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ARC-iJAC Activities


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In collaboration with Ako City, the International Joint Digital Archiving Center for Japanese Art and Culture (ARC-iJAC), Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University, organized the Chushingura Ukiyo-e International Symposium--Spreading the Legend of Chushingura to the World--on February 11, 2022.


Based on a historical event, Chushingura (The Treasury of Loyal Retainers) tells the story of forty-seven rōnin, or leaderless samurai, from Ako, who avenged the death of their lord.

The symposium began with a welcoming address by the mayor of Ako, Masatoshi Murei, followed by the individual presentations of Professor Satoko Shimazaki (UCLA), Dr. Annegret Bergmann (The University of Tokyo), Kenichiro Ishibashi (Kabuki Researcher), and Professor Ryo Akama (Ritsumeikan University), the current Director of the ARC.

c2.jpgIn the second part, Emeritus Professor Andrew Gerstle (SOAS University of London) gave a keynote speech to discuss the question ʻAre the Depictions of Loyalty, Heroism, Tragedy in Kanadehon chushingura universal?ʼ. The symposium concluded with a panel discussion moderated by Prof. Akama.

Ako City and the ARC have been collaborating on the digital archiving of the Chushingura Ukiyo-e Collection held by the city which is available in the Ako City Chushingura Ukiyo-e Database on the ARC website.

Based on the database, digital exhibitions have also been launched in the ARC Virtual Institute, which facilitates developing database operation methods and promoting its utilization.


>> Click here to enter the Ako City Chushingura Ukiyo-e Digital Exhibition.

>> Click here for the Ako City Chushingura Ukiyo-e Database.

The symposium took place in the Ako City Culture Hall without an audience to prevent the spread of COVID-19 but was broadcasted online via Zoom.

There were a total of 122 registrations from 15 countries for this event.

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February 12, 2022(Sat)

The 11th Forum for Knowledge, Arts, and Culture in Digital Humanities will be held online on Saturday, February 12, 2022.

This meeting also serves as a conference for young researchers of the ARC-iJAC.

[About the event]

The Forum for Knowledge, Arts, and Culture in Digital Humanities was launched in 2011 as a platform for presentations and exchange mainly among postgraduate students and young researchers interested in the digital humanities research in arts, culture, and other related fields.

The event offers an opportunity for participants to discover new research themes and methods through human interaction in different fields, and we also welcomed exploratory and adventurous presentations that are slightly different from conventional conference presentations.

Date: Saturday, February 12, 2022, from 13:00 JST

Participation method: Online (via Zoom)

※ Details will be sent by email to presenters and those who have registered to attend.
※ Please note that the event will be held remotely and not at a venue.


Please send an e-mail with your name and affiliation to kacimeeting+2022(at) by Wednesday, February 9, 2022. (Please change '(at)' to '@')

Participation is free of charge.

*An online get-together (free of charge) will be held after the research presentations. We would like to make it a place for exchange beyond the boundaries of universities and research fields, so please feel free to join.

Organizer: The Forum for Knowledge, Arts, and Culture in Digital Humanities

Facilitators: Ryo Akama (Ritsumeikan University), Mamiko Sakata (Doshisha University), Naoki Takubo (Kindai University), Takehiko Murakawa (Wakayama University)

Co-organizers: The Kansai Division of the Art Documentation Society and the Kansai Division of the Japan Society of Information and Knowledge

In cooperation with: International Joint Digital Archiving Center for Japanese Art and Culture (ARC-iJAC), Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University.

Japan Art Documentation Society

Program: →Presentation abstracts (in Japanese)
13:00 開会挨拶
13:05 発表1
Zhang Zian(立命館大学大学院情報理工学研究科)
13:30 発表2
季 申予(立命館大学大学院情報理工学研究科)
13:55 休憩
14:10 発表3
山口 晶啓(和歌山大学大学院システム工学研究科)
14:35 発表4
村川 猛彦(和歌山大学システム工学部)
15:00 休憩
15:15 発表5
辻 俊成(立命館大学大学院文学研究科)
15:40 発表6

宮田 悠史(立命館大学大学院文学研究科)
16:05 発表7
森 敬洋(立命館大学大学院先端総合学術研究科)
16:30 休憩
16:45 発表8
川本 純(同志社大学文化情報学部)
17:10 発表9
相田 愛子(日本学術振興会特別研究員RPD・金沢大学)
17:35 閉会挨拶
17:50 懇親会

