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Past Symposium

International Symposium "Japanese Art Collections Abroad: Their Significance and Use"

With increasing global interest in traditional Japanese culture, opportunities for Japanese art to be introduced outside of Japan have also been increasing in recent years. This year’s symposium will be held to explore the roles that collections of Japanese art abroad have played in society and the steps necessary for their meaningful utilization in the future. Prominent specialists of Japanese art from within and outside of Japan will be brought together to share their perspectives and first-hand experiences. The public is invited to attend the symposium in order to gain a better understanding of the current state of Japanese art collections abroad and to explore what is required for their effective use.

 ※PDF File

Keynote Speeches ※Individuals are listed, with titles omitted, in the order that they will present.

Tadashi Kobayashi

・Executive Director, Okada Museum of Art
・Professor Emeritus, Gakushuin University
・Editor in Chief, Kokka Magazine
・President, International Ukiyo-e Society
・Chairman of the Board of Directors, The Art Academy of Japan

Born in 1941, Tadashi Kobayashi graduated from the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology with a degree in art history. He served as a curator of painting at the Tokyo National Museum, as well as lecturer and assistant professor at Nagoya University. He also held positions as senior manager of the Archives Research Division and Information Research Division at the Tokyo National Museum, professor of the Faculty of Letters at Gakushuin University, and director of the Chiba City Museum of Art. His major publications include: Edo Kaiga Shiron (The History of Edo Painting), winner of the Suntory Prize for Social Sciences and Humanities, Edo Ukiyo-e wo Yomu (Understanding Edo Ukiyo-e), Edo no Ukiyo-e (The Ukiyo-e of Edo), and Edo no Kaiga (The Painting of Edo).


Samuel C. Morse

・Professor in the Departments of Art and the History of Art, and Asian Languages and Civilizations at Amherst College
・Chair of the board of the Clark Center for Japanese Art from 1995-2003
・Consulting Curator for Asian Art at the Smith College Museum of Art
・Member of the editorial board of Impressions and the Trans-Asia Photography Review

Dr. Samuel Morse’s research and teaching focus on Buddhist art from the Nara through Kamakura periods; chanoyu, the Japanese tea ceremony; and art in the modern city. His recent research interests include the study of the installation of relics in Buddhist imagery, the development of cult centers during Japan’s “medieval period,” and the twentieth-century photographer, Kageyama Kōyō. He is the author of numerous articles on Japanese art in both English and Japanese. Moreover, he is presently preparing an exhibition on the art of Japanese esoteric Buddhism and completing a manuscript on the religious culture of Japan from the time of the completion of the Great Buddha at Tōdaiji to the end of the ninth century.


Panelists ※Individuals are listed, with titles omitted, in the order that they will present.
Menno Fitsk

・Curator of East Asian Art, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Menno Fitski has been curator of East Asian Art at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam since 1997. He was responsible for the display of the Pavilion of Asian art of the newly renovated Rijksmuseum.
Sinéad Vilbar

・Curator of Japanese and Korean Art, TheCleveland Museum of Art, USA

Sinéad Vilbar is the curator of Japanese and Korean art. In this role, she is responsible for all aspects of the care, presentation, and interpretation of the museum’s world-renowned collection of Japanese and Korean art as well as acquisitions to further enhance the museum’s collection. She also oversees rotations in the museum’s Japanese and Korean permanent collection galleries.
Prior to working at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Sinéad was an assistant curator in the Department of Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she focused on the Japanese collection. During her time at the Metropolitan, she organized a number of favorably reviewed exhibitions, including Sensitivity to the Seasons: Summer and Autumn in Japanese Art, 5,000 Years of Japanese Art: Treasures from the Harry Packard Collection and Japanese Mandalas: Emanations and Avatars. Prior to her appointment there in 2008, she served as Assistant Curator of Asian Art at the Princeton University Art Museum, where she was responsible for building the collections of Japanese and Korean art. She holds an MA and PhD from Princeton and a BA from Yale College. She also studied at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan.
Hiroyoshi Tazawa

