In the 2004 fiscal year, the National Museum of Japanese History (NMJH; popularly known as Rekihaku) became a member of the National Institutes for the Humanities, within the newly created Inter-University Research Institute Corporation, and began pursuing its research objectives following its mid-term plan. First, we initiated two broad collaborative studies -- "Transhistorical Studies of Ideas of Life and Death; Japanese Deities and Shrines" and "General Study of the 20th Century" -- with four topical studies. In accordance with our policy of emphasizing the importance of cataloguing resource materials, we undertook work on resources in four areas. It is noteworthy that this is the first time that NMJH has been awarded a Grant-in-Aid for Creative Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology for research on, "The Origin of the Farming in the Yayoi Period and East Asia: Establishment of High-Precision Chronology by Carbon 14 Age Analysis", the NMJH Centers of Excellence grant since 1997.
"The Origin of the Farming in the Yayoi Period and East Asia: Establishment of High-Precision Chronology by Carbon 14 Age Analysis" (2004-2008)
(General Organizer: NISHIMOTO Toyohiro)
NMJH has been conducting studies on the application of high-precision C14 dating techniques with the use of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS). This research was approved in order to confirm preliminary results that the Yayoi period had started in the 10th century BCE, or 500 years earlier than previous archaeological theories have proposed. At the end of 2003, NMJH established a research facility to create a framework for C14 dating experiments. With the award of the grant, the group decided to conduct nation-wide research on age determination, primarily of Yayoi period remains.
In the 2004 fiscal year, more than 2,000 samples of wood, seeds, and carbide residue on earthen vessels were extracted from 190 sites; among them, measurements were conducted on 500 samples. As a result, we speculate that irrigated rice cultivation of the Yayoi cultures first appeared in northern Kyushu approximately 930 BCE and that the "early Yayoi" period began around 800 BCE. We also tentatively concluded that "early Yayoi" culture appeared in the Chugoku and Kinai areas between 700 and 600 BCE, 100 to 200 years later than northern Kyushu. We are also beginning to get a clear picture of ocean reservoir effects and millet.
Our work at NMJH includes collection and preparation of materials, and studies of measurements; it commissions other institutions to conduct AMS measurements.
Two collaborative basic research projects were initiated in the 2004 fiscal year: "Transhistorical Studies of Ideas of Life and Death; Japanese Deities and Shrines" (General Organizer: Folklore and Folklife / SHINTANI Takanori) and "General Study of the 20th Century" (General organizer: History / YASUDA Tsuneo). Within each, we began with two research topics. For the former project, (1) "Historical Study of Japanese Shrines and Shinto Beliefs -- Part I" (Hiroshima University / MIURA Masayuki), and (2) "Life, Aging, and Death and Ritual in Historical Perspective" (Folklore and Folklife / SHINTANI Takanori, et al.); while the latter focused (1) "Wars of the 20th Century -- Part I" (History / YASUDA Tsuneo, et al.), and (2) "Personal Experiences of War, 1931-1945: A Survey of Japanese Written and Oral Records" (Folklore and Folklife / SEKIZAWA Mayumi, et al.). These studies were initiated based on earlier collaborative studies of "basic beliefs" and "cities".
Three collaborative scientic projects were conducted -- "General Study of Materials and Advanced Historical Information of Artifacts", "Scientic Study of Materials and General Chronological Research", and "General Research in Museum Studies". Under the first theme, a research project on "Materials in the Museum Collections: Edo-zu Byobu (Scenes of Edo Screens)" (Museum Science / NAGASHIMA Masaharu, et al.) was conducted. This study was initiated in conjunction with major repairs and restoration of the Edo-zu byobu, and was completed within this fiscal year. The study demonstrates that the designs depicted in the screen were from the Kan'ei period (1624-1644). The use of dating techniques also confirmed that the paper on which the screens were painted was from the same era. Under this theme, a new research project was conducted, "Research Study of Materials, Manufacturing Techniques, and Production Sites of Historical Artifacts" (Museum Science / UDAGAWA Takehisa).
Under the second theme, we pursued a "General Research on the Application of High-Precision Dating Techniques to Historical Materials" (General Organizer: Museum Science / IMAMURA Mineo, et al.) and a "Basic Study of the Imperial Court Manuscripts and Printed Books of the Takamatsu House of the Imperial Family" (History / YOSHIOKA Masayuki, et al.). Studies of age determination proceeded in collaboration with the Grant-in-Aid for Creative Scientific Research, focusing on methods and technological concerns. The Takamatsu collections study group conducted active investigation of actual materials. New research topics initiated under this theme were a "Research on Cadastral Maps of the Meiji Era" (History / AOYAMA Hiroo, et al.) and a "Study of Ethnographic Films as Research Materials" (Folklore and Folklife / UCHIDA Junko, et al.).
