Cover Graphics

Court-Music Instruments handed down in the Kishu Tokugawa Family
(Museum Collection)

The Museum possesses a collection of 159 musical instruments handed down in the Kishu (Wakayama) Tokugawa family. They are replete with accessories and associated documents through which we can learn the origins of the various instruments and gain insight into the process of how the daimyo family collection was formed.
One item in the collection is the sho with the name "Banguju" pictured at the far left. The collector, the daimyo Tokugawa Harutomi, wrote a memorandum for that sho, The Record of the Arrowroot Sho (1810), in which he stated that the instrument gave out a smooth sound, that as its name, meaning "happiness in all things" implied, it was indeed felicitous, and that he was entranced by it. It comes with many accessories, including an inner case with a gold-lacquer arrowroot pattern inside the lid.
The biwa ("lute") named "Flower Moon" is also part of the collection. It is said that the "evening cherry blossom" design that decorates the plucking surface of the biwa was drawn by Harutomi himself.
The koto ("zither") named "Leaf Chrysanthemum" was said to be a favorite of the empress Go-Sakuramachi (1740-1813). She later bestowed it on Jimyoin Motoatsu. Among the kotos in this collection it is in particularly good shape, and there is a Chinese-style mother-of-pearl inlay in a pattern of chrysanthemum leaves and flowers on the head and the tailpiece.

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Opening Essay

Special Edition History's First Steps - Sound (Junko Uchida)

A Witness to History

A photographic introduction to items from the collection
The Water Margin (Suikoden) in Japan around the End of the Edo Period
(Satoshi Takahashi)

Special Edition:History's First Steps - Sound

Musical Culture and Musical Archaeology (Mitsuhiro Yamada)
Discovering the Sounds of the Middle Ages -seeking the sounds of the divine appearance (Shoji Sasamoto)
Listening to Recordings -Japanese music at the beginning of the 20th century (Naoko Terauchi)


Tokugawa Harutomi's Collection of Court-Music Instruments (Ryoko Mizuno)
Studies in Festival Floats and Festival Music (Hayashi) (Ryuichi Tai)

The 44rd Rekihaku Dialogue: Kazuki Sugimoto and Masayuki Yoshioka

Towards a Deeper Knowledge of the Documents in the Shosoin Repository

Museum Research Note- Part 13

40th Museum Forum
The Daily Life and Culture of Medieval Temples
(Kesao Ihara)

Introducing our Researchers - Part 6

Why was "War" considered just in pre-war Japan? (Toshiya Ichinose)

Book Review

Hiroshi Kurushima, Administration of Shogunal Domains and the Associations of Villages during the Early-Modern Period.
Reviewed by Takuji Iwaki

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

Rekihaku News