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JAPAN SEARCH has launched an online gallery based on the digital exhibition 'Japanese Legends of the Supernatural World' (「日本の伝説 異界展」) created by the Art Research Center (ARC), Ritsumeikan University.

On this occasion, JAPAN SEARCH has released a PV to introduce its online gallery 'Japanese Legends of the Supernatural World'.

The online gallery offers insights into some of the unknown aspects of the Legend of Tengu, amongst others--drawing from the contents of the ARC's digital exhibition 'Japanese Legends of the Supernatural World' available in our Virtual Museum.

August 31, 2021(Tue)

We are pleased to announce that the Art Research Center's journal--ART RESEARCH--will be reborn as an online journal from volume 22-1.

The purpose of the journal is to widely publicize the results of the research projects and activities conducted by the Art Research Center and its partner institutions and collaborative researchers. As an academic journal specializing in arts and culture, it has received many contributions from industry experts every year.

Since its establishment in 1998, the Art Research Center (ARC) has been selected for several national grants as a center of excellence for research in culture, art, and information science. In FY2019, the center assumed the role as the International Joint Digital Archiving Center for Japanese Art & Culture (ARC-iJAC) upon its accreditation by the MEXT as an International Joint Usage/Research Center. The ARC is highly regarded as a leading hub for the digital archiving of Japanese art and culture.

Our online journal will be published several times a year, and at the end of the fiscal year, a print booklet summarizing all contributions will be distributed..

By accepting manuscripts any time from now, we hope to greatly increase the submission opportunities for researchers.

We look forward to receiving your manuscript submission.

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August 17, 2021(Tue)


The Art Research Center (ARC), Ritsumeikan University, is pleased to announce the launch of the Sumo Digital Institute within the ARC Virtual Institute, along with the release of the online database of the Teiji Kojima Collection--a treasure trove of sumo banzuke and old sumo documents.

The ARC has been working to create a digital archive of materials related to the history of sumo collected by the late Teiji Kojima, a renowned scholar of sumo history. Along with the release of his collection in June, we decided to publish the results of our research in sumo history under the Sumo Digital Institute.

The Teiji Kojima Collection consists of approximately 1,000 paper documents and dozens of volumes of old sumo-related materials, mainly sumo banzuke, covering a total of 264 years from 1742 (mid-Edo period) to 2006. These digital images are now accessible online at any time.

In addition to browsing the digitized materials, the Sumo Digital Institute offers an online exhibition. It is an attempt to bring to light the many facets of Edo-period kanjin-zumo tournaments by picking up sumo-related articles from the Bukō nenpyō--a compilation of Edo-period events in chronological order--and linking them to sumo banzuke related to the events from the Teiji Kojima Collection, ukiyo-e prints in the Ukiyo-e Portal Database, and materials from the Early Japanese Books Database.

We hope that this online exhibition will encourage people to take an interest in the world of kanjin-zumo that is very different from today.

The exhibition not only links to the Kojima Collection but also to sumo paintings in the Japanese Collection of the Museum Volkenkunde, Leiden, available in the ARC Virtual Institute.

The ukiyo-e paintings that traveled to the Netherlands as soon as they were published are beautiful and well-preserved, retaining their original colors. We hope you enjoy them.

The Sumo Digital Institute strives to collect a wide range of visual data and literary materials about sumo from the Edo period to the modern era and make them available to the public through a digital archive. We hope to raise the public's interest in sumo by releasing these rare sumo materials. [Person in charge: Nozomu Ataka]


The Art Research Center (ARC), Ritsumeikan University, is pleased to announce the release of the Asahi Shimbun Collection of Shibai Banzuke (Kabuki Playbills), held by the Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library, in our Shibai Banzuke (Kabuki Playbills) Portal Database.

Since the Edo Period, flyers, posters, and programs of kabuki and jōruri plays have provided detailed information about actors, names of the cast, and the content of those plays at that time.

The materials, originally cataloged in the Asahi Shimbun bunko mokuroku (「朝日新聞」文庫目録), were published by the Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library in March 1970. With the permission of the library, the Art Research Center has digitized the materials and re-examined the catalog data, making the images online available through the ARC Shibai Banzuke Database System.

