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February ASJ lecture meeting

Date: TUESDAY, 24 February 2015
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Speaker: Mr. Klaus F. Naumann
Title: “Behind the Scenes: An Insider's Look at the World of Japanese Art”
Venue: The Embassy of Germany
The German Ambassador, H.E. Hans Carl von Werthern will generously host the lecture and give a buffet dinner afterwards.
Reservations are now closed. The ASJ office will send you confirmation of your application and venue details in due course.

Mr. Klaus F. Naumann was born in Berlin of German parentage in November 1935, and had his early education in Germany and higher education in the UK. Mr. Naumann was in the British Army from March 1954 through July 1957. Travelling the world, he arrived in Japan in time for the Summer Olympics 1964. Here he learnt the Japanese art trade. He has taught languages to the Imperial family: Prince and Princess Mikasa, Prince Tomohito of Mikasa, and Prince Yoshihito of Mikasa (Prince Katsura). He was a Council member of the ASJ in 1975-1976. From 1971 onward, he has been actively engaged in collecting and purveying Japanese traditional and Korean art to American and European museums, and made a major gift of Japanese art to the Asian Art Museum and National Museums in Berlin, 1996. In 2001 he was awarded the German Grosses Verdienstkreuz (the Order of the Great Cross), and in 2004 the Montblanc Prize. In 2006 the Japanese Foreign Office made him a special award for assisting the understanding of Japanese art overseas. In May 2014 he received the Order of the Rising Sun from the Emperor at the Imperial Palace.

October 1st, 2015, will see the opening of the Klaus F. Naumann collection of Japanese art at the Asian Art Museum of Berlin (350 objects representing traditional screens, paintings, lacquers and ceramics). In recent years Japanese art - particularly classical or pre-modern Japanese art - in all its varied media has become an entity most familiar through the museum exhibition, the catalogue and the university classroom. Things of great beauty whether they are stunning 16th-century painted folding screens, powerful thrown storage pots of the medieval period, or delicate Heian period calligraphy rendered on exquisitely designed paper collage are displayed under the surreal light of the museum gallery, inadequately reproduced in deluxe table coffee volumes or poked at and probed by scholars and researchers with suspicious eyes looking for reasons or evidence to discount their authenticity. But rarely does the public understand that vast amounts of fine art are actively acquired, used and savoured, whether in traditional practices such as the tea ceremony or when simply enjoyed in very intimate settings by collectors who cherish their privacy. In his discussion Mr. Naumann will range through half a century of experience as a collector and purveyor of Japanese art to explain that there are many different worlds of usage for Japanese art beyond research and exhibition.

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Forthcoming ASJ Meeting

Date: Monday, 09 March 2015
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Speaker: Prof. Yumiko Kamada
Title: “Persian and Indian Textiles in Early Modern Japan”
Venue: Shibuya Kyoiku Gakuen (SKG)
Address: 1-21-18 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0002
Access: About a 15-minute stroll from Shibuya station’s Hachiko exit. Map.

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Transactions, Series 5, Volume 6 - contents of the current issue

Charles De Wolf - Glimpses of Genji through the Looking-Glass of Language
Martin Morris - From Village Farmhouse to Suburban Oasis: Reflecting Upon Kosōen
James D. J. Brown - Hajime: A New Start in Japanese-Russian Relations (Young Scholar)

Scholarship in Brief:

George Sioris & Anne E. Murase - Credit Some Viewers with Trying to Think
Doreen Simmons - The ASJ's First Steps into the World of Computer Technology
Fumiko Daidō - Hurry Up Please It's Chime
Shigeko Tanaka - Imari Porcelain in Palermo
Sarah Moate - The Voice of the Bamboo: The Calligraphy and Monochrome Ink Painting of Hasegawa Tōhaku, Mokuan Shōtō, Chūhō Sōu and Myōdō Sōsen
Ed Moreno - Hold the Breeze Gently

Book Reviews:

Patrick Carey - Till I End My Song
Charles De Wolf - From Frogs to Mount Fuji
Robert Morton - Making a Lot out of a Little
Ciaran Murray - Sharawadgi Agonistes
Lee Colegrove - Taking a Japanese Circus Round the World
Ciaran Murray - But O O O O That Medieval Rag
David Burleigh - Belfast, Bashō and Beyond
George Sioris - Yasukuni