Reports on Research Surveys by Year

February 11 - 15, 2015

The 2nd Survey of shini-e (Death Portraits) at Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde (National Museum of Ethnology) in Leiden

Conducted by National Museum of Japanese History (Aoyama, "Leiden Team B (shini-e, maps, fashion)")

Research Location: Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde (National Museum of Ethnology) in Leiden, the Netherlands

Local Contact: Matthi Forrer

Participants: Shin'ya Yamada, Seiji Kato, Toru Katsuta

In this project, materials related to shini-e (Death Portraits) held in the Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde (National Museum of Ethnology) in Leiden were studied for a second time, and photographs of materials related to shini-e in the Seibold collection were taken. Although some of the written material was transcribed following the previous survey, in this survey, we performed a final check of the transcription and printing. Among these archived materials,there is an incredible number of both shini-e and of other printed materials, many of which can no longer be found even in Japan, and so the publication of these materials was not only a boon for research on shini-e, but for research on theatrical history (engekishi 演劇史) as well. Furthermore, this research included a survey of printed materials from a tsuizen 追善 (posthumous memorial performance) performed in 1852 (the fifth year of Kaei) in honor of the kabuki actor Nakamura Utaemon IV 四代目中村歌右衛門 (1798 - 1852), and is therefore an important piece of research for understanding such tsuizen performances of that time period.

(Text: Sakuraba)

At the entrance to the Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde (National Museum of Ethnology) in Leiden, the Netherlands
At the entrance to the Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde (National Museum of Ethnology) in Leiden, the Netherlands