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4.JPGThe charity performance -Sending prayers from Kyoto- by the Noh performers of the Kyoto Kanze School will be streamed live online today in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Based on the agreement with the Katayama Family Foundation for the Preservation of Noh and Traditional Kyoto Dance, the Art Research Center studio members have been in charge of the video recording, editing, distribution and live streaming of this performance.


September 25 (Friday) at 19:00 (JST) live streaming from the ROHM Theatre Kyoto via YouTube

Noh Charity Performance -Sending prayers from Kyoto-

能「大会」 片山九郎右衛門 ほか Noh "Daie" performed by Kuroemon Katayama and others

祝言謡「四海波」 有志全員 Shugen no utai "Shikai-nami" performed by all

能「羽衣」 浦田保浩 ほか Noh "Hagoromo" performed by Yasuhiro Urata and others

狂言「口真似」茂山千五郎 ほか Kyogen "Kuchimane" performed by Sengoro Shigeyama and others

Click here to watch the performance:

Please feel free to spread the word to your friends and family as well.


The Art Research Center (ARC), Ritsumeikan University, is pleased to announce that the publication of the 21st volume of its annual research bulletin Art Research is scheduled for mid-March 2021.

This bulletin has the purpose of disseminating the results of the research projects conducted by the ARC to the public. Moreover, as an academic bulletin specialized in arts and culture, it has been attracting many contributors every year.

Since its establishment in 1998, the ARC has been awarded several national grants as a research center of excellence in culture, arts, and information science. Most recently, the ARC has been designated as an International Joint Usage / Research Center by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in October 2019.

We look forward to receiving your research results that meet the criteria below.

【Journal Name】「ART RESEARCH」Vol.21

【Format】A4, horizontal and vertical writing both in two-column sets

【Publication Date】Mid-March 2021(Scheduled)

【Content】Research papers and research notes related to culture, arts, and information science (e.g. research reports, introduction to materials, technical notes). It is particularly desirable if the theme of the research project fits with the research topics of the Art Research Center (ARC).

【Writing Guidelines】pdf.jpg 執筆要綱 (PDF: 186KB)

【Applying for Author Registration】

To submit a manuscript, please register as an author first. Kindly send us the following information by e-mail before the deadline. After the screening by the editorial committee, you will be notified whether you have been accepted for the author's registration.

Information to be submitted:

[1] Name (in Furigana)

[2] Affiliation

[3] Position

[4] Address for sending proofreading documents

[5] Phone number

[6] E-mail address

[7] Type of manuscript (research paper or research note)

[8] Title(s) (can be tentative)

[9] Summary (about 200 words)

Contact: arc-jimu■ (Attn: Ishimura, Nakamura)

Please change "■" to "@" in the e-mail. Please state「9/6執筆者登録応募」in the subject line.

Application Deadline: September 6, 2020 (Sunday), 24:00

※Please note that applications after the deadline are not accepted.

※Please contact the Art Research Center secretariat if you have any difficulty in submitting by e-mail.

※We will not use your personal information outside of editorial purposes for the "Art Research"-publication.


Sunday, September 6, 2020: Deadline for applying for author registration

Tuesday, 15 September: Notification of author registration

Tuesday, November 3: Deadline for submission of the manuscript

※After review of the manuscript by two reviewers, the editorial board will decide whether or not to publish it.

The publication is scheduled for mid-March 2020.


If you would like to receive back issues of the journal, please contact the Art Research Center. Those who wish to have them mailed to will be asked to pay for the postage. Thank you in advance for your understanding.


The Art Research Center secretariat (Attn: Nakamura)

[TEL] 075-466-3411 (ext. 511-2931)

[FAX] 075-466-3415 (ext. 511-2935)

[E-mail] arc-jimu■

Please change "■" to "@" in your email. Please state 「紀要問い合わせ」in the subject line.

Read more>>

1.JPGAs one of the traditional Japanese performing arts, Noh Theater - or nohgaku - has been established in Japan for more than 600 years and is designated as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. Often based on tales from traditional Japanese literature, nohgaku integrates masks, costumes, and various props in a dance-based performance which requires highly trained actors and musicians.

2.JPGTo preserve and disseminate nohgaku culture, the Art Research Center has been working with the Katayama Family, who holds an invaluable position as nohgaku performers in Kyoto, to film and digitally archive their performances for the last 20 years. The Katayama Family has not only been contributing immensely to the preservation of this intangible cultural property but has also been protecting tangible assets such as nohgaku masks and costumes.

