- Sculpture and Decorative Arts
As a museum director, my work deals closely with issues of museum management and the administration of cultural properties. My research interests relate to the history of sculpture and decorative arts from various parts of Asia, primarily Japan and China, from ancient times through the early modern period. I am especially interested in the culture of Buddhism and have conducted research on Buddhist sculptures and implements from various parts of Asia. I have also attempted to trace the transmission, exchange, and development of Buddhism across the region through stylistic analyses of a wide variety of objects.
- Archaeology and Ceramics
I started out as an archeologist digging in excavation sites, specializing in Japanese archeology and ancient and medieval ceramic production. Through a long tenure as museum curator in charge of ceramics, I expanded my research to include pottery traditions spanning from East Asia to Europe. Most recently I have been investigating how ceramic production technology has been transmitted throughout East Asia and Japan.
Curatorial Division Researchers
- Japanese Buddhist Painting
Chair of the Department of Education
My specialty is Buddhist painting. I try my best to present an overview of its history but my primary task, at the moment, is to reassess the historical view of style in Buddhist paintings from the Kamakura (1185–1333) to Muromachi period (1333–1573). Though not within the area of my duties at work, I also do research on Chinese and Korean Buddhist painting.
- Japanese Illustrated Handscrolls
My specialty is in the history of Japanese painting from the end of the Heian period (794–1185) through the medieval period, with a focus on works categorized as yamato-e. My curatorial responsibilities at the museum encompass illustrated handscrolls and portraiture. Going forward, I hope to do careful studies one-by-one of artworks in this area and to expand my area of expertise into the early modern period.
- Japanese Medieval Painting
My research focuses on Japanese painting from the Muromachi period (1392–1573) to Edo period and early modern eras (1615–1868). I am particularly interested in the role painting and calligraphy played in specific geographic areas and the ways they were affected by their changing political and economic institutions over time. Currently, my research projects center on artworks held in Kyoto collections. I investigate these by taking a comprehensive approach and look at their relationship to works found in other regions in Japan. Preservation constitutes another field of interest.
- Early Modern Japanese Painting
My past research has dealt primarily with the history of Edo-period painting; but my current aim is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the paintings of the entire early modern period, beginning in the late sixteenth century. In addition to studying the stylistic trends of different periods and the styles of individual painters and schools, I am also interested in the related subjects of production, patronage, and provenance; and I have become increasingly aware of the necessity of expanding my research to include such peripheral but closely related topics.
- Chinese Painting
I specialize in the history of Chinese painting. I started out researching late Song and early Yuan dynasty monochrome Taoist and Buddhist paintings, but my interests have expanded through my work at museums. While dealing seriously with the paintings I encounter through my work, I also hope to keep an eye on the broader spectrum of China and East Asia.
- Japanese Historical Documents and Calligraphy
Chair of the Department of Conservation Administration
Chair of the Department of Fine Arts
I specialize in medieval Japanese history (specifically, the political history of the Muromachi period) and the study of Japanese documents. Recently, I have been engaged in various studies based on my fields of expertise. I have especially been interested in clarifying the processes of how historical sources have been collected, scattered and lost, and transmitted through the writings of emperors and other primary handwritten sources, and reconstructing the original "form" and "shape" of these manuscripts.
- Buddhist Manuscripts
My specialty is Buddhist philology. Buddhist sutras contain the sacred teachings of the Buddha Shakyamuni for which reason their every word ought to be treated with precision; nevertheless, for various reasons these texts have changed over time. My research aims to clarify when and how they were altered by comparing Japanese manuscripts of the Buddhist canon from the Heian and Kamakura periods with Chinese woodblock-printed editions of the canon and hand-copied manuscripts from Dunhuang.
I specialize in the history of Buddhist sculpture and the study of cultural properties. My research focuses on how the dissemination and reception of culture from East and Central Asia is reflected in Japanese Asuka and Nara period Buddhist art. I hope to contribute to the preservation and transmission of Buddhist statues that have been preserved and handed down to the present day and to help pass them on to the next generation, regardless of their region and period of creation and their national designation or non-designation under the Japanese government system.