A project studying "Representation of Foreign Cultures in Exhibits of History" (History / KURUSHIMA Hiroshi, et al.) was initiated under the third theme. The group performed field surveys and research meetings in Okinawa with local scholars about the Naha-ko zu byobu (Panoramic Screens of the Port of Naha). Eight specific research projects were conducted. New projects include:
There were six projects that continued from prior years:
Two of these projects, "The Sakura Regiment and the Local Populace" and "Monarchial Authority and Cities: Transitions in the Age of the Ritsuryo State", were completed in 2004-2005, and their results will be published as special exhibits in the Museum. In the middle of 2004, a special program was held based on "Re-examination of Hirata Kokugaku: A Study of the Documents of Atsutane, Kanetane, Nobutane, and Moritane as Historical Materials". The Hirata archives are discussed in the article, "Re-examination of Hirata Kokugaku", in the Bulletin of the National Museum of Japanese History, No.122. It is important because this study conducted through research exhibition, and reports on results in a short period of time.
As an inter-university research institute, NMJH conducts collaborative research, involving cooperation with scholars nationwide, in areas reflecting contemporary concerns and trends in the board disciplines of history. From its inauguration in 1981, NMJH has emphasized empirical, interdisciplinary research in history, archeology, and folklore studies and other related disciplines.
"Collaborative research" rests on three pillars, which we term, "basic research", "scientific research", and "specific research". "Basic research" creates programs to conduct interdisciplinary studies under broad research themes, while "scientific research" sets topics to establish a basis for new historical research methods and advanced information technologies to be used in the Museum collections. If these two form the nucleus of "collaborative research", the role of "specific research" is to make "collaborative research" fruitful as a whole by creating exploratory topics that are likely to lead to future developments, or those proper to the three studies and other related sciences.
The Museum has twenty-one "collaborative research" topics for this fiscal year -- four "basic research"; seven "scientific research"; and ten "specific research". Four of these "specific" projects were initiated in midyear to stimulate further "collaborative research".
In this fiscal year, NMJH adopted a new research system that is considerably different from the former method, in order to conform to changes in the accounting system that accompanied the Museum's reorganization as an administrative corporation. The new research system promotes convening research meetings outside the facility, and faculty research activities nation-wide and abroad. Since this was NMJH's first year as a corporation, there was some confusion, such as shortening of the substantial research period. However, this problem will be resolved by next year.
[ A List of Collaborative Research Activities ]
One of the objectives of NMJH is to obtain external funding in support of its research.
During this fiscal year, we presented fourteen applications to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology for funding under the highly competitive Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research program. Six of these were funded, including the one funded under the most competitive program, a Grant-in-Aid for Creative Scientific Research. Including ongoing projects from prior years' competitions, NMJH currently has twenty-seven externally funded research projects.
The new Grant-in-Aid for Creative Scientific Research, "The Origin of the Farming in the Yayoi Period and East Asia: Establishment of High-Precision Chronology by Carbon 14 Age Analysis" (General Organizer: NISHIMOTO Toyohiro, 2004-2008), attempts to reassess the absolute chronology of the origins of rice cultivation in Japan, in relation to the emergence of rice agriculture across East Asia. This study is an excellent example of research that realizes the NMJH mission to conduct broad-ranging empirical research on Japanese history. Other new integrative interdisciplinary research projects are being pursued, including one under the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) and two under Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Priority Areas.
Besides the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research, NMJH received donations from private sources for three scholarships that helped promote its research activities.
[ A List of Projects under Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research ]
In order to make the Museum collections widely available for research use, NMJH has been working on categorization and investigation of resource materials, and publish them as the Catalogue of the National Museum of Japanese History and the Illustrated Catalogue of the National Museum of Japanese History. Beginning this fiscal year, we have initiated a project to promote systematic publication of our collections in a variety of forms. Individual project teams conducted research studies to create databases for the Catalogue of the Classical Books and Documents Formerly in the Tanaka Yutaka Collection; Catalogue of the Collection of Materials on Popular Entertainment; Catalogue of the Naora Collections; and Futokoro-ni-tamaru Morokuzu (A Bag of Joke Material). We also published the Catalogue of the Classical Books and Documents Formerly in the Tanaka Yutaka Collection, Catalogue of the National Museum of Japanese History.
NMJH seeks to promote new historical studies by introducing advanced research methods, and collaboration across three scholarly disciplines -- history, archaeology, and folklore studies -- together with related scientific techniques. As an inter-university research institute, it endeavors to introduce new research methodologies through collaborative research with scholars outside the facility, as well as installing a variety of equipment necessary to conduct advanced research in the institution. It includes various instruments used in scientific analytical studies of historical materials, information-related equipment for research use, and audio-visual devices.
