［イベント情報］November 7, 2023(Tue)
On November 7, 2023, Prof. Chih-Ming Chen (Director, Research Center for Chinese Cultural Metaverse in Taiwan, National Chengchi University) and Prof. Shi-Chi Mike Lan (Deputy Director, Research Center for Chinese Cultural Metaverse in Taiwan, National Chengchi University) visited the Art Research Center (ARC).
Besides a tour of the ARC building and facilities, discussions and an exchange of opinions on collaboration in digital humanities research and education took place with Prof. Ryo Akama (College of Letters/Director of the ARC) and Prof. Keiji Yano (College of Letters/Deputy Director of the ARC).［イベント情報］November 6, 2023(Mon)
On November 6, 2023, Prof. Graeme Earl (Head of the College of Humanities, SOAS University of London) visited the Art Research Center (ARC).
Besides a tour of the ARC building and facilities, discussions and an exchange of opinions on collaboration in digital humanities research and education took place with Prof. Ryo Akama (College of Letters/Director of the ARC) and Prof. Keiji Yano (College of Letters/Deputy Director of the ARC).［イベント情報］The 3rd Digital Exhibition in the Ako City Chushingura Digital Exhibition Room, Chushingura Ukiyo-e from Kamigata, has openedNovember 3, 2023(Fri)
The Art Research Center (ARC), Ritsumeikan University, is pleased to announce that the 3rd digital exhibition in the Ako City Chushingura Digital Exhibition Room, Chushingura Ukiyo-e from Kamigata, is available.
Based on the special exhibition Chushingura Ukiyo-e from Kamigata held at the Ako City Museum of History in 2022, this digital exhibition includes works in the Ako City Chushingura Ukiyo-e Database, along with works in the collection of the ARC.
Single-page ukiyo-e prints began to be published in the Kamigata region of Osaka and Kyoto in the Kansei period (1789-1800). Over a period of 70 years from then until the end of the Edo period, plays related to Chushingura were staged more than 200 times. In conjunction with these productions, large numbers of actor prints were created.
Kamigata-e has distinctive characteristics that differ from Edo-e, and the unique world of these artworks is highly appreciated in Europe and the United States. Our exhibition showcases some aspects of the development of Chushingura culture in the Kamigata region, mainly depicted in yakusha-e, shibai-e, and omocha-e.
We also recommend you view this exhibition together with the first digital exhibition, Aspects of Images of the Raid, held in 2019, and the second exhibition, Head of the Loyal Warriors: Oboshi Yuranosuke, held in the following year.［イベント情報］November 2, 2023(Thu)
On November 2, 2023, Russell Kelty (Curator, Art Gallery of South Australia) visited the Art Research Center (ARC).
Besides a tour of the ARC building and facilities, discussions and an exchange of opinions on a collaboration in research activities in digital archiving took place with Prof. Ryo Akama (College of Letters/Director of the ARC).［イベント情報］October 31, 2023(Tue)With the establishment of the International Joint Digital Archiving Center for Japanese Art and Culture (ARC-iJAC) in 2019, the Art Research Center strives to push the internationalization of research activities that transcend disciplines and geographic boundaries.
The Shochiku Otani Library released a digital archive of Kabuki bromides (photographic portraits of Kabuki actors) through the Theater Photos Search and Browsing System developed by the ARC-iJAC. With the online release, users can search and view Kabuki stage photographs from the Meiji era to the prewar period and photographs of famous actors of the past in costume.
We hope this release will enable users to experience the appeal of Kabuki and contribute to the development of research by scholars and those associated with the theatre. >> Read more.On the occasion of the release of 4,233 ukiyo-e prints and 74 Japanese old books from ROM's collection in the ARC database, Dr. Takesue shares her thoughts on ROM's extensive and unique ukiyo-e print collection that includes Hiroshige's Meisho Edo Hyakkei and Ogata Gekko prints, as well as actor, landscape, war, and catfish prints, amongst others. >> Read interview.As part of the ARC research project Visual Culture Studies in the Domestic Sphere Utilizing the ARC Database, an open workshop will be held on Kinugasa Campus.
