Hugh Cortazzi, former British Ambassador to Japan, and Lady Cortazzi with a view to be donated in the future. The oldest map dates to 1528 and the collection also includes rare ceramic pieces with topographic images of Japan. The two unique maps featured in this edition are both from this collection. The first one is the late-17th century Kokudaka ezu (illustrated map of various domains and their agricultural land values) and the second is the mid-19th century Nihon zenkoku dōchū […]

Institute and the Community

Debating international relevance of rural contemporary arts festivals in Japan  On December 3rd and 4th 2015, the Sainsbury Institute hosted two days of events dedicated to exploring the impact and international relevance of rural contemporary arts festivals in Japan, which address the many social crises the country currently faces. These crises include the chronic ageing of the population, rural/urban divides, post-industrial decline and depopulation, political disengagement and recurrent natural disasters. Foremost among such events have been the visionary rural countryside and island based festivals organised by the curator Kitagawa Fram, notably Echigo-Tsumari in mountainous Niigata (2000-2015) and the Setouchi islands around Naoshima (2010-2016), for which he acts as General Director. […]

Behind the Scenes

New Year Message from the Executive Director: A lot in the pipeline Akemashite omedetō gozaimasu, a belated happy new year from Norwich. Looking back a bit, last year was yet another busy and fruitful year for the Sainsbury Institute, and we found ourselves particularly engaged towards the end. In late November 2015, we hosted the second Toshiba Lecture series in Japanese Arts and Science focusing on robotics. In the lectures ‘Beauty and the Robot,’ held in Norwich and the Science Museum in London, Professor Furuta Takayuki, a well-known scientist, and Professor Yamanaka Toshiharu, a prominent product designer, who together have worked on many robotics projects, delivered their talks on how […]