Important instruments installed at NMJH in the 2004 fiscal year are a Scanning Electron Microprobe and a Portable X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer. Major equipment that had been installed in prior years includes a Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometer; a Genetic Analyzer; a Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectrometer; an X-ray Diffractometer; a Digital HF Microscope; and a Solid Mass Spectrometer. Many of these instruments are available to scholars outside the facility.
This fiscal year NMJH joined the National Institutes for the Humanities, the newly created Inter-University Research Institute Corporation. As part of this change, we reorganized the NMJH research system to create a more functional research facility. The former research department system, which consisted of History, Archeology, Folklore and Folklife, and Museum Science Departments, was abolished and unified under a single, Research Department. This integration allowed flexible personnel management of research, and promoted better cooperation among the disciplines, while securing human resources for research projects that emerge. On the other hand, it is important to maintain the uniqueness of each specialized field, a concern we resolved by replacing the four former research departments with four research divisions.
In addition to the research system of the faculty, NMJH commissions visiting scholars for each project, and employs adjunct researchers and research assistants, including scholars from other research institutions, to facilitate specific projects. Yet, since there is a wide range of adjunct staff involved in promotion of research, there has been some confusion following the changes in administrative system, accompanying the Museum's reorganization as an independent administrative corporation. We are currently working on the systematic review at NMJH.
As it reviewed the activities of the first twenty years, NMJH was determined to serve as an advanced research institution of Japanese history and culture, and it joined the National Institutes for the Humanities of the Inter-University Research Institute Corporation in 2004. Following the reorganization, exhibition activities at NMJH that had been considered public outreach were reclassified as part of the inter-university research consortium. Because collection, arrangement, investigation, and presentation of materials are important elements in the mission of the National Institutes for the Humanities, special funds have been allocated for collection and manufacture of materials, separate from the general operating budget. As a result, NMJH has begun to work as part of an inter-university research consortium together with other universities and related institutions, rather than serve simply as the sole national museum of history in Japan. Studies of Japanese history and culture at individual universities have been unable to cope with the massive volume of source materials, and expansion and systemization of research.
Thus, it is more urgent than ever to promote creative, interdisciplinary research that brings together scholars from universities and facilities nationwide. Moreover, individual facilities have been unable to manage projects, such as preventing loss of important collections to overseas, and collecting, arranging, investigating, researching, and preserving valuable materials that emerge. Therefore, the role of the National Institutes for the Humanities has been increasingly significant. As one of those institutions, NMJH has the important task of serving graduate students and senior scholars at universities and other institutions, while strengthening its system for collection, arrangement, collaborative investigation, research, and preservation of materials.
In the 2003 fiscal year, the Research Publicity Committee was established that was restructured as the Historical Archives Center in 2004 in order to conduct activities for mid-term objectives of the first year.
The Museum presented two special exhibits in fiscal year 2004 based on the projects: "Plants and Flowers that Crossed the Seas" (2002-2003) and "The System and Exchange of People, Goods, and Techniques in Early Modern East Asia" (2002-2004; exhibit title, "The Interaction in Medieval East Asia Sea"). The Rekihaku Promenade opened as an area to present the latest information on current research. The exhibits include results of a scientific research, "Materials in the Museum Collections: Edo-zu Byobu (Scenes of Edo Screens)" and the Grant-in-Aid for Creative Scientific Research, "The Origin of the Farming in the Yayoi Period and East Asia".
Collection, arrangement, investigation, preservation, and publication of important resources: In 2002-2004 NMJH purchased materials related to the Japanese National Learning of the Hiratas. These materials are critical resources for understanding the establishment and development of National Learning in early modern and modern Japan. The research group investigated and organized materials, published a catalogue and reproductions, and presented a special program, "The Meiji Restoration and the Japanese National Learning of the Hiratas". Another special exhibition, "Exhibit of New Acquisitions", was held to present newly collected materials and other special resources.
Creation of databases for research use: Three databases of the Museum's collections were created -- "Arms and Armor", "Traditional Musical Instruments of the Wakayama House of the Tokugawa Family", and "Documents and Archives in Early Modern and Modern Japan" -- while one database was produced based on the results of a collaborative research -- "History of Urban Life in Early and Medieval Japan (Commodity Prices)". On-demand public access to the Museum collections, discussed since 2002, was implemented on July 27, 2004. We have established procedures for applicants, assigned archival personnel who decide whether materials may be made available, and created databases for public use.
