Public Properties: Museums in Imperial Japan 9780822399711

is a historical account of how museums in Japan and its empire contributed to the reimagining of state and society durin

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Public Properties: Museums in Imperial Japan

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Public Properties


Public Properties •••

Museums in Imperial Japan

Noriko Aso

Duke University Press Durham and London 2014

© 2014 Duke University Press All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America on acid-­free paper ♾ Designed by Heather Hensley Typeset in Arno Pro by Tseng Information Systems, Inc. Library of Congress Cataloging-­in-­Publication Data Aso, Noriko. Public properties : museums in imperial Japan / Noriko Aso. pages cm—(Asia-­Pacific) (Study of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-8223-5413-0 (cloth : alk. paper) ISBN 978-0-8223-5429-1 (pbk. : alk. paper) 1. Museums—Japan—History—19th century. 2. Art, Japanese— Meiji period, 1868–1912. 3. Japan—Intellectual life—Western influences. I. Title. II. Series: Asia-­Pacific. III. Series: Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University. am77.a2a75 2013 069.0952′09034—dc23 2013018958

STUDIES OF THE WEATHERHEAD EAST ASIAN INSTITUTE, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY The Weatherhead East Asian Institute is Columbia University’s center for research, publication, and teaching on modern and contemporary East Asia regions. The Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute were inaugurated in 1962 to bring to a wider public the results of significant new research on modern and contemporary East Asia.

••• To my parents and their parents •••


Illustrations  ix Acknowledgments  xi Introduction  1 Chapter 1 Stating the Public 13 Chapter 2 Imperial Properties 63 Chapter 3 Colonial Properties 95 Chapter 4 The Private Publics of Ōhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi 127 Chapter 5 Consuming Publics 169 Epilogue  203 Notes  223 Bibliography  279 Index  297


Figure I.1: Visitors to the Shōsōin Imperial Treasures Special Exhibit 2 Figure 1.1: Eighteenth-­century kaichō 17 Figure 1.2: Catalogue of museum displays, zoological section, 1877 22 Figure 1.3: The Vienna world’s fair of 1873 24 Figure 1.4: The Japan exhibit at the London world’s fair of 1862 26 Figure 1.5: Bronze pagoda displayed at the Chicago world’s fair of

1893 29 Figure 1.6: Japanese marble displayed at the Chicago world’s fair of

1893 29 Figure 1.7: Second National Exposition of 1881 34 Figure 1.8: Fifth National Exposition held in Osaka, 1903 38 Figure 1.9: Transportation Building at the Fifth National Exposition

(Osaka) in 1903 41 Figure 1.10: Palace of Fine Arts at the Chicago world’s fair of 1893 41 Figure 1.11: Aichi Prefecture Bazaar at the Fifth National Exposition

(Osaka) in 1903 42 Figure 1.12: Formosa Building at the Fifth National Exposition (Osaka)

in 1903 42 Figure 1.13: Yushima Seidō in 1872 52 Figure 1.14: Yamashita-­monnai museum 53

Figure 1.15: Viewing Art at the 1877 First National Exposition by Andō

Hiroshige 57 Figure 1.16: Exhibit cases on the second floor of the Ueno museum 58 Figure 1.17: Commemorative photograph of those involved in preparing for

the Vienna world’s fair of 1873 60 Figure 2.1: Kyoto museum gates 79 Figure 2.2: Tokyo Imperial Museum in 1938 81 Figure 2.3: The Tokyo Imperial Museum with elementary schoolchildren

helping with landscaping 81 Figure 3.1: Government-­General Museum of Taiwan 98 Figure 3.2: Korean exhibit at the Chicago world’s fair of 1893 111 Figure 3.3: Government-­General Museum of Korea 113 Figure 4.1: Ōhara Museum of Art 134 Figure 4.2: Attic Museum artifacts 142 Figure 4.3: Japan Folk Crafts Museum 156 Figure 4.4: Interior of the Japan Folk Crafts Museum 157 Figure 5.1: Nihombashi (main) branch of Mitsukoshi 170 Figure 5.2: Display cases and counters at the Nihombashi branch of

Mitsukoshi 176 Figure 5.3: Mitsukoshi central hall 177 Figure 5.4: Model daughter of the house 182 Figure 5.5: Notice of art exhibit published in Mitsukoshi 195


These acknowledgments are just the briefest sketch: there is really

no way to adequately express my thanks to the many people and institutions that have helped me while pursuing this project. Edwin McClellan’s advice sent me to the University of Chicago, where this project began as a doctoral dissertation. William Sibley, Norma Field, Harry Harootunian, Tetsuo Najita, and Leora Auslander gave wise and warm guidance as well as ongoing inspiration. Bill has left us, but the community he nurtured will always remember his great kindness, dry wit, and deceptively casual brilliance. In Tokyo, many scholars, including Kano Masanao, Satō Kenji, Kinoshita Naoyuki, Kobayashi Mari, Igarashi Akio, Narita Ryūichi, and Yoshimi Shun’ya, have been boundlessly generous and patient with me over the years. Yoshimi’s Hakurankai no seijigaku redefined the field just as I was getting started. While affiliated with the University of Tokyo’s wonderful program in cultural resource studies, I was further introduced to the fine work and friendship of the then students Park Sohyun and Lin Pei-­Yu and the fellow Tze M. Loo. I would also like to express my deep appreciation for the open doors and unforgettable experiences made possible by Sugiyama Takeshi and his colleagues at the Japan Folk Crafts Museum. Shibusawa Masahide, Koide Izumi, Kusumoto Wakako, and Inoue Jun of the Shibusawa Eiichi Memorial Foundation, and Kitsukawa Toshitada and Katsuki Yōichirō of the Institute for the Study of Japanese Folk Culture

at Kanagawa University, have further extended extraordinary kindness and assistance. Fellow students in Chicago, Tokyo, and elsewhere were and are my teachers as well as friends. A very partial list includes Bob Adams, Kim Brandt, Susan Burns, Alan Christy, Kevin and Therese Doak, Gerald Figal, Aaron Gerow, Beth Harrison, Takahiko Hayashi, Douglas Howland, Yoshikuni Igarashi, Helen Koh, Kim Kono, Tom Lamarre, Tom Looser, Debbie Lunny, Bill Marrotti, Janice Matsumura, Elizabeth McSweeney-­Cobb, Valerie Mendoza, Martin and Jacqueline Messick, Abe Markus Nornes, Okamoto Koichi, Leslie Pincus, Suzanne Ryan, Barbara Sato, Hatsue Shinohara, Kentaro Tomio, Gennifer Weisenfeld, Daqing Yang, Marcia Yonemoto, and Ida Yoshinaga. Andrew Hare’s perspective on the world of art conservation is warmly witty and always illuminating. Stefan Tanaka finished up at Chicago before I arrived, but he has been a generous mentor. While finishing the dissertation and after, I was honored to have the opportunity to teach and pursue research at the Ohio State University (osu), Portland State University (psu), San Francisco State University (sfsu), and the University of California, Santa Cruz (ucsc), all proud public institutions. I would like to convey my deepest gratitude and admiration toward my former colleagues at osu, psu, and sfsu, including Angela Brintlinger, Philip Brown, Steven Conn, Michael Hogan, David Johnson, Larry Kominz, Maji Rhee, Patricia Schechter, Mary Scott, Julie Smith, Linda Walton, and Patricia Wetzel. As for the wonderful colleagues, staff, and students I work with in the History Department at ucsc, I regularly have to pinch myself to make sure this is not just a dream. I would like to give further thanks to my faculty mentor, Buchanan Sharp, and to the members of the East Asian reading group—Gail Hershatter, Emily Honig, Alan Christy, Minghui Hu, Alice Yang, Catherine Chang, Rebecca Corbett, and Su-­Kyoung Hwang—who suffered through multiple iterations of each chapter. Cheryl Barkey, Sakae Fujita, Jennifer Gonzalez, Lyn Jeffry, Kate Jones, Stacy Kamehiro, Cat Ramirez, Shiho Satsuka, and Vanita Seth kept nudging me forward with conviviality and practical advice. The Japanese Arts and Globalization research group, founded by Miriam Wattles for the University of California system and beyond, has been a wonderful extended community that gave me excellent feedback on the final chapter for this book. The anonymous reviewers for my midcareer and tenure files, as well as Kathy Chetkovich and Mark Selden, further provided invaluable suggestions for the project. Finally, I would like to express my deep appreciation for the patience and support of Ken Wissoker, Jade Brooks, Acknowledgments • xii •

and everyone who helped bring this book to fruition at Duke University Press, including the thought-­provoking yet generous anonymous readers. The book greatly benefited from this process, and any shortcomings are solely my own. The Tokyo National Museum, National Diet Library, Mitsukoshi-­Isetan Holdings, the Japan Folk Crafts Museum, the Shibusawa Eiichi Memorial Foundation, the Ōhara Museum of Art, and the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Duke University, were all exceedingly gracious in granting permission to reproduce images for this book. This project was pursued and completed with the generous support of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, the Japanese Ministry of Education, the Ohio State University Humanities Fellowship Program, the Itoh Scholarship Foundation, the Social Science Research Council’s Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship, the uc President’s Research Fellowship in the Humanities, the ucsc Committee on Research, and the ucsc Institute for Humanities Research. On a more personal note, I would like to thank my very first and beloved teachers, my parents, Takenori and Carol Aso. Michitake Aso is my brother, dear friend, and (secretly) hero. Alan Christy has been a true partner in life as well as work. I cherish our time growing together. Our children, Peter and Samuel Christy, keep my joints moving and my heart and mind open to the world’s wonders. I am grateful.

Acknowledgments • xiii •


A grand staircase anchors the center of a stately, high-­ceilinged ­foyer. Two long queues of patiently intent visitors fill a broad hall-

way on the right, channeled by wooden gates and gesturing officials. There are almost as many women as men, the former in elegant kimonos with fur-­collared wraps and the latter in Western suits and hats, a few in uniform. A mother tightly clasps the hand of her young son as they turn around a corner to go up the stairs, which are divided from top to bottom by a rope. Incomers tightly pack the right side, but those on the left have a bit more room on their way out. Two schoolboys pause to lean over the banister to gawk as small groups wait at the base for straggling members of their parties. Meanwhile, another crowd hovers at a separate entrance, waiting to be directed in small numbers past and under the staircase. The overall mood is lively but orderly, good-­humored but contained. The setting was the Tokyo Imperial Household Museum (Tokyo Teishitsu Hakubutsukan), now known as the Tokyo National Museum (Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan; tkh). The event was the Shōsōin Imperial Treasures Special Exhibit (Shōsōin gyobutsu tokubetsu tenrankai), which opened on November 5, 1940, in conjunction with the commemoration of the 2,600th anniversary celebration of the Japanese empire (Kigen 2600-­nen Kinen Gyōji). Attendance for the twenty-­day exhibit—417,361— exceeded all previous annual totals for the museum.1 The charged

Fig I.1: Illustration by Noma Seiroku of visitors to the Shōsōin Imperial Treasures Special Exhibit, held at the Tokyo Imperial Household Museum in 1940. Reprinted with permission from the Tokyo National Museum; this image may not be reproduced without tnm permission.

atmosphere was captured by Noma Seiroku (1902–66), a member of the museum’s arts division, in a series of illustrations titled Snake Story: The Shōsōin Imperial Treasures Exhibit Picture Scroll (Kuchinawa monogatari: Shōsōin gyobutsu tenran emaki).2 This sketch (figure I.1) by Noma portrays an imperial era (1868–1945) museum as a crowd scene, in contrast to the more common practice at the time of representing museums as architecture, artifacts, or a place for individuals to commune with a particular work or display.3 I too aim to foreground the public nature of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-­century Japanese museums—not to celebrate the existence of museum crowds as such, but to trace how they came to be imagined in relation to the central state. I examine museums—whether established by the central government, Japanese colonial administrations, commercial institutions, or private individuals—as sites specifically designed to call imperial publics into existence. Large crowds gathering in the Tokyo National Museum to view displays of Japanese art-­historical heritage are common today, but this has not always been the case. Noma recorded the mass enthusiasm for the Shōsōin exhibit of 1940 as a moment of institutional triumph.4 Moreover, the particular configuration of class, gender, nation, popular appeal, and orderly behavior that he vividly portrayed was the fruit of decades of effort to root museums within the modern Japanese cultural landscape. The question is how such cultural practices came to be seen as a desirable norm. For example, since the treasures of Shōsōin had been safeguarded in sacred Introduction • 2 •

storage for centuries until the Meiji era (1868–1912), why did the modern Japanese state risk bringing them out to put on view? Why was access given to anyone who could purchase a ticket? While popular displays of the marvelous and strange had drawn large street crowds since the Tokugawa period (1600–1867), they were often raucous affairs and certainly not state sponsored. How did the museum audience come to be so respectable and well behaved? What is more, standing in queues for long periods to eventually get the chance to peer over someone else’s shoulder to catch a partial glimpse of a glassed-­in object is not necessarily an obvious source of pleasure. Granted the opportunity, why did these people choose to spend their leisure time in this manner? What sense of connection to the artifacts, more academic than amusing, were these men, women, soldiers, and schoolchildren all supposed to share? Answers to these questions were closely entwined with the cultivation of a modern national identity in Japan from the mid-­nineteenth century. The organizational role performed by nation (kokka) and Japan (Nihon) in the Meiji establishment of the fields of art and art history has been subject to critical scrutiny in a series of major works by Satō Dōshin.5 Also in the field of art history, Alice Tseng has analyzed the role of Japanese imperial museums as sites of national self-­representation.6 In this context, the impressive attendance figures for the Shōsōin exhibit can be seen as evidence of successful nationalist indoctrination. Artifact and viewer were supposed to share a “Japaneseness” that transcended other social identities.7 However, museums in the imperial era can offer more than a case study in the imagining of a national community. Specifically, this book juxtaposes central-­government museums with colonial and privately established museums to explore elasticity, expansiveness, and divisions in the creation of imperial publics, whose definition and redefinition in relation to the Japanese state were ongoing. Displaying so-­called heritage artifacts in national museums was certainly meant to bolster state and imperial prestige. The question of what this legacy was and what objects and images should be used to represent it, however, had to be answered anew in Japanese colonial museums, precisely because their charge was to cultivate a sense of shared imperial identity within different ethnic populations. Moreover, even as museums promoted popular investment in such ideas as imperial heritage, they opened the door to assessment from outside the state. The very possibility of creating alternative aesthetic canons in private museums emerged from this productive tension. In short, ongoing negoIntroduction • 3 •

tiation of who exhibits, why, and to whom, all of which in turn profoundly affect what is exhibited, was and is critical to the expansion of the museum form. Without a viewing public, a museum is simply a collection, not a cultural institution. The Tokugawa era (1600–1867) boasted a lively domestic culture of popular display, but it did not enjoy official state sponsorship. Accordingly, the first chapter, “Stating the Public,” begins by looking at the newly established Meiji regime’s translation of Western exposition and museum practices for a domestic Japanese audience, characterized from the start by multiplicity, experimentation, and negotiation. The most effective terms to convey the nature and function of these modern cultural institutions were by no means obvious: early Japanese observers at first relied on vocabulary that emphasized the sheer multitude of objects in sites such as the Smithsonian before they worked toward definitions pointing at the critical function of public outreach. This was not seen in Japan as merely an academic exercise. Political and economic factors drove the Meiji government from the early 1870s to actively engage in “exhibitionary” culture, which was then approaching its zenith in Europe and America. Most immediately, the state’s goal was to raise Japan’s international profile to gain a share in global markets and to harness for its own ends the symbolic tools of Euro-­ American imperial power. The Meiji government worked to change classification of Japanese entries in Western world’s fairs from primitive handicrafts to civilized art, even as it adapted Western exposition methods for asserting civilizational superiority in Asia, with neoclassical architecture reserved for central-­government pavilions, traditional Japanese styles for regional pavilions, and exotic structures for imperial colonies. Meanwhile, the first government museum was established to serve as both a way station and permanent exposition. Conceived as a tool for mass education in an Enlightenment vein, the museum initially emphasized natural science and technology. It was a mechanism to mobilize the populace for industrialization. For this reason, carnivalesque elements in Tokugawa display culture were suppressed to create a modern museum-­going public. New measures ranged from expanding days of operation, in order to encourage attendance by members of the working class, to rules for appropriate behavior, such as prohibiting clogs and dogs. From the 1880s, however, the encyclopedic museum model began to lose ground in the course of reworking the government museum, its properties, and its nascent public as “imperial” in policy and practice. As chap­ter 2, Introduction • 4 •

“Imperial Properties,” explores, this meant placing the original museum under Imperial Household Ministry control, reconstituting the collection in an art-­historical rather than scientific vein, and constructing new museums with gates, entrances, and rooms exclusively reserved for imperial family members. The category of imperial was itself being redefined at the time to serve as a mediating buffer in negotiating the boundaries between state and society and public and private. Of particular relevance to museums were the bureaucratic debates on how to create the general category of imperial property, which resulted in a major transfer of land and other resources from various sectors of society to possession by the imperial family, a form of privatization in the name of public good. With the shift of government museums into the emperor’s portfolio, state cultural authority was personalized in the figure of the emperor and his immediate relations, veiling an emergent canon under majesty not to be impoliticly scrutinized. Even as these museums crafted narratives of an aesthetic nation, imperialization kept the publicness of these institutions in check. Visitors were granted a gift of access, not a right. Turn-­of-­the-­century export of the government-­museum form to Japan’s colonies raised new questions regarding the why, how, and who in constituting an imperial public, as examined in chapter 3, “Colonial Properties.” By the mid-­1930s, the Japanese museum system had established or absorbed institutions in Taiwan, Korea, Sakhalin, and Manchuria. A handful more were taken over when the Japanese state captured various Western colonial possessions early in the Asia-­Pacific War. Chapter 3 focuses on Taiwan and Korea, where Japanese colonial museums set down the deepest roots and were most active in engaging the local population. Differences in colonial context had a dramatic impact on the nature of the collections and collection processes, giving rise to variant visions of Japanese imperial identity. The Government-­General Museum of Taiwan (Taiwan Sōtokufu Hakubutsukan), established in 1908, emphasized natural history and anthropology, portraying the island as rich in resources for extraction but in need of Japanese tutelage to rise above a primitive cultural state. In contrast, the Yi Royal Family Museum (Ri Ōke Hakubutsukan) in Seoul, opened in 1909, represented a complex maneuver on the part of the colonial government-­general: established in the name of the Korean royal family to cloak Japanese rule, the museum was also intended to undermine the royal family by appropriating private palace grounds for a public museum. (Japanese interest in destabilizing the Korean royal line was Introduction • 5 •

no secret after the assassination of Empress Myeongseong, commonly referred to as Queen Min, in 1895.) In the Yi Royal Family Museum, ancient—not modern—Korean art on display was co-­opted for the Japanese empire. These colonial institutions cultivated Taiwanese and Korean publics to serve Japanese interests, but the institutions also left a legacy of practices and materials that framed local identity in ways that later were turned against Japan itself, while being redeployed within a complex and divided postcolonial landscape. Even as the Japanese state expanded its exhibitionary infrastructure at home and abroad, private museums began to dot the early twentieth-­ century landscape. Chapter 4, “The Private Publics of Ōhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi,” takes a more individualized look at three museum projects that directly criticized the state for representing the nation only in terms defined by a central elite. Ōhara Magosaburō (1880–1943) challenged the cultural hegemony of Tokyo by transforming Kurashiki in Okayama Prefecture into a “New Elysium.” The crown jewel of his efforts was the Ōhara Museum of Art, which provided unprecedented access to original works by such contemporary Western artists as Claude Monet and Paul Gauguin. Shibusawa Keizō’s (1896–1963) proposal for a “folk” museum of economic history presented a detailed plan for a public institution to honor nonelite contributions to national development. While this project was never completed, it was to include such features as a showcase for portraits of ordinary businessmen, industrialists, scholars, inventors, and farmers, whose contributions were not acknowledged within the “great man” school of history. In a comparable manner, Yanagi Muneyoshi (1889–1961) founded the Japan Folk Crafts Museum (Nihon Mingeikan) to offer a vision of national aesthetic heritage that valorized the everyday, commonplace, and useful. Posed as a counterpoint rather than a supplement to the imperial canon, the museum also sought to attract the same metropolitan bourgeois public that earnestly attended the Shōsōin exhibit. All three of these private-­sector museums represented early twentieth-­century attempts to shift some degree of government authority over to nongovernmental hands, and to serve social interests that the central state was seen as having failed to acknowledge. Japanese department stores provide an institutional, in contrast to individual, window into this broader effort to stake “private” claims to a “public” form of authority through exhibition. Chapter 5, “Consuming Publics,” traces the early twentieth-­century emergence of department stores as culIntroduction • 6 •

tural showcases, in the process revisiting various aspects of modern Japanese exhibitionary culture. While informed by such Western retailers as Harrods, Japanese department stores developed in a particularly close relationship with national expositions and museums. Soon department stores positioned themselves alongside—and sometimes in competition with— state cultural institutions. While loyally flying the national flag and marketing such patriotic goods as Russo-­Japanese War handkerchiefs, department stores established their own credentials by holding art and art-­historical exhibitions; organizing research associations with prominent intellectuals, politicians, and bureaucrats of the day; and sponsoring public lectures, roundtables, and publications. In the process, the department stores’ consumer publics—which included women and children as full-­fledged citizens—merged with broader conceptions of society, nation, and empire. The triumphal claims of Japanese department stores did not go unchallenged in the colonies: the Korean authors Ch’ae Man-­sik and Yi Sang savagely portrayed the Seoul branch of the Mitsukoshi Department Store as a second-­rate shrine to Western consumerist capitalism. Moreover, the wartime crisis of the late 1930s and early 1940s provided the state a chance to requisition private sites of publicness. Department stores were transformed into government ration-­distribution centers and uniform manufacturers, while shelving and escalators were dismantled for war materiel. This reassertion of direct state control underscores the fact that the imperial era’s expansion of publicness had always been subject to strict historical limits. War had brought both material scarcity and new (conquered) facilities to the state museum network, but defeat in 1945 meant Japanese surrender of its colonial possessions. The epilogue offers a look at how the public nature of the national museum system was redefined at the end of the war, during the long postwar era, and in the present. Under American occupation (1945–52), the national museum system was transferred from the emperor to the Ministry of Education. Subsequent reforms were touted as democratization but were administered by bureaucrats who sought to rebrand but not necessarily reimagine Japan as a “cultural nation” (bunka kokka). This New Japan—reliant on rather than resistant to American hegemony—was placed on display in government museums as well as sports facilities during the well-­received Tokyo Olympics of 1964, after which the security and prestige of the postwar state’s cultural apparatus seemed unassailable. However, as part of a series of sweeping neoliberal Introduction • 7 •

transformations, the national museums were redefined in 2001 as independent and, eventually, self-­funding entities. A fresh round of heated debate regarding the roles, boundaries, and responsibilities of state and society is well under way. I take up the introduction and entrenchment of the modern museum form in Japan because it is founded on historically shifting conceptualizations of publicness, loosely stitching together state and society, nation and individual, authority and audience. Significantly, Jürgen Habermas included museums, along with coffee houses and salons, as formative locations in his classic study of the rise of the “public sphere” (Öffentlichkeit) as bourgeois practice and ideal in Western Europe in the eighteenth century.8 In particular, Habermas highlighted the way in which museums “institutionalized the lay judgment on art: discussion became the medium through which people appropriated art.”9 This characterization falls in line with his basic narrative of the public sphere as a space of self-­determination; yet the state remains lurking in the background, ready to emerge in later chapters as a crucial entity against which, and with which, the public sphere had to define itself.10 While Habermas emphasized egalitarianism in Western European conceptualizations of the public sphere, various scholars have since pointed to ways in which this forum was deeply riven by tensions between exclusion and inclusion.11 Establishing a public sphere did not necessarily, and certainly not automatically, move historical practices toward more universal participation.12 Accordingly, although the public sphere has been a productive concept in museum studies, contemporary practice has moved toward foregrounding diverse and frequently opposed viewpoints in museum-­ community formation.13 The fierce political and social conflicts embedded within postwar museum exhibits on the Asia-­Pacific War have, moreover, inspired various scholars in Asian studies to take a closer look at the role of such institutions in shaping historical memories.14 Japanese museums of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries can also be said to have opened up room for claims—such as those made by Ōhara Magosaburō, Shibusawa Keizō, and Yanagi Muneyoshi—to the legitimacy of lay judgment and appropriation.15 Yet the modern state was the driving agent behind imperial-­era establishment and growth of this institutional form. At the same time, this state was neither monolithic nor uncontested, so multiplicity and friction are central elements in my account. While Habermas has played a foundational role in contemporary deIntroduction • 8 •

bates on the emergence, potential, and limits of modern publics, and this field has in turn shaped the present work, I am not attempting to read a Habermasian public sphere back into late nineteenth-­century and early twentieth-­century Japan. Instead, I have chosen to use such capacious terms as publics and publicness rather than the more codified public sphere.16 Evolving notions of publicness became germane to imperial Japan because a new form of governance had been established, one that required increasingly higher levels of participation on the part of the general population, even as the new state sought to curb and quell its potential. Publicness— neither an exact equivalent for an idealized Western European public sphere nor a neatly bounded alternative—in Japanese museums emerged during this era as a hierarchically structured space of conversation between the state and the general population, eventually including the colonies, which was at the same time part of a hierarchically structured conversation with contemporary Western discourse and practice. This book addresses publicness in the historically specific forms of kō (公) and kōkyō (公共), Japanese terms often used today as equivalent to the English public or public sphere.17 In a process that did not originate in the Meiji Restoration of 1868 but accelerated with it, kō and later kōkyō were two among a host of reworked and invented terms that emerged for rethinking relations between those who governed and those who were governed.18 One particularly dense knot of Japanese words and phrases collectively constituted what we might call nation, including the proper name Nihon (Japan), the more abstract kuni (“domain” in the Tokugawa period, and “country” in the Meiji period), kokka (nation-­state), and kokumin-­ kokka (ethnic nation-­state), and a host of related words and concepts such as kokutai (national essence).19 A well-­established, rich, and interlaced body of scholarship has thoroughly explored how the discourse and practice of nation and nationalism took shape in the modern period.20 Moreover, the central state and its bureaucracy—kan, seifu, seidō—have been closely analyzed for their active role in structuring this political terrain, beginning with the new government’s Charter Oath of 1868.21 The emperor (tennō), “restored” as modern head of state, has been similarly scrutinized as a focal point for modern Japanese nationalism.22 Yet, as various Japanese and Western scholars have noted, the question of whether the modern state truly represented the nation has been raised since the late nineteenth century.23 It is not surprising, then, that terms from the imperial era designating the people—including jinmin, shūsho (衆庶), hitobito, tami/ Introduction • 9 •

min, minshū, kokumin (national subjects), and later taishū (the masses)— were also diverse, layered, and laden.24 While some political figures called for people’s rights (minken) and others celebrated obedience as the highest virtue of imperial subjects (kōmin), bureaucrats were reconceptualizing governance in biopolitical terms, as the management of an aggregate population.25 Society—yo, seken, sōtai, and shakai—was in turn increasingly invoked both inside and outside of government circles, sometimes as a sector distinct from the state, sometimes as an integral element of a totality most often presumed to be the nation, but on occasion pointing beyond, to humanity or the world.26 Then, as the outlines of an overseas Japanese colonial empire (teikoku) became clearly visible by the early twentieth century, the already multivalent host of terms for nation, people, emperor, state, and society had to be renegotiated again and again.27 Adding kō and kōkyō to the cluster of terms is intended to underscore the interconnectedness of this conceptual network. Kō should not be understood as a transcendent concept that hovered over and explained the others; rather, it performed a bridging function for foreign and domestic conceptions of emperor, nation, state, and society. The chapters that follow look at modern claims to publicness in light of how they opened up a particular space for ongoing negotiations of such concepts as nation, empire, state, and people as they collectively came to dominate discourse in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Sometimes these interactions were fraught, and sometimes they strengthened conceptual associations and the complex as a whole. It is also worth keeping in mind that, although publicness was renegotiated from the nineteenth century in conversation with Western and modern strands of thought, it had a longer genealogy.28 In the seventh and eighth centuries, gong and si (公/私; now generally translated as public and private) were introduced along with many other Chinese governing terms, concepts, and social technologies as part of the establishment of a centralized bureaucratic state headed by the Japanese imperial clan.29 Gong bridged the gap between Chinese ruler and ruled in the sense of “communal matters,” as it was incorporated into character compounds for popular opinion as well as government offices. In Japan, gong was mapped onto the native term ōyake, which had hitherto referred to the governing spheres of the great clans of the archipelago. Redefined as equivalent to kō (the Chinese-­style reading of the character for gong), ōyake came to form a binary with watakushi or shi (newly coined as Japanese ways of reading the Introduction • 10 •

character si, 私).30 Kō came to encompass both the imperial line miyake (御ヤケ) and the aristocracy (kōmin, 公民), while shi designated matters outside of governmental interest. However, a law passed in 743 that allowed permanent, private possession of newly opened lands initiated a long-­term process of redefinition.31 Intended to encourage temples, shrines, and aristocrats to invest in bringing new fields under cultivation, this imperial policy paved the way for the rise of shōen estates, defined by their exemption from having to pay tribute or taxes to the central government. Such exceptions came to riddle the theoretically whole cloth of the imperial realm with so many holes that Emperor Go-­Sanjō (1034–73) introduced reforms that allowed members of the imperial family (with the sole exception of the reigning emperor) to join other members of the elite in diverting “private” revenue streams from the central fisc.32 The result was that the terms ōyake and kō shifted from equivalence with the state apparatus and its officials to the designation of obligations organized by the state across various levels of society, while the terms watakushi and shi were reformulated to refer to matters that fell outside such specified duties. In the process, ōyake and kō and watakushi and shi came to be more tightly interdependent: even as public lands were moved into private status through commendation, state law provided the very foundation for private rights and legitimization for drawing peripheral territory into a centralizing system.33 There was no singular site for either ōyake or watakushi, which together cut through, and united, each tier of society even after the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunal (warrior) regime in the seventeenth century.34 Contemporary usage of the term kō certainly draws on a legacy of strong association with the state, which is why various scholars have discounted the authenticity of a Japanese publicness.35 The modern Japanese state was also unquestionably an important agent in the account of museums as public institutions in the imperial era. On the other hand, such concepts as the state, the emperor, subjects, and the people have long formed a tightly knit and mutually constitutive cluster, albeit one characterized by redefinition from the eighth through the twenty-­first centuries. Within this constellation, ōyake and kō can serve as a useful barometer for shifting relations between state and society. In the modern imperial era, publicness continued to demarcate a somewhat amorphous and certainly malleable boundary area that partook both of state and society: it was the face the state turned to society, and vice Introduction • 11 •

versa. This publicness should not be seen as equivalent to democracy in some abstract and idealized sense, yet it provided some ground for the emergence of a suffrage movement in the late nineteenth century. While its modern conceptualization was largely born of the Meiji state and its attempt to mobilize the general population, it was also swiftly turned against the state in nationalist and imperialist as well as liberal and progressive critiques. Founded by government and private entities on the fundamental premise that publicness was significant, modern museums offer a concrete case through which we can examine these productive tensions at work in imperial Japan.

Introduction • 12 •

Chapter 1 •••

Stating the Public

In 1872, the Meiji state established its first museum. Inspired by

the national, encyclopedic, Enlightenment institutions for display represented by the British Museum and the Smithsonian, the museum was understood as a means of priming the Japanese population to participate in the government’s ambitious plans for transforming domestic industry and stimulating economic growth. The museum was also seen as a foreign concept, despite the rich and diverse forms of domestic exhibition that had flourished in Japan well before the second half of the nineteenth century.1 Such domestic precedents played an important role in the actual translation of museums into a Japanese context; nevertheless, contemporary concerns drove the project from the beginning.2 One of the earliest indications of Japanese contact with the Western concept of the museum was an issue of Nederlandsch Magazijn from 1853 that described various European examples found within the holdings of the Institute for the Study of Barbarian Books (Bansho Shirabesho). Whether much—or anything—was made of this information is unknown.3 The first Japanese descriptions of museums are contained in reports and diaries by students sent overseas (some by the institute) and members of Japanese missions to the West before and after the Meiji Restoration.4 The British Museum and the Smithsonian loomed large in such records, which invariably noted their monumental architecture, wide range of exhibits, and such curiosities as Egyptian mum-

mies and live crocodiles.5 Members of the mission to the United States in 1860, for example, referred to the U.S. Patent Office and its museum-­like displays variously as hakubutsukan (now standard for “museum,” literally “building for spreading knowledge through artifacts”), kikaikyoku (technology bureau), igakukan (medical-­studies institution), meiki hōmotsu shūzō no tokoro (site for the storage of famous instruments and treasures), and patento ofuyun (patent office). The Smithsonian in its turn was referred to as a kyūri no kan (building for science), hyakka chozō no tokoro (place for storing myriad things), shokoku no chinbutsu wo atsumetaru tokoro (place where rare things from many nations are gathered), denki kigu nado o bichi aru yakusho (government site where electrical instruments and the like are located), and hōzō (treasury).6 Variants at the time also included hakubutsusho (“site” rather than “building” for artifacts), hyakubutsukan (building for myriad objects), and shoshu kobutsu ari no kan (building for various kinds of antiquities).7 The concrete quality of the phrasing as well as the multiplicity of terminology provide a window into how Japanese observers began to process the potential significance of museums. Their terminology further reflected the diversity of types and practices to be found among these Western institutions at the time. Museological institutions were in flux rather than fixed throughout the nineteenth century: “The process of [museum] formation was as complex as it was protracted, involving, most obviously and immediately, a transformation of the practices of earlier collecting institutions and the creative adaptation of other new institutions—the international exposition and the department store, for example—which developed alongside the museum.”8 The museum form was neither singular nor universal even in the West: hotly debated matters included orientation toward the natural sciences, the arts, or both; prioritization of research or educational goals; collection and display practices; public outreach and access; funding models; and relations with the state. The Smithsonian was itself not even fifteen years old when the members of the mission visited in 1860. Accordingly, the eventual translation of the museum form to Japanese shores was not a prefabricated affair but was marked by ongoing engagement with an institution that had just come into its own, and was still under construction.9 Several factors influenced the founding of the first modern Japanese museum. After touching on Tokugawa display culture to highlight the major change represented by the Meiji state’s entry into this field, I exChapter 1 • 14 •

amine how government participation in world’s fairs and sponsorship of domestic expositions were intertwined with the decision to establish a permanent exhibition site. Exposition experience also revised expectations for the government museum, which at first focused on natural science and technology but later came to place increasing weight on domestic arts and crafts. All this change and growth in government museums was unified, however, by the goal of calling into being, nationalizing, and ordering a modern Japanese viewing public. A Meiji Exhibitionary Complex

Fukuzawa Yukichi (1835–1901) is generally credited with the popularization and standardization of the use of the term hakubutsukan to refer to museums.10 A minor participant in the mission to the United States in 1860 and translator for the mission to Europe in 1862, Fukuzawa had many opportunities to see firsthand the great museums of the West. It was in the course of discussing translation issues during the mission in 1862 that the descriptive accounts of the participants began to coalesce around the terms hakubutsukan (museum) and hakurankai (exposition), both beginning with the Chinese character haku (to disseminate).11 Fukuzawa’s Conditions in the West (Seiyō jijō), published in 1866, brought the fruits of these missions back to a popular Japanese audience in the form of an encyclopedia of concepts, practices, and institutions.12 His entry on museums begins: “A place established for the purpose of showing to people the products, antiquities and rarities of the world to disseminate knowledge.”13 As Shiina Noritaka points out, the concrete examples of museums provided by Fukuzawa—mineralogical museums, zoological museums, zoos, botanical gardens, and medical museums—suggest that his basic model was the Jardin des Plantes of Paris, established in 1626.14 Museums were defined by Fukuzawa as an element of a progressive, scientific, and pragmatic Enlightenment project. Accordingly, Western museums that showcased nonutilitarian art and backward-­looking history—for example, the Louvre—did not merit mention in his canonical description. While Shiina Noritaka argues that many early Japanese observers largely understood Western museums as storehouses and treasuries, not as exhibition facilities,15 Fukuzawa’s account from 1866 emphatically underscored museums’ institutional goal of display as a form of mass education. Museums were to be conceptually distinguished from other kinds of collections by their public function of advancing popular knowledge. Moreover, Stating the Public • 15 •

Shiina views the move to make museums and expositions into linguistic and conceptual cognates (both beginning with haku) as something of a mistake, indicating the inability of Japanese at the time to perceive their differing origins, practices, and long-­term goals.16 Museums were permanent and academic, while expositions were temporary, for profit, and more entertaining than scholarly. Yet the apparent confusion between museums and expositions that characterized Japanese engagement with these forms through the 1860s and 1870s can also be read as a sign that Fukuzawa and his colleagues were reaching toward the underlying affinity between these pillars of the nineteenth-­century Western “exhibitionary complex.” Tony Bennett argues that European museums and expositions were spaces carefully crafted in the nineteenth century to call into being a particular relationship between modern states and their subjects: “The capacity to effect an inner transformation that is attributed to culture reflects a different problematic of government, one which, rather than increasing the formal regulatory powers of the state, aims to ‘work at a distance,’ achieving its objectives by inscribing these within the self-­activating and self-­regulating capacities of individuals.”17 No one would argue that the Meiji state was shy in making use of and expanding its coercive powers. Bennett certainly does not claim this for British governance in the nineteenth century. Rather, he explores how Western governmentality expanded its powers during this period by “reforming” a hitherto relatively untapped resource: plebeian ways of seeing.18 So, too, did the Meiji state. Popular Precedents in the Tokugawa Period

However, the new government did not operate within a vacuum. Tokugawa exhibition practices offered important precedents for a Meiji exhibitionary complex. Rich and varied, Tokugawa popular display culture included misemono (marvelous spectacles encompassing freak shows to foreign curiosities), kaichō (unveilings of sacred icons and objects; see figure 1.1), and bussankai (displays of man-­made and natural products).19 The third of these categories, the relatively academic bussankai, represent the most direct domestic antecedent to modern museums.20 Building on a long tradition of engagement with Chinese texts on medicine and other aspects of the natural world, as well as a limited number of Western (rangaku) scientific texts that entered Tokugawa Japan via Dutch traders, systematic study of the natural world rapidly grew in scope and Chapter 1 • 16 •

Fig 1.1: Eighteenth-­century kaichō held at Sensō Temple in Edo; print by Utagawa Toyoharu. Reprinted with permission from the Tokyo National Museum; this image may not be reproduced without tnm permission.

sophistication from the sixteenth century onward.21 Bussankai, also known as yakuhinkai (medicinal-­product gatherings), honzōkai (medicinal-­plant gatherings), or hakubutsukai (natural-­science gatherings), were opportunities for gentlemen-­scholars to display the results of their extensive collecting and research activities. Such exhibitions were often accompanied by the publication of detailed catalogues and works on agricultural and mechanical innovations. Individuals exhibited from the early eighteenth century, relatively small-­scale bussankai were held in Osaka starting in 1751, and the first large-­scale event of this nature took place in 1757 at Yushima Seidō, a Confucian temple in Edo, near what is now Ueno Park. Sponsored by Tamura Ransui (1718–77),22 exhibitions were held thereafter at Yushima on a regular, almost annual, basis. By the close of the Tokugawa period, more than three hundred bussankai had been staged not only in major cities such as Edo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Nagoya but also in various domains throughout the archipelago. Moreover, a broad network for collecting specimens was constructed so that, by the 1760s, bussankai could boast artifacts from overseas in addition to from all over Japan. The bussankai at Yushima in 1762, organized by Hiraga Gennai (1728–79),23 played a significant role in regularizing this network, which yielded for the exhibit approximately Stating the Public • 17 •

thirteen hundred artifacts gathered at thirty-­three collection stations, with transport fees covered by the sponsors.24 The numbers and nature of viewers also rapidly grew and became more diverse. Early bussankai were generally by invitation only, composed of small gatherings of like-­minded intellectuals.25 While motivated by questions of societal advancement, they did not see their exhibits as a direct means of popular education. However, particularly from the time of Hiraga Gennai’s bussankai in 1762, the larger-­scale events directly appealed to a much broader audience.26 Notices were distributed, tickets placed on sale, and crowds composed of both the samurai elite and townspeople flocked to see the advertised curiosities, rarities, and innovations.27 Bussankai became tightly woven into the lively commoner entertainment culture that flourished in the urban centers of Tokugawa Japan. This commoner culture was shaped both by ancient beliefs and specific developments in Tokugawa politics and economics. First, while it is not surprising that kaichō were associated with temples and shrines, the carnivalesque misemono and educational bussankai were also closely associated with sacred spaces, albeit in the latter case with comparatively academic Confucian temples. Well before and throughout the Tokugawa period, entertainment districts were often located by temples and shrines. People on their way to pay their religious respects at Sensō Temple of Edo, for example, would not have seen it as the least bit incongruous to pass through the peep shows, teahouses, and displays of curiosities of Asakusa, nor would pleasure seekers feel their spirits dampened by proximity to holiness. This long-­standing spatial logic was important: according to the medieval historian Amino Yoshihiko, temples and shrines constituted an “unconnected” (muen, literally “without ties” to this world) sphere in which high and low were intimately intertwined by virtue of both being Other.28 Waterways and bridges, archetypal borders sacred in their muen liminality, were also often entertainment areas. On a more pragmatic level, such sites did not fall under the jurisdiction of ordinary government administration and were thus magnets for all that challenged the boundaries of the regular and regulated. In fact, Amino argued that muen space represented a form of public (kō) that explicitly belonged to society as distinct from the state, one characterized by fluid, ephemeral, and horizontal ties and grounded in acts of exchange—religious, convivial, sexual, and commercial.29 Second, the growth and development of misemono, kaichō, and bussankai owed much to the remarkable urbanization that took place during Chapter 1 • 18 •

the Tokugawa period: by the end of the seventeenth century, nearly 15 percent of the Japanese population was living in cities, in contrast to a mere 3 percent a century earlier. Shogunal policies, most notably the requirement that members of the military samurai class move from villages to towns and cities or surrender their status, and the demand that domainal lords and their retinues attend the shogun in Edo in alternate years, swiftly led to the creation of large and captive consumer markets in urban areas, extensive land-­transport networks, and a complex, arguably protocapitalist economy.30 These in turn fueled the development of a commercial entertainment complex of publication, performance, and exhibition, anchored by, though not exclusive to, the metropolitan centers of Edo, Osaka, and Kyoto. Peter Kornicki particularly emphasizes the degree to which display became thoroughly commercialized in the Tokugawa period: “It made commodities out of works of art, out of what had been religious icons, or even out of people.”31 We can add to the list the scholarly collections of natural specimens on view at bussankai. This landscape made it all but unthinkable for the Tokugawa shogunate to capitalize directly on popular exhibition culture. This is not to say that individuals or even academies affiliated with the state never sponsored exhibits: there are records of shogunal schools as well as officials, particularly physicians, involved in the respectably educational field of bussankai. However, the very principles of Tokugawa rule worked against regularized state engagement with popular exhibitionary forms. The state did not want or need to mobilize commoner support; rather, in M. E. Berry’s succinct phrasing, “what the Tokugawa wanted from the public was disengagement and demobilization, not mass allegiance or populist activism.”32 The primary role of the state was to enforce a vertical order, concentrated on regulating elites. In direct response to the political, economic, and social tumult of the sixteenth century, the shogunate systematically drained governance of charisma and personal passion and cloaked its paramount power by exercising it through intermediate authorities, from the top tier of domainal lords through to village heads.33 The Tokugawa order did not demand direct loyalty to the shogun; it required obedience to one’s immediate superior. Thus, the shogun’s body was hidden from the gaze of commoners; his “voice was silent, for rarely did any shogun put his seal to laws or public correspondence,” and “even indirect efforts to project the shogunal person into a public arena—as the sponsor of festivities, amnesties, almsgiving— remained unusual.”34 Stating the Public • 19 •

In contrast, both the intimate and popular incarnations of bussankai illustrate the expansive and active voluntary social networks of Tokugawa Japan that Eiko Ikegami argues “came closer to signifying one of the ancient root meanings of publicness, that of common spheres constructed by the association of private individuals.”35 Born of and spurring far-­ranging academic collection and research, consciously working through visual displays to improve social welfare, and actively reaching out to popular, not just elite, audiences, bussankai appear to uncannily anticipate the publicness of modern museum work. Of course, the Tokugawa period is often labeled “early modern” precisely because such uncanny resemblances are not difficult to find. However, Berry argues against both falling into the trap of hailing anything in the “premodern” that resembles the “modern” as “early,” and the trap of rejecting resemblances as mere anachronistic projection.36 As Berry suggests in the case of the (loaded) concept nation, we can examine the antecedent set by bussankai for modern museums in Japan in light of the comparative possibilities it opens up. By revisiting the question of what was so striking about Western museums in the eyes of midcentury Japanese observers, we may read in their accounts an engagement in translating what was familiar rather than unfamiliar. They already understood collections of marvelous as well as useful artifacts displayed to illuminate the wonders and potential applications of nature, and they described the Western museums they encountered in such terms. What was perhaps more difficult to articulate was the potential that lay in having the state take charge of these visual vehicles. Unlike the British Museum, Smithsonian, or Jardin des Plantes, Tokugawa-­period bussankai, along with misemono and kaichō, were permitted by the state but were not organized to speak of or for the state. In contrast, in the Meiji period, the state sought to expand its reach and redefine its relationship with the general population through cultural institutions. The State Steps In

Shiina dates the first step of the government toward building its own exhibitionary apparatus from a proposal in 1869 to establish an educational facility centered on a botanical garden (hakubutsuen).37 The guiding principle through the 1870s for government investment in exhibitionary affairs was succinctly set forth in the proposal’s opening lines: “Because the nation’s fate depends on the presence of talented people [jinzai], we must cultivate such human resources without delay.”38 From the proclamation Chapter 1 • 20 •

of the 1868 Charter Oath—with its promise of deliberative assemblies and freedom of occupation coupled with the call to pursue new knowledge— the nascent Meiji state oriented itself toward a modern governmentality, one that in Foucauldian terms has “as its target[,] population” and “as its principal form of knowledge[,] political economy.”39 Accordingly, the Meiji government swiftly began to take measures to remake and expand the academies it had inherited from the Tokugawa shogunate into a system of general as well as elite education, with the goal of promoting national economic growth and industrialization (shokusan kogyō).40 Exhibitionary facilities were understood as a means to jump-­start this process. Moving from the proposal stage to realization, the first state-­sponsored display took place in May 1871.41 Tanaka Yoshio (1838–1916), once employed by the shogunate’s Institute for the Study of Barbarian Books and a key figure in the early years of the first permanent museum, organized the event as the recently appointed head of the government university’s Natural Products Bureau (Bussankyoku).42 Initial plans called for staging the first Japanese exposition, which would “gather together products from around the world in one site, providing their names and explaining their applications[,] . . . thereby broadening the people’s [hito] knowledge.”43 The exposition was explicitly intended to pave the way for a permanent museum: not only was it to be presented by the so-­called University Southern School Museum (Daigaku nankō hakubutsukan) but the site was to be a Kudanzaka lot just acquired from the Tokyo municipal government for this very purpose, with sketches made for a building featuring a rotunda and open spaces that reflected the latest in world’s fair architecture.44 The exposition was to remain open through the month of May from nine in the morning to five in the afternoon, with access granted “without making distinctions among visitors regarding gender or class,” and with potential crowds to be controlled through a ticket-­purchasing system.45 In the end, however, the weight of custom (and most likely a shortfall in funds) prevailed over the original ambitions. Upon opening, the event was called a bussankai rather than explicitly referencing the aspirational museum. It was held at the Kudan shrine for the spirits of those who died in battle (shōkonsha; renamed Yasukuni Shrine in 1879) and timed in part to coincide with a local festival. The artifacts and categories for exhibition were also fairly consistent with the Tokugawa-­period emphasis on the natural world, medicine, and curiosities: along with mineral samples and different types of rice grain, visitors could see a live marmoset and a model Stating the Public • 21 •

Fig 1.2: Zoological section, from a catalogue of museum displays of 1877. Reprinted with permission from the Tokyo National Museum; this image may not be reproduced without tnm permission.

of the stages of human gestation from 1877 (see figure 1.2).46 Moreover, reminiscent of the way in which Tokugawa bussankai were built around the sponsor’s collection, the relatively modest university holdings were substantially augmented by further contributions by Tanaka, as well as other supportive government officials. Nevertheless, this first domestic foray into state exhibition upheld its Enlightenment goals by proudly offering a greater range of foreign artifacts—from Europe, America, and continental Asia—than had been possible only a few years earlier. Certificates awarded to contributors graded artifacts not on their physical properties but on the degree to which they helped “lead the way to knowledge among the people [shūjin]”; that is, an archive was in the process of being created on the principle of learning from “examples” rather than being surprised at exceptions.47 Access was open but staggered, with university students getting the first look in late April, the general public (shūsho) admitted for one week in mid-­May, and the Japanese empress and members of the aristocracy proChapter 1 • 22 •

vided special viewings after the official close. Such private viewings were not unusual before the Meiji period, but the demonstration of imperial approval carried new weight in the new era. The bussankai in May was a success, perhaps because it was simultaneously familiar and novel, smoothing the way for future investment in state exhibitionary work. In 1871 the Ministry of Education (Monbushō) was established, absorbing the remains of the troubled university.48 In the course of this administrative reorganization, the university’s former Natural Products Bureau (Bussankyoku) was also separated out and elevated into the Exhibition Bureau (Hakubutsukyoku). Although this bureau underwent various organizational modifications over the next few years, it served as a central site for planning and coordinating state investment in international expositions, domestic expositions, and museums—that is, for constructing a state exhibitionary complex. As Satō Dōshin notes, the state’s priority to “enrich the country, strengthen the military” ( fukoku kyōhei) powered the development of these cultural institutions in the early decades of the Meiji era.49 The terms—nation-­state, civilization, commerce, and competition—were set by Western imperial powers at their world’s fairs. Domestic expositions staged international norms—and tensions—for a Japanese audience. Finally, the national museum was to serve as a permanent exposition to maintain continuous mobilization and industry. Representing the Nation at World’s Fairs

The golden age of world’s fairs for Europe and America spanned the mid-­ nineteenth century through the early decades of the twentieth century.50 Inaugurated by the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations in London in 1851 (featuring the Crystal Palace and attended by 6,000,000), the era also boasted the Weltausstellung 1873 in Vienna (its Rotunde topped with a 13-­foot-­high gilded replica of the imperial crown, attended by 7,255,000; see figure 1.3), the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1889 (famous for its Eiffel Tower and now infamous for its “ethnological” villages, attended by 32,400,000), the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 (celebrated for its White City and Midway and attended by 27,500,000), and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis in 1904 (sprawling over 1,272 acres, twice as large as any previous world’s fair, and attended by 19,700,000) (see table 1.1). Described by U.S. President William McKinley as the “time-­keepers of progress,” international expositions were staged to encourage “friendly Stating the Public • 23 •