・Senior Curator, Japanese Painting, Tokyo National Museum, Japan
・Executive Director, International Ukiyo-e Society

Hiroyoshi Tazawa earned his master's degree at the Faculty of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University, in 1986. He specializes in early modern Japanese painting, and worked as a curator at the Azabu Museum of Arts and Craft and at the Mitsui Bunko (Mitsui Archives). He has been at the Tokyo National Museum since 1995, where he has served as a Senior Manager of Painting as well as a Senior Manager of Lectures and Educational Event Programming. He now holds the posts of Senior Manager of Painting and Sculpture (from 2008) and Senior Curator of Japanese Painting (from 2015). He has organized exhibitions such as “The Price Collection – JAKUCHU and The Age of Imagination (2006)” and “Japanese Masterpieces from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2012).” He has also written for the series Hizo Nihon Bijutsu Taikan (Japanese Art: The Great European Collections), published by Kodansha.
Yukiko Shirahara

・Curator, Special Assignment, Nezu Museum, Japan

An art historian, specializes Japanese religious painting, obtained doctoral degree of Japanese art history in 2001 from Keio University, Tokyo.
After working as Research Fellow of Japan Society of the Promotion of Science (JSPS), and staying in London as Research Fellow of Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures (SISJAC), Shirahara in 2002 joined Curatorial team (and promoted to be full curator later) of Seattle Art Museum in the United States.
Since October 2008, she has been working as Curator of Nezu Museum, presenting academic papers on Japanese art history and museum study, giving lectures at International Center of Keio University, Aoyama Gakuin University and Jissen Women’s University. She also active as Technical Advisor of Japanese Government National Indemnity for Works of Art in Exhibition Committee, Agency for Cultural Affairs, member of ICOM-JAPAN, and member of Art Dialogue Committee, The United States-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange (CULCON).


Tomoko Matsuo

・Curator, Chiba City Museum of Art, Japan

Tomoko Matsuo fulfilled credit requirements for the doctoral program at the Graduate School of Humanities at Gakushuin University. She worked at the Preparation Office for the Chiba City Museum of Art and has been a curator at the museum since its establishment in 1995. She specializes in early modern Japanese painting and has organized numerous exhibitions such as “Celebrated Four Seasons: An Aspect of Japanese Paintings from the 16th to the 19th Centuries,” “Emaki Illustrated Narrative Handscrolls: Origin of Animation,” “Contemporary Netsuke from the Kinsey Collection,” “Iwasa Matabei: The Legendary Ukiyoe Pioneer,” “Urakami Gyokudo,” “Japan is Beautiful: Kawabata Yasunari and Yasuda Yukihiko,” “Tanaka Isson: The New Total Picture,” “Sakai Hoitsu and Edo Rinpa,” and also “Masterpieces from the Sanso Collection: Japanese Paintings Collected by Peter F. and Doris Drucker.”



January 30, 2016 (Sat)
10:00-16:45 Registration begins at 9:30
Japanese Archaeology and Special Exhibition (Heiseikan)-Auditorium
Keynote Speeches
Tadashi Kobayashi (Executive Director, Okada Museum of Art, Japan)
Samuel C. Morse (Professor in the Departments of Art and the History of Art, and Asian Languages and Civilizations at Amherst College,USA)
Panel Discussion
Menno Fitski (Curator of East Asian Art, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Sinéad Vilbar (Curator of Japanese and Korean Art, TheCleveland Museum of Art, USA)
Hiroyoshi Tazawa (Senior Curator, Japanese Painting, Tokyo National Museum, Japan)
Yukiko Shirahara (Curator, Special Assignment, Nezu Museum, Japan)
Tomoko Matsuo (Curator, Chiba City Museum of Art, Japan)
Free of charge,prior application required.
Please note that we may not be able to accommodate your request if seating reaches. capacity.
To Attend
By clicking the upper right link.
January 14, 2016 (Thu)
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Tokyo National Museum Committee Office