Resource study projects of the Museum collections: Four projects on "Classical Books and Documents Formerly in the Tanaka Yutaka Collection", "Collection of Materials on Popular Entertainment", "Naora Collections", and "Futokoro-ni-tamaru Morokuzu (A Bag of Joke Material)" were conducted with collaboration of research scholars from other institutions. For the production of catalogues, The Catalogue of the Classical Books and Documents Formerly in the Tanaka Yutaka Collection was published. We have also been working on the reproduction of important manuscripts from the Sho-so-in Imperial Archive. Part of the results of this collaborative research was presented in the special exhibit, "Scenes of Ancient Japanese Writings", but the research continues as a major NMJH project.
In 2004, a "Master Plan for Renovation of the Standing Exhibits" was created to modernize the permanent galleries to reflect both the latest research and the accumulation of studies in the last twenty years. This ten-year plan was prepared in response to the Advance Planning Committee for Renovation of the Standing Exhibits, which consisted of members from outside the Museum, in 2003. As the first year of the project, we initiated renewal planning for Gallery Three, in order to reflect new images of the Edo period in the permanent exhibits. In order to promote the renovation of Gallery Four, depicting Japanese folk life, and to create Gallery Six, presenting life in Japan during and after the War, we established new exhibition project teams, involving members from outside the Museum, and initiated investigation of resource materials and collaborative research.
In accordance with the establishment of the National Institutes for the Humanities, the Exhibition Committee of NMJH held a discussion about the state of collaborative exhibits, involving cooperation of facilities within the National Institutes for the Humanities. We initiated a collaborative research project with the National Institute of Japanese Literature on "The Power of Poems: History of Waka Poetry", and proposed that the Planning Committee of the National Institutes for the Humanities establish a master plan for collaborative exhibits by deepening discussion. The Conference for the Management of the Botanical Garden of Everyday Life was initiated to conduct planning and implementation of the Garden's management system, taking over the duties of the staff who had been in charge of the Garden of Everyday Life.
With the agreement of NMJH, the Resource Materials Committee initiated a reform of the Museum's administrative system for purchase of materials, and prepared a "Master Plan for Collection of Materials in the National Museum of Japanese History". As the first step towards the efficient use of the Museum's storehouse, we have decided to establish a framework for artifacts with multiple use, and have began to work on categorization of materials. Since the use of methyl bromide was prohibited as part of global warming measures in 2003, we remodeled our fumigation room and conducted systematic investigation of insect pests on cultural properties in the entire building. We also initiated to strengthen daily thorough measures for environment and preservation of artifacts, including integrated pest management (IPM). The Resource Materials Committee, together with the Exhibition Committee, set up a joint team to draft manuals on borrowing of artifacts, and crisis management.
The Historical Archives Center has initiated measures for the efficient use of spaces for storage of artifacts in the Museum. We began dealing with the issue on returning the materials being borrowed from the Tokyo National Museum, and conducted studies on spaces for storing resource materials in the Museum. The Facility Committee was established to deal with problems on the use of spaces in the Museum facilities. Arrangement of internal operations is required to implement renovation of the standing exhibits.
No.121 (March 2005)
No.122 Re-examination of Hirata Kokugaku, the Japanese National Learning of the Hiratas (March 2005)
No.123 Collaborative Research: The Diversity and the Life World of an Environmental Use System (March 2005)
No.124 Formation and Development Process of the Regional Characteristics of Cities II
Collaborative Research: Studies in the Urban History of Japan (Group B: the second stage)
Messages from the Exhibits of History: Rekihaku International Symposium "History and Representation in Museum Exhibition -- Ethnicity, War and Education"
edited by the National Museum of Japanese History (December 30, 2004)
Plants and Flowers that Crossed the Seas in Japanese History (July 2004)
The Meiji Restoration and the Japanese National Learning of the Hiratas (September 2004)
The Interaction in Medieval East Asian Sea -- Trade, Ports, and Sunken Ships (July 2004)
Personal Experiences of War 1931-1945: A Survey of Japanese Written and Oral Records, Research Report (March 2005)
Catalogue of the Classical Books and Documents Formerly in the Tanaka Yutaka Collection, Catalogue of the National Museum of Japanese History (March 2005)
The Tombs of Kings and the People who Served Them, Rekihaku Forum (August 25, 2004)
The Road of Words in Ancient Japan -- from Ancient China, Korea to the Archipelago, Rekihaku Forum (March 31, 2005)
Advancing towards New Research on Modern and Contemporary Japan, the Frontline of Historical Research, Vol.3 (September 30, 2004)
New Developments in Written Texts from Archaeological Sites, the Frontline of Historical Research, Vol.4 (March 28, 2004)
No.124 Special Feature: Consumption during the Middle Ages
No.125 Special Feature: Memories of the Dead
No.126 Special Feature: Steel
No.127 Special Feature: Pictures and Tales
No.128 Special Feature: Spaces for Meeting People and Objects -- 'Field' Work Revisited
No.129 Special Feature: Mutual Recognition between Japan and Korea
As an inter-university research institute, which promotes research in Japanese history and culture, NMJH publicizes the results of collaborative research, involving cooperation of scholars both inside and outside the Museum, as permanent and special exhibits. After the first twenty years, the permanent galleries at NMJH are entering a new phase. We are currently working on renovation of the standing exhibits to reflect the results of the latest research, and to respond to the increasing demands of contemporary society, which has been rapidly internationalized and transformed. This fiscal year, we created a "Master Plan for Renovation of the Standing Exhibits", and initiated modernization of the permanent galleries.