February 11, 2022(Fri)

The Art Research Center (ARC) is pleased to announce the Chūshingura Ukiyo-e International Symposium. (*This event is held in Japanese)

Date: February 11 (Friday), 2022

Time: 13:30 Japan Standard Time (approx. 3 hours)

Topic: Spreading the Legend of Chūshingura to the World

<Click here to register>

symposium.jpg symposium2.jpg

<Click here to register>

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The 98th International ARC Seminar, held on January 19, 2022, is now available on YouTube.

The program was as follows:

Topic: Tracing the Roots of Popular Music in Kyoto - BAN HIROSHI University in Ritsumeikan University -

Speaker: Ban Hiroshi (Musician /Rock 'n' Roller)
     Saito Shinya (Associate Professor, Ritsumeikan University)
     Takeda Shosaku (Professor, Ritsumeikan University

We hope you enjoy the video!

January 26, 2022(Wed)

We would like to express our sincere gratitude
for your continued support.

May your year be filled with
health, joy, and happiness!


Important Notice: From January 24, 2022, the Art Research Center (ARC) will be temporarily closed for external visitors to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Save the date!
Chūshingura Ukiyo-e
International Symposium

Feb 11 (Fri), 2022, 13:30 - 16:30 (JST)
We look forward to the keynote speech of Prof. Andrew Gerstle (SOAS London) and presentations by Dr. Annegret Bergmann (UTokyo), Prof. Ryo Akama (RU), Kenichiro Ishibashi and Prof. Satoko Shimazaki (UCLA). >>Read more.
>>Click here to register.
Thank you for your visit! Recently, we were delighted to welcome Dr. Annegret Bergmann, Project Associate Professor at The University of Tokyo and member of the ARC-iJAC FY 2021 Steering Committee, and Masami Yamada, Curator in the Asian Department of the Victoria and Albert Museum, to our center.
An Interview with Dr. Ryoko Matsuba (Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, University of East Anglia, UK)
Striving to develop new digital initiatives for educational purposes, Dr. Matsuba--who received her Ph.D. from Ritsumeikan University--organized the first joint digital archiving technical workshop of SISJAC and the ARC in 2021. >>Read more.
From vol. 22-1, ART RESEARCH is available as an e-journal.
The e-journal is published several times a year while a print version with all contributions of the year compiled will be distributed at the end of each fiscal year.
Manuscripts for ART RESEARCH can be submitted anytime!
For restoring Heian-kyo on a map of modern Kyoto and visualizing research outcomes of more than 5,000 excavation sites, the Art Research Center (ARC) and the Institute of Disaster Mitigation for Urban Cultural Heritage (R-DMUCH), Ritsumeikan University, have launched the Heian-kyo Site Database and Story Map.
Prof. Yano and his team constructed this platform based on an open data infrastructure so that anyone can access and download the data. >>Read more.
In cooperation with the ARC-iJAC, the symposium was held by the Science Council of Japan on Dec. 13, 2021. Prof. Satoshi Tanaka gave a comprehensive talk on visualization in the era of Big Data. >> Read more.
Dr. Ellis Tinios (Honorary Lecturer, University of Leeds) introduced an album of thirty-eight preparatory drawings by Katsushika Isai, which is now in the collection of the British Museum.
We are very grateful to Dr. Tinios for being our guest speaker!
[Video] One-Day Workshop: 'Digitization of Historical Cities in Egypt and Japan'
As part of the FY 2021 ARC-iJAC project 'Qait'bay Citadel (1477-1479): Visualizing the Main Coastal Fortification of Medieval Alexandria, Egypt', a one-day workshop was held on November 6, 2021.
This project is led by Dr. Mohamed Soliman (National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics, Egypt). >>Read more.
JAPAN SEARCH Releases PVs About the World of Kabuki
Based on the ARC virtual exhibition The Most Curious Kabuki World, JAPAN SEARCH has launched an online gallery and two promotional videos.
In Memoriam of Professor Masayuki Uemura (1943-2021)