By the end of 2017, the ARC had released around 700 un-cataloged items from the library. This time, we added 1,443 banzuke, bringing the total number of items available in our online database to 2,129.

You can either access these materials from the Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library's website under 'Various Catalogs and Databases' or the ARC Shibai Banzuke Portal Database by selecting the holding institution 'Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library'.

Our Shibai Banzuke Portal Database also comprises banzuke held by other institutions, thus allowing you to browse and compare to find supplementary information.

Furthermore, the Shibai Banzuke Catalog of the Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library, published in October 1968, contains approximately 2,500 items other than the above, which will be digitized in our third project next year. We hope to complete a large-scale database with almost 4,600 items within three years.

August 2, 2021(Mon)

The ARC Days were held on July 30 (Fri) & 31 (Sat), 2021. It is an annual event where the faculty members of the Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University, and international collaborative researchers whose projects have been adopted by the International Joint Digital Archiving Center for Japanese Art and Culture (ARC-iJAC) introduce their research projects in Digital Humanities (DH) in individual presentations.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, this event was held online via Zoom and broadcasted live on YouTube.

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

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July 30, 2021(Fri)

Day 1: July 30, 2021 (Friday) 13:00-17:05

Day 2: July 31, 2021 (Saturday) 10:00-16:40 (tentative)

Venue: Online (ZOOM, YouTube)

If you would like to participate via ZOOM, please contact our secretariat and we will provide you with the URL after registration.
Art Research Center Secretariat:

To watch ARC Days 2021 on YouTube, please click here.

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

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Co-hosted with the Japan Art Documentation Society (JADS), the 89th International ARC Seminar will be held on Wednesday, July 14, starting at 18:00 JST.

The program is as follows:

Title: The History and Future of the Society of Photographic Techniques for Cultural Properties

Speaker: Tadao INOUE (President, Society of Photographic Techniques for Cultural Properties)

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Date: Wednesday, July 14, 2021 18:00 - 19:30 JST

Participation: online via Zoom, free of charge (no reservation required)

*This Webinar is open to everyone, and non-ARC members are also invited to participate via YouTube.

giondm21.JPGIn cooperation with the College of Letters, the International Joint Digital Archiving Center for Japanese Art and Culture (ARC-iJAC), Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University is delighted to announce the launch of the Gion Festival Digital Museum 2021--Enjoy the Gion Festival Virtually--.

The site is a renewal of the Gion Festival Digital Museum 2020 ~The Past, Present, and Future of the Gion Festival~ which was released last year.

This year, the Gion Festival has unfortunately been affected again by the global pandemic, leading to the cancellation of many events, including the Yama-hoko Junko.


In response to this, we have launched the Gion Festival Digital Museum 2021 where visitors can experience the charm and history of the Gion Festival online.

<<Gion Festival Digital Museum 2021>>


Highlights of the new contents:

1. 2D and 3D maps of virtual Kyoto by ArcGIS Online 

2. High-resolution images of hanging scrolls, Gion bayashi, and virtual festival parades

3. App Virtual Historical City Kyoto AR (iOS and Android)


TV coverage:

An interview with Prof. Keiji Yano (ARC Deputy Director) on the Gion Festival Digital Museum 2021 has been broadcasted by NHK Kyoto ニュース630京いちにち on July 16 (Fri), 2021.

→ Watch the video below.

The ARC is dedicated to research, analyze, record, organize, preserve and disseminate the tangibles and intangibles of Japanese cultural heritage. By digital archiving traditional events such as the Gion Festival and making them available to the broad public, the center strives to retain their significance for future generations.

Tanabata 2021 is one of the largest cultural exchange events between Cambodia and Japan and will be held online from July 9 (Fri) to July 11 (Sun).

As part of this event, the video of the Japan Foundation "An Evening of Noh and Kyogen 2020"--produced in collaboration with the Art Research Center--will be screened. We warmly invite you to watch this video.

The event has attracted more than 6,000 people in the past, and has introduced Japanese culture from various angles through stage performances and traditional Japanese music.

Due to the spread of Covid-19, the program has been changed to an online format.

Dates: July 9-11

Organizers: Japan Foundation Asia Center Phnom Penh, Embassy of Japan in Cambodia, CJCC (Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center)

<Related websites>
Facebook event page
Japan Foundation Asia Center, Phnom Penh

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