Reports on Conferences and Publications by Year

March 5, 2011

The 1st International Symposium: "Why Focus on the Siebold Collection Today?
The Current State of Reconstruction-oriented Research on the Siebold Collection and Related Issues"

Venue:  National Museum of Japanese History

Organizer:  National Museum of Japanese History (Kurushima, "General Coordinating Team")

Presenters and Presentation Topics:

• Reports

1. Hiroshi Kurushima (National Museum of Japanese History), "The Current State of Research on Japan-related Documents and Artifacts Overseas and Related Issues: The Study of the Siebold Family Collection and Other Materials Collected in Japan and Taken Overseas in the Nineteenth Century"

2. Matthi Forrer (National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden) and Kuniko Forrer (University of Amsterdam), "The Blomhoff, Fisscher, and Siebold Project: Archival Materials at the National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden)

3. Jun Suzuki (National Institute of Japanese Literature), "Books Collected by Blomhoff, Fisscher, and Siebold in Japan: About the Catalog of Books Collected by Siebold"

4. Bruno Richtsfeld (State Museum for Ethnology in Munich), "The Siebold Collection in Munich and Siebold's Related Handwritten Records"

• Comment

1. Jan Schmidt (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)

2. Tokuhei Tagai (The University Museum, The University of Tokyo)

3. Tokuhei Tagai (The University Museum, The University of Tokyo)

4. Yasushi Harada (Chiba Institute of Technology)


The report by Hiroshi Kurushima during the first session explained the reasons behind the project as well as its direction and objectives. To prevent further decline in Japan Studies in the West due to its lack of curators and young scholars, this project brings researchers in various fields together to assess Japan-related materials outside Japan and prevent the disappearance and damage of such materials by building a system for sharing the project survey findings. In terms of quality and volume, the Siebold Collection is a suitable body of material for collaborative research.

The 1st International Syposium (NMHJ)The 1st International Syposium (NMHJ)
The 1st International Syposium (NMHJ)


Jan SchmidtMatthi and Kuniko Forrer
(Left: Jan Schmidt; Right: Matthi and Kuniko Forrer)


 Next, what methods exist for sharing the data collected by the surveys with a wide number of scholars?  During Comment 4, Yasushi Harada of the Chiba Institute of Technology introduced an actual model for doing so under the title "A Model for a "Documents and Artifacts Catalog with Digital Images."

 o the extent possible, the project will attempt to photograph Japan-related materials located overseas and create a "catalog of documents and artifacts with digital images" in both Japanese and English using the photographic data. Depending on the field, however, the type of "catalog" needed may vary and many issues may arise regarding licensing the use of such data. Thus, as surveys and research progress, the project will also examine the best methods for creating its catalog.

(Text: Kurushima)