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The Art Research Center (ARC), Ritsumeikan University, in collaboration with the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), is pleased to announce that 4,233 ukiyo-e prints and 74 Japanese old books from ROM's collection are now available in our database.

Royal Ontario Museum Ukiyo-e Database

*Note: From the ARC Ukiyo-e Portal Database, you can search for this collection by entering 'Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)' in the 'collection'-field.

Royal Ontario Museum Japanese Old Books Database

*Note: From the ARC Early Japanese Books Portal Database, you can search for this collection by entering 'Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)' in the 'owner'-field.

Located in Toronto, Canada, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) showcases art, culture, and nature from around the world. Canada's largest, most-visited museum, ROM has the most extensive collection of Japanese art in the country, a large part of which are ukiyo-e.

Digital archiving of ROM's collection of ukiyo-e prints began in March 2020, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the digitization of all the ukiyo-e prints and some of the early Japanese books.

Since then, the ARC has continued to add to the database to ensure all the works from the collection are available online for the public. Each item in the ARC database is linked to ROM's online collection. (Some links are yet to be adjusted.)

The collection includes ukiyo-e prints from a wide range of periods and genres, from monochrome early ukiyo-e prints of the Genroku period (1688 - 1704), to shin-hanga prints of the Taisho and Showa periods.

At its core is the collection of over 2,000 ukiyo-e prints of Sir Byron Edmund Walker--one of the founders and first chairman of ROM--that was bequested to the Museum in 1926.

Regarding main genres, the collection consists of 1,426 landscape prints (名所絵), 685 prints of beautiful women (美人画), 464 warrior prints (武者絵), 375 actor prints (役者絵), and 361 prints of scenes from stories (物語絵; including duplicates of actor prints). It is also particularly noteworthy that there are 219 war prints (戦争絵), 83 earthquake (地震絵) and catfish prints (鯰絵), 33 prints depicting foreigners, and 201 surimono.

Regarding ukiyo-e artists, the collection includes 750 prints by Hiroshige, 716 prints by Gekko, 300 prints by Hokusai, 125 prints by Toyokuni I, 100 prints by Kunisada, and 117 prints by Utamaro.

In 2009, a donation of 136 warrior prints from the late James King, a professor of English at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, enriched the collection of this genre. Moreover, Balfour Halévy, the former law librarian of York University, Toronto, donated his collection of over 600 works of Ogata Gekko to ROM in 2016. This rare collection is an essential source for research on Gekko.

We hope that access to this database from ROM's extensive collection provides a foundation for further ukiyo-e research and learning.


・James King and Yuriko Iwakiri: Japanese Warrior Prints, 1646-1904. Hotei, 2007.

・Sir Byron Edmund Walker | Royal Ontario Museum (


We are pleased to announce that 1,541 ukiyo-e prints held by the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) are now available on the website of the Art Research Center (ARC), Ritsumeikan University.

Ukiyo-e Database for Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Note: From the ARC Ukiyo-e Portal Database, you can access this database by entering 'BAMPFA' in the 'collection'-field.

BAMPFA is the art museum of the University of California, Berkeley, in the heart of downtown Berkeley.

In September 2019, the Art Research Center (ARC) obtained authorization from the museum to digitize its collection of ukiyo-e prints, which has now been completed. Upon adding the metadata, we reported to the museum on the project in February 2020 and have been working to improve the data during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coordinating with the museum, the ARC has made the database publicly accessible from the ARC website. A button for each item provides a direct link to the BAMPFA collection database.

Among the 1,541 ukiyo-e prints in the collection, 595 landscape prints (名所絵) make up the largest share, followed by 501 prints of beautiful women (美人画), 224 actor prints (役者絵), and 83 warrior prints (武者絵). Regarding ukiyo-e artists, the collection comprises 359 ukiyo-e prints by Hiroshige, 164 ukiyo-e prints by Kunisada I, 118 ukiyo-e prints by Hokusai, and 72 ukiyo-e prints by Kuniyoshi.

Particularly noteworthy are the 134 surimono (摺物) and 120 pillar prints (柱絵), for which the opening of this database provides a foundation for further research.

We are pleased to announce that 1,481 ukiyo-e prints from the Mukai Nobuo Collection of Senshu University Library are now available online in the Ukiyo-e Portal Database of the Art Research Center (ARC), Ritsumeikan University.

Ukiyo-e Database of the Mukai Nobuo Collection, Senshu University Library

Note: From the ARC Ukiyo-e Portal Database, you can search for the Mukai Nobuo Collection by entering '向井信夫文庫' in the 'collection'-field.

The late Mukai Nobuo was known as a collector and researcher of Edo-period Japanese books. His collection comprises a wide variety of books from the late Edo period, such as gesaku (戯作)--including sharebon (洒落本), kokkeibon (滑稽本), hanashibon (咄本), and ninjobon (人情本)--kanshibun (漢詩文), kyoshi (狂詩) and kyobun (狂文), kosho zuihitsu (考証随筆), Yoshiwara-and kabuki-related works, picture books, and more.