Fig 1.3: The Vienna world’s fair of 1873. From Hubert Howe Bancroft, The Book of the Fair: An Historical and Descriptive Presentation of the World’s Science, Art, and Industry, as Viewed through the Columbia Exposition at Chicago in 1893 (Chicago and San Francisco: The Bancroft Company, 1893), 73. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Duke University.

rivalry” among nations to spur, through comparison, “high endeavor in all departments of human activity,” with a particular emphasis on industrial invention.51 Robert Rydell underscores how these self-­proclaimed celebrations of progress were used to secure rather than challenge existing structures of power: “World’s fairs performed a hegemonic function precisely because they propagated the ideas and values of the country’s political, financial, corporate, and intellectual leaders and offered these ideas as the proper interpretation of social and political reality.”52 At the same time, these great gatherings of different national elites, social classes, ethnicities, and races produced as much friction as transcendence, as Peter Hoffenberg explores in An Empire on Display.53 International expositions were anxious affairs: their organizers were obsessed with the establishment and management, rather than the overcoming, of distinctions.54 Thus the high-­flown universalistic rhetoric at world’s fairs can be seen variously as magical incantation, therapy, opiate, spur, or whip. Even though Japanese representatives were acutely self-­conscious of being latecomers when they first encountered the international exposition scene, they actually arrived just in time and fit right in. The Great Industrial Exposition held in Dublin in 1853 was one of the earliest to feature Japanese artifacts, although no Japanese were present or involved in setChapter 1 • 24 •

Table 1.1 Abbreviated List of World’s Fairs to 1939





1851 1853 1855 1862 1867 1873 1876 1878 1879 1880 1889

London Dublin Paris London Paris Vienna Philadelphia Paris Sydney Melbourne Paris

1893 1900 1904 1915 1915 1929 1930 1933 1935 1937 1939

Chicago Paris St. Louis San Francisco San Diego Seville Antwerp Chicago Brussels Paris New York

ting up the display. The London Exposition of 1862 also offered a Japan corner, composed of the personal collection of Japanese arts and crafts gathered by the British consul general Rutherford Alcock (1809–97) (see figure 1.4).55 Because members of the overseas mission in 1862, including Fukuzawa Yukichi, were in England at the time, they received an invitation to the exposition’s opening ceremonies. More than one of these Japanese observers later recorded in their diaries their dismay upon being taken to see Alcock’s artifacts. Fuchibe Tokuzō, for example, complained: “It was just like an antique store; I could hardly bear to look.”56 At the Paris exposition in 1867, Japanese were finally able to take more control over their representation. The Tokugawa shogunate signaled the seriousness with which it took the French government’s invitation to participate by appointing Tokugawa Akitake, the shogun’s younger brother, head of the exposition delegation. However, its authority to represent the nation did not go unchallenged, which revealed the precarious position that the shogunate occupied at that historical juncture. The exposition actually boasted three separate entries nominally under the rubric of “Japan,” respectively organized by the shogunate, Satsuma domain (now Kagoshima Prefecture), and Hizen domain (Saga Prefecture). A hotbed of antishogunal sentiment, Satsuma first attempted to participate as the Kingdom of the Ryūkyūs (Ryūkyū Ōkoku; now Okinawa Prefecture), a territory it had conquered in 1609. This thoroughly alarmed the Tokugawa shogunate, which was forced to negotiate a compromise whereby it would exhibit as Stating the Public • 25 •

Fig 1.4: The Japan exhibit at the London world’s fair of 1862. Reprinted with permission from the Tokyo National Museum; this image may not be reproduced without tnm permission.

the national government (Nihon taikun seifu) and its rivals Sa­tsuma and Hizen as domainal administrations (daishu seifu). In yet another twist, the biggest splash made by the Japanese at the exposition was a teahouse set up by the independent Japanese merchant Kiyomizu Ryūzaburō. While official presentations consisted of “corners” in the less than strategically located Asian section of the main hall, Kiyomizu’s thatched wooden six-­ mat room with a verandah occupied a far more prominent space in the general fair grounds. Scattered throughout the surrounding Japanese-­style garden were chairs with lifelike dolls dressed as Japanese women, while on the verandah the kimono-­clad geisha O-­sumi, O-­kane, and O-­sato spun tops, smoked pipes, and served drinks. The economic success and enthusiastic Western welcome that greeted Kiyomizu’s teahouse were not lost on the three Japanese delegations at the exposition.57 Lessons learned at the Paris exposition continued to shape Japanese appearances at world’s fairs through the turn of the century, despite the change in governing regime in 1868.58 One reason is that many of the figures that played important roles in establishing the Meiji exhibitionary complex were participants at the Paris exposition, where they gathered formative impressions and gained practical experience.59 Machida Hisanari (1838– 97), sometimes called the father of the Japanese national museum and its first director, was already in Europe at the time and joined the Satsuma delegation.60 Tanaka Yoshio was put in charge of the natural-­history section—with particular attention to insect specimens, as per the French government’s request—within the shogunate’s display.61 Tanaka became the Chapter 1 • 26 •

director of the government museum after Machida. Yamataka Nobutsura (1842–1907), who rose through the ranks to become head of the central-­ government museum after Machida and Tanaka, and later the Kyoto and Nara museums, was part of Tokugawa Akitake’s entourage.62 Sano Tsunetami (1822–1902), a key figure in the Meiji state’s exposition efforts in 1873 and a major supporter of the national museum, was a member of the Hizen party.63 Incidentally, Ōkuma Shigenobu (1838–1922), future oligarch and the founder of Waseda University, vigorously lobbied to go with the Hizen party but did not make the final cut.64 Although in 1867 these men represented a range of political positions regarding their country’s future, they also possessed a good deal in common. They were all of samurai background; they had each been identified from an early age as intellectually promising; and they had been given excellent educational opportunities in fields that anticipated changes to come, such as medicine, natural history, and Western learning (rangaku). Although they were all relatively young, they were increasingly, and from various quarters, called upon to shoulder responsibilities for the sake of an emergent though still contested “Japan.” They perfectly fit the profile—youthful and driven by a sense of international crisis—of the new Meiji government in 1868 and were swiftly incorporated into its ranks.65 This cohort was certainly primed to grasp the fact that many of the challenges they faced in Paris in 1867 were rooted in the conceptual framework of “universal” expositions. Intended to facilitate the growth of an international market, expositions relied on the nation-­state as the basic unit and a “progressive” hierarchy as the principle for grouping and placement. The upper tier was composed of industrialized Western European nations, which in turn had their own pecking order. Great Britain, France, and Germany jockeyed for position at the head of the line, with Italy and Spain seen as lagging a step or two behind. The United States was also understood to be a member of the industrialized elite, but it had something of an inferiority complex: world’s fairs held in the United States often had the explicit goal of reminding everyone that Americans were also part of the Western cultural sphere. At the other end of the spectrum, particularly from the time of the widely emulated Paris exposition of 1889, imperial powers boasted of their colonial possessions in simulated “native” villages, populated by subjugated “primitives” who composed a highly visible and thoroughly exploited lower class within the fairgrounds.66 The middle sector was composed of independent nations that had more Stating the Public • 27 •

recently embarked on industrialization and were associated to varying degrees with the non-­West: Russia (on the edges of Europe and sprawling across the Asian continent), Central and South American countries (compromised by their rejection of European rule and their mestizo and Indian populations), and Asian countries such as China and Japan (self-­evidently not Western but in the process of rapid transformation).67 The governments of such nations were faced with the twin problem of demonstrating at world’s fairs both modernization (as measured against Europe) as well as an independent, indigenous identity. This “middle class” was characterized by intense ideological activity to distinguish themselves from those yet lower on the scale, generally by claiming affinity with those higher up, securing the hierarchy even as its specific ordering was challenged. Representing “a calculated division of the world into civilized and primitive worlds,” these rankings had material consequences.68 The exhibits of Western advanced industrial nations enjoyed choice locations and generous space allocations, while those of less “developed” nations were physically marginalized and minimized.69 Thus the respective role each tier was to play in a global economy was reinscribed as producer, consumer, or resource. While tension between competing representatives had given rise to complications in 1867, thereafter, Japanese exhibitors played the exposition game well (see figures 1.5 and 1.6). Their options included adopting the paradigm in which the West represented the pinnacle of a “universal civilization,” attempting to present Japan as civilized on its own terms, or winning hearts (and cash) but not minds by reinforcing Western exotic stereotypes. The ambitious and pragmatic Japanese state embraced all three strategies to avoid getting trapped by one. By carefully compartmentalizing, the state contributed scientific reports and samples to industrial and natural science divisions, showcased religious icons and aristocratic aesthetics in national pavilions, and raked in foreign currency through teahouses and curio shops. Japanese exhibitors quickly became known for putting on a great show, as Hirayama Narinobu recalled regarding the Vienna exposition of 1873: “The sightseers pressed into the Japanese corner, and accordingly sales were extremely good. Moreover, the museums of many countries purchased Japanese goods seeking to include them in their collections.”70 The Meiji state, despite endemic cash-­flow problems, invested as much and often more than the advanced industrial nations of Britain, France, GerChapter 1 • 28 •

Fig 1.5: Bronze pagoda displayed in the Japanese exhibits at the Chicago world’s fair of 1893. From Hubert Howe Bancroft, The Book of the Fair: An Historical and Descriptive Presentation of the World’s Science, Art, and Industry, as Viewed through the Columbia Exposition at Chicago in 1893 (Chicago and San Francisco: The Bancroft Company, 1893), 225. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Fig 1.6: Japanese marble displayed in the Japanese exhibits at the Chicago world’s fair of 1893. From Hubert Howe Bancroft, The Book of the Fair: An Historical and Descriptive Presentation of the World’s Science, Art, and Industry, as Viewed through the Columbia Exposition at Chicago in 1893 (Chicago and San Francisco: The Bancroft Company, 1893), 496. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Duke University.

many, and the United States to make its mark at the expositions. At the St. Louis exposition of 1904, for example, Japan came in second only to Germany among the foreign exhibitors in its outlay for buildings and exhibits ($630,765 and $690,000, respectively). This was more than double the expenditures of Great Britain, four times that of Canada, six times that of Argentina and Austria, and twelve times that of Mexico, Greece, and Sweden.71 Such investments were sustainable for the Japanese government because, unlike many other state participants, it generally earned more than it spent by the end of these events, selling even the exhibit fixtures once they were no longer needed. From the 1860s, Japanese officials recognized that Japanese arts and crafts would serve as a crucial means to engage Euro-­American interest, and preparations for participation in world’s fairs were conducted accordingly.72 When Léon Roches (1809–1901), the French consul general to Japan, was consulted by the Tokugawa shogunate regarding the Paris exposition of 1867, he strongly urged the shogunate to emphasize Japanese crafts.73 Likewise, the foreign expert Gottfried Wagener (1831–92) counseled the Meiji state to emphasize handicrafts—specifically, pottery, cloisonné, and lacquerware—in its displays for the Vienna exposition of 1873, advice that reinforced the message of the government’s own preliminary research.74 Sano Tsunetami, who was in charge of preparations for 1873, further noted the British example of spearheading increased exports through sales of crafts of international repute; in turn, increased market shares drove the British industrialization process.75 For this reason, Sano insisted that the seventy members of the delegation sent to Vienna include twenty-­ four artisans, who would remain in Europe to study and bring back various technologies for their respective fields.76 Textiles and pottery were the first sectors to become partially industrialized; a report from the Fourth National Exposition in 1895 noted that arts and crafts constituted approximately one-­tenth of the total Japanese exports from the 1880s through the 1890s.77 Newly able through mass-­production methods to supply a foreign market, this class of manufactures fed and fueled the Japonisme craze that swept Europe and America in the latter half of the nineteenth century.78 Moreover, government interest in cultivating a Western taste for Japanese arts and crafts had a profound impact on how these artifacts were conceptualized. During the Tokugawa period, Japanese arts and Japanese crafts had not been distinguished from each other as such; rather, painting, icon making, calligraphy, pottery, lacquerware, and the like were seen as Chapter 1 • 30 •

fields of aesthetic production in their own right.79 The modern word for art, bijutsu, first entered the Japanese vocabulary as a translation of the German term schöne Kunst in entry rules devised in preparation for the Vienna exposition of 1873. Under the assumption that the target audience of artisans would not have a clear idea of what this meant, a definition was appended: “music, painting, skillfully produced figures, poetry, etc., are called ‘art’ in the West.”80 The creation of this umbrella category of “art” also meant the exclusion and demotion of forms of aesthetic production that did not parallel the staples of Western high culture; anything that did not fit the definition of art fell into the category of mere manufactures. World’s fair politics drove the Meiji state’s role in creating these two supercategories: non-­Western countries were regularly invited to submit entries to the industrial and technological divisions but not the arts division, since so-­called undeveloped countries were thought to be incapable of producing anything of sufficient quality. Having caught on quickly to the insult concealed in this state of affairs, the Japanese state promptly set about rectifying the situation, calling for increased production of objects, and eventually a canon, that would fit the Western concept of art. The dimensions of Japanese aesthetic production were redefined, with paintings, sculptures, and pottery physically enlarged and reshaped in order to impress and find a place within a Western decorative regime.81 Buddhist icons proved particularly useful in this campaign, because they offered a domestic form that matched Western notions of fine art in terms of genre (sculpture) and concept (religious) that sidestepped the kinds of Western criticisms aimed at early Japanese efforts to “look” Western.82 However, a tradition of Buddhist art had to be simultaneously invented at home even as it was published abroad.83 While the initial efforts of the Meiji government to promote Shintō (which provided the emperor with his divinity) at the expense of Buddhism were devastating to Buddhist icon makers in the late 1860s and early 1870s, the desire to demonstrate native civilizational attainments on the world stage resulted in a swift change of course.84 With this goal in mind, a papier-­mâché replica of the Great Buddha of Kamakura figured prominently in the Japanese national display at the Vienna exposition of 1873.85 Yet, despite meeting such Western criteria for art as symmetry, monumentality, and spiritual anthropomorphism, the Buddha figure was not permitted in the arts division. Making the best of a less than ideal situation, the Japanese exhibitors supplemented their civilizational claims by advertising the high quality of the Japanese paper Stating the Public • 31 •

(washi) employed for the papier-­mâché and urging potential tourists to visit the original. Unfortunately, only the head could be salvaged from a fire en route. Nevertheless, it was greeted in Vienna with such enthusiasm that imagery of the Great Buddha was periodically redeployed, at, for example, the Panama-­California Exposition of 1915. Noting the primacy accorded the Western gaze in how Japanese, and indeed all non-­Western, exhibitors framed their universal exposition contributions, Kinoshita Naoyuki emphasizes the impact this had on native cultural artifacts at home.86 In the case of Japanese Buddhist icons, the state began to actively recast them as a part of national “art” heritage— through state-­sponsored art education, government surveys of treasures in temples and shrines, and encasement in museum displays. In this manner, the groundwork was laid for the emergence of a newly nationalized public art exemplified by the famous statue of Kusunoki Masashige (1294–1336), cast by the former Buddhist icon maker turned modern sculptor Takamura Kōun (1851–1934).87 Meanwhile, the Japanese state vigorously lobbied organizers of world’s fairs to have Buddhist icons exhibited as artworks rather than manufactures, and their efforts finally paid off at the expositions in Chicago and Paris in 1893 and 1900, respectively.88 The magnificence of the pieces sent to Paris in particular revealed a changed domestic cultural landscape: in contrast to the replica of the Kamakura Great Buddha, a select number of priceless, canonical, historic, original Buddhist works were contributed by the imperial museum and various major temples. Once the barrier had finally been broken, Japanese entries to art-­division competitions were on occasion granted gratifying recognition, as in the case of the second prize for painting awarded to Imao Keinen (1845–1924) at the Italian exposition of 1911.89 Accordingly, while universal expositions highlighted progress through industrial innovation, the specific conditions faced by Japanese participants led to an early and pragmatic emphasis on Japanese arts and crafts. This had enduring implications, not only for the conceptualization of such objects but more broadly for the framing of national identity and the development of domestic cultural institutions. The lessons of competition between nation-­states for political prestige and market share were brought home by domestic expositions for the edification, disciplinization, and mobilization of Japanese subjects.

Chapter 1 • 32 •

Table 1.2  Major Government-­Sponsored Domestic Expositions in the Imperial Era




1871 1872

Bussankai Ministry of Education Exposition (Monbushō Hakurankai) First National Exposition (Dai-­ichi Naikoku Kangyō Hakurankai) Second National Exposition (Dai-­ni Naikoku Kangyō Hakurankai) Third National Exposition (Dai-­san Naikoku Kangyō Hakurankai) Fourth National Exposition (Dai-­yon Naikoku Kangyō Hakurankai) Fifth National Exposition (Dai-­go Naikoku Kangyō Hakurankai) Tokyo Exposition (Tōkyō Kangyō Hakurankai) Tokyo Taishō Exposition (Tōkyō Taishō Hakurankai) Tokyo Exposition Commemorating Peace (Heiwa Kinen Tōkyō Hakurankai) Tokyo Exposition Commemorating the Grand Accession Ceremony (Tairei Kinen Kokusan Shinkō Tōkyō Dai-­hakurankai)

Tokyo/Kudan Tokyo/Yushima

1877 1881 1890 1895 1903 1907 1914 1922 1928

Tokyo/Ueno Tokyo/Ueno Tokyo/Ueno Kyoto/Okazaki Osaka/Tenōji Tokyo/Ueno Tokyo/Ueno Tokyo/Ueno Tokyo/Ueno

Domesticating Expositions

Through the 1870s and into the 1880s, domestic expositions enjoyed such popularity—as many as eight hundred events were billed as expositions during this period—that they came to be seen, along with rickshaws, as symbols of the age of bunmei kaika (Western Civilization and Enlightenment) (see table 1.2).90 The central state directly undertook the organization of several landmark domestic expositions through the turn of the century in order to promote economic, particularly industrial, development (kangyō). Beginning in 1907, the Tokyo municipal administration took a leading role in staging such events, events that began to highlight consumption and entertainment more than their predecessors.91 Almost all were staged in Tokyo—the only exceptions being the fourth national exposition in Kyoto and the fifth in Osaka—and their scale rapidly grew with each iteration (see figure 1.7). While the Ministry of Education’s effort in Stating the Public • 33 •

Fig 1.7: Second National Exposition of 1881 with the Ueno museum in the background; print by Baiju Kunitoshi. Reprinted with permission from the Tokyo National Museum; this image may not be reproduced without tnm permission.

1872 occupied 208 tsubo (approximately 3.3 square meters), ran nearly two months, and attracted more than 150 contributors and 190,000 visitors, the Peace Commemoration Exposition of 1922 occupied 120,000 tsubo, ran nearly five months, and boasted 75,000 contributors (the peak actually came in 1903 with 118,000), with an attendance of 11,033,000. National domestic expositions were intimately linked to the world’s fairs, generally organized either in preparation for the international gathering or as a debriefing in which unsold and award-­winning items were put on display.92 Thus the timing of these events was often pegged to fall before or after years in which world fairs were held, as in the case of the First National Exposition of 1877, which served as a follow-­up to the Centennial International Exposition of 1876 in Philadelphia. By the same logic, entry categories and procedures were explicitly modeled after those set by Western exposition organizers, while spatial and architectural strategies as well as crowd cultivation and management referenced Euro-­American trends.93 The state’s first formally titled exposition (Hakurankai) of 1872 marked the beginning of this arrangement.94 Explicitly geared toward preparation for Vienna in 1873, the event’s budget went from a request for two hundred yen to an additional one thousand yen, which was then further supplemented by the Ministry of Finance (Ōkura-­shō). Initially scheduled to run from March 10 to the end of the month at the Yushima Confucian temple, it was extended through April due to popular demand, with total attendance estimated at 192,878. Tickets were set at two sen each to offset Chapter 1 • 34 •

the expense, although restrictions were imposed on how many could be purchased at one time and tickets were rationed on particularly crowded days.95 Otherwise, the gates were open to all, to the people (hito; sejin in government documents; shūsho in an account from the Tokyo Nichi-­Nichi newspaper) of the nation (by virtue of advertisements distributed through various prefectural offices), explicitly inclusive of both men and women.96 This is not to say that distinctions were entirely abandoned: government employees (kan’in) were permitted to see the exhibits before the general opening, and commoners were not allowed during the March 13 visit of the Meiji emperor, who was accompanied by such prominent government leaders as Ōkuma Shigenobu. Preparing for Vienna was understood as serious work, requiring mobilization of considerable human as well as material resources. However, the very goal of securing a favorable international reception tilted the exposition away from its avowed Enlightenment ideal, which was expressed in the exact same wording of earlier proposals: “To gather together products from around the world in one site, providing their names and explaining their applications[,] . . . thereby broadening the people’s knowledge.”97 Rather, the exposition of 1872 focused on artifacts that represented traditional manufactures—including “ancient implements and artifacts” (koki kyūbutsu) as necessary supplements for these changing times and systems”—because these would excite the most attention on the world stage.98 Somewhat ironically, the impact of the world’s fairs on the first state domestic exposition was to pull the displays back toward the older native model of exhibiting marvels, such as the famous golden “whale” shachihoko (roof ornaments) of Nagoya castle, using a site previously known for its bussankai. Nevertheless, while the exposition may have looked in terms of content more like a popular exhibit of the Tokugawa period than even its predecessor in 1871, Kitazawa Noriaki points out that the aesthetic and historical artifacts on view were actually in the process of being systematized in new ways.99 Above all, these artifacts were being reframed as national properties, selected to represent Japan to an international audience. And the exhibition visitors were being called upon to participate in this process. At no point did the Meiji state possess a monopoly on the exposition form. In fact, the very first domestic event to use the term hakurankai was sponsored not by the central state, but by the city of Kyoto at the urging of Mitsui Hachirōemon (1808–85; founder of the Mitsui corporate empire).100 As the exposition form exploded in popularity, such events Stating the Public • 35 •

ran the gamut from larger-­scale productions by Kyoto, Wakayama, Ibaraki, Fukuoka, Niigata, Okazaki, Matsumoto, Kanazawa, and the like to humbler efforts such as that observed by Rudyard Kipling in his travels through the Japanese countryside: The guide took most pleasure in the factory chimneys. “There is an exposition here—an exposition of industrialities. Come and see,” said he. He took us down from that high place and showed us the glory of the land in the shape of corkscrews, tin mugs, egg-­whisks, dippers, silks, buttons, and all the trumpery that can be stitched on a card and sold for five-­pence three farthings. The Japanese unfortunately make all these things for themselves, and are proud of it. They have nothing to learn from the West as far as finish is concerned, and by intuition know how to case and mount wares tastefully. The exposition was in four large sheds running round a central building which held only screens, pottery and cabinet-­ware loaned for the occasion. I rejoiced to see that the common people did not care for the penknives, and the pencils, and the mock jewellry. They left those sheds alone and discussed the screens, first taking off their clogs that the inlaid floor might not suffer.101 Patronizing attitude aside, Kipling’s account suggests not only the ubiquitous enthusiasm for holding expositions to promote industrial growth during the era but also how in actual practice there was little to distinguish many such events from Tokugawa-­period bussankai and other forms of popular display. Even the considerably more polished efforts of Kyoto, which staged expositions on an annual basis, were dismissed by some contemporaries as amounting to little more than an antique fair.102 In contrast, starting in 1877 with the First National Exposition (Dai-ichi Naikoku Kangyō Hakurankai), the state-­sponsored events referenced and also realized within Japan the spectacular character of world’s fairs. The state did not stint in order to put on a good show: the Osaka National Exposition of 1903 (Dai-go Naikoku Kangyō Hakurankai), for example, was known for its extravagant use of illumination, while the Taishō Exposition of 1914 (Tōkyō Taishō Hakurankai) featured the first escalator in Japan, cable cars through the grounds, and military airplanes on display. While ticket sales were used to offset costs, the immediate gain was primarily political, as is strikingly illustrated in the case of the First National Exposition, which was held even as government forces were engaged in quelling the Satsuma Rebellion. The uprising of 1877 led by the restoration hero Chapter 1 • 36 •

Saigō Takamori (1827–77) posed a serious threat to the fledgling government: the direct cost of conducting military operations came to forty-­two million yen, representing 80 percent of the annual budget.103 Nevertheless, the government forged ahead with its plans to open the exposition in August, thereby proclaiming itself in control.104 Far from simple translations of world’s fairs, government-­organized domestic expositions were geared toward cementing the Japanese state’s (not the West’s) position of central authority. Reconfiguring Japan, Asia, and the West at the Fifth National Exposition

As the last in its series, the Fifth National Exposition, held in Osaka in 1903, offers a useful vantage point from which to examine how state expositions worked both with and against their Western counterparts through the latter half of the nineteenth century (see figure 1.8). In terms that could just as easily have been employed in London or Paris as Osaka, a guide to the exposition summed up the project as follows: “What are national industrial expositions? As the name itself indicates, the government occasionally holds a public event to stimulate and celebrate the development of our country’s agricultural, manufacturing, commercial, and other industries. Product lists are sent in by business enterprises throughout the nation, and then samples are gathered according to category and organized and displayed by region. In one place, at one glance, products from home and abroad can be evaluated and compete for prizes, thereby mutually spurring development and raising the level of cumulative achievement.”105 While the development of networks for the collection of artifacts for display in urban centers had already begun in the Tokugawa period, the Meiji state swiftly expanded and reinscribed these networks in the 1870s. Solicitations for contributions went to producers rather than scholarly collectors. These calls for commodities—not curiosities—were distributed through government channels, fixing the state as the domestic center, and were based on Western exposition standards with the state as the authoritative intermediary between the national and international. Significantly, representatives of the West were kept out until the Japanese state’s claims were firmly established: foreign enterprises were not allowed to set up their own displays at the national expositions until 1903, that is, at the culmination of the series. Within the space of its industrial expositions, the state had previously leveled the playing ground to foster internal competition among prefectures as well as individual enterprises. But Japanese particuStating the Public • 37 •

Fig 1.8: Fifth National Exposition, held in Osaka, 1903. Reproduced with permission from the National Diet Library digital archive (

larity was set aside in 1903 to achieve the evaluation of regional commodities by nonculturally specific or universal standards. Only then would the local victors in this race for the survival of the fittest serve as the standard bearers for a collective national effort to compete in the same race played out at the global level. The logic of competition in which the players were, on the one hand, equal but differentiated in character, yet, on the other, unequal and differentiated in achievement, spurred the solidification of a national consciousness while instilling an awareness of the world outside—mediated by the state—at even the most local levels. The evolution of organizational categories over the five national expositions similarly indicated the state’s engagement with Western exposition practices to establish its own authority while displacing that of the Western powers. In 1877 exposition goods and space were divided into six ranked categories with corresponding pavilions: mining and metal work, manufactures, the arts, machinery, agriculture, and horticulture.106 As industrialization efforts gradually began to bear visible fruit in the late nineteenth century, the exposition organizational scheme became incrementally more Chapter 1 • 38 •

sophisticated: “manufactures” became “industry,” “agriculture” absorbed “horticulture” and gave birth to “forestry,” and an “education and liberal arts” section joined the lineup, as did miscellaneous supplemental pavilions, including a zoo and aquarium. In 1903, however, an explosion and reorganization of categories and pavilions revealed the developmental logic coursing beneath earlier adjustments. First, we see rationalization and specialization within the Japanese industrial sector as it grew toward maturity in the form of pavilions not just for manufactures but also for chemicals, machinery, transportation, and the like. Second, we see culture being separated out from the industrial sector. The “arts” dropped in the general category rankings as mass-­produced textiles were replacing pottery and curios as vital export commodities. The Arts Building was also regrouped with the colonial Taiwan Pavilion and the Physical Education Building at the furthest point from the front gate, well behind the industrial buildings.107 These trends reveal the universalist drive that had informed these national expositions, although it could only be realized in stages. Civilization, with the Japanese state as its primary agent, was the driving goal, but it was civilization in a more abstract, deterritorialized sense than the model offered by Europe and America. From the perspective of the American contemporary who penned “Japanese—Greeks of the East” for a series of volumes celebrating the St. Louis exposition of 1904, selective Westernization was difficult to imagine, since the whole of the civilizational package was so clearly “superior”: “Several practices prevail among Japanese that appear shocking and unjust to our conceptions of morality, but they are fast falling into disuse, for the Japanese are rapidly adapting themselves to the Christian ideas of civilization. In all respects, they are a remarkable people, less so because of strange customs than for their readiness to imitate the mannerisms of Europeans, whose superior ways, commercial and social, they recognize and are quick to learn.”108 However, at Japanese national expositions, the state presented civilization as a matter of technological and social scientific advances, not forks and spoons, and most certainly not Christianity. As commemorative photographs of the government’s Industrial Building, Educational Building, Fine Arts Building, and Transportation Building for the exposition of 1903 illustrate, the state made extensive use of the idiom of neoclassical architecture prevalent in world’s fairs held in Europe and America (see figure 1.9).109 These architectural statements, understood in the context of Chicago’s famous “White City” of 1893 to signify idealism, harmonious Stating the Public • 39 •

simplicity, functionality, and universality (see figure 1.10), were intended to displace rather than pay homage to the West.110 Japanese pavilions at world’s fairs were differentiated from Western entries by their construction along historical and distinctively Japanese lines, but at home the Japanese state made use of classical Western architecture to assume the mantle of leading representative of progress toward modernity. In turn, the central state assigned the complementary role of the past and particular to prefectural pavilions, such as the Bazaar of Nagoya or Bazaar of Kyoto, built in distinctive regional fashions, and to the pavilions of colonial territories that showcased native styles (see figure 1.11).111 While the Japanese state exposed the cultural particularism undergirding Western claims to universalism through its own successful appropriation, it by no means sought to dismantle the apparatus. Rather, its claims were cemented by developing its own set of particularized and exoticized Others. In Japan’s Orient, Stefan Tanaka closely examines this process in the nineteenth-­century development of “Oriental” history (Tōyōshi) by Japanese scholars; the Fifth National Exposition’s Formosa Building (Taiwan-­ kan) exemplifies such “contradictory uses Japan made of Asia” in a popular venue (see figure 1.12).112 The Formosa Building had a function “very different from the other metropolitan and prefectural facilities,” according to the exposition guidebook.113 In order to introduce Japan’s new colony, exposition organizers concentrated all things Taiwanese into a distinct and self-­ enclosed space. In addition to displays on the history and customs of the area and local agricultural commodities and manufactures, a performance stage, restaurant, and store were added to make the pavilion its own world: sitting in the garden area, “visitors will be lulled into feeling as if they had arrived in Taiwan.”114 This strategy was in marked contrast to the way in which products from the rest of Japan were categorized and distributed in functionally distinct pavilions throughout the fair, competing as regions within a universalistic and homogeneous space delimited by the nation. However, this suspension of rules was hardly an admission of their limits or failure; rather, the horizon of Japan’s first official colony offered an opportunity to bring the civilizational and national logic of the Osaka exposition to completion. The treatment accorded the Taiwan Pavilion differed because this colony constituted Japan’s own primitive Other necessary to fix Japan’s position firmly on the side of civilization. No surprise, then, that the peripheralization, exoticization, and detemporalization employed for non-­Western peoples in European and American world’s fairs Chapter 1 • 40 •

Fig 1.9: Transportation Building at the Fifth National Exposition (Osaka) in 1903. Reproduced with permission from the National Diet Library digital archive (http://www

Fig 1.10: Palace of Fine Arts at the Chicago world’s fair of 1893. From Hubert Howe Bancroft, The Book of the Fair: An Historical and Descriptive Presentation of the World’s Science, Art, and Industry, as Viewed through the Columbia Exposition at Chicago in 1893 (Chicago and San Francisco: The Bancroft Company, 1893), 73. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Fig 1.11: Aichi Prefecture Bazaar at the Fifth National Exposition (Osaka) in 1903. Reproduced with permission from the National Diet Library digital archive (http://www

Fig 1.12: Formosa Building at the Fifth National Exposition (Osaka) in 1903. Reproduced with permission from the National Diet Library digital archive (

of the era were applied in Osaka to the Taiwanese. Not only was the Taiwan Pavilion set off in the very back of the exposition grounds “behind” the arts and even the vendors but its architectural elements were selected from a “pure” and “static” Asian past, rather than an increasingly hybridized present. The guidebook introduces the Taiwan Pavilion as follows: “Looking to the northeast of the Arts Pavilion, one’s eye is caught by the glitter of the bright walls and ornamental tiles of a Chinese-­style palace.”115 This seemingly innocuous phrasing had the effect of Asianness made strange. Unlike the natural and offhand references in the exposition guide to the neoclassical architecture of the main pavilions, the far more detailed description provided for the buildings of the colonial pavilion emphasized their alluring exotic qualities. An unending series of adjectives—such as isai (striking), kikan (wondrous), and kenran (gaudy)116—marked the aesthetics of this former Chinese territory as alien from the “Western” perspective of Japan, erasing the historically deep relationship between Japanese and Chinese architecture. There was no question that this exotic Other was subject to Japan, not an equal opposite. The point that Japan had power over Taiwan—and by implication, its former master, China—was made through repeated references to victory in the First Sino-­Japanese War (1894–95).117 The violent suppression of Taiwanese resistance was not discussed as such, but the death of an imperial prince during the campaign was commemorated in a special hall.118 Taiwanese subordination was even embodied in several structures within the pavilion that had been shipped overseas as the spoils of war. As the guidebook remarked: “[We Japanese] are overcome with such feelings at the sight.”119 However, the colonial relationship between Japan and Taiwan was not, for the most part, articulated at the exposition as one born of “might makes right.” Rather, in civilizational terms, it was the primitive state of Taiwan that necessitated enlightened Japanese leadership. Observing that “the level of development of the Taiwanese people is exceedingly low,” the author of the guidebook decried the seeming lack of cohesion and organization among Taiwanese that made mounting a proper representation at the exposition an arduous task. Only through the great efforts made by the colonial administration was success achieved. The displays themselves inculcated this perception of Taiwan as backward not only by denigrating the ethnic Chinese residents of the island but by highlighting the customs Stating the Public • 43 •

of dozoku (natives) and ban (savages), terms used to refer to indigenous tribes of the island.120 These tribes were themselves in the process of being “invented” through the anthropological surveys of Inō Kanori (1867–1925), who came up with a classification system for the peoples he visited that was shaped as much or more by outside and at times arbitrary desires for neatness and manageability as by local self-­perceptions.121 Taiwan might be said to have served Japan as a point of primitive origin against which national progress could be measured, yet this relationship was not simply one for complacent meditation. Japan was also to bring Taiwan to “the next level of progress” by introducing modern rationality (as categories, as industrial techniques, as public education) in doses and by means appropriate for an “undeveloped” people.122 Taiwan marked a limit to be exceeded in the present day: the colony would be a laboratory for Japan’s “civilizing” mission beyond its immediate borders, a chance to demonstrate that modern Japan was not merely national but also universal. More precisely, the state proclaimed Japan a universal nation, one that had mastered modern forms and norms of nationality, and therefore one that had achieved a coherent collective agency to be exercised at home and abroad.123 There were tensions, however, in this historical model of civilizational nation adopted by Japan. The placement of Taiwan in a permanent tutelary position echoed the gesture relegating Japan in a subordinate position to Western industrial powers; if Taiwan could never catch up to Japan, how could Japan catch up to the West? Moreover, the Japanese state could not remap itself with respect to Asia—no matter the strength of its geoimaginary drive—without drawing down the wrath of its neighboring polities. The existence of such historical constraints is vividly illustrated by the fiasco of the privately financed attraction that came to be known as the Anthropology Pavilion (Gakujutsu Jinruikan). While the pavilion was initially closer to a glorified freak show, the University of Tokyo’s nascent anthropology department was called in by state officials to give the exhibit coherence and respectability. Nevertheless, the pavilion’s origins in entertainment were not completely erased: the most memorable, and controversial, displays featured living beings, who were showcased in environments that supposedly replicated their customary living conditions and also offered special performances to illustrate such “curious” habits as headhunting. The “primitives” on stage included representatives for China, Korea, Okinawa, Taiwan, Malaysia, Java, India, and the Ainu. Early on, there was even a parade presided over by a Japanese emcee armed with a whip.124 Chapter 1 • 44 •

The pavilion met with strenuous criticism before it even opened. Tipped off by Chinese students in Japan, the Qing government swiftly lodged a protest against the inclusion of Chinese subjects. Yet the complaint did not challenge the display tactics or scientificized racism. The problem was that China did not belong in the lineup, since, in the words of one student, “India and the Ryūkyūs are already dead, the slaves of England and Japan. Korea is a protectorate of Russia and Japan, and once was China’s vassal. The Javanese, Ainu, and aborigines of Taiwan are among the world’s most inferior races, hardly distinguishable from deer and hogs.”125 Hard on the heels of the Qing demands for action, Korean elites raised similar objections regarding the exhibition of two Korean women. Finally, Okinawans added their voices to the clamor, stung by the obvious insult to their status as Japanese subjects. Confronted with such demonstrations that civilizational and national discourses were operative throughout East Asia outside of the aspirational Japanese monopoly, “Japan” was forced in each instance to remove the party in question from the display. The Anthropology Pavilion incident was born of competing understandings of a colonial hierarchy in Asia, which remains a critical reference point today. However, the belated and piecemeal responses of the state in the matter also reveal the labor-­intensive nature of its efforts to cultivate a domestic sense of national unity. The fact that the state was largely successful in producing lavish exhibitionary spectacles should not obscure the incomplete nature of the process, which demanded ongoing attention, management, and remediation. While the central viewpoint structuring the Anthropology Pavilion was “Japanese,” sponsorship came from the private sector. When this commercial venture went on to threaten state interests, diplomatic and otherwise, the Japanese government acted as a janitor rather than initiator, mopping up the mess first by slapping on a veneer of academic respectability, and then by acceding to the removal requests of offended parties. Moreover, criticism of the pavilion came from inside as well as outside the container of the nation-­state, providing a glimpse at internal heterogeneity. Crowd Mobilization and Management

Peter Hoffenberg observes with regard to the British expositions of the era: “Expositions, like museums, mechanics’ institutes, political economy, and the state itself, appeared to be self-­regulating ‘bee-­hives’ of Victorian equipoise, seeming without but, in fact, permeated with conflict, class, party, Stating the Public • 45 •

and interest.”126 To handle such diversity, expositions were important sites for developing relatively noncoercive means of policing crowds, providing “the experience and language by which colonial subjects and domestic workers, almost the world itself, could be managed and governed.”127 In his discussion of the Ministry of Education exposition of 1872, Shiina Noritaka takes particular note of the way in which members of the imperial family and bureaucracy were accorded the red-­carpet treatment, while ordinary visitors were greeted with a set of regulations posted at the main entrance:128 Item: The following items are forbidden inside: clogs [geta], high clogs [ashida], low clogs [komageta], umbrellas, and canes. Additional note: dogs are not allowed to accompany their owners. Item: Wipe shoes and sandals [zōri and setta] on the mats provided. Item: Persons wearing clogs, high clogs, and low clogs must change into sandals obtained from the attendant before entering, but an appropriate fee for handling must be paid.129 This list of rules was brief and pragmatic: as Shiina himself points out, unexpectedly large crowds necessitated overtime hours for cleaning exhibition facilities, while the prohibition against clogs was meant to keep noise levels down. Nevertheless, Shiina is sharply critical of the kanson minpi (revere the officials and despise the people) attitude on display, one that the organizers themselves would likely have acknowledged as sheer common sense. This exposition in 1872 can be used as a general baseline to measure the development that took place at such state-­sponsored events of a regulatory apparatus for ordinary members of the Japanese public. By 1903, the formal articulation of rules governing exposition visitors and the conditions for viewing had significantly expanded in both scope and detail. Section 8 of the Fifth National Exposition Tokyo Entries Association Report, titled “Various Regulations Related to Viewing,” opens in the following manner: Item: This event will run from March 1 to July 31, 1903. Item: The viewing time will be from eight in the morning to five in the afternoon. On Sundays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, evening entrance will be permitted from 5 to 10 pm for each building as well as for certain designated areas. However, this can change or be terminated according to circumstances. Item: Each gate to the exposition grounds will open at eight in the Chapter 1 • 46 •

morning and will close at seven in the evening, but when evening attendance is permitted, the gates will close at eleven. Item: A viewing ticket will cost five sen each. Item: One ticket is required per visitor. On Sundays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, and holidays, two tickets will be required. Item: Evening visitors will need one ticket, but visitors who enter before five in the evening and continue to stay on the grounds are not bound by this condition. Item: Visitors will show their tickets to the attendant upon entrance and receive a token; they will hand this back to the attendant upon exit. However, children under five do not need tickets. Item: Persons bearing various kinds of bundles or leading animals will not enter the grounds. However, canes, umbrellas, briefcases, lunch parcels (length, width, and thickness must each be generally under one shaku [30.3 centimeters]), and the like are not covered by these restrictions. Item: Persons who are insane, drunk, or otherwise disturb the order or customs are prohibited from entering or will be expelled from the grounds. Item: Smoking is prohibited in or near the buildings. Item: Actions such as damaging the structures or greenery and throwing objects at or giving food to the animals are prohibited. Item: Viewers may touch objects on display if permission is first obtained from the guard. Item: Visitors may enter into contracts to purchase items on display, but they may not remove said item from the grounds until after the exposition ends. Item: Photographing or reproducing a display item is prohibited unless consent is obtained beforehand from both the contributor and the main office. Item: Persons who wish to photograph or reproduce the interior scene must first obtain permission from the main office.130 The regulations continue for four more pages, with separate sections covering the Botanical Pavilion, the Refrigeration Pavilion, and use of the fairgrounds and neighboring aquarium grounds; the last category was divided into a short set of further rules for visitors and a lengthier set of rules for vendors and others associated with exposition operations.131 Various temStating the Public • 47 •

poral, spatial, and behavioral boundaries are clearly demarcated: questions of who could enter which gate, when, and how crop up throughout. These were not boundaries set solely for the purpose of exclusion. These were boundaries intended to govern as inclusive a grouping as could be imagined at the time. Female as well as male visitors had been envisioned from the first government proposals for expositions; in 1903 attendance by families with small children was specifically encouraged by allowing children under five free admission as well as the provision of a childcare facility.132 Evening and weekend visitation hours had been hotly disputed in the case of European expositions because of the time constraints on members of the working class. In Osaka, extended hours were offered three days a week.133 Weekend and holiday entry required two tickets, but the cost could be cut by evening arrival.134 Categories of people to be excluded or expelled from the exposition grounds were explicitly conceived in terms of disorderly behavior, not in terms of socioeconomic class, gender, or age, although how an individual was judged to present a threat to “order and customs” remained open to abuse. On the one hand, preservation of property integrity was a key concern: the Botanical Pavilion regulations reinforced the general rules by including a stern injunction not to pick the flowers, while the final subsection tightened up restrictions on personal belongings that could be carried into the Fine Arts Building. On the other hand, specific provisions were made for breaching the line between observer and observed in the case of display items, which could be touched and purchased, so long as approval was sought beforehand. A range of exceptions regarding admissions and permissible activities were also made for journalists, contributors, vendors, firefighters, police officers, and other workers who needed to enter and leave the grounds at different times and to transport supplies and equipment (through different gates, of course). State-­sponsored expositions were centrally concerned with ordering— both in the sense of creating categories and of commanding—a public. Order was in part established beforehand with posted and published regulations. It was also enforced by surveillance and intervention: the city of Osaka designated nine spots in and around the exposition grounds to station police officers for the purpose of dealing with exposition goers; the police also stepped up rounds made of all transportation facilities.135 However, another crucial component to the desired state of order was the conChapter 1 • 48 •

struction of a physical and social space that encouraged self-­surveillance on the part of the general public. In his discussion of the “architectural production of relations of transparency,” Bennett notes the specific concern of various architectural and urban-­planning reformers in nineteenth-­century Britain for opening up spaces occupied by the lower classes or the general public to make them visible, with the explicit goal of creating a self-­ordered society.136 Guided tours of the Tower of London, for example, were criticized for inefficiency both in terms of control and in terms of encouraging visitor investment: only small numbers could be allowed to enter at fixed times under the watchful eye of a warden, while members of the tour were given no time to stop and appreciate the national heritage to which they had been given precious access. In contrast, reformers argued for organized routes, impersonalized forms of surveillance, and above all reliance on visitors to act as witnesses to and thus checks on one another’s behavior. Expositions were key sites for developing such practices: “One of the architectural innovations of the Crystal Palace [in London in 1851] consisted in the arrangement of relations between the public and exhibits so that, while everyone could see, there were also vantage points from which everyone could be seen, thus combining the functions of spectacle and surveillance.”137 The spatial attributes that came to be hallmarks of nineteenth-­century Euro-­American exhibitions—broad avenues, built-­in vistas, mapped-­out routes, designated gathering points marked by large sculptures or fountains, and immense vaulted exhibition spaces with interior pillars rather than walls to provide structural support—represented more than an aesthetic preference for monumentality; they formed calculated means of crowd creation and management. The “transparency” of this visual regime encouraged visitors to monitor their own (and others’) behavior as a public rather than private affair. The photographic record of the Fifth National Exposition of 1903 documents the Japanese state’s mastery of this social technology. Wide open spaces and avenues set off each pavilion; multiple fountains in plaza areas offered respite and meeting points for visitors; massive gateways, entrances, and arches proclaimed the content and purpose of buildings hierarchically clustered to suggest a route.138 While domestic expositions played a vital role in staging the drama of the international “national,” their service as a platform on which diverse members of the Japanese population Stating the Public • 49 •

were taught to perform together as an orderly modern public is of equal and enduring significance. The National Museum

The national museum was developed by the Meiji government in the latter half of the nineteenth century as an integrated element of its investment in international and national expositions. State participation in world’s fairs indelibly stamped exhibitionary strategies for representing the nation, while domestic expositions led the way in material expression of the state’s claims in relation not only to the West and Asia but also to its prefectures, colonial possessions, and the general public. Above all, the goal of rapid industrialization to protect the domestic market and gain a share in overseas markets unified all three forms through the mid-­1880s within the institutional home of the Exhibition Bureau. Association with expositions also contributed to the establishment of a national museum in pragmatic ways: when exhibitionary affairs were moved from the Ministry of Education to the Council of State (Dajōkan) and then to the Home Ministry (Naimushō), these more powerful bureaucratic sites were able to direct generous resources toward the project. Moreover, after 1903, the peak of the golden age of expositions had passed and museums came to occupy a central position within the state exhibitionary complex.139 At times described as “permanent expositions” (eikyū hakurankai) or “ongoing expositions” (jōhakurankai), museums were conceptually differentiated by the nature of their institutional continuity.140 Such permanence was more ideal than real through the 1870s, as securing a fixed location represented a key challenge. Nevertheless, overall this was an opportune moment for staking out state property rights. Large blocks of land in the capital had been opened up in the transition from the Tokugawa to the Meiji era, a process begun by the relaxing of mandatory alternate attendance (sankin kōtai) for domainal lords in 1862 and completed with the demise of the Tokugawa shogunate itself in 1868. In some cases, most notably that of Edo Castle, there was little question as to how a given site should be repurposed. More commonly, however, rival ministries and bureaus in the new government put in claims for choice parcels of land, swapping and consolidating until they mapped out their respective territories. Advocates for a national museum discussed several possible locations: in addition to brief consideration in 1871 of the Kudanzaka site mentioned earlier, other candidates included the Ministry of Education’s Yushima Chapter 1 • 50 •

compound, grounds near Zōjōji Temple that would later become Shiba Park, and the area occupied by the ruins of Kan’ei Temple, destroyed in the Battle of Ueno of 1868 between the restorationists and Tokugawa supporters. For each site, there were rival claimants, which included the metropolitan administration of Tokyo, the Ministry of Military Affairs (Heibushō), and the Hokkaidō Colonial Office (Kaitakushi). To further complicate matters, authority over the exhibitionary complex changed hands several times over the decade, and competition broke out between these bureaucratic entities as well. The dramatic experimentation with governmental structure that took place in the 1870s—models included the United States, ancient Nara, and European monarchies, particularly Prussia—resulted in considerable fluidity up and down the bureaucratic hierarchy. In the case of expositions and museums, the Council of State, the top tier of governance at the time, took over in 1873 from the Ministry of Education when the Exhibition Bureau merged with the Executive Office of Expositions (Hakurankai jimukyoku).141 Then, in 1875, the powerful Home Ministry took over, and the complex was intriguingly, but only briefly, named the Museum (Hakubutsukan). Three months later, it was saddled with the more generic title of the Sixth Bureau (Dai-­rokkyoku). The title Museum made a comeback the following year, only to be subsumed once more within the Exhibition Bureau. In 1881 the offices were moved again, this time to the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce (Nōshōmushō), signaling the continued importance placed on potential economic contributions. However, the rationale for state museums veered sharply from the promotion of industry to cultural conservation when the Imperial Household Ministry (Kunaishō) took control in 1886. This would be the museum’s “permanent” bureaucratic home in the prewar era; the Imperial Household Ministry would remain in charge until the beginning of the American occupation. The first physical location of the state’s museum was Yushima (see figure 1.13). As mentioned earlier, in the Tokugawa period, the Confucian temple was a popular site for bussankai. Beginning in 1790, it also served as an academy; continuity was maintained in the Meiji era by allocating the grounds to the university. When the university was folded into the Ministry of Education, the Yushima property went with it. The establishment of a national museum is generally dated from 1872 because, following the ministry’s well-­attended exposition held at Yushima in 1872, artifacts remained available for viewing on a limited basis. Stating the Public • 51 •

Fig 1.13: Yushima Seidō in 1872. Reprinted with permission from the Tokyo National Museum; this image may not be reproduced without tnm permission.