The Art Research Center mourns the loss of Professor Masayuki Uemura, Research Advisor of the Ritsumeikan Center for Game Studies (RCGS).
As the lead architect of Nintendo's Family Computer and Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Professor Uemura played a pivotal role in shaping and developing the digital games industry in Japan and worldwide.
He had been teaching at Ritsumeikan University since 2004 and was the first director of RCGS. At the same time, he also led research projects at the Art Research Center that focused on the development of preservation methods for digital games, video documentation, and Japanese traditional performing arts.
We are profoundly grateful to Professor Uemura for his enormous contribution to Ritsumeikan University and this center.
Upcoming Events
January 29 (Sat), 2022, 13:00-15:00
Ritsumeikan University Special Saturday Lecture
(Co-organized by the Institute of Humanities, Human and Social Sciences, and the ARC)
1. Speaker: Rika Yamamoto (Associate Professor, College of Letters, RU)
Topic: ツーリズムが求める産業遺産の歴史性とデジタルテクノロジー
2.Speaker: Nozomu Ataka (Research Assistant, ARC-iJAC)
Topic: 文化資源から見たツーリズム 〜小型案内記・絵図から見た江戸時代の奈良半日観光 (→ Synopsis)

February 11 (Fri), 2022, 13:30-16:30
Chūshingura Ukiyo-e International Symposium
Topic: Spreading the Legend of Chūshingura to the World
Click here to register

February 25 (Fri) & 26 (Sat), 2022
FY2021 Annual Report Meeting of the ARC-iJAC & Program for Supporting Research Center Formation, Art Research Center
<Details to be announced on our website>
Previous issues:
Autumn 2021, Summer 2021, Spring 2021, Winter 2020, Autumn 2020, Summer 2020, Spring 2020
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Dr. Ryoko Matsuba, a specialist in Edo period print culture, received her Ph.D. from Ritsumeikan University in 2008. She is now Lecturer in Japanese Digital Arts and Humanities at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures (SISJAC), University of East Anglia. Before taking up that post, she participated, as a member of curatorial staff, in two major exhibitions at the British Museum: Hokusai Beyond the Great Wave (2017); and the Citi Exhibition Manga (2019). She co-authored the exhibition catalogue for the latter.

TTL21Jan21.jpgMatsuba sensei, thank you very much for joining us today. Would you tell us about your time at the ARC?

Dr. Matsuba: When the Art Research Center was established, I was an undergraduate student at Ritsumeikan University. I joined the digital-archiving project led by Professor Akama as a part timer involved digitizing kabuki playbills from Osaka and Edo dating from the 18th and 19th centuries.

I gradually came to grasp the techniques and basic procedures of digital archiving, such as scanning photographs, cataloging, and improving the searchability of items, while I worked through the kabuki playbills. This experience laid the foundation for my M.A. and Ph.D. research topics. So, I treasure my time at the ARC very much.

We are glad to hear this. How did it come about that you started to work in the UK?

Dr. Matsuba: When I was still a graduate student, the ARC first provided me with the opportunity to travel to the UK and work at the British Museum as part of the team preparing the exhibition Kabuki Heroes on the Osaka Stage 1780-1830 (2005).

The ARC has been digitizing Japanese collections in renowned museums around the world, and supporting them in creating exhibitions. These activities offer many hands-on training and networking opportunities for young researchers.

Subsequently, I participated in the preparation other British Museum exhibitions such as Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art (2013); Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave (2017); and the Citi Exhibition Manga (2019). In addition, I contributed to and assisted in editing the exhibition catalogs for those exhibitions.

Read more>>

January 20, 2022(Thu)

On January 19, 2022, the Heian-kyo Site Database--a project led by Prof. Keiji Yano (Deputy Director of the Art Research Center)--was featured in the NHK program 'まちに残る"平安京"を探せ!'.

Read more about the Heian-kyo Site Database:

Watch the video on the NHK website:

The application for FY 2022 International Joint Research with Research Fund is open until February 3 (Thurs), 2022, 10AM (JST). Successful projects will receive research funds from the ARC-iJAC.

Learn more about the application here.

Read more>>

JAPAN SEARCH has launched an online gallery and two accompanying promotional videos about the world of kabuki based on the virtual exhibition The Most Curiosity Kabuki World of the Art Research Center (ARC), Ritsumeikan University.

