Issue 25 Winter 2019

Dear Friends, There is much to look forward to this year. 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Sainsbury Institute. There will be a whole host of events in celebration of the two decades of research and dissemination of some of the best of Japanese arts and cultures in all their diversity. This is also the 25th issue of our e-magazine. We are taking the opportunity to review what the e-magazine does, and we would be very grateful if you could take just a few minutes to give us a little feedback.

Museums with Japanese Art

The British Museum: Innovating the presentation of Japan A few months ago, on 27 September 2018, the British Museum’s Mitsubishi Corporation Japanese Galleries reopened to the public after nine months of major refurbishment. The revamp celebrated the renewal of a 10-year partnership between the British Museum and Mitsubishi Corporation. The makeover transformed the once carpeted gallery space with a lighter and gentler feel with new flooring, ceiling and lightings to showcase Japan. The British Museum’s Japanese collection is undoubtedly one of the most comprehensive outside of Japan. The galleries provide a rich visual narrative of the country through the display of over 430 artworks and artefacts from the Museum’s 36,000 […]

Japanese Art Exhibitions outside of Japan

Japanese art exhibitions worth catching this winter A very warm New Year’s greeting to you! It may still be wet and gloomy outside, but I feel that the cheer of spring is coming just around the corner. This issue will continue to introduce more exhibitions organised in Paris as part of Japonisme 2018. It includes exhibitions on paintings from the innovative Rinpa school, Buddhist sculptures from the ancient city, Nara, as well as on the Francophile artist Tsuguharu Foujita. I’ve also included a recap on the Meiji art exhibition at the Guimet. I can only introduce a few exhibitions in the limited space here, but for more information on the […]

Research Highlights

Quarterly Research Update As we begin a new year, Simon has outlined some of our key new developments on the horizon. Here, we take a reflective look back and briefly recap some of our research and outreach programmes from last autumn. One of the highlights was the 200th Third Thursday Lecture celebration, which took place on 20 September. We were honoured to receive His Excellency Koji Tsuruoka, Ambassador of Japan to the UK, to give a deeply insightful and moving lecture on the history and future of UK-Japan relationship. Addressing the capacity audience, he spoke earnestly about the need for good comprehensive education. Our ability to strengthen our intellectual and moral […]

Behind the Scenes

Greetings In December we spent ten days in Japan with Professor David Richardson, Vice Chancellor of the University of East Anglia and Chair of the Management Board of the Sainsbury Institute. There were visits to Nara, Osaka, Tokyo and Sendai, reconfirming valued relationships with old friends, and establishing fresh connections with new ones. This was Professor Richardson’s third visit to Japan and a fuller report is available here. One of the many highlights was a reception at the International House of Japan in Roppongi, which followed on from a launch of Professor Nicole Rousmaniere’s award-winning translation of Professor Nobuo Tsuji’s magisterial The History of Art in Japan, recently published by the […]

Treasures of the Library: Maps of Japan by Luis Teixeira

I once introduced a map that has been described as ‘the earliest European rendition of Japan that depicts the state with a fair level of exactitude’ in the fourth issue of our e-magazine. It was a map sent from Luis Teixeira (dates unknown), a Portuguese cartographer, to Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598). Ortelius was a cartographer born in Antwerp. He amassed a large collection of maps, which he pulled together to create a compilation of the most advanced examples and published as Theatrum Orbis Terrarum in 1570 (1). This publication is considered to be the first recognized modern atlas in Europe (2). Popular indeed, it was republished a number of times over the […]

Fellows and their Research: Junzo Uchiyama on the archaeology of neolithic cultures

As a specialist in environmental archaeology, my main academic interest has been human’s historical adaptation process to their environments from a long-term perspective since the late Pleistocene, using Japanese Archipelago during the Jomon hunting-gathering period (about 16,500-2,400 years ago) as a main research field. Since arriving at the Sainsbury Institute as a Handa Japanese Archaeology Fellow in May, I have mainly been working on two topics: wrapping up the results of what I have worked so far as publications and exploring a new research project. Publication tasks are threefold. One is to finalize the article on the socio-economic background of early ceramic vessels. While the Jomon culture is one of […]