Issue 16 Summer 2016

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

Treasures of the Library

As many of our readers may already be familiar with the Cortazzi Map Collection through a series of our e-magazine articles, I would like to take the opportunity in this article to introduce the Cortazzi Ukiyoe Collection. The Collection comprises of 43 titles of polychrome woodblock prints on long-term loan from Sir Hugh and Lady Cortazzi to the Lisa Sainsbury Library. Amongst the prints are 25 titles classified as ‘Yokohama-e’ (literally, Yokohama pictures). They typically represent scenes including non-Japanese figures that were produced around the latter part of 19th century when the Meiji restoration brought an end to the era of shogunate rule in Japan. The Collection here in the Lisa […]

The Sainsbury Institute Abroad

A busy week in Japan… As part of our closer working with the University of East Anglia (UEA), Simon Kaner, who is Director of the University’s Centre for Japanese Studies as well as Head of the Centre for Archaeology and Heritage, spent a week in Japan at the end of May and early June with Professor Yvonne Tasker, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at UEA and Dr Rayna Denison, Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Studies in the School of Art, Media and American Studies, and specialist in Japanese cinema, in particular anime. As Dean of the Faculty, Yvonne has responsibility for the Centre for Japanese […]

Museums in Japan

Obsidian Museum Obsidian, a naturally occurring volcanic glass, has been a much coveted rock by mankind. In prehistoric times, hunters and gatherers on the Japanese archipelago knapped them into spears and arrow heads to improve their hunts. The black glossy stone still holds its allure, more recently best in the virtual world of Minecraft. Prized as the second strongest ‘Block’, obsidian can only be mined with a special diamond pickaxe. In Japan, those interested in the real physical obsidian can learn, discover, feel and even have a go at making their own obsidian accessories at the Obsidian Museum in Nagawa-machi town in Nagano prefecture. The Obsidian Museum is nestled deep […]

Artist Profile

Made in Japan: Kakiemon and 400 years of porcelain In 1616, Ri Sanpei discovered porcelain stone in a quarry in Arita, a town on the southern island of Kyushu near Nagasaki. This sparked the porcelain production in Japan, and accelerated when Ming dynasty China closed off foreign trade with the West and allowed Japan to virtually monopolise the market. Starting with the Dutch East India Company, Japanese porcelains were coveted by many Western traders and gave rapid rise to the advancement in porcelain and kiln technologies in Japan. The result was a flourishing emergence of new ceramic making styles and dynastic potter families that continue to be appreciated and practiced […]

Our Fellow

Kimura Tadakazu CBE Kimura Tadakazu CBE, a veteran journalist who for over forty years covered Japanese politics and international affairs, recently completed his six-month stay at the Institute as a Senior Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellow. Mr Kimura is former President and CEO of the leading Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun. Mizutori Mami, the Executive Director, took the opportunity mid-way through his fellowship to ask Mr Kimura of his views on the role of the media in society. In the second instalment of the two-part interview, Kimura shares his frank thoughts on the global role of media, and commonalities and differences in this regard amongst the UK, US and Japan. He […]

Behind the Scenes

Eradicating a well-established international brand in one stroke: how Brexit is perceived in Japan Just a month after the referendum on 23 June, it is fair to say that we are already quite exhausted with the topic of Brexit. Following a traditionally disciplined British composure of ‘staying calm and carrying on’ we are now told that ‘Brexit is Brexit’, i.e. just take it. However, such a simple acceptance is not possible on many accounts. We have no idea where Brexit will take us, how bumpy the journey will be, and how long we will be living in this uncertainty. Important decisions usher forward even more important results. No matter how […]