Regarding special exhibits and programs, NMJH organizes exhibition project teams in collaboration with scholars from other research institutions to promote cooperation in broad scholarly disciplines, and to publicize research results. We have endeavored to create accessible exhibits in response to a wide range of intellectual demands of visitors. In this fiscal year, three special exhibits and three special programs were presented at the Museum, while four special programs were held at the Botanical Garden of Everyday Life.
*Further information is available on page 278 of the Annual Report on Research Activity (2003), No.12.
The cultural life developed in Japanese archipelago has been deeply related to not only native plants, but also various kinds of exotic plants that were introduced across the oceans. The introduction of these exotic plants to Japan occurred several times over the history. We call them, "plants and flowers that crossed the seas", focusing primarily on gardening plants such as morning glories and chrysanthemums, fruits and vegetables including gourds and melons, and root crops such as taros, rather than the emphasis of previous studies on grains like rice and wheat. This special program combines the history of various plants, which had been studied individually, in a broad context of Japanese cultural life. Through excavations, documents, and resource materials of seeds and cultivation, we attempt to reconsider Japanese history from a new perspective -- history of the relationship between people and plants. We make use of our collaborative research, which has been promoted over the last several years, in order to introduce a different view from the previous archaeological studies and the history of gardening culture.
The oceans in the world heve been a cradle and a driving force of history, connecting various counties and regions, and promoting exchanges of people, goods, cultures, and technologies. The emergence of the Chinese Sung Dynasty with active foreign policies created an era for new exchanges in East Asia, transforming many countries and regions connected by the sea. It influenced not only politics and economics among nations, but also everyday lives of ordinary people. Under the emergence of China, there were exchanges among countries, as well as energetic lives of mariners and traders who crossed national borders as the sea was their common world. These dramatic activities continued as a large framework of East Asia until its encounter with Europe in the 16th century that developed trades and exchanges on a global scale. Although they were gradually confined to national frameworks from medieval to early modern times, it may have been one of the brilliant eras of Asia.
We created this exhibit to present the maritime world of East Asia from the 12th to 16th centuries, depicting the brilliant cultures and history of mutual exchanges of people, regions, and counties, including China, Goryeo, Korea, Japan, and the Ryukyu Islands. It featured a wide range of exhibits such as archaeological excavations, documents, art, and folklore materials.
The concept of this exhibit was included in the research planning stage as one of the means to publicize the results of collaborative research, involving scholars from both inside and outside the facility. The main research projects are as follows: "The System and Exchanges of People, Goods, and Techniques in Pre-Modern East Asia" (Specific Research / National Museum of Japanese History); "Representation of Authority: Trade and Significance of Imported Goods (Kara-mono)" (Research Grant in the Humanities / Mitsubishi Foundation); "Significance of Trade in Imported Goods (Kara-mono and Nanban-mono) in Waters of Pre-Modern East Asia" (Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research / The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology).
"The Meiji Restoration and the Japanese National Learning of the Hiratas" October 13 - December 5, 2004
"Japanese Architecture" January 12 - February 5, 2005
"Exhibit of Rakuchu -- Rakugaizu Byobu (Panoramic Screen Painting of Kyoto and Environs) Rekihaku A Version" October 26 - November 7, 2004
Spring: Traditional Primrose (April 20 - May 9, 2004)
Early-Summer: Traditional Dianthus (May 11-30, 2004)
Autumn: Traditional Chrysanthemum (November 2-28, 2004)
Winter: Winter Flowers, Camellia Sasanqua (November 16 - December 26, 2004)
"Exhibit of New Acquisitions" January 12 - February 13, 2005
"Rokusai Nenbutsu (Prayer in Dance) in Wakasa, Fukui Prefecture" (2004 fiscal year) 16mm color; Japanese soundtrack; 30 minutes
Following the establishment of the International Exchange Committee in 2003, NMJH conducted a wide range of exchange activities in this fiscal year. For instance, it concluded international exchange agreements, convened international research meetings, and discussed future research exchanges with institutions having agreements with NMJH. On July 14, 2004, the NMJH Director-General MIYACHI Masato visited the National Pusan University Museum in Korea, and concluded an exchange agreement to promote cooperation in scholarly research. Accompanying the conclusion of the agreement, NMJH invited research scholars from the University Museum (November 29 - December 3, 2003 and February 24 - March 1, 2005) to have preliminary discussions about collaborative research, and initiated studies of related resource materials.
