Creating the Framework for a Comparative History of Japanese and Korean Architecture

Name Creating the Framework for a Comparative History of Japanese and Korean Architecture
Schedule December 12–13, 2006
Concept

This symposium represents an effort to apply comparative analysis to architecture in South Korea and Japan, including those countries' cultural backgrounds, as the first phase of the in-progress Rekihaku cooperative research "Comparative Historical Study of East Asian Architecture: Japan, South Korea, China, and Surrounding Regions" (Head of the Research Team: Tetsuo Tamai). While certain research has been undertaken in each of South Korea and Japan with respect to relations with China, examples of comparative research on South Korean and Japanese architecture have been very limited, except for those focusing on the modern and post-modern periods. While some symposia are being held to analyze dwellings comparatively, almost no discussion has occurred with respect to comparative analyses of palaces and temples—which architecturally assume more significance—let alone that of the overall architecture of the two countries.

In this symposium, researchers of architectural history and related science fields will gather to confirm the current status of research in each of the two countries, report on their own research findings, present issues to be examined in the comparative analysis, and discuss future possibilities for additional cooperative research. We believe that our efforts will help overcome the current dearth of research on architectural history—research that shows an interest in Japan–South Korea comparisons, promotes research in this field, and holds comparative discussions on Japanese–South Korean architectural cultures from the viewpoint of architectural history. This symposium will contribute greatly to cultural exchanges between the two countries and also, in the longer term, to international exchanges involving the whole of east Asia.

Bronze Culture and Society in Ancient Asia: Origin, Date, Descent, Circulation and Ritual

Name Bronze Culture and Society in Ancient Asia: Origin, Date, Descent, Circulation and Ritual
Schedule December 1–3, 2006
Concept

Triggered by recent revisions in age determination, research about the "Bronze Road"—which once connected the north and northeast regions of China, the Korean Peninsula, and Japan—has been stimulated. Under these circumstances, we have set up an international discussion on such themes as age, lineage, materials, distribution, rituals, festivals, and the like of Asian bronze products; at that discussion, we will clarify the characteristics of their respective regions and, based on the results, create an overview of the characteristics of the Asian bronze culture.

We will invite Wang Wei, the Director of the Institute of Archaeology at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. That institution entered into an international academic exchange agreement with Rekihaku; Yi Kon-mu, the former Director of the National Museum of South Korea; and other leading researchers of bronze products in China, South Korea, and Japan. The endpoint is to create a contemporary overview of the Asian bronze culture and determine the research direction we should head.