- Japanese Metalware
My research pertains to issues of ornamentation and color techniques in metalware, primarily from the Heian (794–1185) to Edo (1600–1868) periods. Recently, I have been especially interested in developments in gilding from the Heian to Nanbokucho (1336–1392) periods and in casting techniques in Japan and abroad during the Momoyama period (1583–1600).
Chair of the Department of Research and International Collaboration
My research focuses on ceramics from all parts of East Asia. I am interested in the historical context in which ceramics were produced as well as in their distribution routes and in the places and ways in which they were used.
Chair of the Department of Registration and Image Services
My primary area of research is Japanese makie (lacquerware decorated with metal powder) that were exported to Europe in the Edo period (1615–1868). I am also interested in Chinese, Korean, Ryukyu (Okinawan), and Southeast Asian lacquerware so I spent my days studying and surveying the collections of temples and shrines in Kyoto as well as those of collectors around the world. More than anything else, I enjoy being in contact with lacquer works during the surveys and when preparing for exhibitions. Nothing frightens me more than deadlines for papers.
- Textiles, Costume, and Japanese Dolls
Deputy Chief Curator
Chair of the Department of Exhibitions and Public Relations
Chair of the Department of Decorative and Applied Arts
My field of research is Japanese and Asian textiles. My specialty is religious textiles that have been preserved and passed down in Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. I am also interested in the costume of performing arts that emerged and developed from temples and shrines. My mission is to study the bigger picture through the microcosms that can be viewed through the lens of a microscope and the window of textiles.
Chair of the Department of Archaeology
My area of expertise is Japanese archaeology. I have been studying roof tiles excavated from the sites of ancient palaces and the ruins of Buddhist monasteries in order to better understand changes in production systems and the transmission of technology from continental East Asia. I also have a strong interest in prehistoric Japan. My fascination with the beauty of cord patterns on Jōmon-period earthenware has led me to conduct research that attempts to understand the social dynamics of the time through pattern-ornamented artifacts.
My expertise lies in East Asian archaeology. Specifically, I have been doing research on the chronology of Sue ware from the Kofun period (ca. 250–538) in Japan, developments in stamped patterns on unglazed earthenware from the Unified Silla dynasty (668–935) in Korea, and the chronology of ancient bronze drums that spread from southern China to Southeast Asia. Recently, I have also been looking at the history of archaeology in Japan and materials on the revolutionary figure Sakamoto Ryōma (1836–1867) as they relate to period at the end of the Tokugawa government (1615–1868) and the beginning of the Meiji Restoration.
My research deals with the ancient age between the Kofun period and Nara period during which the Japanese islands developed as a nation. Most of my research involves the kinds of artifacts that were important during this time, including metalwork, objects with inscriptions, and haniwa, but I am also interested in the history of archaeological study and the visual methods of recording archaeological findings (such as artifact illustrations). In recent years, I have been involved in a group research project that utilizes and analyzes data obtained through 3D measurement techniques and CT scanning.
- Conservation Science
Chair of the Department of Conservation Science
I am interested in discerning the production and processing techniques of ancient glazed ceramics and glass using materials analysis and other methods. At the museum, I am in charge of overseeing the climatic conditions in the galleries and art storage as well as of gathering information on the materials and production techniques used in cultural properties. I have a special interest in how to preserve such information into the future. Recently, I have also become involved in research on the preservation and conservation of ancient wall paintings such as those from the tumuli Takamatsuzuka Kofun and Kitora Kofun.
I am currently thinking about and experimenting with ways to make encounters with artworks more enjoyable for adults and children seeing such objects for the first time. I am also interested in how such works have stimulated communication over time, from when they were made to the present.
- Digital Museum Resources
My research deals with the management, public access, and utilization of digital resources created and maintained by museums, ranging from the development of archives and databases to the acquisition and maintenance of the necessary hardware. I am also involved in research and projects in other fields.