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Event Details


Online event: Third Thursday Lecture - Inside Japan: Courts and Culture



Thursday 16 July 2020, 6pm


Online event

Event Category:

All lectures, SISJAC, Online events

Ticket Price:

Free, booking essential

Thursday 16 July, 6pm

Third Thursday Lecture - Inside Japan: Courts and Culture

Rachel Peat (Royal Collection Trust)

Professor Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere (Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures)

Join Rachel Peat from Royal Collection Trust discussing her new book with Nicole Rousmaniere

About the talk:

Rachel Peat, curator of Non-European Works of Art at Royal Collection Trust, has worked for the last three years researching and bringing together some of the most important examples of Japanese material in the Royal Collection. The Royal Collection contains one of the finest holdings of early modern and modern Japanese works in Europe, significant for both the unique provenance and the exceptional quality of the objects. The book that she has just edited, Japan: Courts and Culture, tells the story of four centuries of diplomatic, artistic and cultural exchange between Britain and Japan. The book features new research on previously unpublished works, and showcases the unparalleled craftsmanship behind important examples of porcelain, lacquer, armour, embroidery, metalwork and works on paper. 

Rachel Peat will be in discussion with Nicole Rousmaniere, explaining the stories behind the objects chosen for the book which reveal the special relationship between the two island nations. These works of art illustrate four centuries of engagement from first encounters and early trade to diplomatic relations and modern partnership. Highlights include one of the first two samurai armours to arrive on British soil, sent by Shōgun Tokugawa Hidetada to James I in 1613, and the future King George V’s first-hand account of having his arms tattooed with a dragon and a tiger on a visit to Japan as a teenager in 1881. Exquisite imperial gifts range from an embroidered folding screen sent to Queen Victoria by the Emperor Meiji to mark her Diamond Jubilee in 1897, to a cosmetic box by the great lacquer artist Shirayama Shōsai, presented to Queen Elizabeth II by the Emperor Shōwa (Hirohito) on the occasion of her Coronation in 1953. 

Nicole Rousmaniere is the Research Director of the Sainsbury Institute and professor of Japanese Arts at the UEA. In 2019 she was the lead curator of the 'Manga' exhibition at the British Museum and an editor of Manga published by Thames and Hudson.

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Cover image: Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2020