Moreover, as the exposition came to a close, the Ministry of Education drew up the first detailed discussion of a national museum.142 As can be surmised from the title, “The Exhibition Bureau, Botanical Park, Museum, and Library Establishment Plan,” its scope was ambitious and oriented toward research in the natural sciences. In fact, this vision all but demanded a separate site for its realization. While the Yushima grounds were certainly spacious—nearly twenty thousand tsubo (a little over sixteen acres)—and glass cases and guard rails had been installed for the exhibition in 1872, transformation of the property into a museum park would have necessitated dramatically modifying or even razing already functional buildings that met the Ministry of Education’s top priority: schooling.143 Accordingly, although the ministry supported the idea of a large-­scale national museum, that same year it reduced rather than enlarged space dedicated to museum work in order to establish what would become a teacher’s college.144 Although a few other sites were raised and then discarded as possibilities, the breakthrough came when government exhibition-­related affairs were consolidated under the Council of State in 1873. The former daimyō (domainal lord) estates of Sadowara and Nakatsu (seventeen thousand tsubo, or about fourteen acres) in Uchiyamashita-­chō, which were already occupied by the Executive Office of Expositions, came to host not only Chapter 1 • 52 •

Fig 1.14: Yamashita-­monnai Museum. Reprinted with permission from the Tokyo National Museum; this image may not be reproduced without tnm permission.

the administrative offices but also a botanical garden, facilities for animals, a library, and the museum.145 What is now generally referred to as the Yamashita-­monnai Museum gained a stable home. However, existing structures were refurbished and modified rather than new ones commissioned, with the exception of a hot house (see figure 1.14). The first and largest (217 tsubo, or 716 square meters) of the structures dedicated to display was for antiquities; the second (56 tsubo) was for natural specimens, with a focus on zoological artifacts; the third (36 tsubo) was for natural specimens, with a focus on botanical and mineralogical artifacts; the fourth (50 tsubo) concentrated on artifacts related to agriculture; and the fifth (15 tsubo) featured imports and Western artifacts. This organizational plan indicated the continued dominance of the exposition framework in conceptualizing the museum: four of the five buildings were devoted to science and commerce, while the antiquities in one building were, at least in part, rationalized in terms of providing stylistic models. Moreover, as in the case of the Yushima site, the Yamashita-­monnai Museum opened with an exposition in 1873, which ran from April 15 to July 31 to display artifacts collected for but not in the end sent to Vienna. This exposition was followed by another from March 1 to June 10, 1874, to showcase artifacts obtained during the world’s fair.146 Just as before, there was Stating the Public • 53 •

a call for contributions, there was a nationwide promotion effort through government offices, tickets were widely available, admissions did not discriminate in terms of gender, and some items were for sale. Yet as the Exposition Office’s museum began to draw increased numbers of viewers—­ nonexposition visitors grew from 6,217 in 1873 to 22,382 in 1874—the Ministry of Education mounted a rearguard protest regarding its loss of the nascent national museum and library.147 Fresh from returning to Japan after participating in the Iwakura Mission (1871–73), the vice minister Tanaka Fujimaro (1845–1909) was appalled at learning of the proposed transfer of these collections from the Yushima site.148 Despite Tanaka’s vehement statement that the collections provided essential support to the ministry’s educational mission, the Exposition Office responded matter-­of-­factly that the Education Ministry had neither the resources nor the prestige necessary to develop the museum and library to their full potential. This squabble over possession ended with the Council of State deciding in favor of its own Exposition Office. This sharp exchange reveals one axis of conflict within the government over how to define the nature and goals of the national museum. The Ministry of Education was proposing a museum whose content and practices were principally governed by pedagogical goals. The Exposition Office held to the broader conceptualization of an encyclopedic museum, which would not only serve as an educational venue but also support pure and applied research and conserve a national artistic and historical heritage. This debate was an originary moment for a system of national museums: Tanaka’s response to the rejection of his petition against completion of the consolidation process was to request permission to set up a separate Ministry of Education museum and library. In 1877 the ministry’s facility for the display of pedagogical implements and materials was formally established as the Museum of Education (Kyōiku Hakubutsukan) and exists to this day as the National Museum of Science and Nature (Kokuritsu Kagaku Hakubutsukan).149 Even as facilities were being developed at Uchiyamashita—three more buildings had been added to the museum complex by 1875—Machida Hisanari, Sano Tsunetami, and Tanaka Yoshio were also making a pitch for Ueno, a spacious and scenic property where new structures could be built.150 In 1873 Machida catalogued in detail the shortcomings he found in the Uchiyamashita site, including its cramped size, its lack of resources for tending to plants and caring for animals, and the absence of adequate Chapter 1 • 54 •

firebreaks to protect the collection, despite the alarming proximity of residential housing. The Ueno site, he argued, was in every respect the opposite.151 Sano reiterated these points in his discussion of the importance of a national museum, which was incorporated into the multivolume report on the Vienna exposition published in 1875.152 Tanaka was particularly interested in Ueno as a place to realize his dreams of a full-­fledged zoo.153 While not overtly stated in such bureaucratic communications, it was undeniable that Ueno was a location particularly suited to making a statement with regard to the cultural legitimacy of the state. The land had been granted by Tokugawa Hidetada (1579–1632) to the Tendai priest Tenkai (1536–1643) for the founding of Kan’ei Temple in 1622.154 The establishment of Enryaku Temple in Kyoto by imperial decree in the late eighth century for the Tendai sect founder Saichō (767–822) served as the direct inspiration. Just as in the case of the Kyoto site, Kan’ei was located to the northeast of the city on a mountain renamed Tōeizan (the Mountain of Hiei of the East; Hieizan being the hub of Tendai activity in Kyoto) and its various structures often had a direct counterpart in the original. The temple became a conspicuous spatial sign of the shogun’s power and largesse, official patronage put to use for both rebuilding and expansion. Commoners were allowed to enter the temple grounds to enjoy the celebrated cherry blossoms, but unlike many other spots for flower viewing, here the Kan’ei priests issued strict prohibitions against the music, drunkenness, and fighting that frequently accompanied such festive occasions. After loyalist troops battled restorationist forces at Ueno in 1868, the ruins were “haunted” by foxfires and fly-­by-­night entertainments while various branches of the Meiji government jockeyed for control.155 When the university proposed a hospital for the Ueno grounds, the Dutch doctor E. A. F. Bauduin, who had been called in for consultation, protested that the lovely landscape should be preserved as a public park.156 Although the land had been apportioned in 1872 between the Ministry of Military Affairs and Ministry of Education, Ueno was designated the following year as a public park to be administered by the Tokyo metropolitan administration. The Ministry of Military Affairs promptly obeyed the Council of State’s directive to surrender use of the land, but the Ministry of Education did not. Its foot-­dragging was rewarded on this occasion with the spot formerly occupied by Kan’ei’s central structure. When the Exposition Office challenged this arrangement, its petition was turned down. However, Machida followed up in 1875 with a three-­way deal to trade land that the Home Stating the Public • 55 •

Ministry held for the Ministry of Education’s claim on the Kan’ei Temple site. When the Home Ministry assumed control over the Exposition Office, negotiations became much simpler, and in 1876 the trade took place. In Ueno, the museum found a permanent home; Machida triumphantly presided over the final move as director from 1876 to 1882. Construction began with the First National Exposition of 1877 (see figure 1.15). The Fine Arts Building, the first installment of a new museum complex, represented the event’s architectural centerpiece, and it differed from the surrounding pavilions because it was built from sturdy red brick. Just one room and one story, this building nevertheless represented an important breakthrough in Japanese museum history. As Alice Tseng points out, it was the first to be specifically designed as a dedicated display space, making reference to recent Euro-­American developments in the field.157 Preparations for building the main structure began the following year. Designed by the British architect Josiah Conder (1852–1920), the completed building boasted two stories, thirty exhibition rooms, window placement that balanced the need for flexible display space with maximal natural lighting, and a linear circulation path (see figure 1.16).158 Completed in 1881, it was christened as the Fine Arts Building for the Second National Exposition. After the event drew to a close, museum employees spent the rest of the year transferring records, texts, and collections from Uchiyamashita to their new home. In 1882 the Ueno Museum officially opened, graced by a visit from the Meiji emperor. This was also the first year in which the general public was given permanent continuous (rennichi) access to the collections each week (see table 1.3). Prior to this at the Yushima and Yamashita-­monnai museums, unscheduled visitors were allowed only on days in the month that ended in a one or a six, except the thirty-­first.159 This was a legacy of Tokugawa policy regarding days off for shogunal retainers, and in 1868 Meiji state employees were placed on same schedule.160 Thus, as Shiina notes, in its early years, the national museum was implicitly geared toward members of the state apparatus rather than the general public, whose work schedules had not been determined by the same dictates. However, the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1873; the introduction of Sundays as school holidays in 1874, in turn extended to all government employees in 1876; and other such moves to synchronize Japanese work weeks with Western practices exerted pressure on the museum to reform its visitation policy. In 1875 the Yamashita-­monnai Museum began Chapter 1 • 56 •

Fig 1.15: Viewing Art at the 1877 First National Exposition; Dai ikkai naikoku kangyō hakurankai bijutsukan print by Andō Hiroshige. Reprinted with permission from the Tokyo National Museum; this image may not be reproduced without tnm permission.

Fig 1.16: Exhibit cases on the second floor of the Ueno museum. Reprinted with permission from the Tokyo National Museum; this image may not be reproduced without tnm permission.

to open on Sundays as well, since “military offices, various schools, and so on have their day of rest on Sundays [and] there are those in the military and students who are eager to learn more about nature.”161 It was the exposition form in Japan that pioneered continuous open days and an intensive attempt to cultivate a broad, popular audience. The switch to full-­time, continuous access to museum exhibits took place by continuing, or making permanent, the policies and practices of the national expositions in Ueno. The permanence that came to distinguish the national museum encompassed more than physical space and ongoing public access. Equally significant in terms of specialization in institutional function was the fact that the objects on display in museums were conceived and categorized in Chapter 1 • 58 •

Table 1.3 National Museum Attendance

Year 1872 1873 1874 1877 1882 1887 1892 1897 1902 1907 1912 1917 1922 1927 1932 1937 1942 1945

Days open

194 301 294 347 355 347 357 352 356 357 357  57

Paying adults

164,847  90,631  74,562 159,408 188,839 147,126 199,839 198,440 185,915 153,469  59,162  53,885 205,710   6,555

Paying children

9,697 4,701 2,901 6,103 ​10,600 5,414 ​10,598 8,211 ​10,864 ​13,537 5,140 5,246 ​26,058   374



11,717  7,253 10,218 31,133 16,924 46,789 45,594 48,615 39,219 35,464 29,646 ​118,123    137

150,000 111,781 113,128  96,966 174,444 107,049  84,716 175,729 230,572 169,464 257,226 252,245 245,394 206,225  99,766  88,777 349,891   7,065

Source: Adapted from tkh, [Shiryōhen] Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, shiryōhen (Tokyo: Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan, 1973), 660–63.

terms of their irreplaceability. Museum-­collection items were not for sale. In contrast, the year-­round, fixed location venues known in the 1870s and 1880s as kankoba (or kankōba), and later more generally as shōhin chinretsujo (product-­display sites), served as a more precise equivalent of “permanent expositions” to promote agricultural, maritime, and manufactured goods from specific regions.162 At the height of the Meiji push for rapid industrialization, the nonexchangeable character of museum artifacts was rationalized as useful in economic terms: superlative examples of past artistry and manufacture could stimulate contemporary invention as well as provide a means to measure the modernity of the moment. This line of reasoning was reinforced when the museum was placed under the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce in 1881. However, this bureaucratic transfer, along with the physical move to Ueno, ended up exposing another axis of internal disagreement over the Stating the Public • 59 •

Fig 1.17: Commemorative photograph of those involved in preparing for the Vienna world’s fair of 1873 (Tanaka Yoshio, fourth from right; Machida Hisanari, sixth from the right). Reprinted with permission from the Tokyo National Museum; this image may not be reproduced without tnm permission.

nature of the government museum. In 1882, only seven months after he had presided as director over the Ueno museum’s opening, Machida was replaced by Tanaka (see figure 1.17).163 The two had long shared an unwavering commitment to the museum form, but Machida consistently sought to increase the role of the state and its museum in aesthetic heritage conservation. Tanaka, in contrast, held firm to a natural-­history orientation. Tanaka had always been directly aligned with the goals of the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce, not only in his official work but also as one of the founding members of the Japan Fisheries and Japan Forestry Associations and as author and editor of numerous volumes promoting industrial growth through the study of nature and its resources.164 The ministry’s preference was understandable. Yet Tanaka was director for only a few months, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce would hand over the museum to the Imperial Household Ministry in just a few years. Machida was not called back to lead but rather assigned to a number of different positions, including an Chapter 1 • 60 •

appointment to the Chamber of Elders (Genrōin) in 1885.165 Not long after, in 1889, a clearly dissatisfied Machida resigned to take Buddhist vows at the historic temple Miidera. Nevertheless, Machida can be said to have ultimately triumphed in his conflict with Tanaka, as the national museum was transformed into an art-­historical institution during the late 1880s. In the name of the emperor, these changes would be accompanied by a shift away from transparent economic to more discretely veiled political ends.

Stating the Public • 61 •

Chapter 2 •••

Imperial Properties

What is in a name? In 1900 the institution that had for nearly three

decades been known simply as the Museum became the Tokyo Imperial Household Museum (Tokyo Teishitsu Hakubutsukan). Tokyo was added to place the museum in relation to the recently opened Kyoto and Nara government museums, while teishitsu (imperial household) marked the museum as the possession of the emperor, and thus different from other state institutions.1 While the museum was formed in part from bureaucratic turf wars, this move underscored the transformation of the institution from an encyclopedic instrument for mass education to what Kuroita Ka­tsumi (1874–1946) described as “a place to display Imperial Household possessions [teishitsu gyobutsu] for subjects [kokumin] to revere.”2 The government museum, its public, and its properties were reworked as “imperial” in policy and practice beginning in the 1880s. More thematic than strictly chronological, the chapter is divided into sections on the establishment of central-­state claims to authority over special categories of artifacts, the reclassification and restructuring of government museums as imperial possessions, the scripting of a national aesthetic-­heritage narrative anchored by the imperial museums, and the emergence of a coherent legislative framework for heritage conservation and administration. A key factor driving these developments was the state’s reinvention of the category “imperial” to serve as a mediating buffer

in negotiating boundaries between state and society and between public and private. When the formal contours of governance were delineated in the Meiji Constitution (Dai Nippon Teikoku Kenpō) of 1889, the emperor was simultaneously placed above and within the government.3 This productive ambiguity freed the emperor to soften, supplement, and cross boundaries: “The monarch is not only the head of state affairs, he is the paragon [shihyō] of society. He entrusts state affairs to the government, while social affairs—ritual, philanthropy, and the like—are performed by the ruling house [ōke] itself.”4 In terms of state and society and public and private, the emperor was effectively both and neither. For the museum, consolidation of state cultural authority in the Imperial Household Ministry had the effect of personalizing it in the figure of the emperor and his immediate relations. Its emergent aesthetic canon both contributed to and was cloaked in their majesty. Imperialization of this public institution kept its publicness in check: visitors were granted a gift, not a right, of access. State Appropriation

We will begin by looking at what objects were viewed by Meiji government officials as worth collecting, then move on to examine the means by which the state established its authority and rights regarding these artifacts. In the latter half of the nineteenth century, the conservation ideology and practices were radical—literally and figuratively removing objects from their established contexts and disrupting previous notions of proprietorship— in the course of creating the state’s national-­heritage apparatus.5 The transformation of the central-­state museum into an institution geared toward heritage conservation was closely associated with the Imperial Household Ministry’s assumption of control. Nevertheless, a paper trail for state concern regarding heritage issues dates back to as early as a university opinion (kengen) from April 1871 that was addressed to the Council of State.6 Lamenting the contemporary craze to “abandon the old and chase after the new” (enkyū shōshin), the document proposed that the government take immediate measures to protect historical artifacts, commission replicas, and eventually establish an archive or storehouse (shūkokan).7 This idea of a storehouse was pitched a bit differently from proposals for museums by emphasizing imperiled objects and a sense of rivalry with the West, rather than enlightening or educating an audience. The framing was replicated in the Council of State’s foundational “Notice on the Chapter 2 • 64 •

Preservation of Antiquities” (“Koki Kyūbutsu Hozon ni tsuite Fukoku”), issued in May of the same year: Various kinds of antiquities are useful [hieki] because they document historical trends, systems, and customs from ancient to present times. The current loss and destruction resulting from the mistaken trend to abandon the old to compete for the new is lamentable. Accordingly, artifacts in storage from the past in various regions should be catalogued in accordance with the attached list of types of antiquities and most certainly be carefully protected. Thus, the artifact, the owner’s name, and status should be recorded and sent in by local government offices.8 The notice prepared the ground for the government to lay claim to what are known today as national treasures (kokuhō) and important cultural properties (jūyō bunkazai).9 That is, certain classes of artifacts were recast as part of a “national” heritage rather than simply the property of a certain individual or institution. The information gathered would be used in the future both to guide government acquisitions and to radically restrict the circulation of such artifacts. What, then, were the objects of interest to the state? The aforementioned attachment to the notice specified the categories of concern (see table 2.1).10 The sometimes broad, sometimes overlapping, and sometimes highly specified nature of the categories in the list in table 2.1 suggests the preliminary character of the document. Yet, though designed for a fishing expedition, it reflected a fairly grounded sense of what was likely to be found, particularly at temples and shrines. Who had what kind of thing and where was not really in question: for centuries, great collections had been amassed and on occasion put on display. The list was wide-­ranging but not indiscriminate. For example, religious artifacts were explicitly named at the beginning and the end, and were implicitly included in many of the other categories as well. The state’s contemporary policy of separating out and elevating Shintō over Buddhism (shinbutsu bunri) produced a ranking whereby Shintō items were listed first and Buddhist items next to last. In practice, Buddhist artifacts came to form a far greater portion of objects eventually identified as national cultural properties. This was due in part to the ephemeral character of many elements of Shintō material culture (such as food offerings) as well as state’s disruption of the institutional matrix Imperial Properties • 65 •

Table 2.1 Items of Interest Described in 1871 “Notice on the Preservation of Antiquities”

General category

Explanatory notes

shrine implements

various artifacts associated with festivals, etc.

precious stones from archaic past

magatama, kudatama, lapis, crystals

stone axes and implements

flint knives, bows, axes, demon figure implements, etc.

ancient mirrors and bells

ancient mirrors and bells

bronze artifacts

three-­legged kettles, etc.

ancient tiles

famous examples, and even examples that are not famous so long as they are old


swords, bows and arrows, banners, armor, riding gear, arms, large and small bullets, cannons, battle drums, etc.

ancient calligraphy and paintings

famous examples, portraits, hanging scrolls, scrolls, etc.

ancient documents and sutras

ancient documents, illustrations, and old prints and manuscripts; even if masterpieces, artifacts belonging to before a certain period will be classified under archaeological artifacts


tablets belong to shrines and temples as well as other works by masters

performance-­related artifacts

flutes, reed instruments, flageolets, drums, the Japanese koto, lutes, masks, and various other artifacts associated with sarugaku, Kabuki, etc.

bell and tablet inscriptions, ink rubbings

famous examples, and even examples that are not famous so long as they are old


ancient seals

writing materials

ink sticks, ink stones, brushes, etc.

agricultural implements

ancient implements

artisanal implements

ancient implements

carriages and palanquins

carriages, palanquins, etc.

household implements

room furnishings, screens, candles, chain locks, kitchen implements, eating implements, etc.


ancient gold brocades and other fragments

clothing and ornaments

court clothing, informal clothing, rustic clothing, female clothing, combs and hairpins, bamboo rain hats, rain gear, medicine cases, money bags, foot wear, etc.

leather artifacts

each kind of leatherwork and ancient dyed leather

Table 2.1 Continued

General category

Explanatory notes


ancient gold and silver, ancient coins, and paper currency

metallurgical artifacts

various artifacts made from copper, brass, gold-­copper alloys, bronze, iron, or tin


pottery and porcelains from various regions


decorated, inlaid, and many-­layered red lacquerware

scales and other measurement instruments

scales, rulers, dippers, abacuses, etc.

tea-­ceremony implements

braziers, kettles, bowls, other related tea implements, incense burners, vases, and other vessels for flowers

amusement-­related artifacts

artifacts related to shōgi, go, sukeroku, kemari, and other games

Hina dolls, other figurines, and children’s toys

Hina dolls, wooden figurines, Nara dolls, and other toys

ancient Buddhist images and Buddhist implements

Buddhist images, sutra cases, large hand bells, and other ancient artifacts


animal fossils and other animal remains (bones, shells, etc.)

Source: Translated from tkh, [Shiryōhen] Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, shiryōhen (Tokyo: Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan, 1973), 606.

within which Buddhist objects had previously been fixed. Once unstuck, Buddhist artifacts could be turned to such new uses as the attempts to impress a world’s fair audience with Japanese civilization. The list also broke new ground: fresh categories had to be developed and brought into conversation with each other. Ancient agricultural implements or measuring instruments, for instance, had not been traditional objects of worship. Their inclusion pointed toward state interest in objects that could illustrate a nascent national whole greater than any individual, religion, or other part. Fossils, stone axes, abacuses, currency, and the like would serve as the basis for social scientific narratives of historical, technological, and economic development, which were in turn necessary to write Japan into the modern world. Imperial Properties • 67 •

Dolls and toys may also be seen to partake in this trend, as artifacts that primarily had value as (idealized) cultural representations. The annotation for this category, however, restricted potential candidates to items of artistic and historical rather than ethnographic interest. Hina dolls were most likely given top billing because they were durable (handed down from generation to generation), decorative, anthropomorphic, and often replicated in miniature the imperial court and its hierarchy. In contrast, more ephemeral and common playthings, such as spinning tops and kites, were not mentioned. While more representative of general Japanese experiences, tops and kites were not useful to emergent narratives in the same way, at least not yet. The notice was clearly geared toward construction of an elite heritage collection, as indicated by the recurrent reference to articles that could only have been enjoyed by the wealthy, such as carriages, court clothes, brocades, tea-­ceremony implements, swords, and armor. The state, through such measures as the notice of 1871, was unquestionably a key agent in the transformation of swords and military gear from symbols of Tokugawa class identity to symbols of the modern nation.11 Although largely of samurai background themselves, Meiji leaders instituted a number of reforms that abolished the Tokugawa hereditary occupational-­class system, phased out stipends for members of the samurai class, and created a conscript army drawn from every level of society while depriving samurai of their formerly exclusive right to bear arms.12 This was by no means a repudiation of samurai heritage. Through such means as the Meiji Civil Code of 1898, Meiji officials enforced samurai mores and customs throughout the general populace. That is, the privileged particularity of the samurai was abstracted and nationalized, and his sword was recast from a status symbol to a component of national heritage. The notice of 1871 began the process of framing the significance of certain types of artifacts as national heritage, but establishing central-­ government rights in relation to such properties required considerable time and effort. By the turn of the century, a legal framework had been erected to subsidize the maintenance and restrict the circulation of items deemed national treasures (kokuhō), not only those in government possession but also those belonging to nongovernmental institutions such as temples and shrines, as well as to private individuals. In the early 1870s, the Meiji state established the right to private property as a necessary element Chapter 2 • 68 •

of tax reform, but this right was abridged for certain cultural artifacts under the rationale of collective heritage.13 The next step in laying the groundwork for the nationalization of cultural properties was delegated to the prefectures, which submitted reports on local temple and shrine collections in waves throughout 1872 to the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Education.14 These ministries also prodded prefectures to complete this task by dispatching their own personnel to conduct further surveys along the lines suggested by the “Fieldwork Guidelines for Surveyors” (“Junkō no mono shutchō kokoroe-­hō”) of 1872.15 While these guidelines assumed that the on-­site status quo of most objects would be maintained, various possibilities for government acquisition were spelled out. For instance, if several examples of an item existed in a given collection, the government might purchase the extras. It might also commission replicas of important items. Moreover, while temple and shrine collections were the primary survey targets, artifacts owned by individuals could also be catalogued, thereby laying the groundwork for the state to gain right of first refusal in the event of a catalogued artifact being put up for sale.16 At the time, this simply took the form of a polite request for prior consultation with museum representatives before any transaction. The emergent status of such artifacts as national rather than private properties was also signaled by emphasis on the importance of public access (shūjin ni hōkan) and popular good (jinmin ni yūeki ni nari, jinchi o hoeki suru).17 Once surveyed, significant artifacts in temples and shrines were to be put on a regular display schedule (kōkai), with the future possibility of tighter incorporation into a greater (as yet hypothetical) museum system with sites in Kyoto, Osaka, and a storehouse (kobutsukan) in Nara.18 There was some resistance, as the material interests of the heads of temples and shrines were threatened by the intrusion of governmental oversight. A number of temple heads believed that they had the right to dispose of properties associated with their institutions, or even the duty to do so during the nadir of Buddhist temple fortunes in the early 1870s. While recent scholarship has somewhat reduced estimates of loss from this era, Christine Guth observes that there are any number of indisputable cases where temple treasures made their way from the hands of Buddhist priests to art dealers to collectors, eventually ending up in the collections of various great museums around the world.19 Imperial Properties • 69 •

Ernest Fenollosa (1853–1908) provides a particularly scathing summation of the situation: “As soon as the priests found out what was being done [state registration], they shut up all their best things from view, and only a very small portion of things, which they could not hide, were recorded on this list.”20 Such items that escaped registration “have been assumed to be the private property of the priests,” which they “began to sell at once, and have kept on selling, as their increasing poverty demanded.” What is more, “the priests have reached such a state of poverty that, in many cases, they have not only exhausted their stock of secreted saleable articles, but are on the point of selling the things on their official list, and substituting imitations in their place.” In the midst of trying to update and expand the survey process almost two decades later—and preserving his job with the Japanese government—Fenollosa had a personal stake in playing up the threat posed by greedy priests hawking treasures. Alice Tseng also highlights the irony of Fenollosa criticizing the temple heads for activities from which he (and later the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston) greatly benefited when augmenting his own collection.21 Nevertheless, government interest in cultural properties was undeniably perceived as a threat to temple property rights. The need to coordinate multiple bureaucratic agencies within the state itself also slowed down attempts to develop coherent cultural policy. Prefectures were required to send reports to the Ministries of Education and Finance, the former being in charge of the Museum at the time, while the latter held the purse strings. The Imperial Household Ministry was also necessarily involved in conservation efforts from the outset. Many of the objects and some of the sites to be inspected were under imperial seal (chokufū), most notably the eighth-­century storehouse of Tōdai Temple, known as Shōsōin, whose core contents—ranging from religious implements, pottery, and swords to games and medicines—had been donated by Empress Kōmyō (701–760). Not only did the opening of Shōsōin demand cooperation among multiple ministries, regional administration, and religious institutional hierarchies but it also served as the catalyst for new state policy.22 In 1873 Nara Prefecture requested reimbursement from the Imperial Household Ministry for monies laid out to accommodate the Ministry of Education’s survey team.23 It followed this petition with another in 1875 addressed to the Home Ministry, which had assumed jurisdiction over Shōsōin, for assistance to deal with the state of disrepair documented by the same survey. Accommodation to the novel situation was made by assigning Chapter 2 • 70 •

the Finance Ministry to deal with expenses associated with the survey, and the Home Ministry to deal with those associated with repair work. At the time, even within the Home Ministry, responsibility for different aspects of temple welfare was divided up into several sections, with the Museum charged with conservation of artifacts (eisei no hozon), and religious texts and site maintenance assigned elsewhere. Once granted, albeit on an initially modest scale, Nara’s request established formal precedence for state subsidization of temple conservation in the name of national interest. In the case of Hōryū Temple treasures, which were also at risk, the Imperial Household Ministry played an even more prominent role in the navigation of bureaucratic pathways.24 The temple had previously displayed some of its collection—which ranged from Buddhist icons to musical instruments, some dating back to the seventh century—at kaichō (unveilings of sacred icons and objects) in 1694, 1800, and 1842. However, a preliminary survey of Hōryūji artifacts led by Machida Hisanari in 1872, followed by an exhibition of objects from Shōsōin and Hōryūji at Tōdai Temple in 1875, opened up the possibility of incorporation into the Meiji state’s exhibitionary apparatus. In 1876 the head priest of Hōryūji asked the prefecture (then Sakai and now Osaka) to support a petition to entrust the Imperial Household with responsibility for the temple’s treasures, framing the action as both a sign of loyalty and necessity. Upon confirming that the temple was not able to engage in adequate conservation measures, the prefecture forwarded the temple’s request to the Imperial Household Ministry. The Imperial Household Ministry then contacted the Home Ministry to say that it was interested in the offer, but perhaps the Exhibition Bureau should be given responsibility for actual care of the artifacts. When the Home Ministry agreed, the Imperial Household Ministry notified the Council of State in 1878 that it would like to accept the objects from Hōryūji and also to dispense ten thousand yen for repairs to temple structures. With council approval, the Imperial Household Ministry then notified the prefecture of the arrangements. Although the Hōryūji artifacts had to be temporarily stored with the Shōsōin collection for a few years, the transfer was completed in 1882, once the Ueno museum facilities were ready. Machida Hisanari, who headed the museum program in its various incarnations from 1875 to 1882, repeatedly attempted to develop a more systematic program for cultural conservation. Building on the previous guidelines, he called in 1875 for collective regional storehouses for important artifacts, whether in the hands of temples, shrines, or individuals, to proImperial Properties • 71 •

tect the artifacts from natural elements and human encroachment; he also called for annual inspection visits from museum personnel and mandatory and regularized display (mōra).25 In addition, he pointedly demanded safeguards against priests making use of artifacts as if they were personal possessions (shiyū).26 As Stefan Tanaka notes, although Machida worked together with temple leadership on various conservation issues, his basic stance differed significantly in that for him “objects themselves have value even though they are separated from the institution that had given them their significance.”27 Multiple ministries and offices still had to be navigated, however, in a process that was both tiring and time consuming. In 1879 Machida tried again to bring coherence to government efforts with the “Proposal Regarding the Permanent Conservation of Shrine and Temple Treasures” (“Shaji jūhō eisei hozon no wake ni tsuki hatsugi”).28 In the name of public good (hiroku yo ni eki suru), he again stressed the need for surveys of both core and peripheral sites and for collective storage sites.29 He further outlined a scheme that linked assessments of the historical or aesthetic value of artifacts to the degree of state protection that they would receive. The first grade (marked by kanpū, the state equivalent of an imperial seal) would be tightly restricted in circulation and guarded in government storehouses. With formal government permission, such objects could be exhibited for up to one hundred days, but temple and shrine heads were not to be given discretionary powers that they might employ to the advantage of their own or institutional finances. Physical possession and management of the second grade would be entrusted to temples and shrines and subsidized by the state. Regulations would still be imposed on their display. Temples and shrines would also remain in charge of items in the third grade, but the level of state support for their upkeep was to be limited to the provision of containers—bags or boxes—for protective storage. All registered items were not to be sold without first informing the state and granting it right of first refusal. Moreover, all artifacts of interest without a known owner would automatically become the possession of the state. Finally, the state would take on responsibility for subsidizing the maintenance of historic temple and shrine structures, understood as stationary equivalents to treasures (jūhō). It was difficult for Machida’s proposals to gain much traction amid the fluidity that characterized the Meiji state bureaucracy throughout the 1870s, but his work laid the foundation for the more coherent conservation policy that later emerged under Imperial Household Ministry leadership. Chapter 2 • 72 •

Imperial Property

The early 1880s saw various aspects of heritage conservation, including control of the key temple sites of Shōsōin and Horyūji, consolidated within the Imperial Household Ministry. Then, in 1886, the ministry assumed control of the Ueno museum.30 Rapid expansion took place under the ministry’s direction: by 1908 three new museums had been added in Nara, Kyoto, and Ueno, each with its own distinct role to play in the emergent system. Imperial control lasted until 1947, when the museum system reverted to the Ministry of Education in the name of the people (kokumin) and for the sake of the emperor’s finances.31 Far from being an anachronistic grab at ancient court glory, the administrative shift in 1886 was intended to contribute toward the creation of a modern monarchy for imperial Japan, a process closely analyzed by such scholars as Carol Gluck, Takashi Fujitani, and Suzuki Masayuki.32 Yet the reclassification of national museums as imperial property helped perpetuate rather than resolve ambiguity in relations of emperor, state, and citizenry in the late nineteenth century. According to the Meiji Constitution, promulgated only a few years later, in 1889, the emperor was the Japanese head of state, though not precisely equivalent to the state.33 In principle, he was responsible for the appointment and dismissal of all civil and military personnel, and, arguably, able to abrogate the constitution itself.34 Sovereignty resided in the body of the emperor, not the people, who were accorded civil rights as a gift rather than a right. Imperial possession of the national museums thus put in question the nature of their public character. Were national museums still national when they were part of the imperial estate? On the one hand, placing museums under the direction of the Imperial Household Ministry did not interfere with their bureaucratic management, nor was access to museums cut off to general visitors. On the other hand, the Imperial Household Ministry did institute a series of structural as well as surface changes that promoted the interests of the imperial family as a distinct entity. Tellingly, the Imperial Household Ministry was able to exercise the right to dispose of its property in the case of the Kyoto museum, gifted in 1924 to the city of Kyoto on the occasion of the marriage of the Crown Prince Yoshihito and renamed the Imperial Gift Museum of Kyoto (Onshi Kyōto Hakubutsukan).35 Imperial prestige was promoted via the transference of erstwhile national institutions. If the museums were not Imperial Properties • 73 •

private, as in removed from the purview of the state, they were certainly not public in the sense of belonging purely to either the state or the people. To better grasp the implications of museums becoming imperial property, it is useful to examine debates regarding the emperor’s holdings in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Imperial property was a created, and by no means self-­evident, category. During the first decade of the Meiji period, the imperial family was reliant on government funding.36 This did not depart from Tokugawa custom, when the Imperial Court looked to a stipend from the shogunate, although the goal behind financial support shifted from careful control to urgent promotion of imperial authority. Deliberations in the early 1880s regarding the looming transformation of the state into a constitutional monarchy prompted various government officials to argue that greater financial independence for the Imperial Household was necessary.37 This camp included some of the most powerful figures of the day, including Itō Hirobumi (1841–1909), a genrō (elder statesman), four-­time prime minister, resident-­general of Korea, primary author of the Meiji Constitution; Ōkuma Shigenobu (1838–1922), finance, foreign, and prime minister as well as founder of Waseda University; and Yamagata Aritomo (1838–1922), a genrō and lord chancellor as well as war, home, and prime minister. Their major points are summarized by Suzuki Masayuki as follows: If ordinary citizens could own private property, the imperial household should be able to as well. A clear distinction between imperial and government properties needed to be established in anticipation of constitutional restructuring. The imperial household required ample resources to support charitable and cultural causes. And, most importantly, the imperial family needed to be financially insulated from potential manipulation by the Diet (Kokkai) and bureaucracy.38 Fukuzawa Yukichi (1834–1901) also wrote at the time in favor of distinguishing between Imperial Household and state finances. Because “the Imperial Household is outside the political sphere” (teishitsu wa seiji-­shagai no mono nari), separate budgets would free the emperor of any taint of association with government as well as political party interests.39 Political action was to be simultaneously differentiated from, even as it was made possible by, the figure of the emperor. Other members of the inner circle of Meiji leadership profoundly disagreed with this formulation. Inoue Kaoru (1835–1915; a genrō and the foreign, public works, agriculture and commerce, home, and finance minister), for example, disputed any such need to differentiate between imperial Chapter 2 • 74 •

and government properties, since “there is no government outside of the Imperial Household.”40 The most vigorous opponent to the proposed measure was Iwakura Tomomi (1825–83; a court noble, a senior councilor, a minister of the right, and the head of the Iwakura Mission), who argued that all land was in the strictest sense imperial land (ōdoron). He saw Imperial Household lands (kōshitsu no tochi) as encompassing not just government land (kanyūchi) but also land owned by individuals (minyūchi).41 Property rights granted to citizens through the land-­tax reform referred only to the right to buy, sell, and make use of the crops and profits from the land.42 In Iwakura’s eyes, the introduction of the concept of “private” imperial land would make nonsense of the universality of imperial proprietorship, and by extension the emperor’s right to rule. Iwakura further sought to transform this archaic principle into a means to one-­up modern Europeans. While the distinction between public and private (kō-­shi no kubetsu), particularly in terms of governance, had been clarified in Europe only in the relatively recent past, the Japanese emperor had reigned since the age of the gods as the very embodiment of the public as concept.43 Deviation from ancient norms was therefore not only unnecessary but also actively harmful. Response to such opponents of separation was swift, sharp, and ultimately triumphant. For example, Matsukata Masayoshi (1835–1924)—who was himself a genrō and served as home, finance, and prime minister—­ directly took Iwakura to task for confusing the right to govern with the right to own private property in the modern era.44 The economic right of national subjects (kokumin) to own property was categorically distinct from the political right to govern. Moreover, it was crucial in mobilizing the population toward enriching the country and strengthening the military ( fukoku kyōhei), absent which imperial legitimacy would suffer. Matsukata’s approach was pragmatic in its compartmentalizing logic. As the minister of finance, he saw renegotiation of the unequal commercial treaties with Western powers as a top priority. To achieve this, Japan had to explicitly model itself after the legal codes and practices prevalent in Western constitutional monarchies of the day. In 1885 a bureau of imperial properties (goryōkyoku) was created within the Imperial Household Ministry. With the promulgation of the Meiji Constitution and Imperial Household Law (Kōshitsu tenpan) in 1889, multiple offices (Jōmubu, Gyōshibu, Goryōbu) were set up to handle administration of the emperor’s increasingly large and complex financial portfolio.45 Imperial Properties • 75 •

Its core was composed of major shares in financial institutions (such as the Bank of Japan) and enterprises with close connections to the state (such as Nippon Yūsen), mining interests, and about 3.6 million hectares of land, all transferred from the state to the Imperial Household in the late 1880s.46 The state also continued to provide a stipend to the imperial family, which in 1889 was set at three million yen, and increased to four and a half million yen in 1911.47 Yet the mounting expenditures on the part of the Imperial Household Ministry—a mere two million yen in 1887 but four million yen by 1897 and fourteen million yen by 1913—meant that its “private” resources played a vital role in keeping up appearances.48 Fortunately for the imperial purse, the value of its holdings skyrocketed in the final decades of the nineteenth century. In terms of stock holdings alone, the portfolio was worth a billion yen by 1907, pushing the imperial family past even the Iwasakis of Mitsubishi as the preeminent “bourgeois” of the day.49 The success of this move was not unqualified. When the imperial family’s mining interests were sold in 1896 to Mitsubishi, with the claim that they were incurring heavy losses, skeptics at the time questioned the bookkeeping. Was this an example of laundering the delivery of valuable “public” assets to the commercial sector?50 Meanwhile, numerous voices were raised regarding the ills attendant on the creation of imperial lands, such as the criminalization of subjects who trespassed and the loss of regional tax revenue to support local communities.51 Fukuzawa even reversed his initial position regarding the desirability of separating imperial from state properties, arguing in his posthumously published book, The Imperial Household Estate (Teishitsu no zaisan), that the Imperial Household should be able to draw on the national treasury for all its needs: “In the unlikely event that our Imperial Household would be forced to draw on its private [shiyū] resources, that time would already be the day that the nation of Japan was no more.”52 By and large, the Imperial Household did not respond by returning its properties to the central state. Instead it engaged in a major sell-­off of both stocks and land in the early twentieth century to sidestep increasingly common allegations that the close ties between the imperial family and the financial world were unseemly.53 In this way, the Imperial Household was indeed a vehicle for reprivatization of state assets. At the same time, the imperial family was perceived as very much a public institution. Hara Kei (1856–1921), in discussing the problem of massive imperial holdings, emphasizes that “they are used for public projects [kōkyō jigyō] and philanthropic enterprises.”54 The spiraling costs assoChapter 2 • 76 •

ciated with the imperial family largely stemmed from its intertwined roles of dispensing benevolence and acting as exemplary consumers.55 Between 1917 and 1920, for example, the Imperial Household provided as much as twenty-­two million yen in relief funds in response to such national crises as the Rice Riots.56 The personalization of such generosity was strategic: as Carol Gluck points out, the imperial family’s expanding duties on behalf of charity, education, and the arts, as well as its extensive relief efforts, allowed the Japanese state to affirm its stance on the preferability of private charity over state welfare.57 The conveniently flexible distinction drawn between the imperial family and the state also facilitated promotion of quality production and consumption.58 The prestige of the imperial family made its seal of approval an eagerly sought after prize in the world of traditional crafts, while the Imperial Household Ministry played a prominent role in the art world through both patronage and awards.59 The pinnacle was represented by Imperial Household Artists (Teishitsu Gigeiin), a simultaneously fresh and archaic arrangement that originated with a proposal made in 1888 by Sano Tsunetami that the Imperial Household Ministry grant special recognition and protection to superlative craftsmen.60 Formalized the next year, the program would continue until 1945. As Satō Dōshin points out, the term gigeiin, encompassing both arts and crafts, represented a pointed choice to emphasize tradition and history in the course of promoting contemporary production.61 Accordingly, for the first round in 1890, the selection committee appointed six Nihonga ( Japanese-­style) painters, two sculptors, and two craftspeople. Ultimately, seventy-­nine artists, limited to twenty and later twenty-­five at a time, were chosen, receiving a one hundred yen annual pension and, most importantly, prestige in return for the gift of a piece of art, accepting commissions, and writing reports for the Imperial Household Ministry. More generally, with regard to state recognition of artistic excellence at expositions, Kitazawa Noriaki argues that “if one traces back the source of the value of these awards[,] . . . one arrives at the emperor,” and describes the emperor as a bridge between the “fictional” ( fuikushonaru) world of the event to the outer “real” (genjitsu) world of the modern nation-­state.62 The self-­evidently staged awards ceremony became a metonym for the national whole by virtue of the virtuous emperor, who virtually served as the foundation for both. The category of “imperial” functioned as a mediator; its ambiguous public-­private status was all the more useful in its function of Imperial Properties • 77 •

facilitation. Accordingly, while transmutation of state into imperial land deprived the government of a source of tax revenue, not to mention having the adverse effect of turning commoners accustomed to making use of public lands for gathering firewood and the like into poachers, the act was rationalized in terms of making possible imperial good works on behalf of the nation. Restructuring under the Imperial Household Ministry

Handing over museum administration to the Imperial Household Ministry followed this logic, which necessarily influenced subsequent institutional operation and development. First, imperial ownership was built into the new structures that filled out the national museum system at the beginning of the twentieth century. In her analysis of the planning, construction, and completion of the Nara museum in 1894, the Kyoto museum in 1895, and the Hyōkeikan art museum in 1908, Alice Tseng points out the special consideration that went into material expression of imperial proprietorship. In the case of the Nara museum, this took the form of distinguishing a main imperial entrance from a more modest entrance for general visitors.63 Efforts to stamp the museum project as imperial escalated in Kyoto, beginning with the imposing entrance to museum grounds, now designated an Important Cultural Property. Composed of massive ornamented pillars to support an iron lattice, with the gatekeeper’s office and ticket booth off to the sides, the imperial gateway elegantly framed the front view of the museum as it harmonized with its mountain backdrop (see figure 2.1).64 In contrast, the entrance for the general public was quite modest and located in the back, at the opposite end of the grounds. Access to the museum building replicated this hierarchy: imperial chrysanthemum imagery was worked into the front exterior pediment, space was designated for a central throne room, and opulent interior ornamentation offered a direct nod to European royal palaces. Since the Meiji emperor never in fact visited, the throne room acted instead as a display space for sculpture, and it was left to the Hyōkeikan museum to fully realize the vision of museum as imperial property.65 As its name—Hall of Celebratory Expression—indicates, the Hyōkeikan art museum was built in commemoration of the marriage of Crown Prince Yoshihito (1879–1926).66 Funded by donations totaling 400,000 yen from companies, organizations, and individuals largely in the Tokyo area but also throughout the nation and even overseas, the art museum was to Chapter 2 • 78 •

Fig 2.1: Kyoto museum gates. Photo taken in 2008 by Noriko Aso.

adjoin the main national museum in Ueno, linked by a passageway. The Imperial Household Ministry placed the architect Katayama Tōkuma (1854– 1917) in charge of realizing the project, just as he had been for the Nara and Kyoto museums, and as he was in favor of the building of the Palace of the Crown Prince (Tōgū Gosho), now generally known as the Akasaka Detached Palace. Tseng argues that the Hyōkeikan museum and the Akasaka Detached Palace should be understood as “ensemble pieces,” not simply because these two major projects involved the same ministry, the same architect and supporting personnel, often the same materials, and were constructed during more or less the same time period, but because the Hyōkeikan museum was deeply informed by a “palatial” architectural mindset.67 The Hyōkeikan museum even boasted an entire separate wing reserved for the eventuality of imperial visits, a private space that was off-­ limits at all times to general visitors. Indeed, the new art museum devoted as much space to nonexhibition as exhibition purposes, markedly diverging in this respect from earlier national museums.68 Tellingly, the central hall and stairwells, along with the imperial wing, were lavishly embellished with the richest materials, while rooms reserved for display were relatively plain. Nevertheless, the government museums remained public in concepImperial Properties • 79 •

tion. The point is that the state’s conception of public was being reworked as imperial. Museum personnel certainly sought to promote higher attendance rates and deeper engagement. Visitors were simply to keep in mind that they did not own the facilities—they were graciously granted access. While state museums of the time did not possess many physical attributes beyond elegant and verdant landscaping geared toward the comfort of visitors, the Ueno museum complex, particularly under the Imperial Household Ministry, increasingly came to offer a range of educational services and outreach. As an initial step, in 1882 and thus during the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce era, the Asakusa public library (Asakusa Bunkō) was moved to a separate wooden structure on the museum grounds to serve as a reference site for anyone (shūsho) who paid the special entrance fees, which were tiered for the convenience of frequent visitors.69 Then, after the Imperial Household took control, a museum shop was established to sell various publications, particularly museum guidebooks and catalogues.70 Museum publications had previously been available at private bookstores but not on site, and by 1899 at least seventy distinct titles were on hand for interested museumgoers. More generally, the museum director Kuki Ryūichi (1852–1931)—a student of Fukuzawa Yukichi, a rising member of the Ministry of Education, a part of the Japanese delegation to the Paris exposition of 1878, and the Japanese ambassador to the United States—­advocated a fresh round of research into Western state and private museums beginning in 1895 in order to evaluate the latest institutional developments regarding not only staffing, budgeting, and displays but also visitor management.71 He further proposed regular public lectures to be sponsored by the museum as a means of drawing an audience and enriching their time of contact with the collections.72 This program did not come to fruition until the 1920s, when it was stimulated by the need to keep the public engaged during the lengthy process of assessing damage from the Kantō earthquake of 1923 and the subsequent rebuilding of the central structure. But this form of outreach was part of, rather than exception to, general policies under the Imperial Household. Although prohibitions remained in place against wooden footgear, large packages and implements, pets and livestock, intoxicated and otherwise unruly behavior, smoking, and vandalism, the rules for entry during this period also indicated increasing attention to promoting general attendance.73 In addition to the yearlong, full-­day, closed-­only-­on-­Mondays schedule that was instituted with the opening of the Ueno museum, there Chapter 2 • 80 •

Fig 2.2: Tokyo Imperial Museum in 1938. Reprinted with permission from the Tokyo National Museum; this image may not be reproduced without tnm permission.