The project aims to study arts and visual culture in East Asia related to the concept of Ie, which encompasses housing, households, family, and family genealogy within the Domestic Sphere juxtaposed to the Public Sphere. → Program
The ARC held an international symposium commemorating the 25th anniversary of its establishment under the theme Liberal Arts Innovation in Digital Humanities and Digital Archives--Exploring Further Possibilities. Discussing the Center's achievements and future direction, particular emphasis was placed on the concept of public humanities, facilitated through digital archives.
>> Read more.
A joint colloquium of the Center for Japanese Studies (CJS) and the ARC was held at UC Berkeley under the theme Theory and Methods in the Japanese Humanities: Research Using Visual Sources and Archives. As part of the research collaboration of more than 15 years, the ARC research team, led by Prof. Ryo Akama (Director of the ARC), continued with digital archiving activities of the Japanese collection held by UC Berkeley's C.V. Starr East Asian Library. >> Read more.The research project, a collaborative scholarly enterprise among researchers and institutions in Japan and the UK led by Prof. Ryo Akama (Director of the ARC) and Dr. Akiko Yano (Curator, The British Museum), aims to analyze the cultural and social impact of art and literary salons and the collective creation of art (gassaku) in early modern Japan, particularly in the Kyoto-Osaka region. This project is supported by the JSPS International Joint Research Program (JRP-LEAD with UKRI). >> Read more. Video on demand! 123. International ARC Seminar
Speaker: Toshiyasu KAMOGI (Curator & Manager of Curatorial Division, Tokyo Fuji Art Museum)
Topic: The Achievements and Future Outlook of a Homemade Database by a Liberal Arts Computer Enthusiast Curator--From the Frontline of Digital Archive Operation for Streamlining and Enhancing Museum Curatorial Services-- (held in Japanese)Upcoming Events
November 8 (Wed), 2023, 18:00-19:30 JST
125. International ARC Seminar
Speaker: Ellis TINIOS (Honorary Lecturer, University of Leeds, United Kingdom and ARC Visiting Researcher)
Topic: Hokusai the Alchemist: an exploration of sources for his book illustrations (held in English)
Live stream available via >> YouTube.
November 16 (Thur), 2023, 13:00-18:00 JST
Surface and Depth of the Domestic Sphere in East Asian Art
Venue: Seminar Room 1, Gakujikan Hall 2F, Kinugasa Campus, Ritsumeikan University
Language: Japanese (with English abstract) and English (with Japanese script)
November 29 (Wed), 2023, 18:00-19:30 JST
126. International ARC Seminar
Speaker: Timon SCREECH (Professor, International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken))
Topic: New Light on Nikkō: Thoughts on the Dutch Lanterns at the Shrine-Mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu (held in English)
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You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.［イベント情報］An Interview with Dr. Akiko Takesue (Bishop White Committee Associate Curator of Japanese Art & Culture, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada)October 27, 2023(Fri)
Dr Takesue, thank you very much for your time today. What sparked your interest in Japanese art history?
Takesue: It is a long story since I left Japan almost 25 years ago. When I was younger and living in Japan, I was more interested in Western than Japanese art. Hence, I went to Sydney, Australia, to study art. At that time, I had the idea to work in an art gallery dealing with Western contemporary art.
Then, while I was doing an internship at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney under a Japanese curator, I discovered the beauty and excitement of studying and dealing with Japanese art. Interestingly, I realized the Japanese art collection there was different from what I thought of Japanese art, which was sort of a trigger for me to research the global circulation of Japanese art since the Meiji period.
As the Japanese collections overseas consist of many export arts, i.e., made in Japan but only for the Western market, I discovered many things I never knew about when I was in Japan. So, I became fascinated with the fact that Japanese art in Sydney was indeed different from my understanding of Japanese art. This interest continues even now.
I also investigated in my PhD dissertation how objects stay the same while their meanings shift from time to time, place to place.
How did you first connect with the Art Research Center (ARC)?
Takesue: It was through my predecessor, Dr. Rosina Buckland, who is now at the British Museum. In 2020, she started the digitization project of the ROM's Japanese art collection with Prof. Akama whom I met when he and his team was taking photographs of the collection. So, after Dr. Buckland left in 2021, I continued to complete this project, and I feel fortunate and grateful that she started it.