NMJH also invited scholars from the National Research Institute of Cultural Properties in Korea, with an agreement signed in fiscal year 2003, to exchange ideas about future research collaboration (October 21-27, 2004 and November 29-December 4, 2004). We exchanged faculty members with the National Folk Museum of Korea to hold an international research meeting, "Korean Folklore Studies, Japanese Folklore Studies -- Part I". Similarly, we have concluded an exchange agreement in the previous year. The first session of the meeting was held in Japan by inviting researchers from the National Folk Museum (December 17-22, 2004), while the second session was convened in Korea with the NMJH faculty members being invited to the Museum (March 9-13, 2005).
Signing of international exchange agreements with Korean and Chinese institutions has been promoted at NMJH. At the same time, international exchanges with Western institutions are in progress, such as signing agreements and fostering research cooperation. It is our mission to promote these exchange programs, which are expected to develop in various forms, as we created the special exhibit, "The Interaction in Medieval East Asian Sea -- Trade, Ports, and Sunken Ships" based on the results of cooperation and exchanges with the Guwangju National Museum of Korea and the Korean National Maritime Museum over the last several years.
"The Origin of the Farming in the Yayoi Period and East Asia" (December 25-26, 2004)
Host institution: National Museum of Japanese History
On the first day, we made reports on the Grant-in-Aid for Creative Scientific Research, "The Origin of the Farming in the Yayoi Period and East Asia", reviewing the research results from areas of Korea, Kyushu, Chugoku and Shikoku, Kinki, and East ern Japan that were obtained in this fiscal year. We also held presentations of the current research on tree-ring dating, radiocarbon age calibration and issues of ocean reservoir effects. On the second day of the symposium, reports were made on the issues of age determination in Korea, and the current conditions of AMS age determination at the Seoul National University and the Beijing University. Results of C14 dating experiments that have been conducted in China were also reported. Since this was the first year of the Grant-in-Aid for Creative Scientific Research, measurements were conducted only on 500 samples at NMJH. However, we were able to confirm the NMJH research results that the Yayoi period had started in northern Kyushu in the late 10th century BCE.
General Organizer: NISHIMOTO Toyohiro
Rekihaku International Research Meetings in 2004
"Recent Discoveries of China: Remains of Water Transport and Related Issues" (October 24, 2004)
"Plants and Flowers that Crossed the Seas" (July 29, 2004)
"The Latest Archaeological Research in Korea" (February 24, 2005)
NMJH has been conducting various programs to publicize its everyday research activities and their results that include convening research symposia, promoting research activities, offering Rekihaku Lecture Series and Rekihaku Forums, and publishing the Museum magazine, Rekihaku. We make these programs available to research scholars, as well as the general public in an effort to promote wider understanding and interest in Japanese history and culture.
In this fiscal year, we held two research meetings, including the public meeting, "Museums from the Perspectives of Audience -- How to Present Research", twelve Rekihaku Lectures, and four Rekihaku Forums, as well as publishing six issues of the Museum's magazine, Rekihaku. Separated from these programs, we convened two research meetings related to our Grant-in-Aid for Creative Scientific Research in Fukuoka and Okayama Prefectures, and deepened collaborative studies in each area.
It is noteworthy that we have established the Rekihaku Promenade, an exhibition space created by renovating part of the Reading Room open to general visitors. Not only does it act as a space to announce the Museum's latest research and other information, but also it functions as a center to promote collaboration between the Museum and local communities. In this fiscal year, we introduced "The Beginning of the Yayoi Period", "The Recent Conditions of the Edo-zu Byobu (Scenes of Edo Screens)" and "The National Institutes for the Humanities" as well as the collaborative exhibit with the Sakura City Board of Education, "The Latest Report on the Ino Nagawari Site, Sakura City".
"Japan Society for Chinese Archaeology -- 2004 Annual Convention" (November 20-21, 2004)
Lectures are held in the Museum's auditorium on the 2nd Saturday every month, from 1:30 p.m.-to 3:30 p.m.