Fig 2.3: Public engagement: elementary school children working on the grounds of the Tokyo Imperial Museum. Reprinted with permission from the Tokyo National Museum; this image may not be reproduced without tnm permission.

was differential ticket pricing to encourage weekday and Saturday attendance; the tickets themselves were printed in both Japanese and English, while the rules were provided in Japanese, Chinese, English, and German; and discounts were provided to children up to age ten, with children under five and, starting in 1887, groups of students led by faculty at government schools enjoying free admission.74 Moreover, while touching the exhibits was generally forbidden, procedures were set in place to accommodate visitors who wished to “copy, photograph, or closely inspect by handling” an artifact on display.75 If a visitor’s application received approval from the central affairs office, the visitor would pay a fee of thirty sen (waived in the case of art school students and faculty) for a one-­day ticket inscribed with the particulars of the occasion. Of course, if the artifact suffered any damage during inspection, the visitor would be responsible for paying a heavy fine. The Imperial Household Ministry’s assumption of control over the central museum was rewarded with growing annual attendance numbers, which more than doubled from around 70,000 at the beginning of the 1890s to around 180,000 by the close of the decade.76 In contrast, museum visitation had steadily fallen under the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce after the surge associated with the museum’s opening in Ueno in 1881. The Third National Exposition of 1890 in Ueno certainly gave the museum another boost, but growth thereafter was attributed to new publicity and outreach, along with the reorientation of the museum collection toward Japanese aesthetic heritage. The steepest climb in attendance came amid the national atmosphere of celebration following the victorious conclusion of the First Sino-­Japanese War in 1895, and the imperial museums continued to enjoy healthy numbers through much of the 1920s. (The 1930s and early 1940s were another matter: museum repairs and reconstruction after the Kantō earthquake, a troubled national economy, and then war dampened popular interest in museum going.)77 In the words of its official history, the Ueno museum enjoyed a fresh start as an “independent” (dokuritsushita), “legitimate” (honkakuteki na), “modern” (kindaiteki na) museum during the imperial era.78 Originally conceived as part of the Meiji state’s attempt to jump-­start economic growth and industry, in the 1870s the Ueno museum had largely been seen as a display place, and therefore not in need of an independent director, organization, or policy. This logic continued to dominate with the transfer of the museum from the Home Ministry to the Ministry of Agriculture Chapter 2 • 82 •

and Commerce in 1881, when the collection focused on “natural and manmade artifacts” (tenzō jinkō no shobuppin). But when the Imperial Household Ministry took the helm in 1886, “the earlier promotion of industry in accord with state policy was downplayed, the focus moved to history and art, and even the natural specimens department went from emphasizing usefulness to scientific value.”79 The official museum history’s ascription of the qualities of legitimacy, modernity, and independence is somewhat teleological: changes under the Imperial Household were proper and inevitable because they laid the foundation for the museum as it is today. It would be more precise to say that the national museum system was honed and repurposed beginning in the late 1880s to serve a different set of state goals, which required promoting the prestige of the imperial family and its role as public benefactor.80 This represented a refining or purification of the museum form in late nineteenth-­century Japan, but it certainly did not remove national museums from pursuit of broader state policies. Imperial Art History

Having established its ownership of the museums, the Imperial Household then oversaw the development of an art-­historical narrative based on an aristocratic canon to be disseminated through this infrastructure. While few records survive regarding the transfer of the museum section from the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce to the Imperial Household Ministry, those that remain suggest that the move was never intended to be merely clerical. The most obvious sign of things to come was the disaggregation of exposition and museum management. In the course of the administrative reorganization of the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce in March 1886, the erstwhile Exhibition Bureau was eliminated, with the responsibility for exposition planning shifted to the Exposition Office (Hakurankaika; hakurankai refers to the special events) in the ministry’s general-­affairs division. That same month, responsibility for museum affairs was handed over to the Imperial Household, along with records and related holdings.81 While an agreement was struck at the time to reserve some display space in the Ueno museum for items selected by the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce to advance its programs, little advantage was taken of this opportunity.82 Museum organization was also dramatically restructured. Under the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce, the museum had been divided into departments that were thematically wide ranging and oriented toward applied knowledge, including General Affairs Imperial Properties • 83 •

(Shomuka), Natural Products (Tensanka), Agriculture (Nōgyōka), Crafts (Kōgeika), Arts (Geijutsuka), History (Shidenka), Library (Toshoka), Education (Kyōikuka), Weapons (Heikika), and Horticulture (Engeika). In 1889, under the Imperial Household, departments were both reduced in number and refocused on heritage and scholarship, with the divisions Central Affairs (Shujibu), History (Rekishibu), Fine Arts (Bijutsubu), Fine Crafts (Bijutsu-­kōgeibu), Crafts (Kōgeibu), and Natural Products (Tensanbu) bringing up the rear rather than leading the way.83 The museum collection remained weak in art and historical artifacts in the view of the Imperial Household Ministry. As a first step to remedy this relative lack, a number of items in storage that belonged to the imperial family (gyobutsu), along with artifacts excavated from imperial burial mounds (kofun), were entrusted to the museum’s care.84 This marked the collection even more strongly as imperial property. Along with such short-­ term measures, long-­term plans were laid to build up a collection that would speak of an imperial aesthetic heritage, an academic project supplemented by the acquisition of various reference and other texts related to art, history, antiquities, and conservation for the museum library. The foundation for this plan had already been laid by Machida Hisanari, but he had been sidelined in favor of the natural-­history-­oriented Tanaka Yoshio during the brief spell of Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce control of the Museum and did not return to power when the Imperial Household Ministry took over.85 Machida’s goal of establishing a formal system of heritage conservation would be achieved by his successors. Consolidation and coordination were clearly necessary to move forward, so the Imperial Household Ministry established the Ad Hoc Bureau for the National Survey of Treasures (Rinji Zenkoku Hōmotsu Torishirabe Kyoku) in the fall of 1888.86 It was proposed and headed by Kuki Ryūichi, who became the museum director in 1889. The bureau included representatives from the Ministry of Education, the Home Ministry, the Imperial Household Ministry, the Privy Council (Genrō-­in), and the cabinet, as well as the current director Yamataka Nobutsura (1842–1907) and prominent museum staff members. The names on the roster most instantly recognizable today were Ernest Fenollosa, who was hired in 1878 to teach philosophy and political economy at the Imperial University and was borrowed from the Ministry of Education to serve as a consultant on arts policymaking, and Okakura Kakuzō (1862–1913), who graduated in 1880 from the university, was a student of Chapter 2 • 84 •

Fenollosa, and was recently appointed to the Museum.87 They were important players in the process of developing government art-­historical policy and practice, and were among those dispatched on the fresh round of surveys initiated, and often led, by Kuki Ryūichi. The itinerary of Fenollosa and Okakura included Ishikawa and Niigata in 1882; Nagasaki, Saga, Kyoto, and Osaka in 1884 (when it is believed that they famously wrangled access to the Guze Kannon statue in the Yumedono hall of Hōryūji temple); and Osaka and Nara in 1886. Later in 1886 they accompanied Arata Hamao (1849–1925; later the minister of education and president of Tokyo Imperial University) on a nine-­month tour of the United States (Kuki was also in Washington at the time) and Europe to study art-­educational practices in preparation for the establishment of a permanent government art school to replace the pilot Technical Art School (Kōbu Bijutsu Gakkō; 1876–83).88 In addition to this primary mission, they were requested by the Imperial Household Ministry to investigate art-­museum administration, display, and conservation practices; the staging of publicly sponsored (kōsetsu) art expositions; and policies geared toward improving the quality of arts and crafts.89 Upon their return, Okakura was sent out on further surveys, and both men were actively involved in the founding of the Tokyo School of Fine Arts (Tokyo Bijutsu Gakkō) in 1887. More than this official service, it was their writing—Fenollosa’s two-­ volume Epochs of Chinese and Japanese Art and Okakura’s Ideals of the East, Book of Tea, and the journal National Culture (Kokka)—that cemented their reputations as discoverers of Japanese art in the modern era.90 This legendary status has not gone unchallenged. Ellen Conant argues in her essay on foreign employees (o-­yatoi gaikokujin) in the field of Meiji art that only by disregarding officials such as Machida, Kuki, and a host of others “who determined policy, authorized and funded institutions, awarded grants for study abroad, managed domestic and international expositions, dominated art organizations and controlled juries, can scholars maintain that ardent romantics such as Fenollosa and Okakura played the decisive roles attributed to them.”91 Conant does not deny that Fenollosa and Okakura made significant contributions or that they were active for a while within the official apparatus that she outlines in the quote. Instead, her corrective to the myth paves the way for us to arrive at a closer accounting of the pioneering nature of their work. This lay in their injection of sweeping vision and a sense of mission to the increasingly professionalized production of an imperial Japanese art history. Imperial Properties • 85 •

Their works, still widely read today, offered a powerful narrative device for presenting Japanese art history as more than the documentation of stylistic practices through time. Both men championed a Hegelian form of the dialectic that posited a spirit mediated by materialism to produce a superior synthesis.92 Both further singled out the neotraditional Japanese genre known as Nihonga ( Japanese-­style painting) for praise as the embodiment of contemporary—and specifically Japanese—potential.93 Yet the terms employed in their dialectics differed slightly, with significant political implications. For Fenollosa, great art in the modern era was born of Asian spirituality mediated by Western materialism, a variant of “Eastern spirit, Western technology” optimism. He took upon himself the role of a prophet: “We are approaching a time when the art work of all the world of man may be looked on as one, as infinite variations in a single kind of mental and social effort.”94 But this global outlook was undercut by an implicit presumption of Western primacy, as, for example, when Fenollosa obsessively tracked ancient Greek aesthetic elements in migration east along the Silk Road. As an indirect but sharp rejoinder, Okakura noted: “Those European and American connoisseurs who appreciate our efforts may not realize that the West, as a whole, is constantly preaching the superiority of its own culture and art to those of the East.”95 While he did not reject the use of Western artistic “technology,” Okakura persistently challenged and often inverted claims of Western superiority, offering instead a Pan-­Asianist vision in which great Asian art was born of Indian spirituality merging with Chinese humanism: “Not even the snowy barriers [of the Himalayan mountains] can interrupt for one moment that broad expanse of love for the Ultimate and Universal, which is the common thought inheritance of every Asiatic race, enabling them to produce all the great religions of the world, and distinguishing them from those maritime peoples of the Mediterranean and the Baltic, who love to dwell on the Particular, and to search out the means, not the ends, of life.”96 Okakura’s narrative was meant to rally Asians as Asians, to warn against precipitously submerging Asia within a global unity that the West, if not challenged, would continue to dominate. Japan, however, had to assume leadership of this Pan-­Asian movement because of the nation’s capacity to synthesize not only Asian multiplicity but also the West: “The expenditure of thought involved in synthesizing the different elements of Asiatic culture has given to Japanese philosophy and art a freedom and virility unknown to India and China. It is thus due to Chapter 2 • 86 •

past training that we are able to comprehend and appreciate more easily than our neighbors those elements of Western civilization which it is desirable that we should acquire.”97 It was for this reason that Okakura famously described Japan as the “museum of Asiatic civilization,” not as a dusty mausoleum for dead objects but as a progressive and mobilizing institution for the study and stimulation of transcendent hybridization.98 Despite, or even because of, these political differences, Fenollosa and Okakura imparted drama and drive to Japanese art history as they carved out an authoritative space for historians of art in the imperial era.99 They are credited with the first formal teaching of art history as an academic subject, because both argued forcefully in favor of scholarly expertise as the key to revealing the true meaning of objects. But this scholarship was by no means the dry exposition of minutia, as we can see in how Okakura evoked mystery, danger, and wonder in his account of the unveiling of the Guze Kannon:100 When we cleared away the spider webs we saw a table which is thought to be from the Higashiyama period; and beyond it, we could touch the statue. It was 7 or 8 feet tall and wrapped endlessly with cloth and pieces of sutra. Perhaps it was surprise at signs of life[;] we were startled when snakes and rats suddenly appeared. After we removed the cloth, we reached white paper. This is where the masses stopped when they were frightened by the thunder [that had resounded when the doors had been opened a few years earlier]. We could make out the statue’s solemnity and serenity in its outline. It was truly the most exhilarating moment of my life.101 Superstitious fears regarding exposure of the icon would not be allowed to impede the way of the intrepid art historian. The reward for courage and perseverance was access to a treasure whose physical properties and style would ultimately yield understanding of nation, epoch, spirit, and the sublime. In the form of art-­historical narrative that Okakura and Fenollosa helped entrench, the act of discovery overshadowed the act of creation and individual artists were less remarked on than the grand dialectical movement toward synthesis and the scholars who traced its development.102 This prioritization of seeing over making inspired the repeated “discovery” of Hōryūji in the late nineteenth century: as heritage in 1872 with Machida, as art in 1884 with Okakura and Fenollosa, and as architecture in 1893 with Itō Chūta (1867–1954).103 More generally, as seen in Okakura’s quote, this Imperial Properties • 87 •

logic fed into claims that a transcendent Japan was both the leading edge and the leader for the rest of Asia. By imbuing the creation of a canon of imperial cultural properties with a sense of urgent drama and missionary zeal, Okakura and Fenollosa’s model found a broad receptive audience even though both men were eventually forced to leave government service.104 However, Fenollosa’s departure in 1890 and Okakura’s in 1898 were largely due to political infighting. Both remained orthodox, albeit flamboyant, members of the bureaucratic line (kanryō-­kei) in Japanese art history, which in turn was part of the Meiji state’s general construction of the imperial. This is why Stefan Tanaka’s analysis of Okakura’s project also perfectly captures how the emperor was to work as a medium for the Meiji state: “Past and present are severed and then reconnected through an immanent idea that serves as a medium to express a spirit in humanity that is simultaneously progressive, one that ‘ennobles mankind,’ and idealistic, transcending the phenomenal world on which it is dependent—materiality, class, history, and nationality.”105 The imperial aesthetic lay in mediation, enabling particular sets of negotiations between old and new, state and society, public and private, high and low, and outside and inside in order to unfold a putative greater unity. It was logical, then, for the Imperial Household Ministry to put considerable resources into making this emergent imperial art history available to a broader public.106 In 1889 the Ad Hoc Bureau for the National Survey of Treasures issued the first of what would eventually total twenty-­two reports (“Hōmotsu torishirabe ni kansuru hōkoku”).107 Beginning with the results of a survey conducted in Shiga Prefecture by Kuki—in which more than eight hundred items were assessed as treasures (hōmotsu), with details provided on the type, name, number of items, material, size, creator or reputed creator, and owner of the twenty-­nine first-­class artifacts—the series attempted to make permanent and more widely accessible data gleaned from evaluating 21,091 artifacts from 1888 to 1890.108 In 1891 the ministry began to plan for an official art history based on such survey results. It first appeared as the History of the Art of Japan (Histoire de l’art du Japon) for the Paris exposition of 1900, then the following year as the Manuscript Summary of Japanese Imperial Art History (Kōhon Nihon teikoku bijutsushi ryakushi), with later editions in 1908, 1912, and 1916.109 Close to a hundred catalogues of various types documented the permanent holdings as well as special exhibits at the imperial museums of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nara. In addition, the Imperial Museum Guide (Teishitsu hakubutsukan annai) ran Chapter 2 • 88 •

to twenty-­six volumes between 1925 and 1929, the Annual Report of the Imperial Household Museums (Teishitsu hakubutsukan nenpō) was published from 1925 through 1936, and a series featuring public lectures sponsored by the museum (Tokyo teishitsu hakubutsukan kōen-­shū) was issued for thirteen volumes, the last appearing in 1942.110 These texts built around the museum collections were to cultivate a sense of national investment that was both public and imperial, or more precisely, publicly imperial. Imperial Public Properties

The attempt inaugurated by the Notice on the Preservation of Antiquities of 1871 to create a coherent framework for nationalization of cultural properties had been slowed by difficulties in bureaucratic coordination and conflict with religious institutional heads, but the pace quickened with the imperialization of the national museum system.111 In 1895 the patriotic fervor fanned by the First Sino-­Japanese War inspired both houses of the Diet to support a resolution that became the Law for the Preservation of Ancient Temples and Shrines (Koshaji hozon hō) in 1897.112 This step went beyond covering artifacts entrusted to an imperial museum to create a system of government subsidies paid to temples and shrines in possession of artifacts deemed to be of national interest.113 Local government officials would administer funds disbursed by the Home Ministry, which was in charge of religious affairs, in accordance with the advice of the Committee for the Preservation of Ancient Temples and Shrines (Koshaji hozonkai).114 The committee—headed by Kuki Ryūichi and composed of many of the leading figures in cultural policy, including Okakura Kakuzō just before his ouster—was responsible for assessing and issuing a report on the value of a given artifact or structure as historical evidence, as an example of superlative production techniques or as part of a special lineage. This in turn determined the appropriate level of funding, the terms of which were closely specified. In return, temples and shrines were prohibited from engaging in any kind of transaction involving the artifact, the only exceptions being that, upon receiving state permission, the item could be displayed for a limited time, and an “inappropriate” ( futō) order by the Home Minister issued with respect to items needed for imperial rituals could be appealed. Temples and shrines were also obligated to allow display of said item in “government or public” (kanritsu mata wa kōritsu) museums. According to the annotation provided by the Popular Explanation of the Law for the Preservation of Imperial Properties • 89 •

Ancient Shrines and Temples (Koshaji hozonhō zokkai), the phrasing “government or public” was first and foremost intended to exclude private (shiritsu) museums from this arrangement.115 This repetition of terms to describe state museums also reflected the ambiguous status of the imperial museums. Explicitly described as imperial possessions, imperial museums were implicitly distinguished from other government museums founded by, for example, the Ministry of Education. The “imperial” hovered above and between state and society. The Ad Hoc Bureau for the National Survey of Treasures was dismantled that same year with the establishment of this permanent legal infrastructure guaranteeing imperial museums access to the artifacts they sought to canonize, at the expense of religious institutional autonomy.116 The next major piece of legislation, the Law for the Protection of Historic Sites, Places of Scenic Beauty, and Natural Monuments (Shiseki meishō tennen kinenbutsu hozonhō) of 1919, proceeded to extend the reach of the imperial state beyond temple and shrine holdings. The rationale provided was that of a national heritage imperiled by the physical transformation of the Japanese landscape through the construction of roads, rail lines, factories, and other forms of modern infrastructure.117 As indicated by the ranking of sites related to the imperial family as number one and ancient burial mounds as number three in the list of categories to be protected, the law prioritized specifically imperial interests.118 Takashi Fujitani describes the capital making and emperor’s progress in the Meiji era in terms of the creation of an imperial “memoryscape.”119 On a smaller scale, this was also taking place through the erection of various markers throughout the nation to etch an imperial history into the land. The law of 1919 helped organize and regularize this process. In addition, the general restrictions the new law placed on how a registered site could be used, developed, sold, or, significantly, excavated was in part inspired by and certainly solidified the imperial household’s claim to authority over imperial burial mounds, some of which had been discovered through government surveys to be located on or adjacent to private lands.120 Access to such burial mounds became prohibited in order to restore their role as sacred spaces, to prevent further vandalism or grave robbery, and, it is frequently speculated, to prevent archaeological work that might suggest close ties between the imperial family and the Korean peninsula.121 While the legislation from 1919 laid the groundwork for a much broader understanding of conservation—for example, playing an important role in early environmental-­ Chapter 2 • 90 •

protection efforts—at the time it was understood as closely connected to imperial concerns.122 Finally, with the passage of the Law for the Preservation of National Treasures (Kokuhō hozon hō) in 1929 and the Law Regarding the Preservation of Important Works of Fine Arts (Jūyō bijutsuhin nado no hozon ni kansuru hōritsu) in 1933, formal government authority regarding cultural-­ heritage properties was extended to items in possession of private individuals.123 The timing of these measures is commonly linked to the troubled state of the Japanese economy throughout the 1920s, further rocked by the global crisis sparked by the Wall Street crash of 1929. In the art world, not only were major collections being put up for auction but even set pieces were being broken up for sale. Nevertheless, prominent collectors such as Masuda Takashi (1848–1938), the director of the Mitsui corporate empire, argued vehemently against the proposed extension of government authority. Christine Guth summarizes, “In his eyes, such legislation was unnecessary since private collectors like himself [and unlike the religious institutions he did believe should be regulated] had both the means and the self-­interest to maintain the works in their possession. He also believed it represented an infringement of property rights that would result in widespread artistic devaluation.”124 The art market did not crash due to government regulation. Moreover, while the national-­treasures law did expand the scope of government authority by using the term owners (shoyūsha) to encompass both religious institutions and private individuals, it allowed the latter group to engage in certain financial dealings denied the former, so long as government permission was first obtained.125 Otherwise, the national-­treasures law was largely patterned after its predecessor from 1897, and was designed as a replacement. Terminological adjustments included consistent use of the term national treasure (kokuhō) to describe the class of items to be regulated; a new title—Committee for the Preservation of National Treasures (Kokuhō hozonkai)—for the evaluative body; and employment of the generic term competent authority (shumu daijin) to avoid future amendments reflecting bureaucratic organizational shifts.126 The process of registration and documentation remained much the same. Official permission was required for any changes to the state of the item outside of reasonable maintenance and repair; an explicit prohibition against unauthorized export of registered items abroad was further added. As before, the state claimed the right to display registered objects Imperial Properties • 91 •

in government museums—described collectively in Article 7 as “imperial, bureaucratic, and public” (“teishitsu, kanritsu, mata wa kōritsu”)—with exceptions considered in the case of certain ritual artifacts. In addition to subsidies for proper maintenance, the state would provide for any expenses or damages associated with public display. In the event that such “carrots” for accepting government oversight were insufficient, the “stick” of stern penalties for any act in violation of law was also elaborated in some detail. Finally, the Law Regarding the Preservation of Important Works of Fine Arts of 1933 was largely an addendum expanding the field of protected items from “national treasures” to “important” (jūyō naru kachi ari) properties of historical or artistic significance. These laws formed the basic prewar framework for government regulation of artifacts, structures, and sites defined as part of a national cultural heritage. In the process, the boundaries of private-­property ownership, also established by the modern state, were blurred. Any change of condition for a registered item, up through and most decidedly including a change of hands, had to obtain official preapproval. The state did not pursue outright expropriation. The working model was that conservation of significant cultural properties could be entrusted to nongovernmental agents with government support and oversight, as would remain the case under the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties (Bunkazai hogohō) of 1950.127 This represented a pragmatic approach shaped by late nineteenth- and early twentieth-­century state fiscal constraints, overt and covert resistance on the part of institutional and individual owners of valuable properties, and challenges in coordinating different bureaucratic agents, most prominently the Home Ministry, the Ministry of Education, and the Imperial Household Ministry. I have put particular emphasis in this chapter on the role of the Imperial Household Ministry because of its triumph in setting the tone of state cultural policy once it assumed control over the central museum. Conservation of art-­historical heritage prevailed over stimulating contemporary production as the overarching mission of state museums. Moreover, this art-­historical heritage was conceptualized as an imperial property: it was crafted and cultivated to lend luster to the emperor and his family, and it was configured as a gift to, not the inherent possession of, the public. Just as the modern emperor was defined in the Meiji period as both of and not of the state, imperialized cultural properties were both of and not of the state. This implicitly placed them in proximity to the public. They remained Chapter 2 • 92 •

as much of, and not of, the public as of the state. The key is not so much any particular instance of violating boundaries between such reified categories as public and private property, or state and society, but rather state creation of a buffering mechanism between dichotomous categories to facilitate the strategic transfer of elements from one to the other. Imperialization represented a form of appropriation, from common-­use forests lands to heritage artifacts, that was often difficult to contest, because its rationalization in the name of a greater good simultaneously encompassed and disavowed both state and public.

Imperial Properties • 93 •

Chapter 3 •••

Colonial Properties

The making of an imperial-­museum public in Japan was not only

a domestic development. By the mid-­1930s the museum system had come to include institutions in Taiwan, Korea, Sakhalin, and Manchuria. A handful more were taken over when the Japanese state captured various Western colonial possessions early in the Pacific War. These heterogeneous contexts demanded adaptation on the part of the imperial-­museum network as it operated simultaneously to celebrate heritage and consolidate colonial power. Given the relationship between institutional proprietorship and goals, it is important to ask who claimed a stake, how artifacts were acquired and displayed, and to what end. This chapter focuses on Taiwan and Korea because they were the sites where Japanese colonial museums set down the deepest roots and were most active in engaging the local population. Although the Taiwanese and Korean museums were administered by their respective governments-­general (sōtokufu) rather than from the metropolitan center, they shared many structural aspects and policies with each other as well as with the central Japanese museums. However, differences in colonial context also had a dramatic impact on the nature of the collections and collection processes, giving rise to variant visions of Japanese imperial identity. Within the domestic sphere, a flexible and capacious definition of imperial had already proved useful to state interests; this was all the more the case for the colonies. The modern museums and their

publics that were created during the colonial period did not disappear after liberation; postcolonial cultural politics continued to work with, against, and through these formations. Imperial Localization in Taiwan

Having acquired Taiwan as part of the settlement following the First Sino-­ Japanese War (1894–95)—a war that had in fact been fought over the respective rights of China and Japan in Korea—the Japanese state took swift and ruthless action to put down island opposition marshaled by a short-­ lived independent government.1 By 1902 most of Taiwan was under Japanese control, with the exception of areas of aboriginal resistance that continued into the 1930s. In 1908 the Government-­General Museum of Taiwan (Taiwan Sōtokufu Hakubutsukan) was established as part of the modern infrastructure—­ including railroads, banks, hospitals, and public schools—being built by the Japanese state in its first formal colony.2 Although not under the direct control of either the imperial household or education ministries in Tokyo, the Government-­General’s museum and cultural policy were closely informed by Japanese trends. Nevertheless, the museum and cultural policy were most immediately tools created to meet the demands of colonial rule. While Japanese state museums had come to showcase an imperial aesthetic canon, the colonial museum trained its spotlight on the island’s natural resources, ripe for extraction. To replace China with Japan as the civilizational center, the colonial museum also promoted a sense of Taiwanese geographical and ethnic regionality, distinct from the continent. This required articulation from the center of a Japanese imperial identity in terms that shifted homeland particularity toward an assimilationist universalism.3 Rather than representing an Imperial Household Ministry initiative, the idea of building a museum in Taiwan came from the Civilian Affairs division of the Taiwan Government-­General. Acquisition of Taiwan had in fact raised the question for the Japanese state of how tightly it should integrate central and colonial administrative structures.4 On the one hand, if government as outlined in the Meiji Constitution were extended to new territories, then the (limited) civil rights granted to national citizens would apply to the potentially (or still) unruly colonial population. On the other hand, the Meiji Constitution had become the legal foundation for imperial rule, which necessarily had to encompass the colonies. The compromise arChapter 3 • 96 •

rived at for the case of Taiwan, and that later served as a model for Korea, was that the Imperial Diet would temporarily delegate legislative power (inin rippō) to the colonial Government-­General for a three-­year period.5 In practical terms, Japanese colonial administrations enjoyed considerable independence from the central state, even as they pursued its imperial mission.6 For this reason, Japanese colonial museums and cultural policy were not dictated by the Imperial Household Ministry, but were instead varied in accordance with the priorities set by local context. The Government-­General Museum of Taiwan was conceived as part of a program to promote industrialization by encouraging local production and connecting Taiwanese resources to Japanese manufacturers and consumers.7 To this end, the Government-­General established a product-­ display center (shōhinkan) in 1898 and staged various expositions not only in the capital of Taihoku (Taibei) but also in Tainan, Shinchiku (Xinzhu), and Kirun (Jilong) starting in the late 1890s, capped by the Taiwan Industrial Exhibition (Taiwan Kangyō Kyōshinkai) of 1916 and the Taiwan Exposition (Taiwan Hakurankai) of 1935, which drew visitors from throughout Asia.8 As Yamaji Katsuhiko notes, these colonial expositions consistently trained the spotlight on the island’s abundance in agricultural and forestry resources, with comparatively little attention spent on local education, science, arts, and crafts.9 The industrial exposition of 1908 to celebrate the expansion and modernization of a railway system connecting Taiwan from north to south provided the specific impetus to establish a permanent museum.10 The organizers realized that the existing display facilities were inadequate for the scale of the event they envisioned, even with the innovation of employing train cars for a traveling exhibition to traverse the island. The solution was rolled out in Order No. 83 in May 1908: “The museum of the Taiwan Government-­General Civilian Affairs Industrial Promotion Bureau shall be located in Taihoku (Taibei), and undertake the task of collecting, displaying, and offering to public [shūsho] view artifacts and reference items that will contribute toward island scholarship and industry, both manufacturing and craft.”11 This language, with its focus on mass education regarding the promise of industrialization through the medium of objects, both recalls that of the first Japanese state museums and reflects the commercial orientation of the colonial expositions. Yet even as the language recapitulated aspects of an “industrialization” stage, the founding and development of the Taiwan Government-­General Museum demands scrutiny in its conColonial Properties • 97 •

Fig 3.1: Government-­General Museum of Taiwan. From Hakubutsu Kenkyu 2:8 (1933): 5.

temporary context, not least of all because of increased Japanese activity in the field of colonial science (see figure 3.1).12 When the museum first opened in 1908, it had 12,723 artifacts in its collection, divided into the following categories: (1) geology, geography, and mineralogy; (2) botany; (3) zoology; (4) anthropology; (5) history and education; (6) agriculture; (7) forestry; (8) maritime resources; (9) mining; (10) crafts; and (11) trade.13 Not only did the natural sciences and related fields represent seven out of the eleven categories, but they also composed 90 percent of the total number of artifacts. This was because the collection was the direct result of intensive efforts on the part of Japanese Chapter 3 • 98 •

surveyors to assess Taiwanese material resources for both extractive and research purposes. While the museum offered a form of instant education to the general public that could be absorbed in a day’s visit, it also functioned as focal point for a growing network of natural and social scientific research groups, such as the Taiwan Anthropology Association (Taiwan Jinrui-­Gakkai), founded in 1895, and the Taiwan Natural Sciences Association (Taiwan Hakubutsu-­Gakkai), founded in 1910.14 Another exhibitionary predecessor for the Government-­General’s museum can be found in the Taiwan pavilions featured at various Japanese domestic expositions in the early twentieth century.15 These self-­enclosed structures pioneered the holistic representation of Taiwan as a distinct regional entity through its goods as well as its geography and peoples.16 Such Taiwan pavilions at Japanese industrial expositions also paved the way for the cultivation of a Taiwanese audience. As early as 1897, the Taiwan Government-­General had promoted inner-­territory tours (naichi kankōdan) for representatives from various local—including aboriginal—­ communities to see for themselves the modern marvels of Japan.17 This was in part a military initiative to win over “hearts and minds” in areas resistant to Japanese rule; it was also intended to stimulate economic innovation, with delegates chosen in light of their potential to implement new technologies and commercial practices upon their return. Industrial expositions were thus included on the itinerary whenever possible. Taiwan Governor-­General Kodama Gentarō (1852–1906) argued for the importance of increasing a Taiwanese profile at Japanese expositions as follows: “We need to encourage the entry of as many Taiwanese goods as possible to persuade Japanese [naichijin] of the true value of Taiwan, and at the same time we need to invite as many Taiwanese [Taiwanjin] as possible to see the exposition and greatly contribute toward their enlightenment.”18 When Taiwan pavilions became regular features of the Japanese exposition landscape, Taiwanese visitors were taken to see them as well. However, the nature of the “enlightenment” to be gained by Taiwanese visitors on such occasions was not to learn about Taiwan as such, but to see how their “identity” was framed in an imperial context, that is, to view how they were being viewed by Japanese. The differences between the Government-­General’s museum and the Taiwan pavilions are also instructive. As Lin Pei-­Yu points out, while the Taiwan pavilions evoked the primitive, exotic, and timeless through displays of native dress or opium-­smoking utensils, the colonial museum put a Colonial Properties • 99 •

spotlight on progress through Japanese disciplinization of Taiwan, offering displays that ranged from natural-­history (resource) samples to weapons confiscated from aboriginal resistance fighters and landscapes painted by a military officer portraying the territorial reach of Japanese control.19 In the pavilions the heterogeneous population of Taiwan was collectively figured as Other for Japanese viewers, with exoticized Han customs figuring even more prominently than portrayals of aboriginal culture as primitive. In the museum, however, aboriginal groups were selectively cast as Other in the displays in order to persuade ethnic Chinese in Taiwan to identify as Japanese subjects. Moreover, while the Taiwan pavilions were constructed to highlight regional particularity by employing Chinese architectural styles, the museum was housed in a typically Western-­style colonial-­government building.20 In this iteration of the logic of nineteenth-­century world’s fairs, Taiwan in Japan was particularized, while the Japanese colonial administration in Taiwan claimed to represent a modern universal. This point was hammered home by the impressive neoclassical structure, complete with Doric pillars and pediment, where the museum moved to in 1915.21 Partially funded by public donations as a capstone to an era of colonial institution building in Taiwan, the project was meant to commemorate the dramatic transformations that had taken place from 1898 to 1906 under Governor-­General Kodama and Civilian Affairs Chief Gotō Shimpei (1857–1929).22 The location was the Taihoku (Taibei) New Park, site of a temple to the sea goddess Mazu, initially used by the Japanese for government offices, then for a medical school, and finally razed in the course of completing construction of the first European-­style urban park in Taiwan.23 Together with the towering red-­brick Office of the Taiwan Government-­General, the grand columns and dome of the Government-­ General Museum of Taiwan proclaimed Japanese colonial authority in the heart of the city, alongside the Taihoku (Taibei) Railway Station, which functioned as the government’s gateway to the island as a whole. The new museum structure boasted about five hundred tsubo (1,650 square meters) in floor space, two stories divided into four major sections that were open to the public, and a basement for storage and operations. Upon entering the grand lobby, one could turn left for Taiwanese ethnological exhibits (Taiwan dozoku) or right for those on Chinese or Pacific peoples (nan-­shi nanyō dozoku). On the second floor, to the left were the historical exhibits and to the right were displays of Taiwanese flora, fauna, and geological specimens. The museum collection had nearly doubled by Chapter 3 • 100 •

1915 to 23,268 items, and in the process shifted in character. The proportion of natural-­science-­related artifacts dropped to 75 percent of the collection. The new ratio was not due to any downsizing of the scientific section; rather, the holdings of the social science division had quadrupled over the intervening seven years, with anthropology going from being the fifth to the third largest section, and history moving from eleventh to sixth. This rapid growth was the direct outcome of the colonial government’s “pacification” campaign, which paved the way for ethnological surveys of formerly inaccessible aboriginal groups. The work of gathering broad-­based and detailed information regarding aboriginal groups in Taiwan was carried out by such Japanese organizations as the Ad Hoc Taiwan Ancient Customs Survey Association (Rinji Taiwan kyūkan chōsakai), established under Civilian Affairs in 1901, and the Taiwan Customs Research Association (Taiwan kanshū kenkyūkai), a semigovernmental entity founded in 1900.24 The designation of aboriginal ways as ancient customs in the Taiwanese context offers an interesting counterpoint to how the same term was employed in Japan. Ancient customs emerged in the 1880s as an object of heritage conservation within Japan specifically in reference to the research and revival of practices associated with the Imperial Household.25 Advocates such as Iwakura Tomomi sought to promote public reverence for imperial authority by reconstituting ceremonial sites and rites to claim an unbroken line of continuity in sacred imperial rule. In contrast, as Matsuda Kyōko points out, ancient customs in Taiwan referred to behaviors to be identified in order to facilitate their obsolescence. Metropole and colonial investments in the phrase ancient customs thus pointed in the opposing directions of revival (or reinvention) and erasure. Rather than being perceived as a contradiction at the time, the two deployments of ancient customs represented a division of labor. But they also had the effect of nudging conceptualization of the imperial away from an inward-­turning and deliberately archaic formation toward a more expansive, holistic, and social scientific enterprise. The Taiwan Government-­General Museum was never a place for esoteric artifacts to quietly gather dust; it vigorously pursued its mission as an educational institution. In the 1920s and 1930s, it received a boost from the more general trend in Japanese colonial policy toward assimilation (dōka), which on an administrative level included the extension of Japanese (naichi) legal structures and categories to its outer territories (gaichi) through, for example, more consistent application of such organizational Colonial Properties • 101 •

units as prefecture, city, district, and village (in Taiwan’s case, shū, shi, gun, shō, with the addition of “aboriginal areas” or banchi).26 In the same vein, the state’s educational system was not only made more uniform but also gained prominence in colonial policy as the instrument by which a spiritual and cultural imperial identity could be instilled. In Taiwan the museum reflected this move toward closer integration when it was transferred from the Commerce and Industry Section (Shōkō-­ka) in the Industrial Bureau (Shokusan-­kyoku) to the Educational Affairs Section (Gakumu-­ka) in the Home Bureau (Naimu-­kyoku) in 1921, and to the Social Affairs Section (Shakai-­ka) in the Education Bureau (Bunkyō-­kyoku) in 1927.27 Reorganized into the five divisions of geology, botany, zoology, anthropology, and history, the Taiwan Government-­General Museum worked in concert with, though not under, the Japanese Ministry of Education, which was transforming its own museum (established after it lost control of the first government museum) from one that showcased educational materials and methods to one that was more purely focused on science. (It was even renamed the Tokyo Kagaku Hakubutsukan [Tokyo Science Museum] in 1931.) The synergistic relationship enjoyed by the Government-­General Museum and the Taiwan Natural Sciences Association also provided a model for success. Initially headquartered within the museum itself, the association had sponsored public lectures, published a journal, and organized conferences, specimen exhibits, and collection tours to elicit broader local interest and participation. After the Taiwan Natural Sciences Association moved its offices from the museum and ended up at Taihoku (Taibei) Imperial University, the Taiwan Museum Association (Taiwan Hakubutsukan Kyōkai) was established in 1933 with the more sharply focused goal of promoting culture and scholarship through the specific medium of museums.28 The inaugural issue of its journal, Scientific Taiwan (Kagaku no Taiwan), proclaimed the association’s mission: “We think of museum expansion, building, and content improvement as important for advancing social education [shakai kyōka]. Our belief in stimulating a strong museum movement throughout the island, raising the level of general understanding [ippan no rikai], striving to promote museum work, and contributing to the dissemination of scholarship and cultural progress [bunka no shin’un] linking the domestic and international [naichi and gaikoku] has been the inspiration behind founding the Taiwan Museum Association.”29 The one colonial museum was not enough: replication was necessary to transform Taiwan’s intellectual and social landscape. Chapter 3 • 102 •

Indeed, a movement was under way. The 1920s and 1930s saw a boom in museum building, with the Jiayi Municipal Museum (Kagi-­shi Hakubutsukan) in 1923, Taizhong Prefectural Education Museum (Taichū-­shū­ ritsu Kyōiku Hakubutsukan) in 1926, Jilong Native Place Museum (Kiru Kyōdo Hakubutsukan) in 1934, Taidong Native Place Museum (Taitō-­chō Kyōdokan) in 1935, and Tainan Municipal History Museum (Tainan-­shi Rekishikan) in 1937.30 The Taiwan Government-­General Museum provided leadership to this growing network by, for example, holding annual “museum weeks” from 1934 to 1939.31 Well publicized by the Taiwan Daily Newspaper (Taiwan Nichi-­nichi Shinpō), these museum events included daily afternoon tours, special evening hours, public lectures, radio addresses, a special exhibit that showcased artifacts collected and sent in by schools and youth groups throughout the island, and, beginning in 1936, an open photography competition. The exhibit of student contributions grew particularly quickly, with such additions as judges to grade artifacts in various categories roughly divided between the natural sciences and kyōdo (local community), and awards presented to the top contributors. The museum weeks proved an effective means to focus public attention on the growing exhibitionary apparatus: in the first year alone, attendance figures rose during the event to 7,478 people per day, in contrast to the average of 200 per day in the 1910s and 500 per day by the early 1930s.32 To sustain this increasing sense of public involvement, elements of the museum weeks were put into play year round: radio addresses became a Monday programming staple, with additional special broadcasts, and schools were encouraged to build the museums into their curricula. By such means, the central museum had expanded by the 1930s into a network of multiple institutions engaged in active outreach to students and the general population. Moreover, the Taiwan Government-­General was supplementing its selective re-­creations of the island within museum walls with cultural policies that redefined the landscape of the island itself. The term kyōdo (native place)—which appeared in the names of the museums in Jilong and Taidong and as a category for student artifact collection—played an important part in the process. The concept was metropolitan in inspiration: beginning in 1900, Tanahashi Gentarō (1869–1961), first director of the Ministry of Education’s museum, declared kyōdo a form of educational methodology, emphasizing the direct perception (chokkan) of nature as the foundation for a sense of local communal identity.33 As this idea was incorporated into the educational mainstream during the 1910s and 1920s—resulting in the Colonial Properties • 103 •

call in 1927 for kyōdo museums to be established throughout the country—attachment to one’s native place (aikyōshin) became configured as a building block for national patriotism, much as the “family” was employed from the Meiji period on as both microcosm and wellspring of loyalty to the imperial “family state.”34 When kyōdo was applied in Taiwan, though geared toward the same end of imperial unity, it primarily focused on the nature side of the equation, rather than seamlessly progressing from rootedness to human community as it did in Japan. The Taiwanese students sent out to scour their communities for botanical, zoological, and geological specimens certainly learned about their surroundings in an experiential manner of which Tanahashi would have approved. But the collection categories, defined as they were by the colonial school system, disrupted rather than reinforced previous ways of knowing and navigating the terrain.35 This was but one plank of a broad program to mold Taiwan into a “naturally” integrated member of the Japanese empire. While the Government-­ General’s most visible efforts took the form of agricultural and industrial-­ development policy, colonial bureaucrats also pursued the more subtle approach of reenvisioning Taiwan’s natural, historical, and scenic heritage. From an imperial Japanese perspective, resource extraction and conservation were intertwined projects, not least of all because ecological and cultural conservation helped make extraction sustainable. Accordingly, the colonial government issued a report in 1903 that urged protection of several bird species and another report in 1915 that called for oversight of island forestry resources.36 Meanwhile, Japanese-­authored works regarding famous sites in Taiwan, most notably the Government-­General’s volume of 1916 titled The Scenic Sites and Historical Ruins of Taiwan (Taiwan meishō kyūseki shi), began to lay the groundwork for a more general reimagination of the landscape. In 1933 these strands came together in the Law for the Preservation of Historical, Scenic, and Natural Monuments (Shiseki meishō tennen kinenbutsu), which extended from Japan to embrace Taiwan. In three waves—1933, 1935, and 1941—a total of ninety-­two items were officially designated as worthy of protection by a committee primarily composed of Japanese scholars affiliated with the museum, Taihoku (Taibei) Imperial University, and other branches of colonial education, together with a handful of bureaucrats and military officers. Given the system’s provenance and the committee’s composition, it is not surprising that the categories used to celebrate some—but not other—Taiwanese properties reflected Japanese values and interests. Chapter 3 • 104 •

The official thirty-­nine categories of potential animal, plant, or geological designees in natural history diverged from the text of domestic Japanese law in stressing uniqueness or scarcity in relation to a global ecosystem. The list of eleven types of historical sites largely replicated the existing metropolitan categories—places or monuments of religious, burial, governing, war, art-­historical, educational, or archaeological value—with two significant additions: places with either imperial or legendary (densetsu-­ chi) associations. The former was necessary to add precisely because those associations were new to the Taiwanese context: many monuments were constructed during the colonial period to embed an imperial identity where none had existed before, such as the Taiwan Grand Shrine (Taiwan Jingū), built to memorialize the death of the imperial prince Kitashirakawa Yoshihisa (1847–95). The latter category was included in part because of Japanese ethnological (minzokugaku) interest in local tales. Tellingly, the imperial category ended up representing more than half of the sites awarded official recognition, while legends did not produce a single designee. If “nature” was Taiwanese, “history” was Japanese. The committee heavily relied once more on a preexisting Japanese template for identifying potential scenic sites along the lines of parks, gardens, bridges, and other sites famous for their trees, flowers, autumn foliage, or wildlife, great boulders, valleys and ravines, waterfalls, lakes, coastal views, and vistas.37 In contrast to the metropolitan master list, however, the category of representative (daihyōteki) natural scenery was added, while hot springs, large plains and rivers, and a few other types of formations were dropped because they were not seen as applicable to Taiwan. At the same time, a conceptually related, though organizationally distinct, effort was in motion to establish three “national” (kokuritsu) parks in Taiwan.38 The colonial committee was in this case guided by the National Parks Law (Kokuritsu Kōen Hō) of 1931 and its preference for mountainous landscapes in which to train both body and mind.39 One committee member mounted a resistance, arguing that sites boasting tropical rain forests and coral reefs were more distinctive to and representative of Taiwan. Nevertheless, the Japanese mountain model prevailed in the establishment of Tatun National Park (Daiton Kokuritsu Kōen), Taroko National Park (Tsugitaka-­Taroko Kokuritsu Kōen), and Alishan National Park (Niitaka-­ Arisan Kokuritsu Kōen) in the 1930s. The colonial government committee for conservation did not in the end make any final recommendations for designating scenic sites, in part beColonial Properties • 105 •

cause the formal process was delegated to the prefectural (shū) rather than imperial (kokka) level, and perhaps in part due to overlap with the new national parks. Lin Pei-­Yu also argues that this inaction can be attributed to a sense that the goal had already been largely accomplished on a nongovernmental level. Specifically, she points to the voting frenzy inspired by the contest run by the Taiwan Daily (Taiwan Nichinichi Shinpō) in 1927 to select “Eight Views of Taiwan to Truly Represent Our Taiwanese Landscape” (“Makoto ni waga Taiwan no fūkei o daihyō suru ni taru Taiwan hakkei”).40 The newspaper contest committee, like the colonial government committee on conservation, was composed of members of the administration, educators, military officers, and other prominent Japanese residents, but it did not include any Taiwanese. Likewise, the contest’s criteria imposed Japanese conceptions of fine scenery on Taiwanese soil. The ballot not surprisingly exhibited a decided preference for mountains, which encompassed about half of the thirty possible choices, even though coastal scenes had traditionally been more celebrated on the island.41 Nevertheless, voting was open to Taiwanese and Japanese alike, with a total of about 4,340,000 ballots recorded. One reason why the competition attracted so much attention was the emergence of tourism in Taiwan in the early twentieth century, which was connected to railway development and rising income levels in certain sectors.42 Since inclusion among the “eight views” might bring greater numbers of domestic, Japanese, and foreign visitors—and their pocketbooks—to a community, organized efforts emerged to get out the vote in support of particular sites. The winners in this case were Cape Eluanbi (Garanpi), Shou Mountain (Kotobukiyama), Baxian Mountain (Hassenzan), Ali Mountain (Arisan), Xu Hill (Asahigaoka), Danshui River (Tansui), Tailu Gorge (Taroko-­kyō), and Riyue Lake (Nichigetsutan).43 Japanese colonizers were by no means the first to think of ranking notable local landscape features in this way: starting in the seventeenth century, Chinese literati had created works celebrating Taiwan’s finest “six views” or “eight views.” Nevertheless, imperial Chinese and imperial Japanese visions of Taiwan differed. The Chinese texts were, as a genre, contemplative pieces not so much about the localized specificity of the scene as the mind of the viewer. In contrast, Japanese discourse on the Taiwanese landscape tended to emphasize a form of materialism intertwined with, though not necessarily solely inspired by, such thoroughly twentieth-­ century projects as resource extraction, commercial development, scientific conservation, and eliciting public support for the colonial order. Chapter 3 • 106 •

Moreover, the Government-­General’s valorization of the Taiwanese local as natural resources and as kyōdo was a form of de-­Sinification, that is, an attempt to deny Taiwan to continental China that took on added urgency after the Manchurian Incident of 1931. In the process, the Government-­ General inadvertently contributed to—or cast a shadow on—postwar articulations of a distinct Taiwanese identity amid ongoing struggles over the island’s political, economic, and cultural relationship to mainland China.44 A brief look at the exhibition politics of art in colonial Taiwan and the subsequent struggles of Japanese-­trained Taiwanese painters under postwar Chinese Nationalist rule illustrates this tension.45 The corollary of the natural and social science orientation of colonial museums in Taiwan is that they were not centrally concerned with the display of art. Even as the Japanese state’s campaign to exhibit in the fine arts divisions at world’s fairs finally met with success, it denied the same kind of recognition to Taiwanese aesthetic production. However, the Japanese state did provide some support for local artists in the form of competitive annual exhibitions, the Taiwan Fine Arts Exhibition (Taiwan Bijutsu Tenrankai) from 1927 to 1936 and the Taiwan Government-­General Exhibition of Fine Arts (Taiwan Sōtokufu Bijutsu Tenrankai) from 1938 to 1943. The principle behind these programs was that Taiwanese were inherently able to produce art, but they required Japanese training. In much the same spirit, the modern genre of Nihonga (literally, Japanese-­style painting, but actually a blend of Japanese and Western techniques) was renamed Tōyōga (Eastern-­style painting) in Taiwan in order to make the category more open and inviting in a colonial context.46 The apparent promise of assimilation and citizenship even seemed to achieve partial fulfillment in that some Japanese-­trained Taiwanese artists were able to teach in Japan and win accolades in competition with Japanese artists. Nevertheless, Japanese policy replicated rather than rejected the power dynamics of a civilizational hierarchy still dominated by Western powers. Japanese defeat and departure in 1945 was greeted with enthusiasm by most Taiwanese. This sense of liberation on the part of native-­born artists was short-­lived, however, as the Nationalist government’s re-­Sinification policy echoed a number of repressive Japanese colonial cultural policies and practices. This ranged from language regulation—mandating Mandarin Chinese and punishing those caught speaking Taiwanese or Japanese—to official preference granted to Chinese artists from the continent, which led to the eventual exclusion of many Taiwanese artists from the Colonial Properties • 107 •

Nationalist-­sponsored art exhibitions up through the early 1980s.47 This policy was rationalized as a response to the error and inauthenticity of the Japanese training that many prominent Taiwanese artists had received, marking them as “indeed to be pitied and laughed at.”48 The Nationalist critique was couched in terms of respect for traditional Chinese styles and techniques, but the effect was chilling on the production of local representations. Jason C. Kuo notes that the mainland artists patronized by the Nationalist state cherished their orthodox literati training and calligraphic foundations, which did not favor engagement with local specificity either before or after Japanese colonization: “Perhaps as refugees they were not interested in the landscapes of Taiwan.”49 In contrast, the kyōdo ideology of the Japanese colonial government had encouraged an emphasis on Taiwanese content in the works of native artists.50 The response of Japanese-­ trained Taiwanese painters to marginalization under the Nationalist regime was certainly first to insist on their Taiwanese, not Japanese, content. They further suggested that while ethnic identity trumped technique (“since Taiwanese are Chinese, paintings produced by Taiwanese artists must also be Chinese”), Japanese training should also be considered part of the greater Chinese tradition, since the latter was the ultimate wellspring of Asian aesthetics.51 Finally, the painters argued that their naturalism was not backward looking like the works of their rivals, but was progressive and part of a global (not Japanese per se) trend. Both camps vehemently disavowed Japanese colonial claims to superiority as they carefully selected which elements of which empires and imperialisms—from the ancient past, the recent past, the present, and emerging—they could use to claim an authoritative position in the complex political situation of Taiwan after 1949. At the same time, both made unspoken use of concepts and practices deployed by the Japanese government in the colonial era. This included the apparatus of a modern state that professed to speak for, to, and with a people as a public, though this was a promise clearly unfulfilled. Meanwhile, the Japanese imperial center was being shaped by, even as it shaped, its colonial territories. What belonged under the rubric of “Japanese” and “empire” was increasingly challenged, from the major contortions required to address whether or not the Meiji Constitution applied to new territories to such less remarked-­on shifts as renaming Nihonga as Tōyōga. Reaching out and outreach were critical to the project, which demanded boundary revisions that did not leave the core unchanged. Chapter 3 • 108 •

Colonizing Korean Majesty

In the case of colonial Korea, three central museums were established—in 1909, 1915, and 1938—on Seoul palace grounds, displacing Korean royalty and opening the space up to public access.52 The Korean context posed significantly different issues for the Japanese colonial administration from those it faced in Taiwan: the ruling dynasty and gentry class were firmly entrenched, the legality of Japanese annexation of Korea was shakier, the Korean population was less amenable to the wedge strategy employed in Taiwan by the Japanese to divide up different ethnic groups, and the Japanese state’s claim to represent modernity was more easily contested. Accordingly, despite the contemporaneous development of colonial museums in Korea and Taiwan, there were striking differences in their respective collection, content, and exhibitionary practices. These distinctions illuminate the structural flexibility and capaciousness of the imperial mission of Japanese museums in this era. The modern era of Japanese relations with Korea began with the Meiji state’s imposition of the unequal commercial Treaty of Ganghwa on the Korean kingdom in 1876.53 The First Sino-­Japanese War (which resulted in Taiwan becoming a Japanese colony in 1895) was fought to determine whether China or Japan would enjoy preeminence within the Korean sphere. The Russo-­Japanese War of 1904–5 was also a contest between regional rivals over influence in Korea. After its victory (certainly in diplomatic terms, more arguably in military terms) over Russia, the Japanese state proclaimed Korea a protectorate in 1905, then a formal colony in 1910. Even this bare bones account of the Japanese acquisition of Korea suggests the impossibility then (or now) of regarding Korea in isolation, surrounded as it was by powerful and ambitious neighbors. The strategic interest of its location fueled rapid development of modern infrastructure in the peninsula well before Japanese colonization. Amid various foreign offers to “help,” the Korean government was learning how to negotiate its precarious position. By the twentieth century, Seoul boasted electricity, trolley cars, telephone and telegraph lines, and a water system in concurrent operation before any other major Asian city.54 Henry Em underscores this point in relation to modern Korean intellectual history: “We might say that there were overlapping and competing ‘hegemonies’ operating in Korea, producing competing discourses on race, nation, gender, moderColonial Properties • 109 •

nity, and culture.”55 Korea did not encounter modernity solely through a Japanese lens, although its island neighbor was a major mediator before as well as after annexation. In order to make the argument that modernization entailed assumption of a Japanese imperial identity, colonial museums in Korea could not rely on the “discovery” narrative underpinning the resource-­extraction and natural-­science model employed in Taiwan. Instead they had to engage in the tricky task of rewriting their complex historical relationship, which included Japanese invasion in the late sixteenth century, by reframing art and aesthetic traditions. Expositions were closely connected with the founding of modern museums in Korea, just as they had been in Japan and Taiwan. Beginning in the 1880s, various Korean officials and writers introduced to a domestic audience the concepts of expositions and museums as instruments of enlightenment, making reference to both Japanese and Western examples.56 In 1881 King Gojong (1852–1919) dispatched a mission to Japan to visit the Second National Exposition, while in 1883 a Korean mission was sent to the United States and participated in an informal capacity in an exposition in Boston. In 1884 there was even a proposal to stage an international exposition in Seoul, and in 1888 there was discussion of a national museum, although in each case planning did not get very far.57 The Korean government also sent contributions to the Chicago world’s fair of 1893 and the Paris exposition of 1900. Unfortunately, the displays were not very systematically organized, and some of the attention they received was critical.58 Hubert Howe Bancroft, for example, described the Korean display for the Chicago fair in terms that were not unfriendly, but less flattering than those he employed for the exhibits of other Asian countries: “this strange and isolated kingdom” was represented by a “toy-­like pavilion” (see figure 3.2).59 To upgrade its national image, the Korean government established an exposition office in 1902 within its Department of Agriculture and Trade. Its first task was to prepare for participation in the Fifth National Exposition to be held in Osaka in 1903. The Russo-­Japanese War and subsequent transformation of Korea into a Japanese protectorate dramatically rerouted the development of a modern exhibitionary complex in the peninsula. Early Japanese and Korean discussions of museums and expositions defined them in closely comparable phrasing as a means of mass education to promote industrialization and national welfare. However, these boilerplate generalities were revealed to contain beneath their idealistic surface some rather difficult questions: Chapter 3 • 110 •

Fig 3.2: Korean exhibit at the Chicago world’s fair of 1893. From Hubert Howe Bancroft, The Book of the Fair: An Historical and Descriptive Presentation of the World’s Science, Art, and Industry, as Viewed through the Columbia Exposition at Chicago in 1893 (Chicago and San Francisco: The Bancroft Company, 1893), 221. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Duke University.