Comprising approximately 10,000 objects, the Japanese art collection of the ROM is the largest of its kind in Canada. Considered to be particularly comprehensive is the ukiyo-e print collection. What do you find fascinating about it and why?
Takesue: Over 2,000 ukiyo-e prints and surimono of Sir Byron Edmund Walker, one of the founders and the first chairman of the ROM, were bequested to the ROM in 1926, which became the core of our entire Japanese print collection.
The ROM already had some woodblock prints since 1916, but at that time, no one knew much about Japanese art at the museum. With the Walker Collection and the earlier prints, our print collection expanded, comprising over 4,000 prints today.
Furthermore, there is a variety in the genres of the prints. The ROM's collection consists of actor prints, prints of beautiful women, landscape prints, including those of Hokusai and Hiroshige, as well as prints from the Meiji period and war prints. So not only the sheer number of prints but the range of subjects make our collection quite valuable and unique.
For example, we have an almost complete set of Hiroshige's Meisho Edo Hyakkei (One Hundred Famous Views of Edo). It may not be well-known, but our set is almost like a 'first edition'. 'First edition' may be a tricky term, but our set is in a very good condition, and you can see the highly skilled printing techniques used. While everyone knows about the first edition at the Brooklyn Museum, hardly anybody knows about our set.
When I recently went to the Brooklyn Museum, I compared their set with printouts of some of our prints with the curator there, and we realized that both of our sets are almost identical. So, I was glad I could confirm that our set is also a high-quality series.
You also have a rare collection of Ogata Gekko prints. What are your thoughts on this collection?
Takesue: This collection is very unique, too. Although Gekko was quite well-known in his lifetime in the Meiji period and produced many prints, paintings, and book illustrations, he became somewhat of a forgotten artist.
A Toronto-based collector and former law librarian of York University, Balfour Halévy, accumulated over 600 of Gekko's works and donated the whole collection to the ROM in 2016. According to him, another extensive collection of Gekko prints exists in New Zealand. Since these two collections seem to be the only comprehensive collections dedicated to Gekko outside of Japan, we are very fortunate to have one of them at the ROM.
In June this year, 4,233 ukiyo-e prints and 74 old Japanese books from the ROM's collection were released in the ARC portal database. What is the significance of this database?
Takesue: The contents and quality of our print collection are good, however, not many people, including researchers, seem to be aware that we have such a comprehensive collection of prints. So, we are grateful for this ARC digitization project to make our collection available to researchers and the public for their studies, research, and pleasure. Otherwise, those prints remain just hidden in our storage. Except for a few notable research efforts, the whole collection has not been studied extensively.
Our goal is that many scholars and researchers will take note of the prints in the ROM's collection so we can contribute to the development of ukiyo-e research. The release of our collection marks a significant starting point.
What are your thoughts on the importance of digitization for museums, and how does it play a part in your plans at the ROM?
Takesue: Digitization of the collection is crucial to provide the public access to what we have. The ROM is a huge museum with 13 million objects in total in its collections. So, I believe that anyone can find at least one favorite object.
We try to exhibit as many in the museum as possible, but space is limited. Only less than 5% of our collection is publicly displayed. The rest is in our storage, with many objects never being on public view.
While, as a museum curator, I believe in the power of objects when you see them with your eyes, if a collection is available online, people have another way to enjoy the collection. Availability and accessibility are crucial particularly since we have no permanent Japanese gallery at the ROM right now.
I have recently completed an online exhibition on catfish prints. COVID has, in a way, accelerated the development of virtual channels. Digitization has become essential to showcase the Japanese collection at the ROM.
Finally, could you share a few of your personal favorites within the ROM's ukiyo-e print collection?
Takesue: I like ukiyo-e prints with some layers of meaning behind them, for instance, parodies (mitate-e) or complex ideas, which I realized when I did the online exhibition on the catfish prints. They are not just funny prints but encompass emotions and thoughts of people about society at that time. This is why I am fascinated with this kind of print.
