Cover Graphics

Scroll of Various Professions (Museum Collection) and other illustrations

On the lower left of the cover is a detail from the 'Scroll of Various Professions'. Produced around the latter half of the 17th century, this scroll shows a streetscape reminiscent of 'Scenes in and around Kyoto', where a series of different artisans' shops and workshops are lined up. The illustrated section shows the beni dye makers as they knead the sacks of beni cakes in water, in order to extract the liquid used to make the dye. (The safflower, beni-bana, was grown in areas like Yamagata where it was fermented and worked into a paste with a pestle and mortar. This was then made into flat cakes that were dried before being transported to the dye-makers.)
Around this image we have shown several pieces of artwork from our museum collection including kosode (padded silk kimono) from the Nomura Collection, and Tang-dynasty tri-coloured ceramics. We hope you enjoy this kaleidoscope of color, drawn from a wealth of cultures and historic periods.


Opening Essay

Special Edition History's First Steps - Color (Emi Koseto)

A Witness to History

A photographic introduction to items from the collection
World Maps in Early - Modern Japan
(Hiroo Aoyama)

Special Edition:History's First Steps - Color

Brocade robes and the magic of weaving - The Tanabata (Weaver's) Festival in Monobe Village, and Prayers in the Izanagi tradition (Koichi Matsuo)
Dye colors used for the Kosode (padded silk kimono) and the Katabira (hemp summer kimono) - from the Middle Ages to Early - Modern times (Kazuto Sawada)
The Archaeology of Color (Naoko Matsumoto)
The Difficulty of Defining Colors (Takuzi Suzuki)


The colors of inlaid mother-of-pearl (Kaori Hidaka)
Monochrome painting (Junichi Okubo)

Invitation to history

Special Exhibition 2002
Haniwa - form and meaning
(Shinsaku Sugiyama)

Introducing our Researchers - Part 5

Researching the processes by which the techniques and knowledge of sound and music are passed down (Junko Uchida)

Book Review

Bulletin of National Museum of Japanese History No. 96
"Natural Disasters and Developments in Japanese History - Part I"
Reviewed by Kenji Iinuma

Book Introduction by the Authors

National Museum of Japanese History
Ikai Dangi; Discourses on the Other World

Exhibition Review

Special Exhibition: 'Medieval Temples: A Picture of Daily Life - Esoteric Buddhism, Zen Priests, and the Public Bathhouse'
In the Gap between Academic Conferences and the Layman's Perception.
Reviewed by Masayuki Taira

Rekihaku Chat (readers' page) Jan. 20, 2003

Rekihaku News