which people, which nation, whose welfare, and defined by what metric? The Busan (or Japan-­Korea) exposition, which opened in 1906, due in large part to support by the Japanese resident-­general (tōkanfu), was an augur of things to come. The call for contributions was sent to the “three metropolitan areas, one circuit [dō], and twenty prefectures”—that is, to the central territories of Japan—but not Korea (or Taiwan).60 As Sohyun Park observes, the Busan exposition represented more of a political statement regarding the new footing for Japanese-­Korean relations than a stimulus to industrialization.61 The Seoul exposition of 1907, while grander in scale and more complex in its operations, repeated the message: Japan would henceforth serve as the gateway for Korean modernity. This also happened to be the year—1907—that concrete plans were drawn up for the first modern museum in Korea, a generally unremarked-­ on development that was intimately connected to the dramatic events unfolding around it. Initially referred to as the Imperial Museum (Teishitsu Hakubutsukan), the facility was presented as an expression of the “taste” (shumi) of the Yi rulers.62 According to Komiya Mihomatsu (1859–1935), Colonial Properties • 111 •

vice minister to the Korean Imperial Household (Daikan Teikoku kunaifu jikan), he was asked by the members of the royal family to transform Changgyeong Palace into a museum, zoo, and botanical garden as part of a course of construction and repairs needed for the Seoul imperial-­palace grounds. However, Komiya’s claim to be simply carrying out orders flies in the face of contemporary developments. In June of 1907, Emperor Gojong (he had elevated himself from king to Gwangmu emperor in 1897) secretly sent representatives to the Second International Peace Conference at the Hague to request assistance against Japanese encroachment in Korea.63 The delegation was unsuccessful, and in response, the Japanese government codified its network of “advisors” in Korea into a second bureaucracy composed of Japanese vice ministers on down within the existing Korean government.64 As one such vice minister, Komiya was less a servant of the Korean empire than a master. Gojong was also forced in 1907 to abdicate in favor of his son Sunjong (1874–1926, the Yunghui emperor), but the process of cutting the Korean Imperial Household down to a manageable status and size had been under way since the previous year. Komiya, then in charge of Imperial Household properties, slashed expenses and the employment roster while increasing security, thereby curbing the very “tastes” he claimed to be expressing in establishing the museum, zoo, and botanical garden at Changgyeong Park (demoted from a “palace” in the process).65 The political statement represented by the museum—which was opened to the general public in 1909 as the Yi Royal Family Museum (Ri Ōke Hakubutsukan)—was certainly clear. Its location, fifteenth-­century palace grounds for the queen, had been transformed from a sacred space reserved for the ruling family to a secular site geared toward members of the general public. It quickly became a popular gathering spot favored by Korean “modern boys” and “modern girls.”66 The most notorious example of this spatial displacement strategy was the Korean Government-­General Building (Chōsen Sōtokufu Chōsha), completed in 1926 to block the primary view of the fourteenth-­ century Gyeongbok palace of the king and to disrupt the geomantic logic undergirding the royal complex as a whole.67 Other museums contributed to the ongoing process of colonial conversion. In 1915 the two-­story Western-­style Government-­General Museum of Korea (Chōsen Sōtokufu Hakubutsukan) opened after an exhibition celebrating the fifth anniversary of annexation (see figure 3.3).68 Also located on the grounds of Gyeongbok Palace, the central building stood a bit beChapter 3 • 112 •

Fig 3.3: Government-­General Museum of Korea. Reprinted from Wikimedia Commons (accessed March 30, 2012).

hind the Government-­General Building, while its business office and storage facilities took over other structures in the immediate vicinity—the effect being to incorporate the complex into one large museum. Finally, the imposing English colonial-­style (Eikoku shokuminchi-­shiki) Yi Royal Museum of Fine Arts (Ri Ōke Bijutsukan) opened in 1933 on the grounds of Deoksu Palace, which had also served as a kingly residence.69 (All three were absorbed by the National Museum of Korea in the postwar period.) These moves were, of course, blatant attempts to subordinate and control Korean sovereignty—royal, popular, or otherwise. Yet it is also instructive to note that the founding of the Korean museum system replicated various aspects of the process in Japan, illustrating the intertwined nature of domestic and colonial forms of the Japanese imperial. As an instance of an arguable misunderstanding, while the zoo at Changgyeong Park has been described as a studied insult to the dignity of the Korean palace, it is also true that museums, zoos, and botanical gardens had been viewed in Japan—referencing prominent Western examples—as interrelated forms of education since the 1860s, and combining them in a single location was not a demeaning move.70 Far less innocent was the replay in Seoul of the Meiji state’s appropriation of Ueno, once a sacred site for the Tokugawa shogunate, as a park for museums . . . and a zoo. However, the closest parallel with the most divergent outcome was the way in which Japanese efforts to redefine for the modern era the status, property, and function of the Colonial Properties • 113 •

Japanese imperial household shaped the Japanese transformation of the Korean royal/imperial household. To begin with, the Korean royal family, like the Japanese imperial family, was made publicly visible in new ways. A small but telling example is offered by a photograph commemorating the ascension of Sunjong to emperorship, which circulated on postcards for the Busan exposition of 1907.71 This has been understandably construed as a demeaning gesture, postcards being cheap and ephemeral. However, Japanese imperial images had been available in the same format since the 1880s.72 The publicization of imperial images, analyzed by Takashi Fujitani in terms of a regime of “ocular domination” effected by the Meiji state’s foregrounding of the emperor as both seen and seeing, was extended to Korean rulers as they became enmeshed in the Japanese orbit.73 The impact was quite different, of course, in that Korean imperiality under the protectorate was figured as subsidiary, soon to be made obsolete. The creation of public spaces in Japan as gifts of the imperial family, such as the Kyoto museum, also provided a model and narrative for opening up the formerly exclusive spaces of Korean royal gardens, palaces, and places of worship to the general public. If the only point had been to establish Japanese proprietorship, these sites could have been turned into private enclaves for Japanese statesmen or bureaucrats, or even held in absentia for Japanese imperial family members. However, the argument was a bit more subtle, as was necessary given the anger engendered by Japanese annexation. Governance was being reconceptualized in Korea as well as Japan as a direct (but by no means equal) relationship with the public. Korean royalty had to be made over in this mode, even as it was demoted, to secure the legitimacy of the model. Finally, discussions over the nature and scope of Korean royal properties were inflected by the reworking of the relationship of the Japanese Imperial Household to the state that had already taken place in Japan. Itō Hirobumi, who had promoted the separation of Imperial Household and state finances into different categories, was also the first resident-­general of Korea, serving from 1905 to 1909 (he was assassinated soon after by the Korean nationalist An Jung-­geun, 1879–1910). In Korea, Itō actively promoted the same separation policy through his protégé, Komiya.74 However, while the Japanese Imperial Household was granted a generous “independent” basis for wealth, the Korean imperial budget was immediately subjected to dramatic cuts. Moreover, in contrast to the way in which the Chapter 3 • 114 •

legal status of the Japanese emperor was elevated but ambiguous in the Japanese constitution, the Korean emperor was increasingly circumscribed by the state. With annexation in 1910, Korean Imperial Household matters were taken over by the Japanese Imperial Household Ministry, and the Korean emperor became again a mere king under a greater lord.75 The parallels (and divergent outcomes) between the Japanese state’s central museums and those of Korea continued with respect to collection, display, and conservation policies. The first colonial museum in Korea was, in the words of Komiya, “for the collection and conservation of the ancient arts of Korea [Chōsen no kobitsutsu].”76 The Yi Royal Family Museum was thus aligned with the art-­historical turn that had taken place in the Japanese Imperial Household museums, not the natural-­science and ethnological orientation of the Government-­General Museum of Taiwan. Records compiled between 1908 and 1911 regarding the collection being put together for the Yi Royal Family Museum list 420 examples of calligraphy and paintings; 102 Buddhist icons and images; 362 metal and stone implements, as well as pottery from the ancient through the tenth century; 870 metal implements; 1,058 ceramic works; and 104 miscellaneous pieces from the Goryeo dynasty (918–1392), for a total of 2,916 artifacts.77 This collection did not, however, represent what was available in royal storehouses, in contrast to the way the central Japanese museum incorporated objects from the Imperial Household. Quite the contrary. According to the well-­known expert on Korean pottery Asakawa Noritaka (1884–1964), during a visit to the Yi Royal Family Museum, Gojong turned to Itō Hirobumi, who was accompanying him, to ask about the Goryeo celadons that dominated the displays.78 Where were they made? Itō replied that that they were Korean. Impossible, the Korean emperor responded. Korea did not possess such things. Clearly, the Yi Royal Family Museum was neither born of nor guided by Korean royal command. Rather, the predominance of Goryeo artifacts—more than two-­thirds of the collection—was a function of the central role assigned to them in a Japanese reframing of Korean art traditions.79 Japanese encomiums for Goryeo ceramics—such as “the quintessence of Korean art” and “precious in the field of world art”—flowed even as Japanese demand fueled a booming Korean art market.80 This market was by no means solely confined to Goryeo artifacts. Asakawa himself was instrumental in stimulating interest in the more recent and relatively inexpensive ceramics of the Yi dynasty. In turn, he inspired the enthusiasm Colonial Properties • 115 •

of Yanagi Muneyoshi, who founded the Japan Folk Crafts Museum (Mingeikan).81 However, the high end of the market was dominated by Goryeo works, which were a specific target for Komiya Mihomatsu, Itō Hirobumi’s protégé, as he haunted the antique stores of Seoul on a daily basis. In addition to augmenting his personal collection, Komiya and his associates were building up the Yi Royal Family Museum collection almost entirely from scratch. What inspired this intense interest directed toward Goryeo artifacts? We can begin with the matter of opportunity: the era’s political and social tumult—most definitely including the Sino-­Japanese and Russo-­Japanese Wars—had spurred the practice of tomb robbing, with the then still largely intact burial mounds of the former Goryeo capital of Gaeseong as particular targets.82 A flood of new artifacts made their way from tombs to various (reputable as well as shady) art dealers, who in turn sought to meet feverish demand on the part of foreign as well as domestic collectors. It was telling that Itō in the end chose not to press his point with Gojong as they visited the Yi Royal Family Museum. Why silence? Quite likely the answer was self-­preservation rather than patient resignation. The longer the argument went on, the more likely it was that Itō would have been asked how such artifacts had been obtained. To have to answer “grave robbing” would not have served Itō’s interests at all. Opportunity alone, however, does not offer sufficient explanation. How did a Goryeo revival serve Japanese cultural policy? First, it offered a means to historicize the current Yi dynasty by casting a favorable light on the preceding Goryeo dynasty, founded by King Taejo in 877. Furthermore, pointing out the existence of multiple dynasties in Korean history underscored Japanese claims to temporal transcendence through an “unbroken” imperial line from the sun goddess Amaterasu. Second, the very praise heaped on Goryeo pieces was used to develop a narrative regarding Korean aesthetic decline, in turn a metonym for national decrepitude. Several pieces were published by Komiya himself on this theme, the very title of his article—“Korean Art: The Cause of Its Downfall and Its Future” (“Chōsen geijutsu suibō no gen’in oyobi sono shōrai,” 1915)—nicely encapsulating this move. In short, celebrating the glory of Goryeo celadons was a means of emphasizing the “backwardness” of Korean art in the early twentieth century. Japanese tutelage, Komiya suggested, would offer a way forward.83 Such early twentieth-­century Japanese discussions of Goryeo Chapter 3 • 116 •

pottery also transferred the loaded implications of the Western conceptual category of “art” (bijutsu) to the Korean peninsula. The prominent archaeological photographer Sekino Tadashi (1868–1935), for example, disparagingly remarked with regard to Korean antiquities that “there are few examples of fine art [bijutsuhin]”; he preferred to apply the term craft artifacts (kōgeiteki ibutsu) even to the exquisite celadons.84 Finally, the Goryeo dynasty represented the pinnacle of Buddhist influence on Korean painting and sculpture along with many other facets of life in the peninsula. With Buddhist art firmly ensconced by then in the Japanese national aesthetic canon, it is not surprising that such items would strike Japanese cultural administrators as inherently valuable. Moreover, emphasis on a Korean Buddhist tradition was simultaneously useful in positing cultural affinity between Korea and Japan and in highlighting fissures within Korean aesthetic tradition. That is, Komiya and his colleagues argued that the so-­ called decline in Korean art was the result of the Joseon triumph of a worldly Confucian mindset over Goryeo Buddhist piety. In this way, they positioned themselves as “protecting” Korean culture by resuscitating elements it once “shared” with Japan. Colonial conservation was provided an institutional home with the establishment of the Government-­General Museum of Korea in 1915. Like its Taiwanese counterpart from 1908, the museum served as an organizational hub for Japanese surveys of the peninsula as well as the administrative heart of an emerging body of conservation law and policy.85 However, instead of cataloguing natural resources, it focused on archaeological treasures to expand upon the art-­historical narrative set in motion by the Yi Royal Family Museum. The Government-­General Museum of Korea’s central mission was laid out on the third page of the inaugural issue of the Government-­General Museum Bulletin (Hakubutsukanpō) from 1926: We have brought together objects that should help us understand ancient customs and practices [ fūzoku-­shūkan], religion, arts, and crafts [bijutsu kōgei], mainly through items such as those collected in archaeological surveys or excavated and returned to the national treasury [kokko], as well as purchased artifacts and artifacts entrusted by temples. We demonstrate the distinctive character of each period by employing historical display methods. In addition, we make use of special display methods to demonstrate the production and development of craft art objects [kōgei bijutsuhin]. Colonial Properties • 117 •

While this statement of purpose resonated more closely with that of the Ueno museum than either its Taiwanese or Korean predecessors, its seemingly straightforward listing of sources for the museum collection was deeply rooted in the extractive power wielded by Japan in the peninsula. Reference to the “national treasury” worked to naturalize the process of acquisition, but the question remained: whose nation? Of course, if asked, the author of the museum mission statement would simply have answered that “nation” (koku) meant the Japanese empire. In practice, the rights to access sites, excavate, purchase, requisition objects from temples, and like activities were monopolized by the Japanese colonial administration. Major Japanese investment in collecting and documenting prehistoric remains and artifacts in Korea dated back to the 1890s. Various scholars— including Torii Ryūzō (1870–1953), who had also pioneered surveys of Taiwan—received funding for fieldwork from such organizations as the Tokyo Anthropological Association, the Tokyo Imperial University Anthropological Research Institute, and, later, the South Manchurian Railway.86 Such work documented and contributed to the preservation of various important sites—some already in ruins, some no longer in existence. Certainly, Confucian orthodoxy during the Yi dynasty emphasized the study of texts and inscriptions rather than prehistoric or ancient material culture. There had also been little concern for preserving structures associated with eras predating the Joseon era, although there were some local exceptions, particularly in the case of burial mounds. However, after 1883, when a Japanese soldier made rubbings of the fifth-­ century King Gwanggaeto stele that seemed to describe ancient Japanese (Wa) incursions in the Korean peninsula, Japanese archaeological surveys were heavily tilted toward uncovering evidence to recast ancient East Asian history in a manner that would support contemporary imperial expansion.87 The regular archaeological surveys conducted from 1910 on by the colonial administration became linked with, though not collapsed into, sweeping cadastral assessments that began that same year. Then, in 1916, the Government-­General issued “Regulations for the Preservation of Ruins and Remains” (“Koseki oyobi ibutsu hozon kitei”), which codified a cultural-­properties assessment and registration system and instituted formal procedures for requesting permission to handle designated artifacts and sites.88 Unauthorized attempts to disturb, export, or otherwise alter artifacts and sites were criminalized. The gatekeeper was the Government-­ General Museum of Korea, with its associated committees. With a staff Chapter 3 • 118 •

that did not include Korean members and publications that appeared in Japanese, English, and sometimes classical Chinese but not Korean, the museum was clearly an instrument to maintain the cultural monopoly of the metropole.89 Despite the peninsula’s colonial status within the empire, the Government-­General Museum of Korea did not represent itself as backward with regard to the central Japanese museums. Quite the opposite: the opening statement of the Government-­General Museum Bulletin boasted, “We are commencing scholarly investigations of ancient remains that cannot be attempted by the academic world of the inner territory [naichi].” From its planning stages, the museum had been conceived not only as a colonial organ but also as a national (kokuritsu) museum that would engage in a more scientific form of historical research than the Imperial Household Museum in Ueno conducted.90 Kuroita Katsumi, a noted historian, cultural advisor to the Government-­General, and proponent of a national museum in Korea, argued that the Imperial Household Museum was a site for reverence, but the new museum could serve as a site for the leading edge of academic scholarship. Why did archaeology in Korea offer such promise? Because Japanese surveyors in the peninsula had the power to excavate where they wished. Most crucially for the construction of an imperial history, they had access to prehistoric and ancient royal burial mounds. This was not the case within the main islands of Japan, where the Imperial Household Ministry expressly forbade disruption of the sacred space of imperial tombs. While there was some discussion of amalgamating the Yi Royal Family Museum and the Government-­General Museum of Korea in 1926, to consolidate and coordinate cultural administration, the idea was abandoned as potentially inflammatory.91 The Japanese colonial government’s brutal suppression of the millions-­strong March First Movement for Korean independence in 1919 had been forgotten by none. By the early 1930s, however, it was decided that the current exhibition facilities were simply not sufficient, so the fig leaf of royal patronage was used once more to cover expansion through the Yi Royal Fine Arts Museum. This structure would complete the grand art-­historical trajectory envisioned by Japanese bureaucrats and scholars. As an editorial in the Japanese-­owned Korea Daily (Chōsen Nippō) in 1933 explained: “From ancient times, Korea has been a kingdom of splendid arts. History demonstrates that Koreans inherently possess surpassing artistic genius [tensai]. However, not only was this artisColonial Properties • 119 •

tic nation [bijutsu koku] unable to conserve and pass down its art to later generations, it has not consistently displayed and developed its artistic genius.”92 A new colonial art museum, it was argued, would take the state’s collection beyond the fields of Korean archaeology and fine crafts to the realm of true “art,” that is, painting and sculpture. Exhibition of modern rather than ancient works would inspire Korean artists, thus reversing the very cultural decline that Japanese cultural authorities had diagnosed. If the Yi Royal Family Museum had reframed cultivated “taste” (shumi) as Goryeo pottery, and the Government-­General Museum boasted the latest in archaeology and conservation, the new colonial museum was to renovate artistic production in contemporary Korea. The process of positioning Japan as a gateway for Korean artistic modernity had already been set in motion with the establishment of the annual Korean Fine Arts Exhibition (Chōsen bijutsu tenrankai or Senten) in 1922. As in the case of the colonial Taiwanese art exhibitions, the Japanese genre Tōyōga (or Nihonga in the Japanese context) was accorded the top ranking, followed by Western-­style painting.93 The Korean Fine Arts Exhibition also included a section for Chinese-­style literati painting and calligraphy, pointedly excluded in Taiwan in line with the Government-­ General’s de-­Sinification policy. Most likely, inclusion reflected pushback on the part of Korean artists, who had already organized public exhibitions in this genre. Indeed, the Korean Fine Arts Exhibition was criticized from various quarters; a number of Japanese observers dismissed the “amateurish” (amachua-­kyū) quality of the general entries.94 Such negative perceptions of the work of Korean artists appear to have shaped a crucial decision made for the Yi Royal Fine Arts Museum: it would only feature exemplary work by Japanese. When the idea of a new museum was first publicly aired, the general impression was that it would include Korean paintings from the Joseon era through the present—hitherto notably absent in the museum context—along with contemporary Japanese and Western pieces. However, the opening of the Yi Royal Fine Arts Museum in the fall of 1933 revealed a very different exhibition plan for “providing guidance to peninsular artists who were lacking in opportunities to have contact with the best [saikō] artworks.”95 Instead of a colonial museum reflecting its locale, visitors found a “national” museum of contemporary Japanese art that brought together rival schools and genres that seldom shared exhibition space in Tokyo.96 The five-­member selection committee drew from the institutional heart of Chapter 3 • 120 •

the world of Japanese arts: the aforementioned Tokyo Imperial University professor Kuroita Katsumi, the eminent Western-­style painter and former director of the Tokyo School of Fine Arts Wada Eisaku (1874–1959), the director of the Imperial Household Museum, the former head of the Imperial Art Institute (Teikoku Bijutsu Gakkō), and a member of the Imperial Household Ministry. The result was more than fifty different exhibits of Nihonga, Western-­style paintings, sculpture, and fine crafts organized over the course of the ensuing decade, accomplished with heavy borrowing from such sources as the Imperial Household Ministry, the Imperial Household Museum, the Tokyo School of Fine Arts (Tokyo Bijutsu Gakkō), the Kyoto Municipal Special School of Painting (Kyoto Kaiga Senmon Gakkō), and various prominent individuals.97 The author of the museum guide boasted: “Nowhere else, even in the inner territories, can you see such a comprehensive display [sōgō chinretsu] of these kinds of high quality art objects.”98 The colony, rather than the metropole, provided modern Japanese art with its most systematic and complete r­ epresentation to date. A few years later, the arc of the Japan-­centric narrative was adjusted somewhat with the further expansion and reorganization of the colonial museum holdings. First, to commemorate the twenty-­fifth anniversary of Japanese annexation, the Government-­General Museum added several new structures, one of which was dedicated to the arts. This provided the long-­awaited opportunity for contemporary Korean artists to have their work displayed in government space. Second, because of long-­standing problems with insufficient display space, the art and fine craft holdings of the Yi Royal Family Museum were moved to a new structure built adjacent to the fine arts museum. In this way, the ancient Korean and modern Japanese collections became conceptually as well as physically conjoined. However, the overarching theme of progress under Japanese colonial tutelage remained firmly in place. As Sohyun Park sums up, “Japanese modern art was positioned as the direct heir of an art history that encompassed the ancient art of Korea, while Korean modern art was set off to one side.”99 In so diminishing and distancing Korean aesthetic traditions within a Japanese imperial narrative, the colonial museum system reinforced the hierarchical presumptions embedded within the assimilationist slogan of “Japan (Interior) and Korea, one body” (Naisen ittai).100 With the eruption of overt hostilities with China in the 1930s, the application of such top-­ down unification measures came to include the exclusive use of Japanese in public schools, “voluntary” adoption of Japanese names, and ultimately Colonial Properties • 121 •

forced labor and conscription for the Japanese war effort. This “one body” was to be as “modern” as it was Japanese, however, and Japaneseness was in some ways instrumentalized as a means to modernization. As Mark Caprio points out, some Koreans made use of the “one body” argument to urge the Japanese state to eliminate such discriminatory practices as not allowing Korean men who married Japanese women to establish a family register (koseki) in Japan.101 Not even Japan, in their eyes, had actually attained its modern promise. In the case of colonial museums in Korea, public access to the treasures they provided was not just a gimmick to finesse the ouster of Korean royalty, although that was certainly part of the program. Repeated invocation of the public good to justify the projects was made manifest in the planning and operation of the museums. They were open to the public from eight in the morning to five in the afternoon from April through September (nine-­thirty to four for the shorter days of October through March).102 The only major holiday for which the museums were closed was New Year’s. Entrance fees were standard, and were deeply discounted for student tours. Visitor regulations were also closely patterned after those of the central Japanese museums, featuring the familiar injunctions against inebriation or other forms of unruly behavior that would disturb “order and custom” (chitsujō fūzoku), bringing in animals or large packages, and unauthorized photographic and other forms of reproduction of artifacts, displays, and additional aspects of the museum. However, procedures were in place, as in Japan, to permit reproductions so long as the process was supervised.103 The museum facilities and surrounding grounds were also designed with an eye to “the pleasure of visitors old and young, male and female,” offering multiple sitting areas, lavish restrooms with hot water, dining areas, outdoor play spaces for children, and an elegant atmosphere replete with chandeliers.104 Moreover, outreach was accorded considerable planning and resources. Special tours were offered to students and members of the military, ordinary visitors were encouraged to ask questions of museum staff, and museum-­week events and publicity were used to stimulate general interest, while the Government-­General Museum actively published a range of works, from guides and bulletins for lay audiences to academic studies geared toward specialists.105 Such efforts were met with solid museum attendance numbers. Despite the controversial exclusion of modern Korean artists from the Yi Royal Fine Arts Museum, for example, Chapter 3 • 122 •

opening day boasted more than six thousand visitors, followed by daily averages of three to four thousand.106 As in Taiwan, the Korean colonial museums crafted a narrative in which Japan was positioned as the metropole: central, civilized, and advanced. In both cases, the Japanese government sought to monopolize both artistic tradition and modernity. What became entrenched as an almost invisible legacy, however, was the colonial government’s courting of public attendance and participation in Taiwan and Korea. The specific narrative it sought to disseminate proved to be, in contrast, easily discarded after 1945. In their appeals to the “people” of Taiwan and Korea, colonial government museums contributed to constructing “national” identities that have remained grounded in a relationship to a central state well after the imperial era. As Henry Em points out in the case of Korea, “contrary to conventional nationalist accounts that argue that Japanese colonial authorities pursued a consistent and systematic policy of eradicating Korean identity, we should see that the Japanese colonial state actually endeavored to produce Koreans as subjects—subjects in the sense of being under the authority of the Japanese emperor, and in the sense of having a separate (and inferior) subjectivity.”107 The imperial state’s success as well as failure can be observed in the early twentieth-­century duel between Japanese colonial and Korean nationalist intellectuals to research, preserve, and reform local customs and history as Korean.108 The colonial government pursued the same project in Taiwan. Without minimizing the hierarchy that separated subjects in the colonies from those in the metropole, it is also important to recall that comparable means were being employed to create a national public in Japan itself. This historical form of publicness opened up certain possibilities not intended by the state, even as it closed off others. But the Taiwanese and Korean contexts differed in key respects. While the Japanese state sought to de-­Sinicize Taiwan, the more pressing matter in Korea was how to undermine the sovereignty of a Korean dynasty that had ruled for centuries. In Taiwan the colonial government exploited existing ethnic divisions in the actual nuts and bolts of creating a model imperial subject, while socioeconomic class distinctions offered a more targetable weak spot in Korea.109 Finally, even though hospitals, public schools, railroad lines, and the like would most certainly have been built in Taiwan even if the Japanese had never colonized the island, the fact remains that their initial construction largely took place under Japanese adColonial Properties • 123 •

ministration. The case was not the same in Korea: Japanese colonization certainly put its stamp on Korean development, but broad infrastructural, political, economic, and cultural transformations were already under way. Accordingly, the Taiwanese museum public was shaped in institutions that highlighted dichotomies between colony and metropole, such as nature and art and primitive and modern. In contrast, the Korean museum public was presented with a more integrated form of imperial identity. The trajectory that led from the Yi Royal Family Museum through the Government-­ General Museum up to the Yi Royal Fine Arts Museum suggested that Japanese and Koreans, as “one body,” had in ancient times shared a history, the glories of which redounded to the credit of both. However, the Korean branch had suffered from adverse conditions (Chinese influence, poor leadership), and its arts had declined accordingly. For the modern era and its challenges, “progressive” Japanese conservators and artists were needed to clear out the deadwood so that Korean art could flourish once more. In sum, an aesthetic imperial identity was presented as something that always had encompassed both Japan and Korea, and always should. Japanese, Taiwanese, and Korean museum displays of imperial subjectivity were thus clearly distinguishable, even as they were closely intertwined. The capacious conceptualization of the “imperial” itself was supremely useful in maintaining this productive tension to forge a transregional and transethnic museum public inculcated with behavioral norms and visual vocabularies that could be turned to other political agendas following decolonization. In the conclusion of her close analysis of the modern construction of Korean “origins” from the colonial era to the present, Hyung Il Pai examines the cultural politics surrounding the dramatic demolition of the Government-­General Building in 1995, which had come to house the National Museum of Korea.110 While this act was intended to dismantle the postcolonial “identity crisis” induced by the display of Korean treasures in a Japanese frame, Pai’s work suggests that the ongoing debates regarding Korean heritage remain troubled by the fact that key avenues of its definition and transmission—conservation law, the national-­ treasure system, the museum form and its public—were inaugurated in Korea under the Japanese. Imperial Museum Network

Modern museums had been established throughout the Japanese empire by the 1930s. The National Museum Guide (Zenkoku hakubutsukan annai), Chapter 3 • 124 •

published in 1932 by the Japan Museum Association (Nihon hakubutsukan kyōkai), offers a snapshot of this network. The guide was organized by region, and the final section was devoted to exhibitionary facilities in Taiwan, Hokkaido, Sakhalin (Karafuto), Korea (Chōsen), and Guandong (Kantō). This was in essence the colonial section. By focusing on the classic museum end of the spectrum of institutions listed, which also included zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, and product centers, we find that as of 1932 there were four institutions in Taiwan, six in Korea, one in Guandong, one in Sakhalin, and four in Hokkaido.111 The Yi Royal Fine Arts Museum and the Central National Museum of Manchukuo (Manshū Teikoku Kokuritsu Chūō Hakubutsukan) would soon join their ranks. The next and final wave of significant additions to the colonial network took place in 1942, when the Japanese military conquered British Malaya and Dutch Indonesia. Taking charge of various research facilities left behind when the Western colonial powers were expelled, the Japanese state scrambled to dispatch academic personnel to keep such illustrious institutions as the Raffles Museum in Singapore (founded in 1849) in operation.112 The Japanese colonial museum era crested with a proposal in 1942 to build the Greater East Asia Museum (Daitōa Hakubutsukan), an idea that originated in the commercial sector but then was swiftly taken up by the Ministry of Education and presented to Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō (1884–1948) for consideration.113 The goal was to “found a comprehensive museum,” with branches in Tokyo and key sites in Southeast Asia, “that would engage broadly with the politics, economics, culture, ethnicity [minzoku], nature, and other aspects of Greater East Asia in order to widely disseminate Greater East Asian consciousness and contribute to the progress of Greater East Asian culture.”114 By the year’s close, however, Japanese military fortunes had suffered a dramatic reversal and the empire began to collapse in on itself. Discussions continued for some time, but there were few resources to be spared for a project of such rapidly dwindling significance. Had it been built, however, the Greater East Asia Museum would have offered an overarching framework to knit more tightly together the loose network of colonial museums in the Japanese empire. There had never been a single center, such as the Imperial Household Ministry, to set colonial museum policy. Administered by their respective regional governments, these museums were indelibly marked by their particular contexts. Nevertheless, they developed in dialogue with the metropole, adapting Colonial Properties • 125 •

organizational principles, collection practices, legislation, regulations, and spatial strategies to achieve the shared goal of instilling an imperial subjectivity. In the outer as in the inner territories, the very flexibility of the “imperial” category (teishitsu, teikoku) allowed it to serve as a kind of multipurpose storage facility to transfer artifacts from royalty, temples, aboriginal peoples, and nature to the modern Japanese state and its publics. Colonial authority expedited expropriation, in turn inspiring claims made by various colonial museums that they led rather than followed trends in Japanese scholarship by virtue of their access to new materials. The Greater East Asian Museum would have provided further coherence to this point of view. Employing the latest methods to present cutting-­edge research, the ultimate colonial museum’s mission was to teach national subjects (kokumin) that an imperial identity was founded not only on Japanese transcendence but also on transcending parochial Japaneseness. While the Greater East Asia Museum remained only a dream, its inspiration was drawn from an existing colonial museum network that had already exerted pressure on the center’s representational strategies. The Tokyo Imperial Household Museum in Ueno was the apex of the state’s exhibitionary complex, but it neither entirely contained nor served as vanguard to the whole.

Chapter 3 • 126 •

Chapter 4 •••

The Private Publics of Ōhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi

Japan’s triumph in the Russo-­Japanese War of 1904–5 revealed

cracks in the global dominance of the Western imperial powers; it also exposed rifts between the Japanese state and its citizens. In September of 1905, a three-­day riot in the heart of Tokyo greeted news of the settlement between Japan and Russia to end the war. Unlike China after defeat in the First Sino-­Japanese War (1894– 95), Russia would not have to indemnify Japan’s war expenditures.1 Without reparations, there was no end in sight for the high taxes and austerity measures demanded by the Japanese state of its subjects to support the war. Protestors charged that the Japanese people—and emperor—had been betrayed by cowardly government negotiators, and the protestors directly clashed with police in Hibiya Park, in front of the home minister’s residence, and in front of the imperial palace grounds. The very success of the Meiji state in using the emperor to mobilize the population for industrialization, and for war, had opened the door to critique and popular opposition in the name of the emperor. The heterogeneous but broadly based political drive that was sparked in 1905 ultimately pushed the state to extend the vote to all adult male subjects in 1925. Yet the people did not become sovereign with the passage of universal manhood suffrage, which was coupled with the infamous Peace Preservation Law (Chian iji hō) to expand police authority in dealing with social disruption.2

Nevertheless, the relationship of the state to the people had changed. Bureaucrats, politicians, intellectuals, activists, and many others had come to believe that the late nineteenth-­century order established by the men of Meiji could no longer contain Japanese society; the term society (shakai) itself gained currency amid heated debates regarding community, cohesion, and change.3 Organizations proliferated to take up issues, such as poverty and unemployment, that the state had failed to address or sought to avoid. Terade Kōji categorizes such organizations into three basic types: The first was a hybrid of government and civilian (hankan hanmin) foundations largely directed by bureaucrats and funded and staffed by members of the private sector, who were typically concerned with labor problems or the provision of medical services.4 The second was composed of organizations set up outside, but in support of, municipal administrations in order to study urban issues. The third was composed of associations established wholly in the private sphere, frequently characterized by a research orientation toward “social problems.” While the organizations’ political tendencies and proposed solutions varied, there was widespread agreement that the existing government apparatus was inadequate. This chapter focuses on three private individuals who diagnosed gaps or blind spots in state cultural institutions and the remedies the individuals proposed. The first example is Ōhara Magosaburō’s (1880–1943) founding of the Ōhara Museum of Art (Ōhara Bijutsukan) in Kurashiki. One of the museum’s goals was to address lack of public access within Japan to an influential category of aesthetic production, original works of Western art. The second example is Shibusawa Keizō (1896–1963) and his proposal for a “folk” museum of economic history, never realized in concrete form but of interest because of its detailed vision of a public institution to specifically honor nonelite contributions to national progress. The third is Yanagi Muneyoshi’s (1889–1961) establishment of the Japan Folk Crafts Museum (Nihon Mingeikan), which not only offered a critique of the imperial aesthetic canon but also provided an alternative definition of national heritage that valorized the everyday, commonplace, and useful.5 Their intertwined projects limn some of the tensions that produced private-­sector museums for an evolving public in the early twentieth century, not least of all the growing authority claimed by corporate wealth in providing cultural services.

Chapter 4 • 128 •

Ōhara’s New Elysium

The popular tourist destination of Kurashiki, located in Okayama Prefecture, boasts a lovely town center bisected by a river lined with trees and Tokugawa-­period warehouses. One of Kurashiki’s main attractions is the Ōhara Museum of Art, which features original works by major Western artists such as El Greco, Claude Monet, and Paul Gauguin, as well as by Japanese artist-­craftspeople such as Hamada Shōji (1894–1978; designated a National Living Treasure or Ningen Kokuhō in 1955) and Kawai Kanjirō (1890–1966; offered but refused designation as a National Living Treasure). There is no particular reason to be surprised by the location of this museum in the context of contemporary Japan, where museums have become ubiquitous in urban centers and throughout the countryside.6 However, when first established in 1930, the Ōhara Museum represented a challenge to the assumption that aesthetic artifacts of national significance belonged in Tokyo rather than the periphery. Ōhara Magosaburō, from whom the museum takes its name, put Kurashiki on the map of national consciousness. Building on his father’s successes in founding the Kurashiki Spinning Factory and Kurashiki Bank, Ōhara greatly expanded these ventures to establish a regional industrial and financial empire that also included an electric utility, a construction venture, and a newspaper publishing company.7 At the same time, Ōhara took his first steps toward a lifelong engagement with various philanthropic works. Terade Kōji breaks down the almost bewildering variety of philanthropic enterprises supported or initiated by Ōhara into four types, or even stages.8 First, from the time Ōhara returned from his rather desultory studies in Tokyo to assume family responsibilities in Kurashiki in 1901, he contributed to classic charities. The most prominent of these was the Okayama Orphanage founded by Ishii Jūji (1865–1914), a charismatic figure who was instrumental in initially converting Ōhara to the practice of philanthropy. Second, Ōhara poured great efforts into “social education” (shakai kyōiku), beginning with tenants on the Ōhara lands, and then expanding to workers in the Ōhara factories and members of the Kurashiki community as a whole. His well-­known Sunday lecture series that ran from 1902 to 1925, for example, was open to the general public and featured such prominent speakers as Nitobe Inazō (1862–1933; a Tokyo Imperial University professor, internationally known author, and advisor to the Taiwan Government-­General) and Ōkuma Shigenobu. Third, from around 1910, Ōhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi • 129 •

Ōhara began to heavily invest in building up the physical infrastructure of Kurashiki and its surroundings, providing facilities for telephone communication, electricity, housing construction, a library, public parks, a hospital, and, of course, an art museum. Finally, in the 1920s, Ōhara founded three major research centers to focus respectively on agricultural advancements, resolution of social problems (shakai mondai), and improvement of labor conditions.9 This trajectory perfectly encapsulates the general trend in Taishō-­era philanthropy away from nineteenth-­century-­style charity and toward social scientific research aimed at systemic transformations.10 Ōhara was a prominent but far from unique figure in a social landscape that was being refigured to place corporations in a mediating role between the state and the general population. In 1908 officials from the Home Ministry and the Agricultural Ministry took part in the Reform and Relief Lecture Series (Kanka Kyūzai Kōenkai), debating the extent to which the state should shoulder responsibility for alleviating poverty.11 Most came down on the side of caution since they feared that state intervention might create dependency. Although the Home Ministry established in 1917 an office known as the Relief Department (Kyūgo-­ka)—soon renamed and promoted in 1920 to the level of a bureau (Shakai-­kyoku)12—alternative agents and routes began to be explored. Thus, in 1908 various bureaucrats and private individuals joined forces to establish the national Central Philanthropic Association (Chūō Jizen Kyōkai). The Imperial Household had begun to make larger and more systematic contributions to charitable causes from education to disaster relief, and its ambiguous relationship to the central government was exploited in order to keep the government technically off the hook in terms of long-­term commitments.13 Large corporations were furthermore called on to match imperial largesse. At the same time, they responded to strong union actions and general labor unrest by refurbishing the fictive kinship model of large Tokugawa-­period merchant households to offer a corporate version of the “family state.”14 Kawazoe Noboru analyzes the rising profile of corporations in social welfare through the specific lens of how the “household” (katei) was imagined.15 If warrior-­class (bushi) norms were imposed on ordinary Japanese through such instruments as the Meiji Civil Code at the end of the nineteenth century, the codes were being reworked through corporate colonization of the family and home in the early twentieth century. Even as the house or “castle” of the individual company man was used for corporate socializing, corporate resources were directed toward housing, leisure Chapter 4 • 130 •

facilities, and education for employees.16 Moralistic homilies to company loyalty implicitly restated the late nineteenth-­century state-­society dyad as a twentieth-­century state-­corporation-­society triad. Ōhara’s extensive public works need to be understood in this light, instead of simply as individual generosity. However, Ōhara ran counter to the prevailing trends in one important respect. Strict attention to regionality governed his entrepreneurship and philanthropy alike.17 Ōhara focused his extensive energy on his hometown and its surroundings not by default but because he saw them as more central than Tokyo, the capital of the nation. Ōhara wrote in his diary in 1902: “Okayama people are model specimens [hyōhon] of Japanese, and Kurashiki is a model specimen of Okayama. For this reason, the center of Japan is located in Kurashiki.”18 At the very least, Ōhara’s inversion of the argument basing “centrality” on “representativeness” to make a case for Kurashiki exposes the peculiarity of the reasoning that underlies the all too frequent use of “Tokyo” to signify “Japan.” As native ethnologists (minzokugakusha) were busy pointing out at the time, how could anyone call life in Tokyo “representative” in the early twentieth century? Yet, unlike the native ethnologists, Ōhara did not indicate much interest in preserving traces of an imperiled rural mode of living. His investments in Kurashiki and its environs suggest quite the opposite. He was not questioning the relation of representativeness to centrality, or pointing to the greater appropriateness of citing structural reasons to support such claims. Instead, Ōhara understood centrality as becoming a beacon for others to learn from—representativeness as serving as a model for the world. Ōhara continues this train of thought in the same diary entry: “I am fortunate to live in Kurashiki. I believe that this Kurashiki will become the ‘Elysium’ of the East. No, it is my mission to make it ‘Elysium.’”19 Ōhara’s choice of the term Elysium to describe Kurashiki was no doubt inspired by his close contact with the evangelizing Christianity of his mentor, Ishii Jūji. The effect was to portray Kurashiki as a potential paradise, where perfectability was more possible than in Tokyo. With this in mind, Ōhara almost single-­handedly built up a modern infrastructure for the town that encompassed basic utilities, social services, and cultural facilities. The state and nation were effectively sidelined—peripheralized—in the process, though by no means directly rejected. The principle of regionality brings us back to how Japan’s first museum of modern European art came to be located in Kurashiki rather than Ōhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi • 131 •

Tokyo. The initial proposal for the museum came from Kojima Torajirō, a noted Western-­style painter.20 Although Ōhara’s personal aesthetic preferences ran to tea implements, and later to works by the folkcraft movement’s artist-­craftspeople, Ōhara had taken Kojima under his wing and sponsored his three extended tours of Europe.21 Regional chauvinism as well as personal friendship underpinned this association, as Kojima was born and had his studio just outside Kurashiki. In 1919, as he was about to embark on his second European tour, Kojima suggested to Ōhara that young Japanese artists would benefit immeasurably from direct exposure to Western works, which were as yet largely unavailable in the nation (petitions to the Diet for a state museum of this nature were consistently rejected until the early postwar period).22 Given Ōhara’s firm faith in efforts to “elevate culture” (bunka kōjō), it is not surprising that he was swayed by Kojima’s argument. As a result, Ōhara essentially gave Kojima a blank check to begin the process of collection. Kojima rose to the challenge by exercising considerable ingenuity to secure works by some of the most prominent painters of the day.23 When Kojima returned home in 1921, Ōhara arranged for the Kurashiki Culture Association (Kurashiki Bunka Kyōkai) to exhibit both what Kojima had collected and what he had produced while overseas. Running for four days in March at the local girls’ elementary school, the First Exhibit of Works by French Masters (Dai ikkai Furansu meigaka sakuhinten) featured thirty-­seven pieces by eighteen artists.24 Since this was the first time so many works by contemporary French artists were on display together in Japan, the response was overwhelming and national, rather than just local, in character. Visitors streamed down from Tokyo and all over the country. Following the arrival of a shipment of another twenty works by sixteen artists that included Henri Matisse, the Kurashiki Culture Association staged the Second Exhibit of Contemporary French Masters (Dai nikai gendai Furansu meigaka-­ten) in 1922. Once again, Kurashiki was raised to national consciousness. That same year, Kojima embarked on his final foreign tour, this time making extensive purchases in Egypt as well as Europe. Upon his return, the Kurashiki Culture Association staged both the Third Exhibit of Works by Western Masters (Dai sankai taisei meigaka sakuhin tenrankai) and the Exhibit of Egyptian, Persian, and Turkish Pottery (Ejiputo, Perusha oyobi Toruko kotōki tenrankai). Since the two exhibits were held during the summer school holidays, Western art enthusiasts were joined Chapter 4 • 132 •

by tours of schoolchildren to view the treasures from abroad. Soon, reproductions of many of the works in the Ōhara collection were made available to the general public in book form and then came to be staples in school textbooks. Future generations of Japanese would know these works as a matter of course. Local residents were also invited to a lecture series accompanying the exhibits, which featured speakers such as Nishimura Isaku (1884–1963), “Achieving a Cultural Lifestyle” (“Bunka seikatsu no jikkō”), and Kawai Kanjirō, “Talking about the Ancient Pottery of Egypt” (“Ejiputo kotōki no hanashi”).25 It was not until 1928 that the artworks that Kojima had collected for Ōhara could be seen in Tokyo, during a special exhibit at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum.26 Around this time, Kojima began to urge Ōhara to seriously think about a permanent museum for the collection. Kojima even began to look into the acquisition and cost of building materials and began to toy with concepts for the museum’s architecture. However, Ōhara’s business ventures had suffered in the economic downturn that followed the First World War boom. While Ōhara lent a sympathetic ear, it seemed unlikely that the museum would be realized any time in the near future. Indeed, the economic vicissitudes of the era had already doomed two other attempts to build a museum for Western art in the private sector.27 What changed Ōhara’s mind was that in November of 1928, Kojima died of a brain aneurysm at the early age of forty-­seven. The museum then became an obsession for Ōhara as a tribute to his friend.28 Despite serious financial restraints, Ōhara convened a handful of Kojima’s colleagues to begin the planning process.29 There was no discussion of Tokyo being a potential location: Ōhara saw the museum as contributing toward placing Kurashiki at the center of a spiritual culture, a direct challenge to the monopoly of the big cities.30 The original site proposed was in Sakazu, just outside of Kurashiki, where Kojima had had his studio. However, in light of the space needed for the museum, it was eventually settled that land previously donated by Ōhara to the city as a park would be more suitable. Yakushiji Kazue, another of Ōhara’s local protégés, was commissioned to design the museum.31 Once the formal plans were drawn up, construction immediately commenced and proceeded at a frantic pace. The concerted effort paid off. As Ōhara had hoped, the museum opened in time to coincide with an army special maneuvers event (Tokubetsu Daienshū) to be held in Okayama Prefecture in early November of 1930. Thus, a visit to the new museum could be Ōhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi • 133 •

Fig 4.1: Ōhara Museum of Art. Reprinted with the permission of the Ōhara Museum of Art. Copyright held by the Ōhara Museum of Art.

easily added to the itinerary of the members of the imperial family and other notables already planning to be in Okayama. The general public was granted entry on November 25. The façade of the completed museum evoked an ancient Greek temple: a short flight of steps led up to Ionic pillars topped by a pediment (see figure 4.1). Kojima had at one point envisioned the structure of a French country house, but Ōhara readily approved Yakushiji’s proposal of a classical Greek exterior as a better representation of Ōhara’s drive to create an eternal memorial.32 In his opening-­day speech (read to the audience by a trusted associate), Ōhara sketched out his hopes for the institution: “I have built this art museum, as small scale as it is, to memorialize Kojima Torajirō, who died last year. . . . In the future I would like to see this art museum established as an independent foundation [zaidan hōjin] so that it can persist for all time [eikyū ni].”33 Yakushiji’s use of Greek architectural elements conveyed in concrete form Ōhara’s wish to elevate personal memory above the ravages of time, a desire no doubt strengthened by the death of Ōhara’s wife earlier that same year. Flanking the entrance were two bronze sculptures by Auguste Rodin, signaling along with the archiChapter 4 • 134 •

tecture that the focus of the museum was on Western art. However, the specific choice to greet visitors with The Burghers of Calais (which depicted the self-­sacrifice of leading citizens to preserve their city upon surrender) and John the Baptist (which is suggestive of Christian universalism) also pointed to the civic universalism of the institution. Intriguingly, Ōhara did not make reference to the nation (kuni, kokumin, etc.) in his opening-­day address, although he otherwise used a broad brush to depict the imagined community to be brought together by the museum, including not only aspiring artists and admirers of Western art but also the “world” (yo). The general thrust of Ōhara’s regionalism was away from a state-­dominated center and toward a form of locally grounded civic enthusiasm. The inside of the two-­story museum was divided into three sections, respectively devoted to the works of Kojima Torajirō, works by European masters, and Asian antiques. (While today the Ōhara Museum of Art also features an extensive collection of works by members of the folkcraft movement, this section was added by Ōhara’s son, Sōichirō, in the early postwar period.) The whole of the first floor was used to display 105 of Kojima’s paintings, arranged in roughly chronological order to provide a sense of his artistic growth and development. In art-­historical terms, however, Kojima was not presented in the museum as the “most important” Western-­style painter in Japan. To the contrary, Ōhara mourned on the opening day that his friend had yet to fully realize his talent. He quoted Kojima himself as saying, “Maybe by the time I reach the age of sixty, I will have become somewhat able to paint a picture.”34 The narrative in the first section was thus truncated, lacking the climax or masterpiece that, had Kojima lived longer, should have crowned his career. This absence was the invisible but organizing trope of the museum: it was Kojima’s untimely death that brought it into being. Ōhara continued in his remarks: “You were not in the end able to achieve your goals. To commemorate you in a permanent fashion [eikyū ni], I feel that the public display [chinretsu kōkai] of the artworks that speak of your life, and the artworks you collected to contribute to the field, are an obligation you have bequeathed me. And so, I have built this art museum.”35 Placement of the works by Kojima on the first floor, immediately inside the entrance, framed the rest of the collection as first and foremost the product of Kojima’s labors and only secondarily as art-­historical objects. In this way, the museum functioned as an eternal temple or, as it was initially to have been named, the Memorial Hall for Kojima the Painter.36 Ōhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi • 135 •