Hiroshige's Meisho Edo Hyakkei (One Hundred Famous Views of Edo) is also one of my favorites, mainly because of its composition. Hiroshige uses very striking, innovative perspectives of having something huge at the front with other elements kept smaller at the back, which, at that time, was quite innovative and a reason why Western artists, including Impressionist artists were so fascinated with the Japanese prints.
Images credit: Courtesy of ROM (Royal Ontario Museum), Toronto, Canada. ©ROM
(This interview was conducted by Yinzi Emily Li)
［イベント情報］October 18, 2023(Wed)
The 124th International ARC Seminar will be held as a webinar on Wednesday, October 18, from 18:00 JST.
The program is as follows:
Speaker: Her Imperial Highness Princess Akiko of Mikasa
Topic: Prince Mikasa and his times
Date: Wednesday, October 18, 18:00 - 19:30 JST
Participation: Those concerned will be informed separately by e-mail.［イベント情報］The Release of Kabuki Bromides in the ARC Shochiku Otani Library Theater Photos Search and Browsing System was featured in the Tokyo ShimbunOctober 17, 2023(Tue)
On October 17, 2023, the Tokyo Shimbun featured the article "デジタル化で今よみがえる往年の歌舞伎ブロマイド" on the Kabuki bromides in the collection of the Shochiku Otani Library which have been released in the ARC Shochiku Otani Library Theater Photos Search and Browsing System.
Digital Archive of Shochiku Otani Library's Collection of Valuable Materials "Theater Photos Search and Browsing System"
Related article＞＞https://www.arc.ritsumei.ac.jp/e/news/pc/019324.html［イベント情報］Kabuki Bromides from the Meiji Era to the Prewar Period have been published in the ARC Shochiku Otani Library Theater Photos Search and Browsing SystemOctober 17, 2023(Tue)
As part of the FY 2023 ARC-iJAC project 演劇上演記録データベースを活用した、演劇資料画像検索閲覧システムの構築に関る研究 (A Study on the Construction of a Search and Browsing System for Theater Photo Materials using a Database of Theater Performance Records), the Shochiku Otani Library has released a digital archive of Kabuki bromides (photographic portraits of Kabuki actors) from the Meiji era to the prewar period. Online public access to this archive is provided by the Art Research Center (ARC), Ritsumeikan University.
The Shochiku Otani Library undertook a crowdfunding project in 2019 to raise funds for the digital photography and preservation of 12,000 Kabuki bromides.
Since launching the project, the construction of the digital archive, data entry, and other preparations for web release have progressed, and we are pleased to announce that a portion of the archive has now been made available to the public through the "Theater Photos Search and Browsing System" developed by the ARC-iJAC.
With this online release, users are able to search and view Kabuki stage photographs from the Meiji era to the prewar period, as well as photographs of famous actors of the past in costume. We hope that along with a greater number of people being able to make use of the Shochiku Otani Library Collection, greater contributions to the study of Japanese theater will be possible. We humbly ask your cooperation in sharing the announcement of this release.
Digital Archive of Shochiku Otani Library's Collection of Valuable Materials "Theater Photos Search and Browsing System"
Since 2013, the Shochiku Otani Library has been engaged in crowdfunding projects to digitize and preserve valuable materials and has achieved continued results every year.
The Shochiku Otani Library and the ARC have been working together on the construction of the digital archive and to make it available to the public through an online browsing system by preparing the input of bibliographic data (titles, dates of performances, names of theaters, names of roles and actors), and other information. Approximately 5,500 of 12,000 items in the digital archive have now been released as of October 17, 2023.
The Theater Photos Search and Browsing System allows users to search for photographs based on the program name or actor name. Clicking on a thumbnail image in the search results will open an information screen that displays detailed information such as program name, role, and actor name, as well as an enlarged image.
We hope that the release of the digital archive of Kabuki bromides--valuable materials that record Kabuki performances and famous actors of the time--will enable users to experience the appeal of Kabuki and contribute to the development of research by scholars and those associated with the theatre.
We will continue to investigate and verify the data to improve the digital archive beyond its release.［イベント情報］October 15, 2023(Sun)
On October 15, 2023, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Nikkei) featured the second part of a coverage on the research projects to digitize overseas museum collections, led by Prof. Ryo Akama, Director of the Art Research Center (ARC).