JAPAN: Historical Images from the Cortazzi Collection
24 June - 18 July 2013, London
JAPAN: Historical Images from the Cortazzi Collection commemorates the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the Lisa Sainsbury Library at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures in Norwich.
On display are Japanese Edo-period guidebooks for travellers who were increasingly making pilgrimage journeys throughout the country. There are illustrated city plans detailing the various temples and shrines to be visited.
First-hand knowledge of Japan was scarce and very few Europeans had ever visited the country. The only Europeans who were allowed to directly trade with Japan were the Dutch and they were confined to the artificial island of Dejima in Nagasaki. Fairly accurate representations of this island often appeared in histories of the country. By contrast, European representations of cities such as Edo (present-day Tokyo) and the shogun’s castle were works of pure fantasy, relying on the tales of travellers who themselves had never been to Japan.
JAPAN: Historical Images from the Cortazzi Collection at the Embassy of Japan is organized in collaboration with the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures and is open to the public until 18 July 2013.