The second floor was devoted to the works collected by Kojima. Most of the space was used to display sixty-­one paintings by prominent European artists, including Monet, Matisse, and Gauguin. In addition, one room was set aside for approximately one hundred antique bronzes and pieces of pottery predominantly from Egypt, Persia, and China. This juxtaposition of Asian antiquities with contemporary European paintings spoke more of Kojima’s own sense of being caught between East and West than of Ōhara’s vision of the museum following Kojima’s death.37 Nevertheless, it created a curious temporality: the pairing of an Asian past so distant it was almost atemporal with the cutting edge of Western aesthetic trends. The gap was too great to be figured in a simple evolutionary line, and the museum made no efforts in this direction. The physical conjuncture did, however, resonate with how Watsuji Tetsurō (1889–1960) and a number of other Japanese intellectuals argued for an ancient Silk Road heritage that provided a key to Japan’s imperial cosmopolitan future.38 The Greek front to the museum, deliberately or not, amplified the echo. In other words, Kojima’s collection enshrined by Ōhara can be seen as representative of an early twentieth-­century Japanese cosmopolitanism made possible by the increasing ability of Japanese capitalism to incorporate foreign elements into the national economy. Despite the pioneering nature of the Ōhara Museum of Art collection, the initial flurry of visitors soon dropped off. Only one year later, an average day for the museum saw twenty or so visitors.39 Some days there were none at all. The museum director Takeuchi Kiyomi lamented that it had been a mistake after all to locate the museum so far from Tokyo: the center held. Additional reasons for the museum’s struggles included its relatively high entrance fee of thirty sen—three times that of the national museum in Ueno but nevertheless not enough to cover operation costs—and the pall cast on national consumption by the renewal of hostilities with China after the Manchurian Incident of 1931. Spurred by the ongoing financial drain as well as a desire to set Kojima’s memorial on permanent footing, Ōhara incorporated the museum as an independent foundation in 1935.40 In the postwar period, the museum gained new life under Ōhara’s son, Sōichirō, and is today a noted tourist destination. However, when Ōhara passed away in 1943, the museum that bore his name was still a failure. It is likely that this “failure” of the prewar Ōhara Museum of Art contributed to the arc that Terade Kōji ascribes to Ōhara’s philanthropic career: away from an intensely personal model of individual charity and Chapter 4 • 136 •

toward the establishment of research institutes to study social problems. By 1929 Ōhara had thoroughly reassessed the value of such formative early projects as his financial support and later direct administration of Ishii Jūji’s orphanage: “Here is what I would like everyone to understand. [Ishii’s] efforts toward social works [jigyō] were no good [dame] and did not succeed.”41 The problem was that individual charity only dealt with symptoms rather than root causes. In a similar vein, the museum memorial to Kojima did not fare well in contrast to Ōhara’s evaluation of his investment in the Japanese folkcraft movement: “Among my various works, I think that the Folk Crafts Museum possesses the greatest significance.”42 While he may have also been revealing his personal aesthetic preferences, Ōhara was influenced in this view by Yanagi Muneyoshi’s ambitious conceptualization and organization. Yet the Ōhara Museum of Art was by no means a stand-­alone project; it was rather part of Ōhara’s greater dream of turning Kurashiki into an Asian “Elysium.” Both this attempt to challenge the center and the times when other attempts fell short are worth considering in light of the broader question of how lines were drawn, and shifted, between notions of public and private in the prewar period. To assess Ōhara’s vision of public and private in his own social works, we can turn to how he articulated his sense of mission. According to Ōhara, philanthropy was more than a source of personal satisfaction. Philanthropy was the very engine that drove—and legitimated—his entrepreneurial activities: “These riches have been granted to me, not for myself, but for the world. With the money given to me in this world, I work in accordance with the spirit of God. The money is not mine. As I was born for the sake of God and for the sake of the world, so this wealth is being created for the sake of God and for the sake of the world.”43 The resonance with a Weberian Protestant work ethic was hardly coincidental: Ōhara’s outlook was deeply informed by Christianity, to which he was introduced by the evangelical Ishii, together with the moral teachings of Ninnomiya Sontoku (1787–1856). Passages from the Bible and Sontoku’s writings copied down in Ōhara’s diaries speak to his search for meaning in his position as a man of wealth. Ōhara saw his entire range of activities as directed toward benefiting a community rather than just himself or his family. Moreover, even though Ōhara was more than happy to receive imperial honors or to capitalize on governmental events such as expositions or the special maneuvers, the community to which he dedicated himself was not the nation-­state as such. Ōhara consciously set himself against Ōhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi • 137 •

the national center to elevate the local. At the same time, he often crossed over national boundaries in his Christian-­inflected references to a universal community. Ōhara’s public was one in which the state was explicitly or implicitly sidelined as a competitor, as irrelevant, or even as an obstacle. Although nongovernmental, this public was not a populist construction: Ōhara’s emphasis on his own role in remaking Kurashiki was entirely representative.44 In this way, Ōhara contributed to a general trend in the early decades of the twentieth century toward the creation of a middle ground between state and society in which corporate leadership played an important role. Although the museum was a considerable financial drain and the Western art collection was of more national (than personal) interest, at no point did Ōhara seek to hand administration over to the state. The private status of the museum allowed it to work in ways that a state museum could not, namely as a personal memorial to Kojima and as a corporate gift to the Kurashiki community. Shibusawa’s Folk Museum of Economic History

Shibusawa Keizō led a double life. Officially, he was head of the financial empire founded by his grandfather, the legendary entrepreneur Shibusawa Eiichi (1840–1931). Groomed from an early age to lead, he was an insider’s insider within the establishment. On his own time, he was a generous patron of scholarship that ranged from Kindaichi Kyōsuke’s linguistic studies of the Ainu to the primatology of Imanishi Kinji.45 In particular, Shibusawa is known for his intimate association with the emerging field of native ethnology (minzokugaku).46 This new discipline that championed investigation of the everyday life of commoners, or the Japanese “folk” (minzoku or jōmin), had roots in a concern for rural poverty relief.47 Evincing a particular affection for fishing implements, Shibusawa was an indefatigable participant, thoughtful writer, and guiding force in the field. While he continued to carry out his grandfather’s tradition of classic philanthropy, he firmly grounded it in early twentieth-­century methods and concerns.48 Even more single-­mindedly than Ōhara Magosaburō, Shibusawa Keizō pursued the generation of social knowledge in a scientific mode. Like Ōhara, the Shibusawa family had its roots in the wealthy rural peasant social stratum (shōya hyakusho).49 From this sprang Eiichi’s sense of “public ethics” (kōkyō rinri) that explicitly looked toward gaps in the state system. Keizō later reminisced: “My grandfather was the kind of person who did not take a hand in matters that the government and the like could Chapter 4 • 138 •

properly handle. He tended to feel moved when things went wrong. Moreover, he tended to be motivated to do things for the sake of society [yo no naka]. I am like that, too.”50 Yet there existed a deep gulf between Eiichi’s and Keizō’s respective eras. Eiichi took pride in the consistent identity and shared values he saw in his rural origins and his entrepreneurial career, which took him to the highest levels of Japanese society. On this basis, he championed a form of economic democracy (keizaiteki minshushugi). But by the early twentieth century, relations between the flourishing industrial sector and flagging agricultural sector were widely articulated in hostile rather than harmonious terms. It should come as little surprise then that Keizō saw his role at the helm of the family empire in a different light. Fulfilling his official responsibilities meant immersing himself in an adversarial world that contained aspects that he described as “so unpleasant it makes one gasp in horror” (zotto suru hodo iya na koto).51 In other words, unlike either Ōhara or Eiichi, Keizō saw conflict rather than coincidence between his working duties and personal enthusiasms, which in turn gave rise to doubts about the leadership mission of his class.52 His perspective on the role of corporate wealth in supplementing “gaps” between prewar state and society was accordingly different. In 1937 Shibusawa Keizō drew up detailed plans to establish a “folk” museum of economic history, thereby providing us with a revealing look into how he sought to structure relations between the two halves of his life. Shibusawa presented this idea to his colleagues on the board of the Ryūmonsha Foundation in the course of discussions regarding the renovation of a former piece of family property.53 Shibusawa’s museum proposal was accepted after a series of minor revisions, and the groundbreaking ceremony was performed in 1939. However, war with China and then the Allies made allocation of funds difficult. Following defeat, the American occupation saw the breakup of the Shibusawa empire under Shibusawa’s own direction as finance minister. Thus, the proposed museum has yet to be realized as a permanent independent institution.54 However, Shibusawa’s plans and the still extant core collection are well worth revisiting for the distinctive way in which they worked through the museum form to bring together early twentieth-­century notions of public and private, history and memory, nation and folk. Shibusawa’s “One Proposal” (“Hitotsu no Teian”) carefully laid out the reasons why such a museum ought to exist, what it would consist of, how much it would cost, and how it would be administered. This document was Ōhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi • 139 •

never published, nor was it intended for a general audience, which makes the breadth of the proposal’s conceptual framework all the more striking. Shibusawa framed the central problem in terms of how to transform a private space into a public one. As the “master” of a structure changed from a private individual (ichi shijin) to the public (kōkyō dantai), “use” (shiyō) necessarily raised different issues.55 Merely opening up the former private residence of Eiichi to visitors was not enough. Instead, Shibusawa suggested the addition of a “public attraction” (shakai kōkyōteki atorakushon), something specifically structured for the desires or needs of a collective general subject.56 He allowed that perhaps a generic assembly or recreational hall would fit the bill. Yet Shibusawa wanted to make the most of the specific possibilities of the particular site, which meant paying tribute to Eiichi, not simply as an illustrious ancestor in the Shibusawa family tree but as a part of a broader stream of history. The museum would offer a truly public space with “social educative significance” to benefit Japanese youths. Moreover, with a nod to cosmopolitanism and a dash of topicality, he noted that the museum could attract foreign visitors as well by working synergistically with the upcoming world’s fair and Olympics that were supposed to be hosted by Japan in 1940.57 The imperative attributed to “the public” in Shibusawa Keizō’s thought had its roots in the thoroughness of his training as a member of the ruling class. There was first and foremost the guiding example of his grandfather, Eiichi, who was a close advisor to the final head of the Tokugawa regime and also played a formative role in the Finance Ministry of the fledgling Meiji state during his brief tenure. Eiichi himself directly played on and reinforced Keizō’s sense of public responsibility by insisting that it was the young man’s duty to society (yo no naka no tame)—not to his grandfather or to the family—to surrender his dreams of a career in the sciences to succeed to the position of the head of the Shibusawa empire.58 Thereafter, Keizō mingled with bureaucratic hopefuls in the economics department at Tokyo Imperial University, while his subsequent career in banking had him on the fast track to sit on various boards of directors. He was urged on many occasions to enter into politics, and in the postwar period he served a short stint as a cabinet minister. This would seem to illustrate the general case made by scholars such as Kojita Yasunao, who argues that the public as a modern concept emerged in the Japanese case from above rather than from below, that is, from the matrix of interests embodied by the state.59 Keizō’s social location made service to the nation a seemingly natural jusChapter 4 • 140 •

tification for his decision-­making powers that affected the general population. However, in this proposal and in his writings in general, Keizō did not conflate the leadership with the rest of the nation, nor did he portray the nation as an indivisible whole. In this sense of a distinction between state and society, Keizō could in fact look once more to his grandfather, who exited state service with great deliberation, countering requests to return with the assertion that he could contribute more effectively as a private citizen.60 Thus, even as Keizō made extensive use of the term national subject (kokumin) to describe the potential public for his museum, this was a social grouping not only explicitly set off from the state but one he saw as needing to become more, not less, aware of class as well as regional and temporal diversity within Japan. Moreover, Shibusawa Keizō identified his own moment as one in which the public as such had come to play a new and important role. In his “Brief Thoughts on the History of Advertising in Japan” (“Nihon kōkokushi shōkō”), Shibusawa noted that, if we can say that the “self ” (jiga) was discovered during the Renaissance and “society” (shakai) in the nineteenth century, then the most recent discovery has been the “public” (kōshū).61 While the last two terms might appear interchangeable, Shibusawa suggested that their difference might be grasped in the gap between nineteenth- and twentieth-­century modes of advertising. The society was characterized by an Enlightenment mentality in which emphasis was placed on the enunciative power of the speaker to shape an audience. In the case of the public, however, there was an acute consciousness of “the mutual relationship, or the correlative relationship, of the speaker [hasshatai] with the public that is the recipient.”62 While Shibusawa did not push his analysis any further at this point, he implicitly pointed to two divergent models for exercising power: one in which the people were simply told what they want or need, and the other in which their responses or wills were factored in at the very moment of speaking. The political implications are intriguing, although it is important to note that Shibusawa wrote his advertising essay in the postwar era and “One Proposal” belonged to a time when war with China was already well under way. Wartime cultural fascism was not factored into his postwar optimism. Nevertheless, his observation indicated a strong sense that the present day demanded a greater degree of attention to, and participation from, the public. Why did Shibusawa see a museum as the best way to complete the transformation of the site into a public entity (kanzen na kōkyōbukka)? Ōhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi • 141 •

Fig 4.2: Attic Museum artifacts. Reprinted with permission of the Shibusawa Eiichi Memorial Foundation.

Shibusawa had a lifetime affection for the museum form: his enduring contributions include not only the Attic Museum (Achikku Myūzeamu) and its various permutations but also a decisive role in the founding of the Fisheries Research Agency Museum (Suisan Shiryōkan), the National Institute of Japanese Literature (Kokubungaku Kenkyū Shiryōkan), the Bank of Japan Currency Museum (Nihon Ginkō Kinyū kenkyūjo Kahei Hakubutsukan), and the Open-­Air Museum of Old Japanese Farm Houses (Nihon Minka Shūraku Hakubutsukan) (see figure 4.2).63 Shibusawa’s first efforts in this direction were made in 1918, at the age of twenty-­two, when he made over an estate storehouse for the display of natural-­history specimens gathered with friends. Chapter 4 • 142 •

In 1921 he founded the Attic Museum Society (Achikku Myūzeamu Sosaetei) to expand and regularize the collection and display of regional toys that had displaced the original focus on natural-­history specimens. From the very beginning, this was a serious scholarly and institutional endeavor: artifacts were carefully organized and identified with printed labels that named the item as well as the donor and date it was added to the collection. In 1936 Shibusawa made his first attempt to transform the Attic collection into public property through a petition to the minister of education. The museum’s guidelines for display begin and end with indications of just how important the public function of the museum form was for Shibusawa: • to make [the collection] public; • to provide both enlightenment and suggestions for the future; • to have the displays show actual conditions to the greatest degree possible; • to also employ as many models, photographs, visuals, and charts as possible; • to illuminate the process of development as much as possible; • to build up records preserving production methods, materials, etc. as much as possible; • to consider using figures of related peoples [ethnological minzoku] as much as possible; • to keep in view the materials in state-­approved textbooks.64 In particular, the materiality of the objects housed by museums played a critical role as a resource for, but also as a check on, linguistically based research. Pointing to the confusion that often arose from gathering linguistic terms from many different regions, Shibusawa noted: If we think of the actual object as the denominator and its name as the numerator, it generally appears that the denominator remains constant while the numerator alone changes. In actuality, however, there are many cases in which the numerator is singular but the denominator varies widely. Since both the numerator and the denominator have the potential to shift, one cannot really get anywhere if one tries to discuss the two only on the basis of their linguistic transcriptions, however many one has gathered together.65 Thus, the essence, and attraction, of the museum form in Shibusawa’s eyes was the way it provided public communication through the distinctive Ōhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi • 143 •

medium of concrete objects coupled with visual displays. The Attic collection eventually provided the kernel for the National Ethnological Museum (Kokuritsu Minzokugaku Hakubutsukan) when it was established in the postwar period, but the distinctive structure proposed for the never-­built Shibusawa Seien Memorial Museum of Entrepreneurship (Shibusawa Seien-­ō kinen jitsugyō hakubutsukan) reveals additional layers in Shibusawa’s understanding of the interrelationship between notions of public and private, nation and folk, history and memory. The proposed museum, which would be administered by the foundation, was to have featured three sections: the first would commemorate Eiichi, the second would focus on late Tokugawa and Meiji periods of economic history, and the third would be a portrait hall (shōzō shitsu), which Keizō explained would serve as a “shrine” dedicated to all those who had contributed to recent Japanese economic development. Taken together, the different sections were intended to offer “thorough instruction to those who only know the already completely transformed present-­day circumstances, and provide latter generations with materials for reflection, regarding the struggles, efforts, and achievements of our ancestors.”66 Each section, however, would fulfill this purpose in a different manner. Most prominently, the balance between public history and private memory shifted from section to section. Moreover, each section was marked by an ongoing tension between the principles of exclusion and comprehensiveness. Exclusion was necessary for clarity and containment. In this case, while the museum would fill in an important gap in the museum system as a whole, it would eschew dealing with pre-­Tokugawa developments because it would be too hard to separate out economic from other basic cultural developments; similarly, it would leave the history of the application of scientific precepts to an industrial museum that would undoubtedly be founded in the near future.67 Comprehensiveness, on the other hand, was required to provide an accurate portrait of the diversity of reality and constituted the most primal urge in Shibusawa’s scholarship. The Seien (Eiichi’s posthumous name) division, occupying the first floor and about a hundred tsubo (about 330 square meters), would have featured his personal effects, writings, photographs, and other such materials. In order to provide a holistic sense of the man, the Seien collection was exempt from the museum’s stricture to concentrate on economic matters: Eiichi’s contributions to “education, international goodwill, labor issues, social works, and the like should all be covered in depth.”68 The authentic Chapter 4 • 144 •

artifacts associated with Eiichi anchored an eternalizing form of memory at work in this “commemorative room” (kinen shitsu). This temporality was joined, however, with a strong measure of progressive history in the form of a biographical diorama, photographs, charts, and models to “as realistically and simply as possible make clear at a glance the transformations, complexity, and unity of his life.”69 While such two- and three-­dimensional replicas complicated the eternal “personal” time evoked by objects made sacred by Eiichi’s touch, together they provided a foundation for telling the orthodox tale of the winner of all winners in the midst of the great transformations that took place from the Tokugawa period through the Meiji era. Eiichi, often referred to as the father of Japanese capitalism, was a doer and a maker, a heroic individual who helped set in place the basic structure of Japan’s financial system. Yet the Seien section should not be analyzed in isolation. Its function as a gateway would have granted it, on the one hand, the power to frame what followed, suggesting the eventual triumph of a new economic order. On the other hand, as a portal, it was governed by anticipation of the next set of displays, and was therefore already contextualized by subsequent arguments regarding history and the agency of the folk. Personal time would have been hybridized with progressive time, and the integral individuality of Eiichi would have been melded with social diversity. The tribute paid to Eiichi in this section would have already pointed beyond and behind him to a rich and irreducible past. The second section proposed by Shibusawa would have occupied 450 tsubo (1,485 square meters) and virtually the rest of the three-­floor structure. A bit over four times the space of the Eiichi section, the second section constituted the main body of the museum. The central theme was the degree, direction, and rate of as well as reactions to “the process of change and development” in the Japanese economy from the late Tokugawa era through the Meiji period. This was to be history “from the perspective of the totality of the nation’s people” (waga kokumin zenpan), where the “folk” entered Shibusawa’s project and took it over.70 Indeed, in Shibusawa’s description of the contents of this section, he explicitly excluded most if not all of the traditional fields dominated by the elite, including anything related to “military affairs, diplomacy, politics, academics, art, religion, [and] aristocratic culture.” To be sure, he also noted that commoner culture not related to commerce would also be kept out. The rationale was that these areas were already represented in museums elsewhere. However, ShibuŌhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi • 145 •

sawa’s other writings on economic history suggest that the above exclusions reflected his general tendency to view the field from below rather than from above. His graduation thesis for the economics department at the University of Tokyo, for example, examined Japanese industrial history from the perspective of household production (kanai shigoto).71 Similarly, his essay on advertising from 1955, which drew on the economic museum collection, pursued the emergence of commodity exchange through a focus on the activities of peddlers, fishermen, small-­scale merchants, and the like.72 This approach was underscored by the proposal’s emphasis on tactile culture (sesshoku bunka) for representing recent economic history. Thus, the kinds of artifacts actually collected included shop signs, storage chests, keys and locks, abacuses, lanterns, weights, scales and other tools for measurement, desks, braziers, safes, account books, seals, artisanal tools, spinning wheels, banzuke (ranked lists of sumō wrestlers and sometimes other notables in opposing divisions), photographs of vendors, prints illustrating production processes, and more items in the same vein.73 Whether the objects would have been displayed in an “evolutionary” series or as recreations of specific holistic environments, the commoner character of the museum’s primary economic subject was clear. There were no treasures there that would command high prices in an art market or curios related to some prominent historical personage. The objects in this section were resolutely anonymous: anyone in a given line of business might have used them. Moreover, these artifacts evoked the “street” rather than bureaucratic offices or lifestyles of the rich and famous. Many of the photographs that Shibusawa commissioned for the collection were of actual street vendors, their tools of trade, and wares.74 The temporality was one of everyday life, but not in a static or eternal form. Change played an integral role. In part, this was the effect of the distance of the objects from the present day. Shibusawa repeatedly stressed in his proposal the importance of educating people “who only know current conditions” regarding practices of the past. But the driving force of change could also be read from within the collection, through the juxtaposition of, for example, gas lamps and lanterns. The overarching narrative spoke of progressive development to the present, yet the collection did not evoke either a quaint, vanished quality to be recuperated or the genealogies of economic victors in a race for survival. In his history of advertising, Shibusawa offered a more complex view of hisChapter 4 • 146 •

torical change: “It is not the case that different stages are characterized by just one [mode], which comes to an end and then another appears. Just as in the world there are magnificent eighty-­thousand-­ton or sixty-­thousand-­ ton steamships but also small barges or daruma boats, such things coexist in every economy. It is their ratio that greatly differs from age to age.”75 Shibusawa thus had a layered conception of economic temporality, in which production processes and modes of circulation from different stages coexisted in peoples’ daily lives. The result was a composite synchronic moment in which change as exchange, that is, as the daily circulation of commodities, knit people and regions together. A number of intellectuals in the early twentieth century, notably Yanagita Kunio (1875–1962), who was generally regarded as the founder of minzokugaku, took analysis of such temporal “unevenness” to a more thoroughly theorized level. Despite their close association, however, the positions of Shibusawa and Yanagita were not the same. H. D. Harootunian has explored how Yanagita sought to contest the unevenness he saw as stemming from the encroachment of capitalism into the rural regions of Japan by positing “the seemingly concrete but historically indeterminate agency of the unchanging life of the folk in their native place.”76 In contrast, Shibusawa explicitly placed change at the center of his museum project, with ordinary people as active and mobile agents in bringing about transformation. Shibusawa’s observation regarding the coexistence of different temporalities was intended to point to a diversity of lived experiences that both necessitated pragmatism and sparked inventiveness. The third division of the museum was slated to feature various portraits and short biographies of “businessmen, industrialists, scholars, inventors, hardworking farmers, etc., that is, economic actors in the broadest sense, those who were active in the era, regardless of the size of their success, whether they were of high or low class, poor or rich.”77 It was to have taken up a mere fifty tsubo (165 square meters), primarily using the hallways and staircase of the museum structure. Since its function was to elicit “the expression of respect and appreciation of descendants to their forebears,” “it could be called an economic shrine to the war dead [shōkon shitsu].”78 The conception for this “shrine” was certainly intriguing: Shibusawa melded the concepts of a shrine with the “genius hall” that was characteristic of prominent Western museums such as the Louvre, but with a characteristic twist. Veneration was not to be reserved for the greats, but for the collective. Yet this collective was not an undifferentiated mass. Rather, as indiŌhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi • 147 •

cated by a later and even more comprehensive list of potential candidates in the proposal, Shibusawa defined the economy in terms of diversity: of individuals, occupations, technologies, modes of exchange, and so on. Despite Shibusawa’s refrain regarding the limited nature of his economic museum, this third section, like the others, pushed the boundaries of what should be considered a constituent part of the institution. Shibusawa laid particular emphasis on the emotions that were to be roused by the third section. However this portrait collection might have functioned within the spatial layout of the proposed museum, in the proposal itself it served as the final frame. A visitor first drawn in by the great man Eiichi, and then taken back into the past and broadened by the study of the social processes of economic transformation, would at the last be spiritually uplifted by encountering individuality within the masses who wrought such great changes. The dialectical interplay of personal memory and social history in the museum would come to a climax and the visitor would leave personally charged to go out and accomplish just as his or her ancestors had done. The suitability of the term shōkon shitsu, or shrine to the war dead, for this section comes from this personalization of the museum’s themes and the visitor departing with a transformed sense of his or her role in society, as a member of the public.79 But what was this public that Shibusawa wanted to serve—and create—through the establishment of a museum on the family estate? In his proposal, Shibusawa made repeated use of the terms public (kōkyō), society (shakai), (Japanese) people (minzoku), folk (jōmin), and nation or national subject (kokumin) in close association. Public and social were largely interchangeable and had a strong consumerist orientation, referring to the hypothetical collective beneficiary of spaces and services such as those offered by a museum. Nation or national subject indicated in a more specific fashion the Japanese people as a totality, but the terms were in fact often the subject of sentences that broke down or complicated that supposed whole. Finally, people and folk were two variants of the idea that the “foundation” (kiso) of Japanese society consisted of a group that explicitly excluded the state and ruling classes. Accordingly, we might sum up Shibusawa’s central argument in his proposal as being that the public would benefit from seeing the folk as the subjects or agents of the museum, thereby revealing the true engine of the nation. All of these terms fell within a sphere that we might today call civil society, a realm outside of the state. Given the way in which the term nation Chapter 4 • 148 •

or national subject (kokumin) generally functioned in the context of Japan’s hostilities with China, its inclusion might seem to undermine this generalization. However, the specific ways in which Shibusawa employed the term in his proposal pulled it away from an obligation-­laden state-­centered read toward one that emphasized a sense of popular collectivity. Shibusawa was not antistate: he was active in trying to get the Japanese government involved in his ethnological museum. Yet the state did not in any way figure as a motivating force or rationale for this proposal. Shibusawa looked instead to the people. Let us take closer look, then, at how Shibusawa envisioned the people. Shibusawa increasingly came to make use of the term jōmin for this purpose starting in the late 1920s; it came to symbolize his legacy when in 1942 he changed the name of the Attic Museum to the Nihon Jōmin Bunka Kenkyūjo (known today as the Institute for the Study of Japanese Folk Culture) in response to the government’s demand that English be excised from the title.80 Shibusawa’s specific choice of jōmin over various alternatives—the wartime government would have undoubtedly been pleased with kokumin—was explained in a commemorative album of 1956: “Jōmin was employed to refer to the common people [konmon piipuru], which did not include the aristocratic class, the military class, the priestly class, and other [members of the elite]. It was Keizō’s word to encompass not only the agricultural, mountain, and fishing villages but also the markets, streets, that is, the peasants-­artisans-­merchants [referring to the Tokugawa nō-­kō-­shō categories] all together.”81 Jōmin also played an important role in Yanagita Kunio’s far more famous formulation of native ethnology. However, as such scholars as Aruga Kizaemon have pointed out, for Yanagita the term signified “abiding” social practices—agrarian in origin—that bound all Japanese together, from the most humble on up to the Imperial Household.82 In contrast, Aruga sees Shibusawa’s usage as more straightforward in its adherence to the idea of ordinary Japanese explicitly distinguished from the upper classes.83 For Shibusawa, the people were fundamentally defined by internal diversity rather than uniformity. Throughout his proposal for the economic museum, Shibusawa repeatedly distinguished between different sectors of society: “If we were to roughly classify our nation [waga kokumin], those who are in charge of politics are the so-­called aristocrats and politicians. Those in charge of defending our country are the warrior class [bushi kaikyū], that is, the military. Those in charge of nourishing our people [minŌhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi • 149 •

zoku] are the farmers and fishermen. Those in charge of commerce are we businessmen [keizainin]. Each group has created its own special culture.”84 While the structure that Shibusawa described harkened back to the occupational hierarchy of the Tokugawa period, the political orientation of Shibusawa’s vision for his economic museum could not have been more different from that of the Tokugawa ruling regime. In addition to Shibusawa’s insistence in his proposal on the representation of the agency of ordinary people in historical transformation, he also made a point of drawing attention to the contributions of a social sector—merchants and entrepreneurs—that had been systematically discounted from the Tokugawa period through the Meiji era. In the Tokugawa period, merchants and entrepreneurs were too forward in attitude as well as in the economy; in the Meiji era, they were seen as lagging behind. Moreover, by granting these particular actors center stage in the proposed economic-­history museum, Shibusawa diverged from Yanagita’s efforts to ground the folk in largely self-­contained agrarian communities. In turning the spotlight toward merchants, tradespeople, and peddlers, Shibusawa was calling for a reevaluation of the importance of exchange to commoner identity. The artifacts he collected “as living in negotiation [kōshō] with people, negotiation with households, and negotiation with villages” were valued by him, not in themselves but in how they revealed patterns of human interaction, transmission, and circulation.85 For this reason, diversity and heterogeneity among the folk was axiomatic rather than incidental. The existence of difference drove exchange, and thus historical change. Perhaps Shibusawa’s preference for pattern over perfection was what also led him to advocate for “histories of failure” (shippaishi).86 Shibusawa argued that one could not grasp a given phenomenon if one took into account only its positive features or successes. Failures were far more revealing of principles and character. To illustrate what he meant, we need look no further than Shibusawa’s proposed museum to commemorate his grandfather. It was a rather curious tribute that had the effect of putting Eiichi in his place, contextualizing his greatness, and devoting the greater part of the museum’s narrative to economic practices and patterns that, on the one hand, predated and at best had only an attenuated connection to the man, and on the other, often did not survive into the modern era. An essay titled “Looking at Grandfather from Behind” (“Sofu no ushiro-­sugata”) made it clear, however, that Keizō did not seek to diminish Eiichi. It was precisely because Keizō felt love for Eiichi that he urged close scrutiny of Chapter 4 • 150 •

the latter’s failures, such as specific investments or business ventures that did not work out.87 A superficial achievement-­based perspective only obscured Eiichi’s drive to endlessly give time, labor, and attention to all kinds of people and projects regardless of whether he could actually succeed in making much of a difference. For this, Keizō loved, not just admired, his grandfather.88 Failure, of course, was also the fate of Keizō’s proposal for a folk museum of economic history. Yet in his proposal from 1937 we see an attempt to conceptualize and engage the public through the museum form that revealed a distinctive social positioning, outside the state yet with rare access to the necessary material resources to even imagine bringing such a project to fruition. Yanagi: Crafting an Alternative Aesthetic Canon

Yanagi Muneyoshi also challenged state orthodoxy through a museum. Unlike Ōhara and Shibusawa, however, Yanagi could not rely on his own financial resources to found the Japan Folk Crafts Museum in 1936.89 Yanagi’s father rose from a respectable but undistinguished background to become a rear admiral in the navy, a position based on his work as a researcher in Japanese- and Western-­style applied mathematics.90 After attending the top-­tier educational institutions of Gakushūin and Tokyo Imperial University, Yanagi Muneyoshi taught at Meiji, Dōshisha, and Harvard Universities while publishing on topics ranging from English literature to Buddhist aesthetics. Yanagi’s abiding interest in Western art and philosophy led him to become an early member of the illustrious White Birch Society (Shirakabaha), which included such celebrated modern writers as Mushanokōji Saneatsu (1885–1976) and Shiga Naoya (1883–1971).91 However, when introduced to Korean pottery in 1914, he developed a new passion that not only inspired various tours of Korea and China but also voracious collecting, writings, public lectures, and the organization of exhibits.92 It was also during this period that Yanagi began his involvement with the museum form: in 1917 he helped draw up a proposal for a Shirakaba art museum, and in 1921 he began working toward the establishment of a museum for Korean crafts in Seoul, which was built in 1924.93 As Kim Brandt points out, while Yanagi has generally been remembered in light of his criticisms of Japanese policy with regard to Korea, this project enjoyed warm support from the Korean Government-­General. Yanagi’s enthusiasm for Korean crafts then paved the way for and closely informed Yanagi’s turn toward folk production within Japan, and by 1924 he had become close friends Ōhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi • 151 •

with the Japanese potters Hamada Shōji, Kawai Kanjirō, and Tomimoto Kenkichi (1886–1963; designated a National Living Treasure in 1955), along with the influential English potter Bernard Leach (1887–1979).94 Together they launched the Japanese folkcraft movement (mingei undō). In addition to publicizing and organizing craft exhibits in various venues, Yanagi also founded the journals Crafts (Kōgei; 1931–51) and Folkcraft Monthly (Gekkan mingei; 1940 to present). The idea for a permanent display site devoted to a Japanese craft canon (that is, not a mere product center) emerged from late-­night discussions among Yanagi, Hamada, and Kawai during a trip to Mount Kōya in 1926. Yanagi reworked these ideas as “A Prospectus for the Establishment of the Japan Folk Crafts Art Museum” (“Nihon Mingei Bijutsukan setsuritsu shūisho”), which was printed as a pamphlet and distributed the same year.95 The prospectus opened with illustrations showcasing folk pottery from various historic Japanese kilns: an Imari sake cup, a Seto plate decorated with a willow pattern, and a group composed of a Seto plate, a Tamba jar, and a wooden tobacco container arranged on top of two sea chests. These photographs, along with their captions, spearheaded the principal arguments to be laid out by Yanagi: craft objects were “beautiful” (utsukushiki) and “free” (jiyū) because of—not despite—their “everyday” (nichijō), “anonymous” (mumei), and “mass-­produced” (taryō na seisaku) qualities.96 The third photograph prefigured the contextual display style still employed in the museum today. Akin to practitioners of native ethnology such as Shibusawa Keizō, Yanagi sought to reconceptualize national identity in terms of common rather than elite people, customs, and artifacts: If one seeks a healthy, simple, vibrant beauty born of nature, then one is inevitably drawn to the world of folk craft [mingei; glossed in English in the original]. We have long seen that the main current of beauty runs through it. Yet strangely, because most people are overly familiar with everyday life, they believe instead that ordinary things are of no worth and hardly give them a second glance. To this day, no one has tried to carve such beauty into history. We are hereby establishing this art museum in order to commemorate our eternal love for these neglected objects.97 Just as the nation of “Japan” was created by the Meiji state, then retroactively naturalized by extending it back in time for over two millennia, Chapter 4 • 152 •

Yanagi claimed to find a folk who were always already embodying a utopian lifestyle. Like the Meiji state, moreover, Yanagi believed this timeless mingei aesthetic—hitherto invisible because of its very commonplace nature—was due for rediscovery through both the fresh possibilities and pressing needs of the modern era: “Happily, we have arrived at the age when we can recognize this kind of beauty. Moreover, we are living in an age when we are seeking such beauty.”98 The proposed folkcraft museum was intended to stimulate a new understanding of what was already there, modern technology employed to spur acquisition of social knowledge both of, and by, the masses. While presented by Yanagi as a groundbreaking concept, the museum was part and parcel of the early twentieth-­century fervor to locate, research, and shape a modern lifestyle for the nation.99 The three-­part action plan offered by the prospectus began as follows: “Our work for this venture begins with collection.”100 Yanagi and his colleagues vowed to leave no stone unturned in a search for objects to represent the full span of what had been, was currently, and could be produced in terms of Japanese craft, from pottery to metalwork to paintings, even including reference items from neighboring Asian countries and the West. Then, the “next task is that of displaying these objects.”101 While a variety of methods could have been employed, including arrangement by historical period, technical process, and type, the overarching principle proposed was aesthetic beauty. In contrast to typical display practices of the day, which Yanagi saw as internally or contextually incoherent, the Japan Folk Crafts Art Museum was to be “displayed on its own terms as a single work of art [hitotsu no bi no sōsaku].”102 As for how the project would be funded, the solution was quite simple: private donations. The pamphlet included bank-­account information for contributions, while those who had already donated were duly thanked. No assistance from the state was forthcoming, proving to be something of a sore point for Yanagi, who returned to this issue several times in later years. In an essay from 1942 titled “The Work of the Folk Crafts Museum” (“Mingeikan no shigoto”), Yanagi castigated lack of state interest in a project aimed at strengthening national aesthetics; in “The Japan Folk Crafts Museum” (“Nihon Mingeikan”) from 1954, Yanagi underscored the fact that the museum “did not once receive patronage from the government”; and again in the question-­and-­answer session in 1957, “The Japan Folk Crafts Museum and National Treasures” (“Mingeikan to kokuhō”), Ōhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi • 153 •

Yanagi sharply criticized the bureaucratic committee in charge of designating national treasures as being blind to qualities other than age and pedigree.103 The Japan Folk Crafts Museum was dependent from the beginning on resources from wealthy patrons and such commercial establishments as Mitsukoshi and Takashimaya, and the museum would continue in the same vein for its operations and acquisitions thereafter. For example, one of the running threads in Yanagi’s Tales of Collection (Shūshū monogatari) was his tactic of convincing rich friends to purchase desired but expensive objects at auctions for (hopefully permanent) loan to the museum. Profits from special exhibits, folkcraft movement publications, and entrance fees also played an important role, but donations were the lifeblood of the museum. The museum’s public function remained paramount. Indeed, Yanagi believed that all collecting ought to have a social component, and he directed strong words toward private collectors who kept their treasures to themselves: “While there are many great collectors in this world, their collections generally meet the unfortunate fate of being broken up when the collector passes from this world, since the collections are held as strictly private possessions. . . . The once splendid collections completely lose their meaning. . . . One cannot really call this activity collection [shūshū]; it is little more than assembling objects [atsumeru koto] with no social significance.”104 For Yanagi, the potential selfishness of collecting was transcended when the knowledge or taste embodied in the collection itself was made available to society: “If collection, too, is a selfless activity, then I am glad.”105 In his eyes, hoarding beautiful objects for personal pleasure was tantamount to stealing from society. No meaning, he argued, could exist in collecting unless it endured beyond the lifespan of the collector. Under the rubric of national heritage, private pleasure or exercise of taste became a public matter. Putting his theory into practice, Yanagi did in fact contribute the bulk of his own collection to the museum, making a gift of his personal vision to society at large. The public nature of the Japan Folk Crafts Museum was developed outside and in contrast to—not in association with—the imperial state. Its institutional publicness would take the form of open access to an educational collection created through the consolidation of private resources. Yanagi and his colleagues proceeded to publicize their project in various magazines and in 1930 issued their own beautifully produced journal for the movement, Crafts (Kōgei). They also organized a series of exhibits, Chapter 4 • 154 •

including a small building erected for the Tokyo Exposition Commemorating the Grand Accession Ceremony of 1928 (Tairei kinen Tokyo hakurankai), a show sponsored by the famous Yamanaka antiques company in 1930, and shows on folk kilns and contemporary folkcrafts at the Tokyo branches of Matsuzakaya and Takashimaya in 1934.106 By the mid-­1930s, a core collection of objects had been culled from the countryside and auctions, and a certain degree of public interest had been roused. The sticking point remained sufficient funds for the purchase of a structure to actually house the artifacts. At one point, somewhat discouraged at the prospects for establishing an independent institution, Yanagi even swallowed his pride to approach the Imperial Household Ministry with an offer to donate folkcraft artifacts for display in one or two special rooms in the national museum at Ueno. The only stipulation was that Yanagi and his associates be permitted to retain responsibility for additions to the collection. Despite Yanagi waiving any request for remuneration, he was politely refused.107 He was not happy about the rejection. The breakthrough came in 1935, with the donation of 100,000 yen by Ōhara Magosaburō. This generous sum covered the cost of land, construction, and furnishings for the museum. Ground was broken soon after the money was received, and the structure completed one year later. One of the truly pioneering aspects of the Japan Folk Crafts Museum was this structure (see figure 4.3). Yanagi emphasized, “It is Japanese-­style through and through. While museums of this small scale are almost all in a Western style, I felt there was a particular significance to reviving traditions of Japanese-­style architecture.”108 Unlike the monumental statements made by the state museums or the more modestly scaled neoclassical Ōhara museum, the Japan Folk Crafts Museum was built along the lines of a Tokugawa-­period storehouse, featuring wooden floors, walls lined with grass cloth or Japanese paper, glass windows hidden behind shōji (lattice shutters lined with paper), and furnishings chosen to complement the old-­ fashioned atmosphere. Sunlight was the primary source of illumination in the display rooms, two of which were allocated to pottery, two to textiles, and one room each for paintings and wood and bamboo, straw, Korean and contemporary crafts. Some modifications were necessary in order to allow the structure to serve its institutional purpose, which was not to warehouse but to display. Fireproofing the building was an important consideration, but concrete was not employed primarily because it was too expensive. The museum’s floors were by and large left uncovered by mats, although Ōhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi • 155 •

Fig 4.3: Japan Folk Crafts Museum, 1936. Reprinted with the permission of the Japan Folk Crafts Museum. Copyright held by the Japan Folk Crafts Museum.

a few rugs were placed in the center of selected rooms, to accommodate visitor traffic and for convenience in shifting around display cases. Bare floors in turn necessitated the use of chairs, benches and tall tables for visitor comfort rather than the floor cushions and shorter tables customary in Japanese homes. Handsome glass cases were also employed throughout to showcase various artifacts. Nevertheless, the choice of a native style was intended to put in practice folkcraft movement ideals. The museum was expressly conceived as more than a shell for the objects displayed within; it was an integral expression of the movement’s aesthetic principles (see figure 4.4). Although the character bi for “art” was eventually dropped from the formal name of the Japan Folk Crafts Museum, Yanagi frequently referred to the museum as a whole, as well as each room and each display case, as a work of art.109 Care was taken at every level to create an aesthetically coherent composition: “In essence, display is one form of creation, a kind of art. Depending on whether the arrangement is good or bad, the same object can be killed, or made to come alive. The building itself, the appropriateness of the lighting, the suitability of the display stands, the color of the walls, and a number of other matters must all be taken into account. If not, one cannot hope for a satisfactory display.”110 Chapter 4 • 156 •

Fig 4.4: Interior of the Japan Folk Crafts Museum. Reprinted with the permission of the Japan Folk Crafts Museum. Copyright held by the Japan Folk Crafts Museum.

On this point, Yanagi insisted that his museum necessarily differed from historical or science museums. To fulfill its educational mission, each and every aspect of the museum had to preach the gospel of beauty: “It is no good if a display is merely explanatory [setsumeiteki], although it must be suggestive [anjiteki].”111 Information on explanatory labels for the artifacts was kept to a minimum, while the labels themselves were designed to recede into the background. Whether or not the visitors went away with a greater understanding of the technical processes or historical backgrounds of the objects was incidental to Yanagi. The museum and the items within were to speak for themselves the aesthetic truth of craftwork. Ōhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi • 157 •

The knowledge Yanagi wished to impart was object based, not textual: “Above all, we want people to look at the beauty of the objects with their eyes and heart.”112 In his essay “‘Seeing’ and ‘Knowing’” (“‘Miru koto’ to ‘shiru koto’”) from 1925, Yanagi directly addressed what he saw as failure in the field of academic art history to grasp the nature of aesthetic objects. Intellectual analysis was destructive: “Suppose you have a flower in your hand. We could turn it into a specimen [hyōhon], breaking it down into petals, pistil, stamen, pollen, and so on. But once you have taken it apart in this way, even if you tried to put all the pieces together again, you would not end up with the original living flower. You cannot make a dead thing live again.”113 Yanagi argued that man-­made objects should instead be understood as living things, like a flower, imbued with an ineffable essence. Since their beauty was a mystery (shimpi), it could not be comprehended with mere knowledge (chi).114 Contextual historical lineage—the heart of the imperial art-­history project and its museums—was dismissed as a displacement of engagement with the object itself.115 Thus, while “it is ideal if the two are in harmony,” Yanagi argued there was an order of priority in the relationship between “seeing” and “knowing.”116 Seeing was at the heart of aesthetics, while knowing was peripheral. In contrast to what he saw as an endless search for more extraneous details to append to an artifact, Yanagi proposed reliance on chokkan (direct intuition) as a more authentic form of objectivity.117 While this was in part a rejection of educated expectations and abstract standards, chokkan was for him ultimately a means to bridge the gap between the human self and the object Other: “You must not attempt to judge. . . . In other words, you try to allow the object into you. . . . You must reflect the shape of the object like a mirror.”118 The human self was to vanish in its encounter with the object. In short, Yanagi sought a form of religious enlightenment from objects, a state to be sharply distinguished from the extraction of knowledge. Drawing on the belief in True Pure Land Buddhism ( Jōdo Shinshū; a sect founded by Shinran, 1173–1262) that salvation could only be obtained through tariki (other power or the mercy of Buddha), Yanagi argued that crafts, unlike elite arts, embodied a strength that surpassed conscious human abilities.119 The sublime experience of beauty was directly derived from the rough, unpretentious, universally available nature of crafts. To engage with crafts was to engage with the sacred. Yanagi thus saw the Japan Folk Crafts Museum as more than a display space. It was an invitation to partake in a spiritual experience: Chapter 4 • 158 •

A true museum is beauty’s chapel: when one enters, one should feel the warmth, familiarity, and depths of beauty. Just as with the arrangement of the objects, if one puts care into the floor rugs, the flower arrangements, the potted plants, one can provide that much more of a warm, inviting atmosphere. Comfortable chairs are also a necessity. If there is also a garden, nothing could be more perfect. The cleaning of rooms and shelves must also be meticulous. Anyhow, a small art museum like the Japan Folk Crafts Museum should aim particularly at a home-­like feeling. It should be a place where a visitor’s spirit can find repose.120 The home-­like atmosphere was intended to break down barriers. The formality of glass cases was counterbalanced by arranging various objects on shelves and chests without any protective barriers; on occasion, utensils were even laid out as if for use in a meal. Bowls and jars were sometimes put to use to hold fresh cut flowers, grasses, or branches, windows were opened up, and exhibit changes were timed to coincide with seasonal transitions. These measures were all geared toward sparking a sense of intuitive engagement: visitors were to have their eyes opened to a beauty that had always been theirs. Like the Ōhara museum, however, it took some time for the Japan Folk Crafts Museum to win the recognition that Yanagi and his colleagues desired. In an essay from 1939 titled “On the Folk Crafts Museum’s Visitors” (“Mingeikan no raikansha”), Yanagi expressed considerable bewilderment regarding early attendance patterns. The problem was that the museum seemed to attract more foreign visitors than Japanese.121 Western dignitaries and diplomats as well as ordinary tourists assured Yanagi that his museum enjoyed international repute as a place to encounter authentic Japaneseness, which both pleased and frustrated Yanagi: “I am grateful that the museum has many foreign friends, and that word of Japan’s beauty has been spread by them overseas. However, we cannot be content unless we increase the number of our friends among Japanese themselves rather than foreigners. How long will it continue that we alone in Japan love this museum? The day must come when other Japanese grow to love this museum best.”122 Despite having considered each and every last detail in his museum primarily in light of the experience he wished to share with Japanese visitors, Yanagi was frustrated by acquaintances in Tokyo who politely murmured that the location of the museum was inconvenient. Not so, he replied, it was only a few minutes by train from the major transfer station Ōhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi • 159 •

of Shibuya. Meanwhile, Japanese museum officials continued to ignore the museum’s existence, despite repeated invitations. The same appeared to hold for the Japanese world of arts and letters, the only exception being a number of Western-­style painters who came to make still-­life sketches. Yanagi tellingly added that time studying abroad also often inspired fresh interest in things Japanese. He finally mused that perhaps museum going had not yet become deeply rooted enough within the Japanese population, although his conclusion is somewhat belied by the considerable success of the state in promoting expositions and museums from the late nineteenth century on. Nevertheless, it is possible that the disappointing early attendance figures for the Japan Folk Crafts Museum reflected a degree of discomfort with how it intersected with established museum culture. The very home-­like atmosphere consciously worked against the Western-­inflected formality of imperial museums, which were after all configured as gifts to, not inherent possessions of, the general public. Meanwhile, the objects on display were deliberately not rare, curious, or expensive. Comparable items might already have been sitting in a visitor’s cupboard. Through the museum form, Yanagi demanded that a reverential manner generally reserved for special artifacts be directed toward common things in a home-­ like space. The Japan Folk Crafts Museum was not a failure; indeed, it flourished in the postwar period and continues to thrive today. Moreover, Yanagi and his colleagues were not alone in rethinking craftwork, which in the modern era had been the subject of intense scrutiny since the early years of state participation in world’s fairs. By the early twentieth century, a wide range of projects dotted the landscape that explicitly raised questions regarding the who, what, how, and why of craft production. Yamamoto Kanae (1882–1946), for example, founded the farmers’ art movement (nōmin bijutsu undō) to promote the production of Western-­style arts and crafts by impoverished farmers as a means of providing supplemental income, insisting on the relevance of aesthetics to a newly conceived audience.123 Meanwhile, various artisans sought to update the nature of traditional craft production. Members of the Red Clay Society (Sekidokai)—all graduates from the Kyoto School of Arts—argued against pure functionality in favor of applying the principles of high art to craft. Groups such as the Craftsmen Association (Kōjinsha) drew inspiration from the Bauhaus school as well as the art deco movement in Europe and the United States.124 A bit closer to home, Kitaōji Rosanjin (1883–1959), a writer, potter, calligrapher, Chapter 4 • 160 •

and restaurateur, stressed the importance of use in assessing the beauty of crafts, but he was unabashedly elitist in the acerbic criticism he directed toward the folkcraft movement. As for a concern for rethinking everyday life, as H. D. Harootunian notes, “What marked this moment in Japan and elsewhere, especially in the expanding metropolitan cities like Tokyo and Osaka (not to forget Berlin, London, Paris, New York), was a discernable production of ‘modern life,’ often identified as the experience of everydayness, that was made possible by the massive transformation of the political economy from the time of World War I and after.”125 Yanagi and his lifework were very much of the age. Nonetheless, Yanagi’s frustration in not being able at first to attract the right visitors to the Japan Folk Crafts Museum points toward certain tensions in how he conceptualized his potential audience. The key term for Yanagi’s project was mingei, the choice of which he explained in the “Guide to the Japan Folk Crafts Museum” (“Nihon Mingeikan annai”) in 1939: “Where are we to find the most examples of objects that reveal a healthy beauty [kenkō na utsukushisa]? We must look to “craft artifacts of a folk character” [minshūteki na kōgei] rather than elsewhere. We generally refer to such objects with the abbreviation “folk art” [mingei]. As a converse corollary, there are comparatively fewer beautiful and many more unhealthy [byōteki] objects among aristocratic things [kizokuteki shinamono].”126 When providing an English equivalent for the min of mingei, Yanagi generally employed the term folk, although the compound minshū from which the min was derived was, then and now, more often used to refer to the “masses” or “general population.” This ambiguity in Yanagi’s min—the folk or the masses—was productive but also problematic. It allowed Yanagi to align himself with an idealized vision of a rural folk and such virtues he saw embodied in their crafts as “strength,” “health,” “functionality,” and “simplicity” against an elite defined as the opposite in every way. Yet Yanagi did not attempt to live as a craftsman; rather, he positioned himself as an advocate to represent the interests of those he saw as unable to represent themselves. In essence, Yanagi offered the poor as a model to reform the well-­to-­ do, as we see in his essay “Poverty and Beauty” (“Hin to bi”) from 1936: “While I am not at all trying to celebrate the material tragedy that springs from extreme poverty, I am pointing out that there exist various virtues that necessarily accompany poverty. We should regret that, in many ways, we, rather than the craftsmen, are far more sinful human beings.”127 MaŌhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi • 161 •

terial privation was spiritual privilege, a subject for thoughtful meditation. Not, however, for the “anonymous craftsmen” (na mo naki shokunin) themselves. They existed in a state of grace that was by definition the absence of conscious thought. Community, tradition, and practice—not design— gave birth to craft: “With repetition over time, the skillful hand can all but perform miracles [kiseki ni mo hitoshii koto]. First speed is acquired, then accuracy is born, and finally beauty is called forth.”128 In contrast, Yanagi employed a rather different set of terms to describe his own lifework: “A new standard for beauty is required. A fresh way of looking at things must be brought forth from pure intuition [chokkan]. All customs and conventions must be stripped away. The theories of folkcraft [mingei] brandish this flag in pursuit of the reversal of previous values.”129 Clearly, Yanagi idealized craftsmen and saw himself as speaking of and for them, but not as one himself. Moreover, the category of craftsmen was more limited than might appear at first glance. While Yanagi frequently extolled the virtues of mass production, he was referring to the relatively constrained capabilities of an artisan engaged in handicrafts (shokunin), not the fruit of extensive mechanization, automation, and the division of labor into ever more narrow operations. The burgeoning numbers of urban industrial workers that constituted a significant proportion of the working population in the 1930s were not factored into Yanagi’s ideal type. Instead, Yanagi pointed to the rural periphery as a reservoir of virtues that the metropolitan center ought to hold more dear. Moreover, even when describing country ways, he, unlike Yamamoto Kanae, did not deal much with the common phenomenon of farmers engaged in handicraft production to provide supplemental income.130 The focus of his attention was craftsman who made a living providing pottery or other items of daily use, probably living in or near a small town. Indeed, Shibusawa Keizō criticized Yanagi for overlooking the essence of folk life to be found among farmers and fishers through his emphasis on the artistic and professional sector of craft production.131 However, Yanagi’s elevation of the small-­town craftsman was closely linked to his broader program of social change through the reform of consumption rather than production. The distance between Yanagi’s “we” and “they” was bridged through the consumption of the craft product, even as the very act of consumption reconstituted the gap. His perspective as a consumer in part explains his frequent attribution of human qualities to things, rather than people. Objects occupied center stage in his texts and Chapter 4 • 162 •

were often granted a considerable degree of autonomous agency. For example, in his essay “Beauty and Economics” (“Bi to keizai”) from 1948, Yanagi argued that materiality and spirituality could not be separated in objects: “To answer the demands of use, objects must satisfy the material and spiritual needs of humans.”132 He then went on to excoriate the immorality of things that did not provide good service, were not sturdy, or exhibited too much individuality. Well-­made objects invited use, while poorly made objects drove the users away.133 Craft artifacts finally achieved full personification when Yanagi mused of his dream of a day when beautiful crafts would become the companions (hanryo) of everyone regardless of social standing.134 Ultimately, Yanagi was an advocate for a more spiritual mode of consumption, which led him to talk about things rather than people, even in the midst of promoting social reform. Accordingly, the Japan Folk Crafts Museum represented the institutional expression of a consumer movement. Perhaps its early difficulties in attracting the Japanese attendance that Yanagi desired were rooted in part in the competition it faced. Department stores, discussed in more detail in chapter 5, already offered an authoritative institutional space for consumers to rethink their everyday lives, one where inspiration could translate to immediate practice through purchase. The folkcraft movement certainly heavily relied on department stores for dissemination of its ideals, and even had its own specialized retail outlet. The Japan Folk Crafts Museum, on the other hand, modeled consumption but sought to take it to a spiritual and national, rather than pragmatic and individual, level. At this point, it encroached on the territory marked out by the imperial museums. The “we” and the “they” of Yanagi’s museological narrative were simultaneously obvious and obscured. Producers, consumers, the nation, the folk, the masses, and their spokespeople overlapped, yet were not necessarily one and the same. Which one was this museum’s public? Yanagi wanted them all; hence his complaint regarding the close correlation between appreciation of the newly opened museum and foreign— that is, Western—nationality or travel. As announced in its prospectus, one of the museum’s central goals was to spark a national aesthetic awakening by portraying Japan in its most authentic form: “There [in craft] most of all lies the world of pure Japan. It vividly reveals the existence of the folk [minzoku], without falling into reliance on foreign techniques, without emulating models from other lands, all beauty stemming from the nature and blood (chi) of our ancient nation [kokoku]. If Japan has a noteŌhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi • 163 •

worthy contribution to the world of beauty that is uniquely Japanese, it probably lies in the realm of getemono [lowly things]. We cannot help but feel pride in giving Japan this art museum.”135 The terms used by Yanagi to valorize the folk and their crafts at times overlapped with the cultural fascism—promoted by but not confined to the state—that helped mobilize subjects for war in the 1930s.136 Of course, Yanagi intended his emphasis on ordinary people and ordinary life to present a challenge to national orthodoxy. While the Japanese state sought to forge imperial warriors out of commoners, Yanagi sought to instill a touch of the common in modern ­samurai.137 Nevertheless, as Kim Brandt explores with care and nuance, a shared investment in national identity paved the way for a certain degree of collaboration between the folkcraft movement and the state during war.138 Brandt further tackles the loaded question of the relationship of Yanagi’s early and lifelong enthusiasm for Yi dynasty Korean ceramics and his later insistence on the “uniquely Japanese” contribution of craft to the world of beauty. On the one hand, “the reverence in which Yanagi’s life and work are held by many both within and beyond mingei circles owes no small part to the reputation he gained posthumously, during the 1960s and 1970s, as a heroic defender of Korean art and culture against the once imperialist Japanese state.”139 His status as hero was founded on his extensive collection and writing about Korean pottery, the museum he established in Korea, and the permanent designation of a room within the Japan Folk Crafts Museum for Korean artifacts, as well as his admirable record of public criticism of the inhumanity of Japanese colonial policy in the 1910s and early 1920s.140 Yet Brandt demonstrates that, far from contradicting his subsequent insistence on the purity and spiritual transcendence of Japanese craft, Yanagi’s valorization of Korean crafts was deeply informed by a variant of Western orientalism that rationalized Japanese supremacy in the East Asian region.141 In Yanagi’s own words: “Just as we have looked to the Occident with entirely new demands, so now we have begun to look at the Orient with eyes unlike those of anyone before.”142 It is not surprising, then, that Westerners were among the most appreciative of the initial visitors to the Japan Folk Crafts Museum. The intellectual framework, though not in the least meant to reinforce Euro-­American claims to cultural superiority, was familiar enough to allow Westerners to view the museum collection as artifacts of the exotic Other, oblivious to the underlying social tensions that Yanagi hoped to address. Chapter 4 • 164 •