The COVID-19 pandemic has, unfortunately, resulted in the cancellation of an annual public Noh performance by the Katayama Family at the Kyoto Station Building this year.

Therefore, master's students of Digital Humanities for Arts and Cultures, the Graduate School of Letters, Ritsumeikan University, have completed a promotional video about nohgaku which is currently being shown at Kyoto Station and Yamashina Station until September 6, 2020, in cooperation with the Art Research Center, the Katayama Family Foundation for the Preservation of Noh and Kyoto Dance and the West Japan Railway Company.

3.JPGLocation & Period of Video Screenings

Kyoto Station and Yamashina Station:

August 22 - September 6 (without audio)

Kyoto Station Building (the station square, in front of the stairs at the east side entrance of Porta Mall):

August 7 - September 6 (with audio)

For details on the Katayama Family Foundation for the Preservation of Noh and Kyoto Dance:

Official Youtube channel of the Katayama Family Foundation for the Preservation of Noh and Kyoto Dance:

Kyoto Kanze Noh Theater:

Due to the spread of the new coronavirus, the Gion Festival in Kyoto, one of the biggest and most important festivals in Japan celebrated for more than 1,100 years, will take place on a much smaller scale this year as the grand Yamahoko Junkō parade and other related events have been canceled.

giondigital_3.JPGDespite this situation, to provide an opportunity to learn about and experience the Gion Festival, the Art Research Center's International Joint Digital Archiving Center for Japanese Art and Culture (ARC-iJAC) at Ritsumeikan University, in cooperation with the College of Letters, will be launching "The Gion Festival Digital Museum: The Past, Present, and Future of the Gion Festival" from July 1 - July 31, 2020, on its website.

gionmatsuri.pngThe Gion Festival, which usually takes place in Kyoto in the same month, is widely known in Japan and abroad as one of the three major Japanese festivals. The Art Research Center (ARC) provides an online platform where its research results on the festival so far are published so that people around the world, who are interested in Japanese culture, can deepen their understanding of the Gion Festival by virtually experiencing it.

giondigital_1.JPGOn the ARC's website, 2D and 3D maps of the Gion Festival and videos of a virtual Yamahoko Junkō, the magnificent procession of decorated floats and the crowning event of the festival, will be made available. Besides, one can discover the three-dimensional, see-through visualization model of the Hachiman-yama float, one of the festival floats, with new perspectives otherwise invisible to the human eye. Furthermore, the Byobu Matsuri, or Folding Screen Festival, at the Nagae Family Residence, a Kyo-machiya designated a cultural property by the city of Kyoto, will be exhibited in the virtual space.

byobu_matsuri.jpgBy digitally archiving traditional events such as the Gion Festival and making them accessible to the broad public, the ARC is dedicated to research, analyze, record, organize, preserve and disseminate the tangibles as well as intangibles of Japanese cultural and historical heritage to retain their significance for future generations.

Access to The Gion Festival Digital Museum (available from July 1, 2020)

Event Schedule

July 1 (Wed), 2020: The Gion Festival Digital Museum 2020 opens to the public (new content to be continuously added after its launch)

July 19 (Sun), 2020: Web event will be held at the Nagae Family Residence (details to be announced on the website later)

The special exhibition "KIMONO: Fashion Identities", which is being held at the Tokyo National Museum, was featured on an NHK Educational TV program "Nichiyo Bijyutsukan (Sunday Gallery) Art Scene" on July 19. The program is available for streaming from the following link until 9:59 A.M. on 26 July (NHK plus ID is required).

The program featured "Karuta asobi zu", a painting from the ARC's Fujii Eikan Bunko Collection, as a fine example of paintings which depict the popular kimono patterns from the early-17th century. We can also see the colorful kimonos coordinated by Natsuko Takasu, an ARC's Visiting Collaborative Researcher, at the end of the special feature.

The exhibition will also be featured in "niconico Art Museum", and there will a live streaming gallery talk with Dr. Oyama, Senior Manager of Decorative Arts, Tokyo National Museum, from 18:00 on July 21. The streaming will available from the following link (niconico user registration is required)

This week is the last chance to see "Karuta asobi zu" at the Tokyo National Museum, so why not make an advanced reservation, take measures against COVID-19, and visit the exhibition during this long weekend?

