Reports on Research Surveys by Year

February 13-15, 2014

Survey of Japan-related Materials in the UK

Conducted by National Museum of Japanese History (Okubo, "Overseas Locations Survey Team (General Survey)")

Locations surveyed: National Museum Wales and elsewhere

Local contacts: Oliver Fairclough (Keeper), Andrew Renton (Head of Applied Art), and others

Participants: Yoshihiro Miki

To date the team has conducted surveys in various parts of the UK centered on Wales and benefited greatly from the help of local institutions and individuals. The team's base of operations has been the National Museum Wales. Thanks to introductions from Director-General David Anderson , Keeper Oliver Fairclough, and Head of Applied Art Andrew Renton, the team has been able to conduct its local surveys smoothly.

In the UK there are several organizations that manage and provide access to collections found in castles and residences. The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty is one such organization and its cooperation has been essential to conducting the survey and creating our database of Japan materials. The National Trust has regional offices staffed with curators and collection experts who helped in making advance arrangements for the survey and on occasion even accompanied the team. Thanks to them, the survey produced results that could be shared by all.

The following individuals at the institutions below were also among those who were a great help to the team: Dr. Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere, Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures; Mr. Tim Clark, Japanese Collections, The British Museum; Dr. Greg Irvine, Senior Curator, V&A’s Asia Department; Ms. Junko Takegawa, The Japan Foundation, London; and Susan Meehan, The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation. Likewise, Mr. Akio Miyajima, Minister Plenipotentiary, and Ms. Akiko Shikata, Cultural Attache, at the Embassy of Japan in the UK were always very supportive of our work and provided introductions throughout the UK. Thanks to them, the circle of people helping included not just individuals affiliated with museums but also central and local government officials as well as members of the Japanese business community.

The team's trip to the UK was a short one, made to London while en route back to Japan following a symposium at Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany. Still, it was an opportunity to meet with the many individuals and institutions around London that have helped us and discuss with them our progress and future plans.

(Text: Miki)