Reports on Conferences and Publications by Year

March 7-9, 2013

International Symposium: Moving Art Between East Asia and the West

Venue:  University of Zurich

Organizers: NIHU, The University of Zurich East Asian Art History Section, and The National Museum of Japanese History (Kurushima, "Supervisory Team")
Sponsors: Japan Foundation and Idemitsu Foundation
Attendance: 120 people


Hans Thomsen (University of Zurich), Junichi Okubo (NMJH), Kaori Hidaka  (NMJH), Kazuto Sawada  (NMJH), Miki Sakuraba (NMJH)



An international symposium titled "Moving Art Between East Asia and the West" was held at the University of Zurich. During the symposium, University of Zurich professor Hans Thomsen, graduate students in the East Asian Art History Section, and others presented their joint survey and research findings from the ongoing "Hidden Overseas Treasures of Japanese Art in Switzerland," a project organized by the University of Zurich to ascertain the state of Japanese art collections in Switzerland. Presentations on Japanese art collections in the West were also given by invited foreign speakers, including Prof. Timon Screech of the University of London, Vice-Rector Filip Suchomel of Czech Technical University in Prague, Akira Takagishi of the University of Tokyo Faculty of Letters, and presenters from NMJH. The event investigated issues related to the international circulation of Japanese art. Presenters from NMJH presented on the following topics:

"Aspects of Japanese Woodblock Print Export of the Bakumatsu and Meiji Periods, Including the Influence toward Japonisme" (Junichi Okubo)

"East Asian Lacquers in Western Collections" (Kaori Hidaka)

"Japanese Textiles that Traveled to the West: Examining the Basic Principles of Textile Research" (Kazuto Sawada)

"Historical Japanese Porcelain Collections in the West" (Miki Sakuraba)


The greatest emphasis at the symposium was placed on the educational program centered on research by student teams led by University of Zurich professor Hans Thomsen. Accordingly, during their stay, the four members from NMJH undertook joint surveys of pictures and crafts in Switzerland with University of Zurich students.

Since the conference, project research by the University of Zurich has continued and its findings are to be presented at a proposed exhibition.

(Text: Sakuraba)

See the program(PDF)

Presentation by Prof. Okubo

University of Zurich

His Excellency Ryuhei Maeda, the Ambassador of Japan in Switzerland

Prof. Thomsen, Prof. Suchomel, students, and NMJH members

University of Zurich student presentation