No.244 April 10 "Outlaws in Kabuki Plays"
HATTORI Yukio (Chiba University)
No.245 May 8 "Gamblers and Freedom and Rights Movements"
ARAI Katsuhiro (Senshu University)
No.246 Jun 12 "Wars in Everyday Life"
No.247 July 10 "Plants and Flowers that Crossed the Seas -- Plants that Flowered Japanese Culture"
TSUJI Seiichiro (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo
No.248 August 14 "The Introduction of Guns"
UDAGAWA Takehisa No.249 September 11 "Issues Concerning the Beginning of the Yayoi Period"
No.250 October 9 "The Meiji Restoration and the Japanese National Learning of the Hiratas"
MIYACHI Masato (Director-General)
No.251 November 13 "Exhibitions of History in the World"
No.252 December 11 "Consideration of Digitalized Historical Records"
No.253 January 8 "Folklore of Written Words and Documents"
No.254 February 12 "Studies of History from Castle Ruins"
No.255 March 12 "What is the Edo Period?"
No.46 "Outlaws and the Popular Culture in the Edo Period" (April 24, 2004)
No.47 "Plants and Flowers that Crossed the Seas, 2004 -- Japanese History of People and Plants" (August 7, 2004)
No.48 "The Meiji Restoration and the Japanese National Learning of the Hiratas" (September 25, 2004)
No.49 "Modern Society and Traditional Culture -- Dynamism of Elimination and Acceptance" (November 27, 2004)
No.124 Special Feature: Consumption during the Middle Ages
No.125 Special Feature: Memories of the Dead No.126 Special Feature: Steel
No.127 Special Feature: Pictures and Tales
No.128 Special Feature: Spaces for Meeting People and Objects -- 'Field' Work Revisited
No.129 Special Feature: Mutual Recognition between Japan and Korea
NMJH creates databases of the Museum collections to publicize its collection of materials for research use. The Museum databases offer results of collaborative research, as well as bibliographies in various scholarly disciplines. Some records are available in full-text.
This fiscal year, we publicized four newly created databases. Three of them offer records of detailed information on individual materials in the Museum collections, including "Arms and Armor", "Traditional Musical Instruments of the Wakayama House of the Tokugawa Family", and "Documents and Archives in Early Modern and Modern Japan". A database, "History of Urban Life in Early and Medieval Japan" provides information on various commodity prices recorded in archival materials. We have also updated databases of the Museum's collections, and the bibliography of research on Freedom and Rights Movements, as well as the bibliography of Japanese folklore studies.
These databases are available at http://www.rekihaku.ac.jp/database/.
In 2004 fiscal year, the Committee for Promoting Utilization of Resource Materials and Information, which was initiated in 2003, was split into two committees and one meeting -- Resource Materials Committee, Information Committee, and Library Meeting. Following this change, the mission of the Resource Materials Committee was restricted than that of the previous year. Since the Information Committee became responsible for publishing the Catalogues and Illustrated Catalogues that was in charge of the Resource Materials Committee until 2002, the primary duties of the Committee became collection, manufacture, preservation, and management of resource materials.
Regarding the collection of artifacts, it is noteworthy that we have accompolished the project on acquisition of source materials related to the Japanese National Learning of the Hiratas that had been continued from 2002. Not only did the important materials in the collection become the nucleus for the special program, "The Meiji Restoration and the National Learning of the Hiratas" in 2004 fiscal year, but also they were widely used as the subject for the collaborative research on "Re-examination of Hirata Kokugaku -- A Study of the Documents of Atsutane, Kanetane, Nobutane, and Moritane as Historical Materials".
In the fiscal year of 2004, on-demand access to resource materials, discussed over the last several years, was initiated at NMJH. It enhanced the publication of our resource materials as visitors may have an access to the original, microphotographic, or printed versions of recently collected and catalogued materials in NMJH, including the Mizuki Collection, the O- kubo Collection, and materials related to the National Learning of the Hiratas. We plan to promote categorization and production of microphotographs and prints of artifacts, which can be made available to the public.
Several working groups were created under the Resource Materials Committee to resolve various outstanding issues related to artifacts. We initiated projects on "Categorization of Materials" to study the maintenance of fragile, impermanent materials, and administrative management of reproductions and dioramas created for special exhibits; "Manufacture of Materials" to create a guideline for manufacturing materials in the Museum; "Preservation and Restoration" to establish a framework for preservation, repair, and restoration; "Management of Digital Materials" to create a management system and a guideline for producing digital materials and audio-visual resources; and "Manuals for Management" to design manuals for maintaining resource materials.
As of March 2005, the number of purchased, donated, or reproduced artifacts at NMJH has reached over 200,000 items. We have been working on arrangement and categorization of massive volumes of donated artifacts, as well as promoting selection and categorization of resource materials for on-demand use. We hope to conduct systematic collection of artifacts based on the NMJH policy, and establish a better system of publication.
