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Records of History: Natural History Paintings

"Records of History: Natural History Paintings"

Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 15  February 21, 2017 (Tue) - April 16, 2017 (Sun)

  
Museum Sketches of Animals, Wild cat (detail), By Nakajima Kouzan, Dated 1880

The study of natural history in Japan was first inspired by a Chinese discipline known as bencaoxue – the study of medicine and the plants used to make it. From around the Kyoho era (1716–1735), the government of Japan conducted a nationwide survey of plants, which led to the systematization of natural history. This field was also influenced by Western natural history, leading to scientific research in Japan during the late 19th century. This exhibition will feature natural history albums with a variety of drawings including animals, plants, and fish by Japan’s natural historians.

Current exhibit includes:
Illustrated Guide to Imported Plants 1, 2, By Baba Daisuke, Edo period, dated 1855
Museum Album of Fishes, Volume 11,
Kurimoto Tanshu, Takahashi Yuichi et al., Edo period - Meiji era, 19th century
"Ryokuiken" Natural History Album of Animals, Volumes 1, 3
, Edo period, 19th century