Issue 23 Summer 2018

Dear Friends,  Welcome to our Summer 2018 e-magazine. In this edition, we have exciting reports on projects led by our Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellows who are all wrapping up their fellowship research with us and preparing for their exciting onward journeys. We are delighted to feature Durham University’s Oriental Museum and introduce exhibitions on Japan in London and Yorkshire. Our Librarian wrestles with the theme of sumo prints while Simon Kaner gives us a digest of his national and international activities as he continues to jet set around the world. We hope you enjoy our summer e-magazine!

Museums with Japanese Art

From Kamakura to Cosplay: The development of the Japanese collection at the Oriental Museum, Durham University Oriental languages have been taught at Durham University since the University was founded in 1832. This excellence was recognised after the Second World War when Durham was selected as one of five British universities to be developed as a centre for the teaching of Oriental languages. The School of Oriental Studies was founded in 1951 and from this point teaching and research rapidly expanded to included languages such as Ancient Egyptian, Turkish and Chinese. The first Director of the school, Professor William Thacker, believed that students needed to understand the material culture of the […]

Japanese Art Exhibitions outside of Japan

Japanese art exhibitions worth catching this summer With longer days and more beautiful sunshine to be enjoyed, summer brings a lot of reasons to head out including seeing great exhibitions on Japanese art. Just as summer months can lift moods, I believe art can also restore our inner energy. How exciting then that this summer brings a whole host of Japanese art exhibitions in the UK. Japan is hot! In this edition, I would like to introduce three Japanese contemporary art exhibitions. Beyond Time. Installation by Chiharu Shiota, Yorkshire Sculpture Park Chiharu Shiota: Beyond TimeYorkshire Sculpture ParkFrom 30 March until 2 September 2018 ‘Beyond Time’ explores artist Chiharu Shiota’s interest […]

Behind the Scenes

As you read this latest issue of our e-magazine, we will be preparing for a busy season of summer schools and other events. Our fifth cohort of students, mainly from central and eastern Europe, will be in Norwich for our fifth Japan Orientation summer school, generously funded by the Toshiba International Foundation. No sooner do they depart than we commence our first Ishibashi Summer School in Japanese Arts and Cultures, which runs through the first three weeks of August. The Ishibashi Foundation is generously sponsoring bursaries for participants from all over the world. In addition, at the end of July we welcome another group of high-school students, ‘Young Obsidian Ambassadors’, from Nagawa-machi […]

Fellows and their Research

Jungeun Lee on the narrative of display I came as a Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellowship to the Sainsbury Institute immediately after completing my doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh in spring 2017. Here, I have been able to focus on writing a book manuscript and articles while sharing my research with Japanese specialists and scholars in the UK. Over the past eight months, Norwich has provided a nourishing environment for me to start building my career as an art historian. I have treasured my space in the Cathedral complex, where I was able to pursue new insights and break new ground. After eight years in the US, moving to […]

Research Highlights

Quarterly Research Update Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1865 The past three months saw a buzzing array of activities led by our three Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellows for this academic year. Our Third Thursday Lectures for April, May and June were delivered by Dr Amanda Kennell, Dr Stephanie Su and Dr Jungeun Lee respectively. We also held two international symposia organized by our fellows as summed up below. So, have you ever wondered what happened since the story of the little girl who fell into a rabbit hole was first introduced in Japan in 1899? Dr Amanda Kennell’s research looks at this very theme on Japanese adaptations of […]

Treasures of the Library: Sumo prints

Many of the Cortazzi ukiyo-e collection held at the Sainsbury Institute are Yokohama-e, or prints depicting non-Japanese foreigners. There are, however, some unique exceptions including Sumo-e or prints depicting sumo wrestlers. Sumo, as familiar to many, is a wrestling match that takes place on a dohyō mound. Two rotund yet herculean rikishi wrestlers battle out strength by forcing the opponent down to the ground or out of the circular ring. Recorded history of sumo dates back to early 8th century. The mention of sumo appears in Kojiki and Nihon shoki translated respectively as “Records of Ancient Matters” and “The Chronicles of Japan” (Yamada, 1982) and is said to have originated some 1500 […]