Between State and Society

Ōhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi crossed and redefined boundaries between state and society through their museum projects. On the one hand, these projects were intensely private affairs. Ōhara memorialized his friend, Shibusawa honored his grandfather, and Yanagi showcased his personal vision, theorized as chokkan. The very publicness of the museum form served as a mechanism to draw others into their individual worlds. In this sense, the operational principle was fundamentally different from that of a national museum. On the other hand, Ōhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi directed their museological efforts toward reimagining the public in relation to state and society. Ōhara challenged the centrality of Tokyo and the state by attempting almost single-­handedly to remake his hometown of Kurashiki into a second “Elysium.” The museum he built showcased Western masterpieces unavailable in the nation’s capital, thereby drawing artists and connoisseurs from all over Japan. But the museum was also, along with his lecture series and company study groups, part of Ōhara’s attempts to root knowledge of the world at large within the local community. Ōhara wanted to transform the local community into a hub for the organization of new knowledge, not a self-­enclosed bubble. Shibusawa also questioned the apparent monopoly held by the state and the Tokyo elite on agency and knowledge, rethinking the nature of the population rather than the physical location of the center. Grasping historical transformation, Shibusawa argued, required appreciation of the dynamism of ordinary people—the folk—engaged in exchange. Finally, Yanagi directly contested the imperial principles enshrined in state museums, founding his own alternative to illustrate how the consumerist values of utility, availability, and everydayness offered a more authentic basis for envisioning Japanese aesthetic heritage. Ultimately, Yanagi’s ambition was to replace rather than supplement or modify an official canon. The paths of all three men intersected in various ways. Ōhara was closely associated with Yanagi’s folkcraft movement as a patron and enthusiast. Thus, while the Ōhara Museum of Art came to house works by artist-­craftspeople like Hamada Shōji only in the postwar period, it built on a prewar foundation of Ōhara’s personal collection. Moreover, even in the prewar period, the Ōhara museum featured Asian antiquities of the kind that greatly attracted Yanagi and his fellows, as illustrated by the choice of Kawai Kanjirō to give a lecture for their first unveiling. Perceived tensions between tradition and modernity and East and West informed both Ōhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi • 165 •

the Ōhara museum and the folkcraft movement, even as the focus was trained on different types of objects. Shibusawa also had links to the folkcraft movement, although this relationship was more complicated. Shibusawa was certainly acquainted with Yanagi, who even went once to view the economic-­history museum’s collection.143 Of greater significance was the fact that on occasion Shibusawa and Yanagi trained their sights on the same folk artifacts, such as the magnificent snow country senaka-­ate (straw back cushions). Nevertheless, Shibusawa and Yanagi had markedly different approaches to these artifacts, which in turn led their collections in divergent directions. Yanagi was first and foremost an aesthetician: he saw folkcrafts as the purest embodiment of the fundamental principles of beauty. Shibusawa also found aesthetic pleasure in his artifacts, but attributed it to the ideal of collectivity: “When gazing over the things collected for the Attic, I am strangely moved by the sense that the more that is collected, the closer the objects move toward fusing into a kind of unity, which at the same time gives rise to a synthetic kind of beauty that cannot be derived on the basis of just one single specimen.”144 Rejecting the precepts of both the orthodox art world and the folkcraft movement, Shibusawa stressed that a given object in his collection might be dirty, crude, and mundane on its own, but in conjunction with its fellows it pointed outward from itself to a lived world, an organic totality of which it was inherently a fragment. If Yanagi took up the cause of folkcraft (mingei), collecting only that which he deemed beautiful, Shibusawa focused on folk implements (mingu), with everything at a given research site granted equal value. Ōhara, as patron, and Shibusawa, as native ethnologist, were participants in the rethinking of Japanese arts and crafts in the modern era; but for Yanagi, folk aesthetics represented a social movement to ultimately reorganize relations between producers and consumers. As an ensemble, these private-­museum projects provided a counterpoint to the imperial museums, indicating some of the ways that were emerging in the early twentieth century to question the Japanese state’s cultural authority, and thus to rethink relations between public and private in developing new contexts for display. I focused on the cases presented by Ōhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi because of how clearly they brought such tensions to the fore, but they were not alone in their endeavors. Other individuals who in the prewar period opened up their private collections to outside viewers, at least on a limited basis, included Kitaōji Rosanjin, Ōkura KihaChapter 4 • 166 •

chirō (1837–1928), Maeyama Hisakichi (1872–1937), and Kuroda Nagamichi (1889–1978).145 In chapter 5 I broaden my consideration of the growing role that private capital played in shaping the contours of an imperial Japanese public by discussing the rise of Japanese department stores. Tokugawa-­period dry-­goods establishments had customers wait in a designated area for clerks to bring them samples. In the late Meiji period, this arrangement was turned on its head when large retailers such as Mitsukoshi and Takashimaya, inspired to a great extent by the state’s exhibitionary apparatuses of expositions and museums, began to invite customers to navigate for themselves spectacular displays of commodities and, increasingly, cultural authority. Japanese department stores pursued and at times purloined the state’s strategies for creating a national public; they also reworked and expanded them for their own ends. Accordingly, the next chapter reviews a number of previously discussed developments in public-­display culture, this time from the perspective of commercial institutionalization and its contributions toward conceptualizing imperial publicness up through the Asia-­Pacific War.

Ōhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi • 167 •

Chapter 5 •••

Consuming Publics

In the waning years of the nineteenth century, the public face of

the dry-­goods retailer Echigoya, founded in 1673, was a traditional two-­story godown building, the lower level draped in noren (shop curtains) to shade clerks and customers as they negotiated.1 In 1904, however, the store proudly announced its transformation into the Mitsukoshi Department Store, promising customers greater spatial freedom, social knowledge, and participation in a visual spectacle. In 1914 this commitment was fulfilled in the remodeled Nihombashi site, billed as a new “wonder” (wandaa) for the Tokyo metropolis (see figure 5.1).2 Its architecture evoked the Renaissance, with elegant windows and even a cupola to lighten its impressive height and mass. The interior space opened into an atrium that soared to the top of the five retail floors. According to Mitsukoshi’s somewhat generous calculations, these floors together with a rooftop garden, a basement for operations, and other facilities totaled ten stories and 4,800 tsubo (15,840 square meters).3 A new level of customer service was highlighted throughout: the first floor provided a smoking room, an information desk, and a pickup station for purchases. The second floor offered a pattern room and consultations for weddings and other such major events. On the third floor were fitting rooms for Western clothing, watch repair, and more. The fourth floor hosted a dining hall, a more private dining room, a library, and a “child research” (kodomo kenkyū) room. The fifth and final retail floor fea-

Fig 5.1: Nihombashi (main) branch of Mitsukoshi, 1914. Reprinted with the permission of copyright holder, Mitsukoshi-­Isetan Corporation.

tured areas for telephone sales, branch services, and the like. Every floor had bathrooms with the latest in plumbing, and all but the fifth provided elegant rest areas variously styled as Secession, Jacobean, Adam, or Louis XVI. Mitsukoshi’s flagship store was explicitly configured to provide its customers with a Western, modern, spectacular, public experience. Mitsukoshi, along with such close rivals as Takashimaya and Shirokiya, closely studied every aspect—from goods, displays, and architecture through managerial and accounting practices—of such prominent Western department stores as Harrods, Bon Marché, and Wanamaker’s.4 Like their Western counterparts, they brought to new heights many spatial and other innovations first introduced in expositions and museums, thereby becoming integral members of a modern exhibitionary complex.5 Japanese department stores were early and regular contributors to national and regional expositions, and they soon came to stage their own fairs within store walls and promoted the idea of art to own. Japanese department stores also encroached on the educational territory of museums, setting aside spaces for exhibits of art and historical objects not for sale as the stores positioned themselves as cultural authorities. According to his biographer, Chapter 5 • 170 •

Hibi Ōsuke (1860–1931), the chair of the Mitsukoshi board of directors, repeatedly stressed that “while Mitsukoshi is at heart a commercial concern, it should not be run solely by the principle of money making. In some form, it is our responsibility to contribute to the nation and society [kokka shakai].”6 Meanwhile, museum officials and experts, including Tanahashi Gentarō (the Ministry of Education museum director), began to look to department stores and other commercial establishments for suggestions. In a lecture sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Tanahashi advocated studying commercial ventures for means to increase attendance: “Just as businessmen [shōbainin] rely heavily on methods of spreading the word about what the store has to offer, so museums should also spread the word about the contents of their displays as much as possible. In this manner, they should think like businessmen about bringing in as many visitors as possible.”7 Department stores were commercial ventures and national expositions and museums were not, but all three institutions were designed to teach crowds to discipline themselves into becoming a public, one in which they would, as Tony Bennett argues, “identify with power, to see it as, if not directly theirs, then indirectly so, a force regulated and channeled by society’s ruling groups but for the good of all.”8 Japanese department stores were as keenly concerned as any government agency, political party, or think tank of the early twentieth century to stimulate participation of the masses—in this case, mass consumers—in their own mobilization. One of the most distinctive contributions of Japanese department stores to the development of modern exhibitionary culture in the imperial era was their active outreach to women, children, and families. This took the form of “beautiful women” (bijinga) advertisements that began to frame their subjects as consumers rather than the consumed, rest areas configured to be female and family friendly, commodity lines geared toward women and children, and even contests in which the opinions and creative work of women and children were specifically elicited. While government museums and expositions made a point in visitors’ rules of stating that both men and women could enter, department stores vigorously campaigned to draw women into their cultural programming. The very success of department stores such as Mitsukoshi in expanding the membership roster for an imperial cultural public, however, facilitated wartime mobilization of these groups by the state. In the grip of total war, department stores were consumed by the military government, from their clientele, personnel, and displays right down to their shelving. Consuming Publics • 171 •

Displaying a Consumer Public

Most modern Japanese department stores began as Tokugawa-­period dry-­ goods stores, later joined by “terminal” department stores associated with specific transportation lines.9 What most obviously set these retailers apart from their contemporaries was how they highlighted display as a sales practice. The phrase zakka chinretsu hanbaijo (stores where myriad goods are displayed) was used in a transitional fashion before the pithier neologisms hyakkaten (stores with miscellaneous goods) and depaato (derived from the English term department) achieved dominance.10 However, as much as publicity for Japanese department stores touted a direct line to their Western counterparts, nineteenth-­century Japanese national and regional expositions represented a more immediate origin. The forerunners to modern department stores were certainly early and enthusiastic participants in the exposition scene. Takashimaya contributed to the Sixth Kyoto Exposition of 1877 and was a regular in national expositions from 1881 on. Takashimaya also sent entries to world expositions, beginning with the Paris exposition of 1889, and even built its own pavilion for the Japan-­British Exposition of 1910. Shirokiya and Matsuzakaya also figured in a prominent manner. As for Mitsukoshi, the acknowledged leader of the pack during the first half of twentieth century, it made use of the opportunities offered by expositions in a creative fashion that is still analyzed in advertising histories and textbooks today.11 For example, at the Tokyo exposition of 1907, Hamada Jirō, the editor of the house journals Jikō (Vogue) and Mitsukoshi, put together a guide to the Tokyo environs that was distributed free of charge at the exposition as well as at various inns.12 The store itself was of course included as one of the attractions, billed as “the second exposition, the Mitsukoshi exposition.” In addition to publishing a biweekly newspaper for exposition events, Hamada also arranged for female entertainers dressed in elaborate period-­piece kimonos to hand out advertising bills at the exposition site with copy reading, “Is there anyone who visits Tokyo without going to the exposition? Is there anyone who sees the exposition without going to Mitsukoshi?”13 (This popular catchphrase, which was also featured on posters throughout the city, sparked many imitations and even parodies: “Is there anyone who visits a bath house and doesn’t see a Mitsukoshi advertisement? Seeing the advertisement, is there anyone who doesn’t complain of its affectation?”)14 All this worked in conjunction with the elaborate special displays Chapter 5 • 172 •

that Mitsukoshi could be counted on to organize for each exposition. In 1914, for example, Mitsukoshi set up two complete model rooms, one in a Western style and the other devoted to Japanese textiles, while in 1916 the store offered a glass-­fronted showroom that featured fashionably dressed mannequin children at play. Such tableaux pointed the way to the good life in a modern world. Department stores also actively sought to introduce an exposition atmosphere within store walls. In 1909 Mitsukoshi led the way with its popular Children’s Exposition (Jidō hakurankai), inspired by similar experiments in Paris.15 Another integral aspect of the hakurankaika (expositionization) of these retailers involved innumerable special events and exhibits that followed one after the other month by month, even week by week.16 According to Mitsukoshi’s Hamada Jirō, “by the end of the Taishō period, stores throughout the nation were continuously engaged in staging all kinds of shows. Department stores seemed like yearlong expositions; the ceaseless sales and shows demonstrated the widespread nature of this strategy to draw customers.”17 It was glass display cases, open aisles, and even the ability to keep on one’s street shoes within store precincts, however, that most radically altered the immediate consumer experience. During the Tokugawa period, it had been customary for merchant establishments to have customers stay seated while clerks fetched sample goods that might meet the customer’s needs. On occasion, clerks would visit the homes of wealthier customers to show them samples. This, according to Yamaguchi Masao, gave rise to a “performance” culture that demanded the exercise of expertise on the parts of both clerk and customer for successful transactions.18 It was a culture that became obsolete, however, when customers began to be allowed to determine their own approaches to and assessments of store goods. While department stores and expositions were directly entwined, another important precedent for retail reform was provided by the product-­ display centers known as kankōba.19 A report from the Tokyo Municipal Industrial Promotion Division (Tokyo-­fu Kangyōka) argued that the momentum and enthusiasm generated in the populace the previous year by the First National Exposition were in danger of fading. Kankōba were accordingly proposed for continued instructional purposes as well as the advancement and actual purchase of goods.20 Yoshimi Shun’ya particularly underscores the significance of the model provided by kankōba for department stores in training consumers to weigh one product against another as Consuming Publics • 173 •

part of an enlightened process of decision making.21 Practices regularized by kankōba included the determination of fixed prices, the elimination of credit transactions, the grouping of many different categories and brands of objects under one roof, and the configuration of the spatial layout so that people could move about freely.22 Customers could choose their own pathways, look for as long or as little as they wanted, and were not required to make a purchase, which facilitated “window shopping” as a form of entertainment.23 One surprisingly persistent logistical problem that this new kind of open retail space raised was how to handle the question of footwear when visitors came in from the street. By Japanese custom then and now, one generally takes off one’s shoes when going from the street to a private interior space, and in the Meiji period, entry into public interior spaces generally required checking one’s shoes and borrowing slippers for the interim. However, kankōba came to be visited by such crowds that starting in the late 1870s people increasingly left on their street shoes.24 It took a while for Japanese department stores to follow suit, perhaps because of the more formal atmosphere they cultivated. Nevertheless, complaints from disgruntled customers who had a difficult time retrieving their footwear were fairly common, enough so that store personnel in charge were periodically lectured on the importance of their responsibilities and fined when they failed.25 Department stores finally gave up on slippers in the late 1920s, with Mitsukoshi inspired to complete the transition after a humiliating episode in which 500 pairs of customer shoes were misplaced.26 In such ways, large and small, kankōba expanded on the work begun by the Meiji state of reshaping crowd behavior and expectations for modern public exhibitionary spaces so that, later, department stores had no need to plaster their own posters at entryways to instruct people to refrain from bringing their dogs or shopping under the influence. Kankōba made an immediate impact by regularizing access to novel exposition experiences, without even charging for admission.27 Their effect in this respect, according to some observers, far outstripped that of the more glamorous department stores that followed.28 The immense popularity of the original government-­sponsored kankōba inspired private entrepreneurs in such popular Tokyo locations as Asakusa and Ginza to establish similar sites where individual stores could set up their own booths. Kankōba came to resemble shopping malls more and more, even featuring coffee shops and other service-­oriented businesses. The phenomenon Chapter 5 • 174 •

peaked in the 1890s, when nearly thirty kankōba competed for the favor of Tokyo denizens. However, by the 1910s kankōba were going bankrupt one after another, giving way to the more highly capitalized department stores, which by then had stolen much of the thunder from their predecessors. Western-­style musical concerts, miniature amusement parks, and well-­ publicized special events, measures first introduced by kankōba, had been taken to new heights by department stores. Penalized for the way that they captured the late years of Meiji, kankōba now appeared a bit old-­fashioned and shabby compared to the luxurious sophistication of department stores. Adoption of these new access and display practices by the older merchant establishments took place on a modest scale at first. Takashimaya, Mitsukoshi’s archrival, converted the second floor of one of its Kyoto branches in 1887 to a display room, following up with a renovation of its Karasuma branch in 1896 to include show windows, glass cases, and a special area for arts on the second story. Eventually this practice was extended storewide for all its branches.29 Meanwhile, Mitsukoshi introduced glass cases in the second story of its main branch in 1895, dispensing with its former entertainment rooms for special customers in order to open up the space to the general public. Although Mitsukoshi store clerks strenuously objected to the way that their authority was undermined by allowing customers to choose what they wanted to look at, the second floor became a popular attraction. In 1900 the entire store was converted to glass case displays, and four years later show windows were added (see figure 5.2). Sales broke all previous records.30 As for other department stores, in 1901 Matsuzakaya added a floor with glass display cases, in 1904 it began making use of show windows, and in 1907 it employed glass cases on every level. In 1903 Shirokiya also adopted glass-­case display techniques and show windows, and Daimaru converted in 1908. By the 1910s, every major department store had incorporated the use of glass-­case displays and show windows. Illumination also changed dramatically. Previously, dry-­goods stores had been fairly dark, “to show goods to their best advantage,” as the Mitsukoshi executive Takahashi Yoshio remarked sardonically.31 When glass cases were installed in the second story of the Mitsukoshi main branch, the lighting, while still all natural, was improved with the addition of larger windows. Electrical lighting was adopted in 1904. Takashimaya had already jumped ahead with artificial illumination in 1889. Soon all major department stores boasted electric lighting inside and out. Outside illumination created a new night scene for those out on an evening stroll, which contribConsuming Publics • 175 •

Fig 5.2: Display cases and counters at the Nihombashi branch of Mitsukoshi, 1908. Reprinted with the permission of copyright holder, Mitsukoshi-­Isetan Corporation.

uted to a rapidly evolving urban culture, while lights inside the store added a luxurious air to the premises while allowing customers to closely inspect the goods for sale. As lighting techniques became more sophisticated, certain goods or exhibit items could be singled out and dramatized. Such innovations largely completed the displacement of clerks by commodities. Company histories, publicity journals, and newspapers amply document the impressive Western-­style edifices that made Mitsukoshi, Matsuya, Daimaru, and other department stores new urban landmarks.32 The grand designs as well as the details—the imposing façades, the broad stairways, the lavish rest areas, the elevators and escalators, the stained glass, and the marble—“gave us the opportunity to imagine the lifestyle of those in America,” according to a journalist writing on the occasion of the unveiling of Mitsukoshi’s new building in 1914.33 Hatsuda Tōru and Miyano Rikiya discuss these architectural trends as “branding” writ large: department stores were declaring themselves “modern,” “Western,” “high quality,” and “high class.”34 Shoppers themselves came to be showcased. Architectural trends in Japanese department stores starting around 1900 opened up objects to direct view and opened them to consumers as well. For example, while commercial square footage was increased overall in Mitsukoshi’s structure from 1914, significant sales floor space had been sacrificed for the central atrium, which cut through each of the five floors to unify the interior as a self-­contained world (see figure 5.3).35 The importance attached to this Chapter 5 • 176 •

Fig 5.3: Mitsukoshi central hall, 1914. Reprinted with the permission of copyright holder, Mitsukoshi-­Isetan Corporation.

architectural device is suggested by the fact that the temporary building that preceded the structure boasted the same central open space, as did the reconstruction from 1925 after the Kantō earthquake and the last major imperial-­era remodeling that was completed in 1935.36 In each iteration, shoppers could look across and down into the center from any floor at the mass spectacle of which they were themselves a part, with restaurants and rest areas integrated into the lines of vision. Like the nineteenth-­century visitor to the Crystal Palace or South Kensington Museum, the subject was Consuming Publics • 177 •

actively encouraged to see even as he or she was seen. While this shifted a measure of power to the crowds, the ultimate goal of such exhibitionary institutions, as Bennett argues, was self-­regulation through self-­surveillance “from the side of power.”37 Simultaneously aware of gazing and being gazed upon, the subject was to be governed by the very extent of his or her knowledge of others. Identifying Department Store Publics

Department store advertising and product lines evolved along similar lines. Hatsuda notes that during the transition from the late Tokugawa period through the early Meiji period, forerunners to the major department stores for the most part continued to cater to their traditional customers: Shirokiya to the domainal lords (who became Meiji aristocracy or kazoku), Mitsukoshi to the wealthy side of the merchant class, Daimaru to the working class, and Takashimaya to members of the Kyoto elite and Imperial Household.38 However, the adoption of the department store model at the beginning of the twentieth century necessitated a rethinking of the customer base in order to achieve sufficiently high sales volumes. Mitsukoshi led the way in targeting the emergent metropolitan white-­collar population, that is, salaried government officials, military officers, bankers, and corporate employees who epitomized the new Japan. This segment of the population was also the first to be cultivated for government museum going. By 1938 Mitsukoshi’s success was described by the Department Store Yearbook (Hyakkaten nenkan) as follows: “It hardly needs to be said that [Mitsukoshi’s] customer base has spread throughout society, particularly among the upper and middle classes. Its firm customer base is something to which no other store can in the end aspire.”39 Nevertheless, Mitsukoshi’s rivals were sharply aware of the importance of this market sector, and competition was fierce.40 The famous “Today, the Imperial Theater, Tomorrow, Mitsukoshi” (“Kyō wa Teigeki, asu wa Mitsukoshi”) advertising campaign of 1911 clearly signaled the store’s vision of its clientele.41 This proposed itinerary—highlighting such concrete links as a shared architect and Mitsukoshi’s major role in providing the theater’s furnishings, costumes, and uniforms—was pitched to consumers who aspired to urban modernity in its latest, most luxurious and prestigious manifestations.42 To visit Mitsukoshi was to participate in a theater of spectacular consumption. This marketing orientation in fact flew in the face of the advice offered when Hibi Ōsuke, an executive director at the time, visited Harrods of London in 1906. Though Chapter 5 • 178 •

told that the best business lay in concentrating on less expensive high-­ turnover items, Hibi and Mitsukoshi continued to emphasize—very successfully—opulence through sales of status-­defining items ranging from Western-­style pocket watches to art.43 It was not that Mitsukoshi and other Japanese department stores flatly rejected the principle embodied in Harrods’ motto “All things for all people, everywhere” though, and some, such as Matsuzakaya, began to actively step up sales of various basic items in the 1920s.44 The point is rather that Mitsukoshi’s marketing strategy had always had an inclusive character: its goal was to appeal to those who experienced or at least dreamed of upward social mobility. As commercial public spaces, Japanese department stores offered luxuries—to buy, to gaze upon, to experience—that had hitherto been exclusive. As Hamada Jirō later recalled, the Mitsukoshi and Imperial Theater campaign was successful because it captured the imagination of everyone from maids (jōchū) to matrons (okusama) and encouraged them to enter a modern paradise (gokuraku jōdo).45 A vivid portrait of Mitsukoshi consumers painted in 1928 by Kon Wajirō (1888–1973), a noted architect as well as the founder of the field of study self-­styled as “modernology” (kōgengaku), clearly revealed Mitsukoshi’s ongoing adaptation, diversification, and expansion through the 1910s and 1920s.46 One Sunday afternoon Kon had his students station themselves outside key exits of the central Nihombashi store branch to take careful notes on the genders, ages, hairstyles, clothing, and groupings of customers who left during a half-­hour period. While the data sample was small, Kon and his students nevertheless compiled an illuminating sketch of the typical Mitsukoshi customer in the late 1920s, which Kon supplemented with brief discussions of past and future trends. Department stores both in the West and Japan have been generally characterized as a female preserve, but Kon and his students were surprised to find that the men composed 48.2 percent, women 47.6 percent, and children 4.2 percent of the total. Kon cast about for an explanation for the remarkable gender parity confronting him, suggesting that women might be lingering longer in the store, thus giving the impression there were more women than men present at any given moment. He also suggested that the women’s clothing was more eye-­catching, leading observers to place undue weight on their numbers. Finally, he rationalized the whole situation by speculating that many of the men were there only to accompany their wives.47 Kon further observed that while middle- to upper-­class women used to visit Mitsukoshi accompanied by a servant, the recent trend was for Consuming Publics • 179 •

a couple or the whole family to go out as a unit.48 Even when not accompanied by family members, women (and, to a lesser degree, men) often visited the store with friends from the same age group. Kon and his students paid particularly close attention to the clothing of customers. On this basis, the typical Mitsukoshi customer was judged to be a member of the middle class from his or her mid-­twenties to early forties. According to Kon’s tally, 30.5 percent of the total number of men fell into the category of “gentleman,” and 20.4 percent into that of “students.” “Miscellaneous” composed another 23.1 percent, with merchants representing only 7.5 percent. Thus, fully half of the male customers at Mitsukoshi were members or aspiring members of the “high” or white-­collar urban set, while merchants—once key to the success of the dry-­goods forerunners to department stores—had precipitously declined in importance. This trend was even more pronounced in the case of women.49 Although 30.7 percent of the total number of females appeared to be matrons of middleto upper-­middle-­class households, 49.6 percent were young women or children from the same background, 9.4 percent were working class, 2.7 percent were maids, 4.1 percent were provincials, and 0.6 percent were foreigners. The remaining 2.9 percent were classified as “miscellaneous,” a category that Kon annotated as primarily consisting of female entertainers. As in the case of male merchants, a formerly treasured category of customers had dwindled to negligible size.50 Kon also spent some time analyzing the spatialization of social class.51 Food purchases now took place in the basement, where maids could slip in and out without being observed by wealthier clientele, while the upper floors were differentiated by commodity category and quality. Medium-­ priced clothing and textiles were located on the second floor. The third floor offered a relatively rarefied atmosphere where the elite could browse among the more expensive textiles. This class division was replicated on the next two floors of accessories and other goods: the fourth floor offered modestly priced and mundane items such as hair pins, while the fifth floor boasted costly and prestigious showpieces along the lines of radios, furniture, and musical instruments. The borders were not strictly policed, however. Browsing without buying, as well as purchasing an item on pure impulse while passing through a particular area, were mentioned by Kon as common and legitimate ways of experiencing the store.52 The “walk-­ around” model for department stores first established by the French had clearly become naturalized in the Japanese scene.53 Chapter 5 • 180 •

Kon’s survey of Mitsukoshi customers one Sunday in 1928 was only a snapshot, but records from the era as well as subsequent scholarship confirm many of his impressions. In particular, while his attempts to justify his conviction regarding the feminine character of department stores were more than a little strained, Mitsukoshi and its rivals did expend considerable resources to target female customers through advertising campaigns, publications, and architectural reforms. Mitsukoshi’s famous bijinga posters, for example, were notable in that they were not solely aimed at exciting masculine desire, in contrast to the pictures of scantily clad women included with packs of Tengu cigarettes to stimulate sales at the turn of the century.54 It is true that the store’s earliest posters featured geisha, a carryover from the Tokugawa practice of employing female entertainers to show off the store’s latest patterns. Then the heart of fashion was located in the “pleasure quarters” of Yoshiwara, not in the home. However, by the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, the face of the store was rarely borrowed from celebrated geisha of the day. Instead, as Mitsukoshi cemented its position as a white-­collar mecca, the store’s representations of an idealized femininity came to be pitched to prospective female consumers by showcasing model members of their own group. Elegant images of women from “good” families were portrayed shopping, moving about the city, or at leisure in their tastefully appointed homes, to promote a sense of personal identification (see figure 5.4). The appeal made to female customers within Mitsukoshi’s house journals was characterized by even greater comprehensiveness. For many years, each issue opened with one or more portraits of well-­to-­do matrons ( fujin) and daughters (reijō) in the bijinga tradition. While the store’s posters were generally based on well-­known figures, thereby making use of celebrity to further fan popular interest, the journal frontispieces more directly pursued a reality effect by providing the proper names and home cities for each woman. The poetry, fiction, reportage, and essays that followed were pitched toward a female readership first and foremost, as indicated by the invariable order of any account of fashion trends that began with items of interest to adult women (often subdivided by age), then to men, and finally to children. Early issues also prominently featured articles intended to guide women in their performance of household duties, such as the proper care and maintenance of clothing or seasonal cooking. Equally telling was the systematic manner in which the journals provided furigana (phonetic readings) for Chinese characters, thereby ensuring that readers Consuming Publics • 181 •

Fig 5.4: Model daughter of the house, featured in Mitsukoshi (Osaka edition) (December 1939). Reprinted with the permission of copyright holder, Mitsukoshi-­Isetan Corporation.

with less formal education could still enjoy every word. Meanwhile, the fiction prominently featured female heroines, picking their way through an elegant maze of desire. “Fate” (“Innen”) by Hirotsu Ryūrō (1861–1928), for example, has a young woman, Hanako, describing a series of fateful visions that leave her, and the reader, with the delicately horrified sense that she willfully dreamed the death of her friend Yasuko so that she could become the second wife of the handsome young doctor Umeda.55 Chapter 5 • 182 •

Euro-­American department stores also assiduously courted female customers, hoping to simultaneously excite and regulate consuming desires. Tension between these two goals, however, gave rise to the distinctly Victorian “discovery” of kleptomania as a female disorder. As Elaine Abelson’s influential work suggests, Western department stores figured female customers as (fevered) individuals who required both protection and close monitoring.56 However, early twentieth-­century Japanese department stores took a different approach to this potential problem, firmly embedding their female customers within a family matrix. The previously mentioned children’s fairs, model rooms, and advertising campaigns that represented women as part of a household all partook of this strategy, as did the lavish department store rest areas and dining rooms, specifically billed as family-­friendly conveniences.57 Indeed, a Mitsukoshi representative sent abroad in 1932 reported feeling quite struck by how heavily tilted the gender ratios for Western department store customers were: “Parisian department store customers are 99 percent adult women, with very few male customers. About the only time one sees children brought along or the family as a group like in Japan is during Christmas sales.”58 While Western department stores employed floor detectives to catch individual customers so overwhelmed with desire that they succumbed to the temptation to shoplift, Japanese department stores were able to more effectively implement an exhibitionary self-­regulation regime by integrating families. The household, perceived in this context as characterized by female leadership but not by female isolation, would keep an eye on itself to maintain its respectability. Japanese department stores thus emerged in the early twentieth century as exhibitionary spaces, their sophisticated approach toward reconfiguring space, objects, and the public first introduced in the Japanese context by expositions, kankōba, and museums. Racing to catch up to other members of the exhibitionary complex, department stores soon had innovations of their own to contribute. Most prominently, they went well beyond offering women the open spatial access provided by expositions and museums to intensively cultivate women within families as integral members of their public. Japanese department stores also positioned themselves alongside expositions and museums as cultural authorities, as generators and disseminators of social knowledge. In the process, their consumer publics, women and children included, merged with broader conceptions of society, nation, and empire. Consuming Publics • 183 •

Cultivating Cultural Expertise

Japanese department stores in the imperial era were not just spaces that bore a physical resemblance to the state’s exhibitionary institutions, or that happened to share a white-­collar base of support. The production, manipulation, and dissemination of social knowledge were as essential to the birth of Japanese department stores as glass cases and open architecture. According to Hoshino Kojirō, Mitsukoshi’s pioneering investments along such lines were characterized by a “fundamental spirit rooted in social education [shakai kyōiku], promoting social welfare [shakai fukushi], and the advancement of culture. If commodity flows were the warp, these [activities] provided the supporting weft.”59 Hoshino’s account is unabashedly partisan, but the following discussion should make it clear that Mitsukoshi and other Japanese department stores of the imperial era pursued a conscious and systematic program to position themselves as serious educators, not just frivolous vendors. Mitsukoshi’s famous “Department Store Declaration” set the stage for the retailer’s debut as an educational institution open to the public.60 First published in the Tokyo Daily News (Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shimbun) in December 1904 and the next month in other newspapers and journals nationwide, the text took the form of an open letter to the store’s customers promising a new kind of retail experience. Discussion of a heightened aesthetic experience for the visiting customer (issō bikan o shōji) was, however, surprisingly short and general, summarized as “improvements in every quarter” (mantan saishin no kairyō). Instead, much of the rest of the declaration was devoted to enumerating ways in which Mitsukoshi would become a site for spreading knowledge, through a new pattern-­reference room, a regular schedule of special exhibits of textiles (chinretsukai) and the arts (bijutsuteki tenrankai), and the journal Vogue, as well as by providing new sales representatives and catalogues to reach out to rural customers throughout the country. To strengthen its credentials as an emerging cultural authority, Mitsukoshi also vowed to invest heavily in researching the latest fashions and technology, including the dispatch of a store representative to the United States. From this time on, Mitsukoshi made the production and dissemination of information and analysis a core element of its identity.61 Vogue, and later Mitsukoshi Times (Mitsukoshi Taimusu) and Mitsukoshi, not only advertised the store’s goods but offered academic articles and fiction by Chapter 5 • 184 •

some of the most noted writers of the day, such as Mori Ōgai (1862–1922), Kōda Rohan (1867–1947), Izumi Kyōka (1873–1939), and Yosano Akiko (1878–1942).62 Art and historical exhibits of objects explicitly not for sale became a staple in the department store experience. Executives and promising young employees went on frequent tours to Europe and the United States to study Western management and display techniques, with abbreviated versions of the observations frequently finding their way into the pages of store journals. Mitsukoshi was also a leader in organizing research circles, which were intellectual enterprises rather than booster clubs or friends’ associations. Friends’ associations were also sponsored by department stores, but as separate activities. The distinguished experts who participated in the research circles were often also asked to share their views in the form of public lectures or panels. Jinno Yuki sees such investment in research as critical to the store’s success: “When considering the Mitsukoshi cultural enterprise, the absolute influence its advertising activities had on society at the time, we must look at the extremely important function fulfilled by the activities of research groups organized within the store.”63 Other Japanese department stores quickly adopted this knowledge-­based approach to stake out a broad form of cultural authority.64 That is, they jumped to exploit the possibilities emerging in early twentieth-­century Japan, introduced in chapter 4, to supplement and even at times to rival or replace the authority of the state. However, unlike the philanthropic enterprises discussed previously, Japanese department stores were governed by the ultimate goal of generating sales, which in turn raised the profile of consumption in social discourse on the public. A pioneering example was the merging of commercial enterprise and academicism in manufacturing the wildly successful Genroku boom.65 Discerning commercial opportunities amid the self-­congratulatory mood of the general populace following the Japanese victories in the Sino-­Japanese (1894–95) and Russo-­Japanese (1904–5) Wars, Mitsukoshi’s Takahashi Yoshio ordered the creation of textile patterns in a mode that sought to recapture the creative boldness associated with the early Tokugawa period. First, after the Sino-­Japanese War, Mitsukoshi came out with its date moyō (showy pattern) fabric with flowers and butterflies on a yellow background. Kimonos made from this fabric were given with fanfare to five high-­class geishas, who wore these costumes as they performed the special date moyō song and dance composed for the occasion; both product and dance enjoyed a brief spell of fevered popuConsuming Publics • 185 •

larity. Immediately after the conclusion of the Russo-­Japanese War, Takahashi pursued this strategy once more. Researching the store’s archives for a suitably festive pattern, Takahashi settled on one from the Genroku period (1688–1703). He then had six geisha clad from head to toe in the Genroku mode as they performed a dance and song with the following lyrics: Repeating over and over again, the ancient forms are now here. Mirror reflecting them clearly once more. We are grateful for the blessings of the enlightened and peaceful reign. In the beginning of the Tokugawa era when the spring breezes blew, bows were in their cases and swords were in their sheaths. Their hearts thawing during a reign of peace, the people gracefully adopted of their own accord showy, flowing clothing. This style is said to have come down to us from the Genroku period. It remains as told from ancient times.66 A clear parallel was drawn between the beginning of the Tokugawa regime, when it laid down a foundation for the political stability of the fabled Genroku era, and the fresh start marked by the Meiji state, now ready to reap the fruits of “peace” by the turn of the twentieth century. A pun on the characters making up Meiji was inserted for any who might miss the comparison. Takahashi’s research yielded a historical metaphor for the contemporary mood of euphoria that captivated not only the commercial but the intellectual world as well. Genroku combs, shoes, towels, and neckties sold at a sustained clip, while the market value of manuscripts from the Genroku era rapidly escalated.67 Enough time had elapsed since the end of the Tokugawa period that its culture could be seen in a nostalgic light— its playfulness refashioned for the twentieth century, its stability attributed to the new regime. As Susan Stewart suggests, “history itself appears as a commodity” in such nostalgia, which works to simultaneously defer and make sense of an uncertain future.68 It is not surprising, then, that the nostalgic mode appealed to Japanese department stores and their urban consumer base, both of which were born, and at the mercy, of the rapidly changing metropolis. While popular interest in things Genroku faded after 1905, department stores were eager to continue to exploit the lucrative possibilities in packaging a romantic past: the most fruitfully plundered eras included the Ashikaga (1336–1568), Momoyama (1568–1600), and early Chapter 5 • 186 •

Tokugawa periods. The final years of the Tokugawa reign were tactfully left on the shelf. Consumption as an Academic Project

The first of Mitsukoshi’s series of research groups was organized during the Genroku boom. The first meeting boasted fifty participants from different fields of expertise, and their findings regarding Tokugawa culture were soon disseminated in the form of publications, exhibits, and, of course, additional lines of merchandise. Pleased with the results, Mitsukoshi drew on its close ties to the publishing giant Hakubunkan in 1905 to establish its most well-­known and long-­running research group, the Fashion Research Group (Ryūkō kenkyūkai; more commonly known as the Ryūkōkai). Along with Mitsukoshi personnel such as Hamada, the group’s membership roster included such luminaries as the noted author and poet Awashima Kangetsu (1859–1926); Ishibashi Shian (1867–1927), known for his light writing style reminiscent of Tokugawa-­period gesaku (popular fiction); the famous Western-­style painter Kuroda Seiki; the historical novelist Tsukahara Jūshien (1848–1917); the pioneer in children’s literature Iwaya Sazanami (1870–1933); Matsui Shōō (1870–1933), who studied Tokugawa-­ period literature; and even the Yokohama politician and entrepreneur Hiranuma Ryōzō (1875–1959). Their stated mission was to “study Eastern and Western, ancient and cutting-­edge fashions for the improvement of contemporary taste” by such means as judging art competitions, organizing exhibits, and sponsoring public lectures.69 None other than Gotō Shimpei (1857–1929), then minister of communications and later mayor of Tokyo, touted the benefits of collaboration in an article for the Mitsukoshi Times in 1912: “Mitsukoshi tries never to forget ‘scholar-­commoner cooperation’ in the course of business. ‘Scholar-­commoner cooperation’ . . . is in sum the consultation of scholars for their elevated opinions and the implementation of these opinions in every field. Because Mitsukoshi produces commodities only after commissioning thorough research by scholars in the appropriate fields, it hardly ever suffers from defects or losses.”70 The ultimate beneficiary, he argued, was society as a whole. That same year, Mitsukoshi established two more groups to focus on Japanese, particularly Tokugawa-­related, customs, the Research Group on Edo Taste (Edo Shumi Kenkyūkai) and the Elegant Implements Group (Fūryū Dōgu-­kai). It is important to note that the role of these research associations was Consuming Publics • 187 •

not simply to offer a respectable veneer to unbridled consumerism. The intellectuals asked to participate could express critical as well as celebratory views, one striking example of which is the short story “Fashion” (“Ryūkō”) by Mori Ōgai (1862–1922), a noted author, army surgeon-­ general, and future director of the national museum in Ueno. This sardonic look at the tyranny and irrationality of fashion was published in the May 1911 issue of Mitsukoshi. The tale revolves around an encounter between the narrator and an unnamed central character whose sole function is to place his seal of approval on an international range of commodities, from clothing to people. Indeed, a particular point is made of the fact that his servants hail from the United States and Ireland: race constitutes an uneasy subtext within the story, with the personal attendants referred to not by name but by such casually insulting terms as niggerboy (given in English).71 While living in the lap of luxury, the protagonist’s every material need is provided for by businesses vying for the chance to boast that he made use of their products. Yet he experiences a deep-­seated sense of ennui, unable as he is to maintain any sense of stability in his life. His servants change on an almost hourly basis. Moreover, he feels that he has little actual choice within the parameters dictated by fashion. Pressured by a sense of obligation to both the public and the enterprises he patronizes, he complains to the narrator: “It’s not that I don’t want these restaurants to be popular, but I cannot eat from and for them all. Sometimes I have to have unagi [broiled eel], sometimes Chinese food. Likewise, I must have tempura, sushi, soba [buckwheat noodles], and shiruko [sweet red bean soup]; macaroni from Cafe Plantain, too; and ice cream from Shiseidō. If I forget to eat from one of these places for a couple of weeks, the regular customers stop going.”72 Despite the narrator’s doubts, the main character declares that he has his own morals: everyone knows he cannot be bought. This arbitrator of taste religiously upholds certain standards: he will not consume anything of poor quality and he carefully maintains class distinctions by feeding his servants contributions from the better of the lower-­class establishments. The narrator is thrown into confusion by the earnest reasoning of the central character, by the new rules that govern correct consumption, with the miasma only clearing when the narrator awakes to find himself alone in his study. On his desk rests a package sent by Siberian post from an Eng­ lish bookseller; inside is a copy of W. Teignmouth Shore’s D’Orsay; or, The Complete Dandy.73 The presence of the book ominously suggests that what the narrator experienced was no mere dream, but a premonition of the fruit Chapter 5 • 188 •

of unbridled consumerism imported from the West: anxiety, instability, and, like the Count D’Orsay, a lonely death. Ōgai was hardly unique among his contemporaries in offering such warnings. Yet the publication of this piece within Mitsukoshi’s house journal suggests that it was in pursuit of more than mere affirmation of its product lines. In fact, rubber-­stamped approval was explicitly rejected by the Vogue editor Hamada Jirō: “Most of the newspaper articles on fashion then were written by journalists who ran to the dry-­goods stores to ask about recent trends, so they were of little help to us.”74 The goal was to determine what consumers might want at the moment and also the historical patterns and social origins of desire. Accordingly, department stores looked with particular interest to the emergent social scientific fields of anthropology, psychology, and minzokugaku (native ethnology).75 Perhaps the lure for such prominent scholars as Yanagita Kunio (1875–1962) and Tsuboi Shōgorō (1863–1913) was access to the consumer public cultivated by department stores to promote the scholars’ own fields. Yet the linkage went deeper than mere expedience. Such scholars and department stores were both closely engaged with reevaluation of past customs and the realm of the everyday. Research on children’s toys, for example, represented a strong point of intersection for budding folklorists (as exemplified by the early efforts of Shibusawa Keizō, discussed in chapter 4) and department stores. Department stores specifically cultivated women and children as clientele through their advertising, spatial arrangements, children’s fairs, and more, such as toy clubs with each month’s entry evaluated by experts for educational content. Mitsukoshi further seized the opportunity to collaborate with the numerous independent kyōdo gangu kenkyūkai (folk-­toy research groups) that were springing up all over the nation by sponsoring ōdomokai conferences, which generated impressive attendance numbers. Ōdomokai was a playful concoction: ko, which means “child” in the compound kodomo, was replaced with the ō of otona, meaning “adult.” It tweaked the category of “childhood,” in whose modern construction Mitsukoshi was an enthusiastic participant, to enliven the more serious world of adult, and generally male, scholarship.76 In this way, the interests of department stores and movements such as native ethnology or Japanese folkcraft almost seamlessly merged on the point of looking to the everyday as a path toward social rejuvenation.77 “Is Vogue in vogue?” (Jikō hatashite jikō ni tōjitaru ka).78 This playful tautology opened, and was periodically repeated in, the editorial of the Consuming Publics • 189 •

March issue of Mitsukoshi’s Vogue (Jikō, 1904). The rhetorical question served most obviously as an opportunity for the author of the editorial to point out the range, depth, and topicality to be found within the pages of the journal: “Renowned figures in the fields of literature, art, and craft have lent their support to this journal; some have vividly wielded their pens, others have provided beneficial instruction; in particular, upon the commencement of hostilities, they have offered support to our brave soldiers overseas.”79 Repetition of the term vogue (jikō) within the question further allowed the author to direct attention to the journal title as a statement that fashion itself was a system of social knowledge that participated in the Zeitgeist of the new century. Faith in the broad scope of fashion drove the contributions of Japanese department stores to the early twentieth-­century rush to found research institutions, organizations, and other venues for the production of knowledge for and about “society.” In this vein, Japanese department stores did more than provide information or data in the form of prices and an array of goods; they sought to instruct customers in ways of life. They provided analysis and contextualization, ultimately conjuring up the fantasy of a hybridized yet holistic lifestyle that, while still out of reach for most, mapped out aspirations with precision and detail. By promoting such “rational” approaches as comparative shopping, department stores encouraged customers to rethink their future selves as they refurbished their wardrobes and homes. Art to Own