The Department of Japanese History is a division of the School of Cultural and Social Studies, Graduate University for Advanced Studies. The National Museum of Japanese History is the base institution of the Department, which provides training to students enrolled in its graduate program. As an inter-university research institute specialized in studies of history, NMJH has approximately fifty scholars who conduct studies in four research divisions -- History, Archaeology, Folklore and Folklife, and Museum Science. One of the characteristics of its research activities is that not only does NMJH conduct individual studies, but it also promotes collaborative research involving cooperation of scholars from outside the Museum.
The exhibits presented at NMJH are not just displays of valuable artifacts they are planned and created based on the results of collaborative research of NMJH. Thus, exhibitions have a function to publicize the contents of research studies.
The goal of the Graduate University for Advanced Studies is to foster the development of scholars with advanced research abilities. A student's specific purpose will be to prepare a doctoral dissertation based on studies at school, and to receive a doctorate. A dissertation shall be the most advanced research in the field that will offer progress to not only the researcher, but also the study itself. In this respect, theses tend to have narrow views and small themes as research fields become specialized.
However, when we construct a scholarly system in a thesis, we are required to have a broad perspective and various methodologies in the process of raising issues, developing logics, and reasoning. Thus, as a prerequisite for writing a dissertation, it is necessary to pursue multidisciplinary and integrative studies without concentrating on a single specialized area. The Department of Japanese History offers broad-ranging, integrative education since there are many research scholars collaborating across four scholarly disciplines. Although it may not be easy for students to pursue specialized studies as well as acquiring a broad perspective within a short period of time (three years), we have prepared curriculums to meet students' needs.
The Department also offers students an access to a number of resource materials since it has a basis in the Museum. In order to obtain new information from those materials, the facility provides substantial equipment such as analytic instruments and computers for data processing. We expect students to pursue their advanced studies in the Department of Japanese History, which provides great human resource and satisfactory facility as an inter-university research institute.
The 2004 fiscal year is the sixth anniversary of the Department. We currently have twenty students whose specialized fields vary from history, archaeology, to folklore studies. We have set various lectures and offer enthusiastic training and instructions, corresponding to each student's research purposes. There are four students who have full-time jobs at other museums and the local board of education. It is also one of the qualities of the Department of Japanese History to provide an opportunity for working students to pursue higher education.
Public relations and outreach activities at NMJH are designed to publicize the Museum's research and museum activities, and to help visitors enhance their understanding of Japanese history and culture. From its opening in 1983, NMJH has conducted various outreach projects to accomplish these goals. For instance, a four-year educational project team was created in 1998 to promote the Museum's activities for school education and lifelong learning. Some of the programs were taken over by the Museum Research Project Group in 2003. In 2004-2005, the newly established Public Relations Committee and the Public Relations Services Office together conducted educational and promotional activities. Not only did the Office pursue its ongoing projects, but it also endeavored to publicize research at NMJH through press releases and other means. One of the prominent events was the opening of the Rekihaku Promenade. It functions not only as an exhibition hall to present the latest research information, but also as an area to help people in the local communities understand the activities of NMJH.
Studies on Archaeometry in Particular the High-Precision Radiocarbon Dating and Its Application to Historical and Archaeological Research, and Development of Scientific Methodologies for Historical and Archaeological Applications
Case Research Study on the History of Guns and Gun Technology in Japan and Research on the History of Weapons Trading in East Asia
Studies of the Relationship between Environment and Deterioration of Cultural Objects, Primarily Deterioration Mechanism of Works of Art
Chemical Analysis of Cultural Properties
Study of Museum Information System to Support Research Activities, Exhibition, and Public Relations Special Interest in Information Processing of Color and Image
Comprehensive Studies in Folklore, Especially Research on Cult Groups and Rituals, and a Folkloric Study of the Old and Age, View of Life and View of Death, Discussion on the Transformation and Transmission of Folklore
Historical Materials from the Standpoint of Technological History and Cultural History by Nondestructive Research Methods Materials Involved in Lacquer and Red Pigments in Terms of Technological History and Cultural History
Research on Ceremonies at Temples and Shrines in the Southern Capital, and the Magic and Performing Arts of Craftsmen
Research on Formations and Changes of the Japanese Consumer Society in the Postwar Period
Research on Black Markets in the 1940's; Focusing on Conflicts between People's Daily Life and Economical Controls under the Occupation Policy of GHQ / SCAP
Research on Influences of Healthy Policies on Rural Areas in the Rapid Economic Growth Period
National Museum of Japanese History, All rights reserved.|