"KIMONO: Fashion Identities" website

News article on "KIMONO: Fashion Identities"


Gion Festival Digital Museum 2020

Live Web Event: Round Table at the Nagae Family Residence on Sunday, July 19, 2020 (in Japanese)

Topic: Effectivity and Possibility of Digital Archives for Local Communities from a Digital Humanities Point of View

Organizer: Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University (Executive Committee of The Gion Festival Digital Museum 2020)

Date & Time: Sunday, July 19, 2020 / 15:00 - 16:30 JST live from the Nagae Family Residence via Youtube >>

Language: Japanese

nagae_outer.pngBackground: The Nagae Family Residence is a Kyo-machiya - a traditional wooden townhouse - and has been designated a tangible cultural property by Kyoto city which sought to restore the interior to how it looked when the building was constructed 150 years ago. The Nagae family used to be merchants of the Kimono fabric. After Ritsumeikan University was donated a collection of items belonging to the Nagae Family Residence, the Art Research Center (ARC) began to digitally archive this collection and became involved in the planning and managing of the Byobu Matsuri (folding screen festival) held at the Nagae Family Residence during the Gion Festival.

Event Schedule (to be confirmed)

15:00 Welcome speech

Keiji Yano (Professor, College of Letters, Ritsumeikan University)

15:05 Part 1 - Introduction of The Gion Festival Digital Museum 2020 and explanation of its contents

Hirotaka Sato (Assistant Professor, College of Letters, Ritsumeikan University), student of the Kyoto Studies Fieldwork Group IV

15:45 Part 2 - Exchange of opinions

Moderator: Keiji Yano


Kenji Tsuji (President, Gion Festival Fune-hoko Preservation Association)

Masao Goto (Former President, Hachiman-yama Preservation Association)

Yoshie Takagi (Curator, Nagae Family Residence Project)

Hirotaka Sato

16:15 Question & Answer session

16:30 End of the event

Access here >>

July 3, 2020(Fri)

A special exhibition "KIMONO: Fashion Identities", which the Art Research Center (ARC) has contributed to, is now open at the Tokyo National Museum.

This exhibition traces the kimono, one of Japan's most iconic symbols, from its inception some eight hundred years ago to its role today as a symbol of Japanese culture and is the largest kimono exhibition in the history of the museum.

eik3-1-04.jpg"Karuta asobi zu", a painting from the ARC's Fujii Eikan Bunko Collection, is exhibited during the first half of the exhibition (June 30 - July 26). This is a great opportunity to see the painting in real life. ("Karuta asobi zu" in the ARC Database:

Moreover, Natsuko Takasu, one of the ARC's Visiting Collaborative Researchers, has contributed to the exhibition. Her contribution includes writing a column in the exhibition catalog, creating the Taisho-Meiji era style kimono coordinates and coordinating overseas collectors' kimono, and providing some decorative items for display. The coordinated kimono styles, matched with accessories such as han-eri, obi, and obi-dome, make up a beautiful art form.

DSC_7100.jpgPlease note that all visitors are required to make online reservations in advance due to social distancing.

[General Information]

KIMONO: Fashion Identities

Period: June 30-August 23, 2020 (closed on Mondays (except for August 10) and August 11)

(First half: June 30-July 26/Second half: July 28-August 23)

Hours: 9:30-18:00

Venue: Heiseikan, Tokyo National Museum (Ueno Park)

Admission: Adults 1700 yen, University students 1200 yen, High school students 900 yen

*Please note that all tickets will be timed-entry tickets (timed tickets) and shall be purchased online in advance. Museum members and other visitors eligible for free admission shall also make advanced reservations online.

[Organizers] Tokyo National Museum, The Asahi Shimbun, TV Asahi Corporation, Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan Arts Council

[Sponsors] Takara Leben Co., Ltd., Takenaka Corporation, Toppan Printing Co., Ltd., Toyota Motor Corporation

[Support] Kobe Fashion Museum

(Photo credit: Natsuko Takasu)

The MEXT International Joint Usage / Research Center「International Joint Digital Archiving Center for Japanese Art and Culture (ARC-iJAC) 」, Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University, will be co-hosting the 2020 Annual Conference of the Japan Art Documentation Society (JADS) on June 27 (Sat) and June 28 (Sun), 2020.