While collecting these Japanese books, he also collected ukiyo-e prints and ukiyo-e albums of the same period. It is a well-balanced collection of late-Edo period actor prints (役者絵), warrior prints (武者絵), prints of beautiful women (美人画), and caricatures, with a sizeable collection of 690 works by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (月岡芳年).

The Art Research Center (ARC) has collaborated in this project by digitizing the collection and providing detailed metadata.

While the Edo-period Japanese books of the Mukai Nobuo Collection are released sequentially by the National Institute of Japanese Literature, they are also accessible through the ARC database system.

Senshu University Library's Nobuo Mukai Collection Browsing System

Note: From the Early Japanese Books Portal Database, you can search by entering '専修大学' as the owner of the collection.

Regarding the use of rare books and materials of Senshu University Library, please refer to the library website

April 20, 2023(Thu)

We are pleased to announce the Call for Manuscript Submissions for the Art Research Center's journal ART RESEARCH vol. 24-2.

As an academic journal specializing in arts and culture, the purpose of ART RESEARCH is to widely publicize the results of the research projects and activities conducted by the Art Research Center (ARC), Ritsumeikan University, and its partner institutions and collaborative researchers.

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 compiling all contributions will be distributed, as we hope to increase the submission opportunities for researchers.

We look forward to receiving your manuscript.

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 立命館大学アート・リサーチセンターは、日本文化の有形・無形文化財のデジタル・アーカイブを研究テーマとし、文理連携による共同研究を推進してきました。2019年度には文部科学省 国際共同利用・共同研究拠点にも認定され、デジタル・アーカイブ構築を一層進める環境を提供しています。その環境を活用することにより、研究者が自らデジタル・アーカイブを構築しながら日本文化研究を精力的に進められる拠点となっています。アート・リサーチセンターは、学内向けにこの環境を提供し、研究成果を導くために活動を推進しています。


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April 17, 2023(Mon)


We are pleased to announce that the entire ehon (艶本) collection of Professor Itasaka Noriko, a researcher of kusazoshi and yomihon with a focus on Kyokutei Bakin, is now available in the Early Japanese Books Portal Database of the Art Research Center (ARC), Ritsumeikan University.

During the Edo period, while gesaku (late Edo period novels) were being published legally, ehon were meanwhile being published behind the scenes.

Professor Itasaka says she was drawn by the 'illegal' nature of ehon and that they showcase the best techniques of the painters, engravers, and printers as craftsmen.

A feature of this collection is that it comprises yomihon and kusazoshi-style works more so than works of renowned ukiyo-e artists. Although there are a few hahon (端本)--incomplete sets of books--included, we hope that the online release of this collection will lead to a deepening of gesaku research.

>> ARC Early Japanese Books Portal Database

Note: Please enter '板坂' or '板坂コレクション' in the 'owner'-field to search for this collection.

The Art Research Center (ARC) is pleased to announce that about 600 works have been newly added to the Chushingura Ukiyo-e Database of Ako City.

Based on an academic exchange agreement between Ako City and the Art Research Center (ARC), Ritsumeikan University, a database of Chushingura ukiyo-e held by Ako City has been constructed and made available to the public online since July 2008.

With the recent addition, 2,564 ukiyo-e prints and one book (4 volumes of Gishi Taikan) related to Chushingura are now available online.

Please take this opportunity to access the Chushingura Ukiyo-e Database of Ako City and explore the diverse world of ukiyo-e related to Chushingura. Furthermore, we also hope you will enjoy our online exhibition on the Chushingura ukiyo-e.

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

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

The Art Research Center (ARC) is pleased to announce the release of Ritsumeikan University's Integrated Database of Academic Resources, which allows users access to online materials of various holding institutions at Ritsumeikan University in an integrated manner.

If you would like to digitize academic resources within the university and make them available to the public, please feel free to contact the Art Research Center (ARC).

Art Research Center (ARC), Ritsumeikan University
Tel.: 075-466-3411
Office hours: 9:30 - 17:30 ※Except for weekends, national holidays, etc.


The Art Research Center (ARC), Ritsumeikan University, is pleased to announce that approximately 580 gidayu bushi lyric booklets (shohon) from the Takeuchi Dokei Collection (「竹内道敬文庫」), held by the Kunitachi College of Music Library, have been released online.

The Takeuchi Dokei Collection of gidayu bushi materials is characterized by its large number of michiyuki-bon (「道行本」).

From the website of the Kunitachi College of Music Library (, enter「竹内道敬文庫の世界」 「C 資料解説」→「C2 義太夫正本」where you can read a commentary on the materials and navigate to the database (→

You can also access the Kunitachi College of Music Takeuchi Dokei Collection Onkyoku Shohon Browsing System「国立音楽大学 竹内道敬文庫 音曲正本閲覧シスムテ」, which allows you to view all authentic copies that have been released to the public, through the following URL:

Furthermore, you can enter the database via the ARC Early Japanese Books Portal Database:

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