>>JAPAN SEARCH Online Gallery 'The Most Curiosity Kabuki World'

>>ARC Virtual Exhibition 'The Most Curiosity Kabuki World'

〇 PV The Most Curiosity Kabuki World (Part 1)

〇 PV The Most Curiosity Kabuki World (Part 2)

The video of the one-day workshop Digitization of Historical Cities in Egypt and Japan, held on November 6, 2021, as part of the FY 2021 ARC-iJAC project Qait'bay Citadel (1477-1479): Visualizing the Main Coastal Fortification of Medieval Alexandria, Egypt (PI: Dr. Mohamed Soliman), is now available on YouTube.

*Please scroll down for more information regarding the workshop.


We kindly invite you to join the one-day workshop Digitization of Historical Cities in Egypt and Japan.

Date: Saturday, November 6, 2021 16:00-18:30 JST (09:00 - 11:30 Cairo Time)

Organizer: Research Project Qait'bay Citadel (1477-1479): Visualizing the Main Coastal Fortification of Medieval Alexandria, Egypt, supported by the International Joint Digital Archiving Center for Japanese Art and Culture (ARC-iJAC), Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University.

PI: Dr. Mohamed Soliman, DMUCH, Ritsumeikan University, Japan / National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics (NRIAG), Egypt

Co-PI: Prof. Mona Gamal El-Din, Dean of EECE, Egypt - Japan University of Science and Technology (E-JUST), Egypt

Sponsorship: International Joint Digital Archiving Center for Japanese Art and Culture (ARC-iJAC), Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University

Registration: <Registration closed>

Background: In the time of natural disasters, VR technology became a world requirement for Digital Humanities. Tourism is considered one of the hardest hits by the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as the typical approach of humanities, basically archaeology. Exceptional restrictions and the state of emergency imposed everywhere prevent the world and local movement. On the other hand, the fire disaster at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris in April 2019 made the world aware of the necessity of 3D laser measurement data and panoramic images of the Notre Dame Cathedral left behind by the art historian Andrew Tallon (1969 - 2018). Systems that require specialized knowledge are becoming easier to use in the form of applications.

Visualizing historical cities in Japan and Egypt is targeted to document a cultural heritage, which exposes to natural and man-made disasters. Consequently, this workshop aims to promote the advanced technology applications in the field of humanities and strengthen the scientific collaboration among Japanese and Egyptian institutions and scholars, taking into consideration achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Objectives of this workshop: (1) Showcasing the diverse contributions and sharing knowledge of Japanese and Egyptian institutions in Digital Humanities. (2) Enlarging network and strengthening future scientific collaboration among Japanese and Egyptian scholars in Digital Humanities.


Saturday, November 6, 2021

(Note: As in Japan Standard Time)

Time Item

Opening remarks

● Prof. Keiji Yano-Ritsumeikan University, Japan

● Prof. Mona Gamal al-Din, Dean of the School of Energy Resources, Environment, Chemical and Petrochemical Engineering, E-JUST, Egypt

● Prof. Gad el-Qady, President of National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics (NRIAG), Egypt

Presentation 1: Prof. Keiji Yano (Ritsumeikan University): Virtual Kyoto Project
Presentation 2: Mikiharu Takeuchi (Ritsumeikan University): Virtual Heian-kyo on WebGIS
Presentation 3: Mohamed Soliman (Ritsumeikan University/NRIAG) & Naoyo Sekihiro (Kyoto City Archaeological Research Institute): Generating metashape of Kyoto City Archaeological Museum collection 京都市考古資料館
17:10- 17:20 Break
17:20-17:40 Presentation 4: Ahmed Gomaa (NRIAG): Cultural Heritage Documentation in Historical Cairo Using Terrestrial Laser Scanner Case study of Moheb El-Din Abu El-Tayeb Hall and El-Kadi House
17:40-18:00 Presentation 5: Mohamed Soliman (Ritsumeikan University/NRIAG) & Doaa Ali (Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities): Visualization of Qait'bay Citadel Project: new horizon for Alexandria cultural heritage.
18:00-18:20 Presentation 6: Wakako Kumakura (ILCAA-TUFS) and Naoko Fukami (Director of JSPS Station-Cairo): Preserving Materials as Resources: An Attempt through Qalawun VR Project and Database of Historical Monuments in Islamic Cairo
18:20-18:30 Closing

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