On the first day, a symposium with the topic 「芸術文化資源デジタル・アーカイブの国際的共同利用 -- オンライン環境での知的生産システムとそのツール (International Joint Usage of Digital Archives for Arts and Cultural Resources -- Intelligent Production Systems and their Tools in an Online Environment)」 will be held where ARC members will be giving lectures and presenting the "ARC Research Space", amongst others.

For a detailed program, please click here (in Japanese).

■ Date:

June 27 (Sat) and June 28 (Sun), 2020

June 27, 13:00 - 17:00 (Reception from 12:00)

June 28, 13:30 - 16:05 (Reception for Research Presentation from 12:30)

■ Participation Method:

This event will be held online.

Details on how to participate will be announced later.

■ Fees for Participation & Materials:

Free of charge for JADS members and non-members (both days).

*A PFD version of the manuscript will be distributed online in advance.

■ Registration:

Please register to participate in the event via this application form (

*Limited capacity of 200 people; registration deadline is June 22nd, 2020.

For inquiries, please contact: The Organizing Committee for the 2020 Annual Conference of the Japan Art Documentation Society

jads_conf2020■ (please replace "■" with "@")

On February 25, 2020, Ritsumeikan University and the University of California, Berkeley ("UC Berkeley") held an event commemorating the conclusion of signing a research cooperation agreement.

This follows after the Art Research Center ("ARC") at Ritsumeikan University, one of the pioneers in digital humanities, was designated as the International Joint Digital Archiving Center for Japanese Art and Culture (ARC-iJAC) by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in October last year. With such recognition, the ARC strives to push internationalization of research activities that transcends disciplines and geographic boundaries.

For almost 15 years, a research team of the ARC, led by Prof. Ryo Akama (College of Letters), has been steadily expanding their partnership with the UC Berkeley in the field of digital archiving. The collaboration began when the ARC digitized a collection of sugoroku, Japanese board game sheets, for the UC Berkeley's C.V. Starr East Asian Library (EAL) which boasts one of the world's largest collections of Japanese cultural resources. Subsequent joint projects also include the creation of digital archives of old and rare books, copperplate prints and Kadenshū manuscripts, amongst others.

Since adopting the ARC model of digital archiving based on the three pillars of (1) database creation, (2) its publication, and (3) utilization of digital resources, the EAL has been able to speed up digitization and dissemination of its research resources. Furthermore, this collaboration has enabled the ARC to share Berkeley's famous collections as its portal databases. Through this, the ARC aims to facilitate the establishment of a sustainable "digital ecosystem" wherein researchers can create their own databases from the ARC's portal databases and publish research which in turn may serve as a basis for new research endeavors around the world.

In recent years, both universities have expanded their collaboration from database creation to student exchange activities to promote research and knowledge exchange. Moreover, Prof. Akama recently held a workshop at the UC Berkeley on his latest research about "An Online Education System for Transcribing Japanese Cursive Texts from the Edo Period with AI Assistance".

As the cooperation agreement with the UC Berkeley is a comprehensive one with no restrictions on research fields, Ritsumeikan University highly hopes to advance joint research in fields well beyond digital archiving as well.

The commemoration ceremony held at the UC Berkeley was attended by Ritsumeikan University's Vice Chancellor Yoko Matsubara, the ARC's Director and Deputy Directors, Prof. Koichi Hosoi (College of Image Arts and Sciences), Prof. Akama, Prof. Keiji Yano (College of Letters) and Prof. Keiko Suzuki (Kinugasa Research Organization). Meanwhile, the UC Berkeley was represented by the Chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, the Director of the Center for Japanese Studies, and the Director of the Center for East Asian Studies, amongst others.

Prof. Akama and other ARC delegates are hopeful that the conclusion of the collaboration agreement with the UC Berkeley would open doors to other future partnerships with US universities that have displayed an interest in digital archiving.

_DSC0040バークレー副総長と.JPG _DSC0051.JPG

_DSC0097.jpg _DSC0149.jpg

■ Photos: Ritsumeikan faculty chat with UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor; presentations at UC Berkeley's C.V. Starr East Asian Library; meeting with the Director of the Center for Japanese Studies (CJS), UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley (English)

Please kindly be informed that in order to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, the Art Research Center will be closed from April 19.

During this period of time, we will unfortunately not be able to respond to your visit to the Art Research Center.

For urgent inquiries, please feel free to send us an e-mail to arc-jimu(at)

(please change at to @)

Closing period of the Art Research Center

From April 19, 2021 (Monday)

* Only internal staff can enter the ARC building.

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