European and American department stores in the late 1920s and the 1930s frequently staged spectacles to draw in customers, such as one featuring a Swedish diver who took daily plunges at Bentalls in Britain.80 Japanese department stores, in comparison, were far more heavily involved in sponsoring upscale educational events and exhibits not aimed at direct sales. Perhaps the emergence of expositions, museums, and department stores in Japan within a compact time frame and at the height of their global influence encouraged the blurring of domestic institutional boundaries. Japanese department stores certainly provided a constant stream of cultural events throughout the year. Each month Mitsukoshi’s journals prominently featured annotated listings of new offerings, including such major events as the Advertising Design Exhibit (Kōkoku ishō tenrankai) in 1914 and the Theater-­related Exhibit (Geki ni kansuru tenrankai), An Exhibit of Edo Taste (Edo shumi tenrankai), and the Kōrin Two-­Hundred-­Year CommemoChapter 5 • 190 •

rative Exhibit (Kōrin nihyakunen kihinten) of 1915.81 Rival department stores marshaled their own resources and connections to contest Mitsukoshi’s crown, as we see with Shirokiya’s Kabuki Exhibit in Memory of the Ichikawa Family (Tsuizen kinen Ichikawake kabuki tenrankai) in 1917, Kyōto Daimaru’s collaboration with the Osaka Daily (Osaka Mainichi) for the Historical Customs Exhibit (Jidai fūzoku ten) in 1925, and Takashimaya’s Nikkō Exhibit (Nikkō tenrankai) in 1927. As part of their overall efforts to cultivate a public-­spirited form of cultural authority, Japanese department stores came to overlap and generally complement the art-­historical work of national museums. However, department stores also began to reframe art as a field of contemporary production that individual consumers could and should incorporate into their homes. A writer for the Mitsukoshi Times (Mitsukoshi Taimusu) noted in 1910: “Ancient art, that is, antiques produced by the old masters, should be left to the hands of antique dealers. If the artworks produced by masters of our generation are necessities for the decoration of Japanese households, then they are useful objects. In this case, we should entrust such works to the hands of practical merchants [such as Mitsukoshi].”82 By providing space and opportunities for contemporary artists and artist-­craftspeople to exhibit, department stores rapidly emerged as forums for works that the state could not or would not display. Department stores thus brought their consumer publics into the world of art and canon making, even as the art world placed on view its factionalization and discontents. Since the Tokugawa predecessors of many department stores did not deal in artworks, national expositions and kankōba served once more as early templates.83 The well-­known painter Kishida Ryūsei recalled as a youth going to the arts and antiques section of the Takegawa-­chō kankōba to admire paintings depicting the Russo-­Japanese war: “Large paintings hung on the wall by the stairs that I enjoyed looking at, since I was fond of pictures. Moreover, when the kankōba closed, it became a gallery for oil paintings and watercolors.”84 Department stores swiftly came to refine previous display techniques. While the walls of the fine-­arts buildings of the first domestic expositions were hung from ceiling to floor with paintings of varying styles and subjects, department stores pared down the visual array to heighten viewer focus on individual pieces.85 The walls of department store art exhibits were generally lined with single rather than multiple rows of works for the viewer to examine while walking along a designated path. National museums were also undergoing such visual reform: “auConsuming Publics • 191 •

thority” was constructing itself across public and private, state and commercial forums on the basis of the ability to direct the gaze of the masses. In 1907 Mitsukoshi opened a new arts-­division (shin bijutsu bu) space in its main and Osaka branches devoted to exhibiting and selling paintings and crafts. Mitsukoshi publicists appealed repeatedly in the pages of the house journals to those who sought to brighten their homes with “symbols of happiness,” pursuing with particular interest young couples setting up new households in consultation with clerks in the dedicated wedding corners.86 In 1910 the main branch added a Western-­style exhibition space, reserved for modern art and large-­scale works, and a separate Japanese-­style room furnished with tokonoma (decorative alcoves) and chigaidana (split-­ level shelves) to provide hanging scrolls and high-­end crafts with a more flattering, familiar context. Other department stores followed suit: Sogō in Osaka added an art department in 1919 and staged the Great Exhibit of Nihonga Masters (Nihonga taika no daitenkan) the same year. Shirokiya included an art-­sales division in 1924. However, Mitsukoshi’s primary rival was Takashimaya, which already had long-­standing ties to the arts and crafts community of Kyoto and boasted numerous awards at both domestic and international expositions for the exquisite textile designs it commissioned. Moreover, Iida Shinshichi, head of Takashimaya, was a prominent promoter of measures to stimulate local artistic production, including the establishment of the Kyoto Art School in 1880. Takashimaya’s company history dates its official entry into the modern art world to 1909, with an exhibit of works drawn from the Iida family’s private holdings titled One Hundred Hanging Scrolls by Contemporary Masters (Gendai meika hyaku-­fuku gakai). Two years later, in 1911, the store formally established its own arts division. At first, it primarily focused on traditional bunjinga (Literati painting) and neotraditional Nihonga artists, whose works were exhibited in rooms that sought to evoke the context of a Japanese home. However, for the sake of convenience and to accommodate greater numbers of visitors, these spaces were quickly remodeled to resemble walk-­about Western galleries. Western-­style artists were also added to the roster. However, small touches—such as the addition of split bamboo rails—were frequently added when Japanese works were displayed to reintroduce some contextual nuance. In 1914 the grand reopening of the main branch of Mitsukoshi included another space for art display on the fifth floor, which featured the Commemorative Exhibit for the Japan Art Academy (Nihon Bijutsuin saikō kiChapter 5 • 192 •

nen tenrankai) as part of the general festivities. Art-­association exhibits at Mitsukoshi became increasingly common from this point on; in particular, groups that had splintered off from established, relatively conservative associations were quick to seize upon the opportunities offered by Mitsukoshi.87 For example, following the precedent set by the Japan Art Academy (Nihon Bijutsuin), the Nika Association (Nika-­kai) for new trends in Western-­style painting sponsored its own showing at Mitsukoshi in 1915, the Nika Association Art Exhibit (Nikakai bijutsu tenrankai).88 Other department stores began to offer similar services to the disenfranchised in the art community, such as the Kansai Shirokiya exhibits in 1924, cosponsored by the Asahi newspaper, for the Shunyōkai (another breakaway group for Western-­style painting) and the Japan Art Academy. Japanese department stores served as particularly important exhibition—and proselytization—sites for Yanagi Sōetsu and his mingei ( Japan Folk Craft) colleagues before, during, and after the war years.89 Between the years 1932 and 1945, more than twenty exhibits explicitly labeled “mingei”—excluding the various solo shows held by Kawai, Hamada, and other such movement stars—were held at Mitsukoshi, Takashimaya, Matsuzakaya, and Shirokiya, among others, during this period at a pace of approximately two per year. Great efforts were poured into making the most of such opportunities. For example, Yanagi and the other judges combed through eleven thousand entries for a final selection of one-­quarter that number for the Exposition of Folkcrafts throughout the Nation (Zenkoku mingeihin tenrankai) of 1932, jointly sponsored by the Osaka Daily News and Tokyo Daily News and held at the Tokyo and Osaka branches of Shiro­ kiya. (Yanagi attributed the high rejection rate to the lack of understanding of mingei principles on the part of the general population.)90 The Exposition of Contemporary Japanese Crafts (Gendai Nihon mingeihin tenrankai) of 1934, held at the Tokyo branch of Takashimaya, was an even more impressive affair, involving twenty thousand items and featuring model rooms to indicate possible modes of consumption. A special issue of the movement’s journal Crafts (Kōgei) doubled as a catalogue for this exhibit, complete with ninety-­four photographs of 128 items, forty-­seven detailed explanations, and an index for contacts from whom these crafts could be purchased.91 The mingei potters Hamada and Leach also gave a number of on-­site demonstrations of their skills in conjunction with such exhibitions. If the folkcraft movement’s museum served as a showcase for exemplary folkcraft artifacts from the past, its department store exhibitions were inConsuming Publics • 193 •

tended to build a consumer base for contemporary folkcraft production. This relationship was, in part, a marriage of convenience: the folkcraft movement pursued a critique of privilege, albeit one often issued from and pitched to the middle to upper classes, while department stores inspired dreams of upward social mobility. Yanagi and his colleagues sought to maintain the integrity of folkcraft exhibits in department stores by, for example, inserting a statement of movement principles in exhibit catalogues. Moreover, Yoshida Akinari (1898–1972) founded Takumi in 1932 specifically as a retail outlet for the distribution of folkcrafts in accord with movement ideals: “This store’s task is to improve people’s lives [jinsei], work we can do with pride. . . . It is the responsibility of the Japan Folk Crafts Museum to teach [the principles of ] beauty, while it is the job of the Japan Folk Crafts Association to do the same, to explain and enlighten, through a textual medium. Takumi’s mission is to bring folkcrafts into the everyday lives of as many people as possible.”92 This goal of rethinking lifestyle through aesthetic consumption was the common cause that bound Japanese department stores with the folkcraft movement and other artistic schools that made use of stores’ exhibition space. Even though the specific groups and the types of works varied widely, competing and even clashing on occasion, all agreed that art should be integrated into everyday life. When Hatsuda remarks that “department stores began to handle artworks because they wanted to open up a new market, but through such cultural events they ended up exerting a huge influence on the general public’s lifestyle,” there is an almost accidental quality ascribed to this outcome.93 Yet, as Hatsuda’s own scholarship makes clear, Japanese department stores were ambitious in their self-­positioning as cultural authorities from the beginning. Thus, when a number of prominent members of the art world— including the sculptor Takamura Kōtarō (1883–1956), the metal worker Unno Shōmin (1844–1915), and the sculptor Takeuchi Hisakazu (1857– 1916)—were invited by Mitsukoshi to offer their opinions on a proposed New Art and Craft Works by Various Masters exhibit in 1910, the goals were summarized as service to the nation, convenience for special patrons, and the encouragement of art.94 Originally intended to run only for one month, the exhibit engendered such an enthusiastic response that Mitsukoshi extended it for an additional month. The exhibitionary spaces of Japanese department stores, including their open architecture and commodity displays as well as their special-­event halls, transformed art from a luxury reserved for the few, or even a national heritage enshrined within a museum setting, Chapter 5 • 194 •

Fig 5.5: Notice of art exhibit (“Bijutsu tenrankai”) published in Mitsukoshi 4: 11 (November 1914): 8.

to something close to a necessity within any well-­appointed home. In this way, department stores worked with but also modified official narratives that had made art “public” through state and private museums, both enlarging the audience and deepening their investment. Retailing Imperial Japan

Department stores also sought to elevate their public profile by providing active support for the imperial state. Even before their official transformation into department stores, Mitsukoshi, Takashimaya, and other major retailers fiercely competed for marks of imperial approval, from awards at expositions to the crowning glory of an order from the Imperial Household Ministry. National holidays, imperial weddings, visiting dignitaries: each and every such event presented a capital opportunity to fly the Hinomaru (the rising sun flag) and offer special exhibits, merchandise, and menus. Consuming Publics • 195 •

War was no exception. The Genroku boom of 1904 had been conceived as a celebration of national character in the midst of the Russo-­Japanese War. In addition to the Genroku line of goods, Mitsukoshi also sold decorative towels, handkerchiefs, flags, laurel wreaths, and many other sundries with images of Japanese military triumphs, published patriotic tales such as Miyake Seiken’s “Military Painter” (“Jūgun gakka”), and draped the premises with flags to celebrate the nation’s victory in 1905.95 A few years later, the department store even salvaged material from decommissioned naval vessels to craft commemorative boxes, shelves, and other household effects, samples of which were sent to the imperial family.96 Such campaigns increasingly became a staple beginning in the late 1920s, as we see illustrated in the pages of Mitsukoshi, with its advertisements for special exhibits on military technology, such covers as the November 1928 edition foregrounding the imperial flag, and articles along the lines of “The Need for Overseas Expansion” (“Kaigai hatten no hitsuyō”) by Horiguchi Kuman’ichi in 1932.97 For its part, the Osaka branch of Takashimaya introduced a “three human bombs” menu (nikudan sanyūshi ryōri) in 1932 to commemorate three Japanese soldiers killed by the explosives they had set to remove wire fencing that was in the way of the army’s advance into Shanghai.98 Thin slices of daikon radish were arranged to represent the fence, with rounded fuki (butterbur) shoots used to evoke exploding bombs. The Hinomaru lunch box—white rice with a red sour plum placed in the center—likewise became a staple in many department store dining halls during war. Mitsukoshi and its rivals also cheered on the growth of the Japanese colonial empire. Yet the overlapping interests of state and retailers in overseas expansion were not always perceived as identical in nature. In “Tidings from Korea” (“Chōsen-­dayori”), which appeared in the December 1904 issue of Vogue (Jikō), the editor, Hamada Jirō, suggested the possibility of the store providing a superior model of outreach to Asia, more unassuming and more universal at the same time.99 Hamada’s account focused on two moments when he discovered proof of the influence of Mitsukoshi in the Korean peninsula. The first was cast as an amusing confirmation of the expected: Hamada “could not suppress a smile” when he found himself entirely at home amid furnishings from his store during a visit to two Japanese dignitaries in Seoul (Keijō). That the metropolitan style defined by Mitsukoshi traveled with such agents of “civilization” to the Asian continent was portrayed as natural: “Seeing Mitsui [MitsuChapter 5 • 196 •

koshi] goods in the home of a typical Japanese gentleman [shinshi] is a matter of course [atarimae da].”100 However, when sightseeing outside of Pyongyang (Heijō) and forced by inclement weather to take shelter in a local residence, Hamada was astonished and touched to see the degree to which the Mitsukoshi brand had penetrated the Korean countryside. In the small, thatched dwelling, Hamada was greeted with the sight of an ondol room whose walls were entirely papered with pages from Vogue. Celebrating the “fate” (innen) that brought the “Japanese yangban [gentry]” to his home, the owner emphasized a sense of connectedness that presumably inspired his choice for interior design: “At a time when Japan is helping Korea, there is no need to describe your honored selves as ‘Japanese,’ it is better to dispense with such distinctions between Japanese and Korean.”101 In response, Hamada mused, “Seeing this with my own eyes, I was struck by how the noren [shop curtain] of Mitsui Dry Goods is known widely throughout the world [yo]. I think that, no matter how powerful and no matter how much money was spent, the most ceaseless pursuit could not win such [prestige].”102 By working in an implicit rather than explicit vein, Hamada suggested that Mitsukoshi’s growing influence in the “world” of the Asian continent transcended the boundaries of the imperial state. The Mitsuskoshi brand “naturally” accompanied Japanese officials, but traveled a more mysterious route to appeal to rural Koreans. Another glimpse at the intersection of nonstate and state interests in colonialism was provided in Mitsukoshi with its publication of a lecture given in 1913 to the Toy Association (Omocha-­kai) by the noted author of children’s literature and songs Iwaya Sazanami (1870–1933).103 Titled “Little Imperial Subjects in Manchuria and Korea” (“Man-­Sen no shōkokumin”), Iwaya recounted his observations when traveling the Asian continent at the invitation of the South Manchurian Railroad Company (Minami Manshū Tetsudō Kaisha; frequently shortened to Mantetsu), with additional support provided by the Seoul Daily (Keijō Nippō) and Korea News (Chōsen Shimbun).104 “For the sake of children” (kodomo no tame ni), Iwaya spoke at various schools that the South Manchurian Railroad Company had established for the children of its employees to dispense the wisdom of the metropolis. In full support of the state’s self-­proclaimed enlightenment role in the continent, Iwaya was thoroughly dismissive of Chinese and Manchurians (disorderly bandits) and suspicious of colonial Koreans (“they have good memories, but their power to reason is dull”).105 Thus, in his concluding remarks, he flatly stated, “In China and Korea, there are no toys of Consuming Publics • 197 •

any value to study. Instead, I felt that we should flood them from our end with our toys.”106 However, Iwaya found himself deeply impressed with the Japanese children in Manchuria, whom he argued deserved more respect and support from the center. Prefiguring the utopianism ascribed to Manchuria that Louise Young explores in Japan’s Total Empire, Iwaya saw these “little subjects” as transcending conventional Japanese experiences, marveling at how they were growing up amid wheat and not rice, in communities that were reminiscent of the “American frontier” (Amerika no shinkaichi) rather than a Japanese village, and how upper grades studied not only Japanese but also Russian, Mongolian, and Chinese.107 Equally important, this internationalization did not jeopardize the children’s Japanese imperial identities. They were possibly even more Japanese than their homeland compatriots. As one teacher boasted, his school of four hundred included students from every Japanese prefecture except Miyazaki, Yamanashi, and Nara.108 The very diversity of these students, the teacher insisted, made it possible for them to teach one another about various dimensions of being Japanese—urban, rural, maritime, mountain—a totality not easily grasped within Japan itself. Yet the students lacked the gift of play that would round out development: “Their emotional education is unfortunate. . . . They do not even know the value of a picture book.”109 From the perspective of Iwaya, the Toy Association, and Mitsukoshi, consumption and leisure were vital to the health of imperial subjects, who could not thrive on state order, regimentation, and will (ishi) alone. Korean subjects, too, Iwaya argued, needed more joys and toys in their lives: their dullness was largely the product of early marriage and thus premature adulthood.110 Emerging Conflicts

In the early 1930s, Mitsukoshi solidified its cultural influence on the continent by opening branches in Seoul and Dalian.111 Their impressive architectural fronts—art deco for Seoul and Renaissance for Dalian—proclaimed Mitsukoshi’s self-­appointed role as a Japanese mediator of a Western modernity. The Seoul branch, in particular, quickly became a public landmark, and the building remains so in the present day, now under Korean ownership as the Shinsegae department store. Mitsukoshi in Seoul—as in Nihombashi—showcased the crowds with its open center cutting across floors, grand staircase sweeping up from the ground level, and a rooftop garden from which the city could be surveyed. The store was a magnet Chapter 5 • 198 •

for Korean “modern girls” and “modern boys” as well as members of the intelligentsia who leaned toward Western “modernization” in a Japanese mode. However, Korean views of what the Japanese department store represented were, not surprisingly, varied and complex. Colonial perspectives on Mitsukoshi also exposed the underbelly of its seemingly happy consumerist hybridism. In the savagely satirical Peace under Heaven (T’aep’yeong ch’onha), the novelist Ch’ae Man-­sik (1902–50) had his protagonist, Master Yun, a larger-­ than-­life nouveau riche landlord, refuse a request from his mistress to have lunch together at Mitsukoshi with the words, “No way! Don’t mention that rotten Western food.”112 Prior to this exchange, Master Yun had ventured into the Japanese business area in his customary finery, “compel[ling] the Japanese to recognize there was nobility in the Koreans.”113 While visiting a Japanese jeweler’s shop to please his mistress, he nearly came to blows with the clerk when he demanded a major discount for a ring but only received a minor one. Yet Master Yun was no nascent nationalist hero. Ch’ae made it clear that his protagonist’s “silent protest” was “unwitting” and “far indeed from what he was of a mind to accomplish.”114 Mitsukoshi’s “meal with a rake” (a fork) and “Western suits” were viscerally rejected by Master Yun as part of an unfamiliar form of order (fixed prices) and authority (police interrogation). In contrast, he was quite comfortable lending a portion of the sum necessary to purchase a ring at Mitsukoshi as a bribe for a Japanese official to help his older grandson become a local magistrate.115 Japanese businesses were obnoxious to Master Yun because of their “Western” ways, their impersonal systems. And, in the end, the abstract logics of the modern world crushed Master Yun’s aspirations toward upward social mobility when he learned that the Japanese police had arrested his younger grandson in Tokyo for being a socialist.116 In Ch’ae’s narrative, Mitsukoshi figured as a lesser proxy for the West rather than a proud representative of the Japanese empire, whose claims to be an Asian power transcending Europe and America hegemony were implicitly dismissed as mere window dressing. Mitsukoshi in Seoul figured even more prominently in Yi Sang’s “The Wings” (“Nalgae”),117 in which this commercial public space served as the perfect place to commit suicide. “The Wings” is in large part a fractured fairy tale of the discovery of money and its power by the narrator, a twenty-­ six-­year-­old man whose wife—a prostitute, though he does not seem to realize this—tips him small change when he complains of being lonely. Consuming Publics • 199 •

Despite occasional random interjections of such names as Dostoevsky, Marx, and Malthus, the narrator insists he does not know where this or any money came from, or what to do with it. A gradually growing sense of discontent, however, impels him to experiment with the arrangement: he dumps his hoard of coins into the toilet, begins to visit a coffee shop, and even tries to establish dominance over his wife by pressing a bill into her hand. Nothing goes as planned, and he finally flees to the streets. Pockets empty, he seeks refuge in the rooftop garden of Mitsukoshi. This pinnacle of modern consumer capitalism is the one place where entry is free. From this vantage point, the narrator’s gaze moves from goldfish in a tank down to the masses below: “Down there, the tired life swayed heavily like the fins of the goldfish. They could not free themselves from the glue—the invisible tangle of threads shackling them. I realized I could not but mingle into that littered street, dragging my body suffering from fatigue and hunger.”118 The visual regime of this exhibitionary institution does not inspire self-­regulation in the narrator. Rather, recognition of his identity as part of the undifferentiated masses below pushes him toward hallucination and, most likely, death. Feeling an itch where his “imitation wings had split out”—his “deleted phantasms of hope and ambition”—the narrator calls on them: “Fly. Fly. Fly. . . . Let me fly just once more.”119 Ch’ae Man-­sik and Yi Sang sliced through Mitsukoshi’s—and the Japanese state’s—pretensions to offer a better, modern, imperial way of life. Behind the façade, they suggested, lay the alienating rather than liberating mechanisms of international capitalism. As the 1930s drew to a close, however, Japanese department stores found that collaboration in war and colonialism was no longer very profitable. Total war waged by the Japanese state brought death and devastation to the Asian continent and the Pacific; it also transformed the home front into a military resource. Under a regime where “luxury is the enemy” (zeitaku wa teki da), department stores had to distance themselves from conspicuous consumption, the very foundation on which they were built. Unlike many standard company histories, Mitsukoshi Moving Forward (Mitsukoshi no ayumi), published in 1954, offers a brief but revealing account of the wartime era.120 Through this lens, we can picture the straits in which Japanese department stores found themselves. On the one hand, Mitsukoshi expanded by following on the heels of the Imperial Japanese Army. Branch offices were opened in Beijing in 1938, newly occupied southern territories (Nanpō senryō no kakuchi) in 1942, and Singapore in 1943. Chapter 5 • 200 •

On the other hand, as the war crisis deepened, staffing became a critical issue as male employees were drafted for the military, and female employees were called away to provide labor to the state and their families.121 Beginning in the late 1930s, moreover, department store trade was directly undermined when the state began to restrict sales of goods deemed essential for the war effort, such as cotton textiles. Necessity was rebranded patriotic virtue in the form of national policy lunches (Kokusaku ranchi) or Japan-­Manchuria lunch boxes (Nichi-­Man bentō), which were dining hall meals featuring rice-­barley mixtures or barley, potatoes, and noodles as rice substitutes.122 Mitsukoshi attempted to turn loss into opportunity by establishing in 1940 a wartime clothing research circle, which held a conference on women’s clothing the following year. Increasingly, however, Mitsukoshi and other department stores were unable to avoid closing off sections, eliminating popular services, and dismantling internal elements. In 1940 Mitsukoshi’s escalators were stopped to save electricity, and its performance hall was restricted to holding children’s events only; in 1941 Mitsukoshi suspended its gift coupon (shōhinken) program; in 1943 it ceased publication of Mitsukoshi and Osaka no Mitsukoshi; and in 1944 it donated many of its elevators and escalators to be recast for the war machine. Department stores were being consumed by the state. By the end of the war, up to 80 percent of Mitsukoshi’s retail space had been given over to government use, a process kicked off with the designation of Mitsukoshi as an official public refuge (kōkyō bōgoshitsu) in 1939.123 The next year, Mitsukoshi began participating in the state rationing system, and, in 1943, it converted various production facilities to manufacture uniforms and meet other military needs. Finally, in 1945 firebombing destroyed its Marunochi facilities and Ginza, Takamatsu, and Sendai stores. Upon Japan’s defeat, Mitsukoshi had to surrender its colonial offices and branches. Thus, by the end of the Pacific War, Mitsukoshi had yielded to the state its standing as a consumer paradise, as well as its occasionally critical cultural authority. It had also handed over its meticulously constructed public spatiality and membership, as we see in the article “In Praise of Rice Substitutes” (“Daiyōshoku no osusume”), published in Mitsukoshi (Osaka edition) in 1939.124 The author, Kataoka Sadao, himself an executive-­board member of a milling company, exhorted Mitsukoshi readers: “The state exerts itself to the utmost to increase food production. However, if in individual homes half or all of a garden were turned to vegetable plots, if housewives were to act as leaders [rîdâ] and together with children and maids Consuming Publics • 201 •

[jochū] to produce food harvests, this would most truly realize the meaning of national mobilization.”125 The modern family household, hitherto so carefully cultivated by department stores, was redefined in the pages of Mitsukoshi as a unit that should strive toward a form of consumer self-­ sufficiency, one that primarily existed to fulfill state goals, articulated in the essay as “building a new order in East Asia” (Tōa shinchitsujō no kensetsu).126 Play—what Iwaya believed the metropolitan Japanese could and should contribute to the Asian continent—was also turned to state ends, as the final wartime issues of Mitsukoshi amply illustrate. The journal began to feature overtly political covers, including the January 1941 issue celebrating the Tripartite Treaty with an image of the globe unpeeling to reveal the flags of the Axis powers and the April 1942 issue portraying a lone soldier marching forth with determination, gun balanced on his shoulder. Less militarist but in perfect accord with state policy were such covers as that of the November 1940 issue, which pictured women and children engaged in group exercise, and the October 1941 issue, which featured a series of abstract hand forms that culminated in a photograph of a human hand, ready for work. Perhaps the most telling were covers like that of the December 1940 issue, which pictured kite-­string spindles papered over with newspaper headlines trumpeting the Axis Pact and celebrations for the 2,600th anniversary of the founding of the Japanese empire. The articles and advertisements within Mitsukoshi similarly pointed to state co-­optation of department store play and its public. Like the covers, they ranged from outright political messages to paeans to labor, frugality, and necessity to the promotion of fashion, movies, history, and spirituality in service to the empire’s mission. After Pearl Harbor, for example, reference to American movie stars as trendsetters abruptly disappeared, and were replaced by a focus on Japanese, German, and Italian idols. Craftspeople in the spotlight made model ships and airplanes as well as pottery and textiles, while spreads devoted to toys and children’s artwork had military themes. Thus Mitsukoshi was incorporated into the state. While Mitsukoshi’s rivals had less to lose in colonial assets, they too were called upon to disseminate propaganda and strip themselves for materiel, even as they were turned into government production facilities, office space, and ration-­ distribution outlets. Japanese department stores first emerged by harnessing a state exhibitionary culture to private profitable ends, adapting and expanding along the way. In the 1930s and 1940s, however, the state reclaimed the field and its enlarged roster of players. Chapter 5 • 202 •


Japan’s Fifteen-­Year War (1931–45) consumed its imperial public

down to the bones. Japanese defeat and U.S. occupation (1945– 52) gave rise to a new constitution, which in 1947 transferred national sovereignty to the people (kokumin shuken).1 While the emperor continued to perform such state rituals as the convocation of the Diet and investiture of the prime minister, along with “private” Shinto ceremonies for the nation, the postwar constitution restricted his role to serving as “the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people,” specifically prohibiting independent imperial “powers related to government.”2 Meanwhile, the Imperial Household Ministry was demoted to an office (Kunaifu) and national museums were no longer imperial property. Yet democratization reforms during the occupation era were not as radical as many—in and out of Japan—had hoped. In the interest of social stability and governability, the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (scap) decided to work, for the most part, through the Japanese bureaucracy rather than attempt to govern directly. This allowed the Japanese state to regain authority, despite its loss of the Home, Army, and Navy Ministries and its containment by the United States for the foreseeable future.3 One strategy of the postwar state to avert domestic and foreign suspicion of latent militarism was to promote Japan as a peaceful “culture nation” (bunka kokka), salvaging an imperial-­era aesthetic canon that would still be administered from the center, but

now in the name of the people. Government museums played their part by displaying the culture nation’s credentials. The number and scope of state museums have also expanded in the postwar period, trends that were even more pronounced in the profit and nonprofit sectors. The wide variety of museums in contemporary Japan offers plenty of choice, and sometimes conflict, but this multiplicity in itself does not guarantee a two-­way conversation between institution and visitor. Nevertheless, there have been moments when museums’ publicness has been subject to explicit renegotiation, as in 2001 when the government decided to spin its museums off as “independent administrative institutions” (dokuritsu gyōsei hōjin). Controversy ensued: while advocates claimed that turning to a corporate business model would provide better customer service, critics decried the state’s disavowal of communal responsibility. Museums thus continue to be a site for proclaiming and questioning what ought to be the relationship between the state and its citizenry. Culture Nation

When the Japanese home front became a front line in the Asia-­Pacific War, air raids on Tokyo necessitated removal of national treasures and other important cultural properties from the imperial museum in Ueno to safer areas in the countryside.4 While the museum’s special exhibit of artifacts from the Shōsōin in 1940 was a resounding success, attendance thereafter for the museum’s permanent exhibits dropped off year by year, totaling a mere 7,065 in 1945.5 The Ueno museum finally closed from March 10, 1945, to March 24, 1946. Grounds around the museum complex were used to grow vegetables. After Japan’s surrender in August of 1945, bureaucrats and ordinary citizens alike had little thought to spare for museums. They were learning to live under U.S. occupation while putting back together a society bent and broken by fifteen years of waging war and destroyed by the firebombing of sixty-­four cities and the nuclear annihilation of two. Loss of the colonial museums was neither noted nor mourned. Nevertheless, a mere two months after defeat, the Mainichi (Daily News) sponsored an exhibit at the main branch of Mitsukoshi titled An Exhibit of Oil Paintings and Sculpture by Artists in the Capital (Zaikyō bijutsuka abura-­e•chōkoku ten). The first prominent exhibit of the postwar period, it was intended to serve as “an introduction to Japanese art for the occupation forces as well as a comfort Epilogue • 204 •

to the victims of war.”6 Given the lack of preparation time and continued scarcity of resources, its offerings were meager. Nevertheless, it served as a harbinger of postwar Japanese cultural policy directed toward rehabilitating the nation’s image in the West. Salvaging Japan’s reputation in the eyes of other Asians was at the time neither possible nor of immediate concern. The Japan Folk Crafts Museum had also closed in 1945, its most precious artifacts moved elsewhere for safety.7 Although it reopened in December, part of the museum was slated for use by occupation forces the following year. Pleading by Yanagi Muneyoshi together with the intervention of friendly parties on the U.S. side averted this threat. Yanagi continued thereafter to work well with the occupation authorities, giving a lecture in 1946 titled “Handicrafts in Japan” for the Japan-U.S. Committee on Education, giving another lecture titled “Beauty and the Masses” (“Bi to taishū”) to the Fabian Association in 1947, and organizing an exhibit on the art and writing of William Blake (1757–1827) at the Japan Folk Crafts Museum in 1948. It was also a period of active publication for Yanagi, who penned numerous articles for Crafts (Kōgei), Folkcraft (Mingei), and other journals, as well as publishing such books as The Japan of Handcrafts (Teshigoto no Nihon) in 1948 and The Gate to Beauty (Bi no hōmon) in 1949. The Ōhara Museum of Art also flourished in the early postwar period, starting a new lecture series in 1946 and offering well-­attended special exhibits on Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and other renowned Western artists beginning in 1951. The museum was even graced by imperial visits from Prince Akihito (currently the Heisei emperor) in 1949 and the Shōwa empress in 1956. The latter half of the twentieth century turned out to be a golden age for private museums and commercial exhibition activity.8 Department stores played a prominent role during the occupation, often working in partnership with newspaper corporations, the one providing space and the other publicity.9 Some early and well-­attended examples of collaboration include Takashimaya and the Yomiuri newspaper’s Contemporary World Art Exhibit (Gendai sekai bijutsu ten) in 1950,10 Mitsukoshi and the Mainichi ’s Treasures of the Eastern Tower of the Yakushi Temple in Nara (Nara Yakushidera tōtō suien ten) in 1951, and Isetan and the Yomiuri’s The Culture of the Incan Empire (Inka teikoku bunka ten). On occasion, newspapers even sponsored shows at government museums, such as the groundbreaking Vincent van Gogh exhibit held in Ueno in 1958. Yomiuri ’s investment paid off handsomely: nearly a half million visitors came to see many of van Gogh’s Epilogue • 205 •

masterpieces, the originals having been obtained after lengthy and delicate negotiations with the Netherlands.11 Under the U.S. aegis, new doors were opening. That is, a new era was dawning for government museums as well.12 After scap ordered the breakup of the Imperial Household’s vast financial holdings in 1945, Japanese bureaucrats debated many of the details, but there was general agreement that the imperial museums should be cut loose.13 The Imperial Household’s head of finances himself argued that the current budget barely covered the salaries of museum employees. Another ministry would have to take responsibility for the museums, and the Ministry of Education seemed like the logical choice. Anticipated by a March 25 article in the Asahi as the “democratization of the museums” (hakubutsukan no minshuka), transfer to the Ministry of Education took place on May 3, 1947. The change of status for state museums, rechristened “national museums” (kokuritsu hakubutsukan), was completely overshadowed by the promulgation of the postwar Japanese constitution, which also took place on the third of May; museum reform was in fact presented as part of this overarching restructuring of relations between the emperor, the state, and the people of Japan.14 Nevertheless, the particular form of democracy being offered to the Japanese people was not free of constraints. The U.S. occupation was characterized by a widely held belief that democracy and political stability were complementary, intertwined goals. Indeed, the U.S. choice to work with and through the wartime emperor signaled from the beginning of the occupation that a desire to preserve social order would act as a restraint on radical democratic reforms.15 Both supporters and critics of the emperor system saw it as a highly significant, and by no means isolated, measure of ideological and institutional continuity with the past. While the constitution of 1947 offered the people of Japan more rights and opportunities for political participation than ever before, scap’s decision to retain the emperor and keep the wartime bureaucracy largely intact, as well as its decisive role in drafting and promulgating the constitution, set the tone for a continued authoritarian strain that shaped the development of postwar Japanese democracy. It was in this context that Prime Minister Katayama Tetsu (1887–1978) enjoined members of the first Diet convened under the constitution of 1947 to participate in the building of a new nation of democracy (minshushugi), peace (heiwa), and culture (bunka).16 Meanwhile, young children Epilogue • 206 •

were required to practice writing the phrase “building a nation of culture” (bunka kokka kensetsu) as a calligraphy exercise.17 Such postwar Japanese invocations of a “nation of culture” or “culture state” worked with, but also reworked, scap’s vision of democratization. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, bunka had generally referred to the practices and beliefs that bound a society—in particular, Japanese society—together and marked it as distinct. The imperial state, as we have seen, was deeply invested in promoting its own sense of national culture. In the postwar period, however, Japanese government leaders directly linked bunka to peace and democracy; on this basis, Hirano Ken’ichirō suggests that references to bunka were essentially promises for “the thorough implementation of democracy.”18 This usage broke apart the ancient character compound composed of bu (military matters) and bun (learning)—long seen as distinct but compatible elite pursuits—to argue that the future of Japan lay in the latter, not the former. To define the postwar nation in terms of culture was to implicitly indict the prewar military establishment (bu) for an aberrational takeover during the 1930s and 1940s, resulting in the disastrous war and defeat. (This indictment was made explicit, if not, in the end, comprehensive, in the International Military Tribunal for the Far East [1946–48], more commonly known as the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal.)19 In contrast, the true essence of the modern state was refigured as constitutionality and concern for popular welfare (bun). Pairing the domestic concept of bunka with “foreign” notions of democracy also provided a way for the government to claim a subterranean continuity with the past. In the imperial era, bunka and kokka (state, nation, nation-­state) were terms that, though not identical, often overlapped in emphasizing a sense of an enduring, transhistorical Japanese collective. Bunka was more porous than kokka, but both had structure, borders, and a center to which the modern Japanese state had laid claim. Not coincidentally, bunka kokka also serves as a translation of the German term Kulturstaat, the nineteenth-­century notion, promoted by bourgeois reformers and social scientists, of an inclusive state that gave priority to raising national economic standards in order to cultivate a sense of national citizenship.20 At times, the concept of bunka kokka was used as a lever against the establishment—as when, in 1946, the noted author Hayashi Fumiko sought to goad her readers into action by arguing that if Japan were truly a nation of culture, it would do more for persons left orphaned or homeless by the war. Overall, however, the artfully bland and multivalent concept of Epilogue • 207 •

bunka kokka served the interests of the postwar Japanese government well. It smoothed the way in developing a working relationship with the occupation authorities, shored up the state’s somewhat shaky legitimacy vis-­à-­vis the Japanese populace, and opened a path to reestablish a place for Japan in the international order. The state’s cultural institutions clearly had an important role to play in establishing the postwar culture state. Discussions of reform among Japanese museum experts and U.S. advisors began early in the occupation, and the Ueno museum was the central point of organization.21 After its transfer to the Ministry of Education, the museum came to consolidate a number of related cultural programs, such as the Art Research Institute (Bijutsu Kenkyūjo), which had previously been located outside the Imperial Household. In the process, the museum went from three divisions (management, display, and research) to six (management, display, activities, research, conservation, and reference). Review of the state’s cultural apparatus continued apace, and in 1950 resulted in the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties (Bunkazai Hogohō).22 In the spirit of the new day, the law’s opening clause proclaimed, “This law is meant to contribute to the cultural advancement [bunka kōjō] of the national subjects [kokumin], as well as the progress [shinpo] of world culture [sekai bunka], through the conservation and deployment of cultural properties.”23 In practical terms, the changes introduced by the law were not geared toward redefining the character of the state’s institutions and canon, but rather toward strengthening, clarifying, and supplementing the patchwork of prewar cultural legislation.24 Most notably, the law established a centralized organ for oversight and coordination: the Commission for the Protection of Cultural Properties (Bunkazai Hogo Iinkai), which formed the core of what would become the Agency for Cultural Affairs (Bunka-­chō) in 1968. Placed under this umbrella, and in 1952 renamed the Tokyo National Museum (Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan), the central museum was able to return to its focus on research and display. Categories and standards for artifact evaluation were moved toward even stricter reliance on art-­historical and archaeological scholarship, which resulted in a considerable number of objects shifting from the top-­tier category of national treasures (kokuhō) to the more general class of important cultural properties (jūyō bunkazai). And, finally, three new categories for protection were added: intangible (mukei), folk (minzoku), and excavated (maizō) cultural properties.25 Epilogue • 208 •

To fulfill its central mission of display, the Ueno museum had already reopened on March 24, 1946, exhibiting various artifacts retrieved from wartime storage. The following year, as one of the first fruits of the Ministry of Education’s extensive review of museum operations, policies, and collections after the transfer in 1947, the museum staged a special exhibit titled The Art of Swords (Tōken bijutsu tokubetsuten), which beautifully illustrated the postwar tensions that gave shape to the postwar strategy of culture nation. Samurai swords presented a distinct dilemma for the postwar reconstruction of the canon: they had been employed as symbols of a national martial spirit in the imperial era, but civilians in the early days of the occupation had to surrender to the U.S. authorities anything that might conceivably be used as a weapon, a category that naturally included these very lethal swords.26 Within the national museum collection, swords were demoted in 1947 from the status of an independent category among the regular displays at the National Museum, and their room was turned over to an expanded exhibit of fine porcelain.27 At the same time, however, museum officials sought to persuade the Americans that samurai swords should be understood as representative of an artistic craft tradition rather than an enduring martial spirit. Alarmed by the number of designated national treasures and important cultural properties that had been confiscated, the bureaucrat in the Ministry of Education who was in charge of national treasures took a delegation of sword collectors to scap to petition that an exception be made for works of particular aesthetic and historical significance. As a result, possession of samurai swords was legalized in 1946 on the basis of their original (motoyori) artistic value. The Art of Swords exhibit worked to contain militancy (bu) and highlight artistry (bun) in order to salvage these ancient artifacts for the modern culture nation. While samurai swords, being weapons, presented a distinctive problem for national-­museum curators during the occupation, the resolution of this dilemma was of a piece with the general museum-­salvaging project, strategically reframing while expanding the core collection along the lines of the established art-­historical directive. Museum outreach was also understood as a critical field of activity after the war, both as a way to implement democratization and as an opportunity for building up a stronger base of support. A variety of efforts to stimulate popular interest in the government museums had been, as we have already seen, pursued in the imperial era. During the occupation period, however, more treasures were displayed to the public more frequently, lecEpilogue • 209 •

turers shared their expertise with bigger audiences as they traveled on a national circuit, and various new museum-­related publications appeared on bookshelves. The postwar program thus represented a stepping-­up of preexisting educational programs rather than a radical ideological shift: narratives of national heritage were spread more widely among the Japanese people, while the aesthetic values sanctified within the museums not only went unchallenged but were rendered more authoritative through academic scholarship. Such outreach on the part of museum officials met with a warm reception: postwar annual attendance totals swiftly surpassed numbers that would have represented a very good year in previous decades, and by 1954 easily broke the prewar (and quite anomalous) record of 698,931 in 1940. The solid figures and general upward trend presented in table E.1 were the result not only of outreach measures but also of a dramatic turn to special exhibits to draw crowds. For much of the imperial era, special exhibits usually had been staged only once a year, and in many years there were none at all. The pace picked up by the late 1920s but was nothing compared to the late 1940s and early 1950s, when each year boasted around ten such events. Although the number of special exhibits decreased a bit toward the end of the decade, the general practice had become firmly entrenched, having more than proved its worth as a means of drawing in new visitors. Many of the era’s blockbuster shows relied on works from abroad, most from Western Europe, not on national-­museum holdings (although it should be noted that national treasures and ukiyoe prints also became reliable draws). The trend began with the Western art exhibit of 1947, responsible for nearly a quarter of that year’s attendance figures; picked up steam with the Henri Matisse exhibit of 1951 (150,743), the Louvre exhibit of 1954 (491,225), the Mexican arts exhibit of 1955 (134,563), and the Vincent van Gogh exhibit of 1958 (477,758); and crested with the French fine arts exhibit of 1961 (690,540), the Egyptian arts exhibit of 1963 (598,157), and, the biggest of them all, the Tutankhamen exhibit of 1965 (1,224,166).28 The Tokyo headquarters for displays of national aesthetic heritage in the postwar period became a prominent gateway to Euro-­American culture, which in turn framed the non-­West, as in the case of Egypt, which was portrayed as the land of pharaohs. In October of 1964, the Tokyo National Museum hosted the arts festival associated with the Eighteenth Olympiad, providing the museum with an unprecedented opportunity to reach out to an international audiEpilogue • 210 •

Table E.1 Annual Attendance Totals for the Tokyo National Museum, 1946–1972


Total attendance

1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959

159,242 489,049 472,133 593,669 284,604 529,257 364,127 420,972 803,060 425,843 365,344 274,035 883,288 569,776

Year 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972

Total attendance 519,746 718,594 599,709 ​1,054,743 910,207 ​1,552,965 790,122 689,715 958,521 876,601 793,227 739,563 873,705

Adapted from tkh, [Shiryōhen] Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, shiryōhen (Tokyo: Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan, 1973), 663–64.

ence, packaging Japanese culture (bunka) as an export to the United States, Western Europe, and non-­Communist Asian countries to promote mutual understanding. When the games founder Baron Pierre de Coubertin (1863–1937) mandated the inclusion of arts festivals starting with the Stockholm Olympics of 1912, the organizing theme had been the beauty of the human body engaged in sports. However, at the request of the Japanese organizers, the International Olympic Committee decided that, beginning in 1964, Olympics arts festivals would showcase the sponsoring country’s own artistic tradition.29 The weight placed on foreign opinion was clearly signaled in the inaugural issue of Cultural Properties Monthly (Gekkan bunkazai), published beginning in 1963 by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. In its lead article, “World Perceptions of Japanese Art” (“Sekai ni okeru Nihon bijutsu no ninshiki”), Yashiro Yukio formulated the basic problem as follows: “Japanese are convinced that Japan is a great nation of art, and have not the slightest doubt that the world fully recognizes the value of Japanese art. However, this smacks of overconfidence. The truth is that, from an interEpilogue • 211 •

national perspective, Japanese art does not appear to be held in very high repute, except in the eyes of a few cognoscenti.”30 The most likely, though not articulated, inspiration for his concern was the precipitous decline in foreign enthusiasm for Japanese art during the Second World War. His solution was not to reexamine the existing aesthetic canon but to revise how it was perceived abroad: “We must correct the shallow image of Japan held by Westerners . . . , providing them with a more accurate understanding of the important traits most prized by Japanese, that is, the spirit and culture of Japan.”31 Accordingly, the Tokyo National Museum pulled out all the stops to put on an impressive show. Of the total of 877 items displayed at the Olympics arts festival, 154 were officially designated national treasures, 254 were important cultural properties, and 40 were important art objects. The remaining 429 items had been borrowed from foreign owners (a practice often referred to as sato-­gaeri, or homecoming) and therefore were outside the jurisdiction of the cultural-­properties committee.32 A look at the comprehensive list of items displayed—which were placed on a rotation schedule due to their great numbers—reveals all the staple categories of the imperial as well as postwar canon. The main exhibit was composed of archaeological artifacts, sculpture (primarily Buddhist), crafts (which included tea wares, textiles, and swords), architectural models, and painting (Buddhist works, Yamato-­e, and landscapes). In addition to the central exhibit of traditional Japanese artworks, the Olympics arts festival featured performances of Kabuki, Noh, Bunraku, court music, classical dance, and folk entertainment (minzoku geinō).33 Smaller exhibits of modern art, photography, and stamps featuring sports were set up in separate sites on the fringes of the festival. The buildings of the Tokyo National Museum complex were reserved for the exclusive showcasing of a “pure” Japan as illustrated by aesthetic artifacts dating no later than the Tokugawa period (1600–1867); later Japanese works influenced by contact with the West were kept well off the center stage. The museum also sought to ensure that the message and impact of the show would extend beyond October by publishing two catalogues for the central exhibit.34 A moderately sized standard edition provided 250 pages of photographs and brief descriptions for more than eight hundred items. The large, handsomely bound, and expensive commemorative edition featured 230 pages of high-­quality color as well as monochrome photographs of four hundred items, with an additional 207 pages of writEpilogue • 212 •

ten material in Japanese, English, and French. Fifteen thousand copies of the standard edition were published, twelve thousand in Japanese and three thousand in English and French, while the commemorative edition was limited to two thousand copies. Both editions reiterated the themes of Japanese ­peacefulness, national unity, and a sumptuous elite heritage woven throughout the art exhibition. The introductory essay—a history of Japanese art that stressed the importance of climate and geography in the formation of the nation’s distinctive aesthetic values—was by none other than Noma Seiroku (1902–66), the former head of the National Museum’s Department of Fine Arts, a member of the small group instrumental in reopening the national museums soon after the end of the Second World War, and the artist whose sketch of the museum crowd in 1940 opened this book.35 Japanese residents were not taken for granted in this grand affair. Indeed, the museum director Asano Nagatake attributed equal if not more importance to a Japanese audience for the arts festival: “Given the international character of the event, we would of course like as many people from all over the world to see [the exhibits]; however, I would also like the people of Japan to visit in as great a number as possible. . . . The country [kuni] bears a responsibility to obtain the understanding [rikai] and cooperation [kyōryoku] of each and every Japanese [kokumin kakui].”36 Asano’s emphasis on eliciting “understanding” and “cooperation” from a Japanese audience employed the rhetoric of the general push on the part of the state to mobilize the domestic population for the Olympics, preparations for which were seen as a second “holy war” (seisen) by some—serious as well as cynical—contemporaries.37 The metaphor was meant to underscore the sacrifices demanded of citizens amid the creative destruction necessary to transform Tokyo into an Olympic city. Herculean efforts were required not just to upgrade or build athletic facilities but also to bring up to international (Euro-­American) standards every aspect of the metropolitan infrastructure, including mass transportation and sewage systems. Ordinary Japanese were exhorted to remain patient through major cleanup and construction campaigns, to abide by the new policing restrictions, and even to help foot the bill through government-­sponsored lotteries. Meanwhile, memory of the political uproar that brought millions to the streets to protest against renewal of the U.S.-­Japan Security Treaty in 1960 was still fresh.38 The massive protests served as a warning to the Japanese state that it had to recapture and rechannel the barely contained citizenry Epilogue • 213 •

in order to maintain its highly bureaucratic, centralized, and decidedly not populist structure of governance. The state’s blandly reassuring portrayal of postwar Japan as a culture nation geared toward economic, not military, expansion was put on display at the Tokyo Olympics and its arts festival, as much for a domestic as an international audience. In short, the Olympics offered more than simply the opportunity to elevate Japan’s international status. The Olympics also provided a concentrated moment to reinforce the mechanisms of mass mobilization for national (state) goals. What is more, the Tokyo National Museum exhibition for the Olympics represented a rare opportunity for the state to impress domestic visitors with the approval of foreign visitors when viewing a canonical version of Japanese heritage crafted by the state. Accordingly, a large-­scale publicity campaign was conducted to bring visitors to the Tokyo National Museum. Organizers hoped that foreign attendance alone would reach at least twenty thousand; as an inducement, Olympic athletes and the press were issued special invitations and allowed to attend free of charge. Organizers also worked hard to ensure that foreign visitors would leave the exhibit with a proper appreciation of what they were looking at. The two exhibit catalogues and all display labels were printed in the three official Olympic languages of Japanese, English, and French; a list of brief explanations of basic Japanese art terminology was issued; and interpreters were available on-­site. The circulation path was even altered to flow from left to right, in accordance with what the museum staff presumed to be Western preference. To fan domestic enthusiasm, the exhibit organizers offered the public a special lecture series, beginning with a discussion of the significance of the ancient national treasures that had been put on special display.39 Measured by the standards of a typical exhibit of Japanese art, the Olympics arts festival was a resounding success: the total number of paying visitors came to 392,303, an average of 10,000 to 20,000 each day. Olympic fever served the Tokyo National Museum well. Wreathed in laurels from the Tokyo Olympics, the Japanese state continued to invest in its cultural apparatus and programming to negotiate international relations and domestic affairs alike. Moreover, in the 1970s and 1980s, the term bunka (culture) became explicitly linked with kokusai (international) in governmental representations of both state and nation. For example, in a speech given in 1982, Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro’s celebration of Japan as a “nation of virile culture” (takumashii bunka no kuni) swiftly merged into a call for heightened consciousness of Japan Epilogue • 214 •

as an “international nation” (kokusai kokka).40 Significantly, in this speech and elsewhere, he argued that a normal nation ( futsū no kuni) required a secure cultural identity coupled with a strong military for security.41 Nakasone sought to reconnect Japanese bun (culture) with bu (warrior spirit), proposing in this way to “normalize” Japan so that it could contribute in a substantive manner to the international community. This formulation imposed a responsibility both on the Japanese citizenry to come together to honor a proud heritage and on other nations to see the cultural, economic, and military potential contained within Japan and to permit its full exercise. For much of the rest of the twentieth century, the Japanese state’s cultural apparatus appeared to be solidly ensconced in its authority and prestige, serving as a rallying point for, though not directed by, the people. Twenty-­First Century “Independence”

However, amid Japan’s economic troubles of the 1990s, in the wake of the devastating collapse of the financial bubble, advocates of neoliberal reform set in motion a major program to restructure and redefine the central state. A long-­time proponent of Thatcherism, Prime Minister Hashimoto Ryūtarō (1937–2006) had already overseen the privatization of the Japanese national railway system in 1987 as the transportation minister in the Nakasone cabinet.42 Upon becoming prime minister in 1996, Hashimoto established the administrative reform council (gyōsei kaikaku kaigi), whose proposals to slim down (surimuka) the state apparatus began to be implemented in 2001.43 One such reform was the creation of the new category of “independent administrative institutions” (dokuritsu gyōsei hōjin), essentially government agencies to be run on corporate management principles and weaned from the central budget. The national museum system was spun off as “independent” in the very first wave of restructuring in 2001; ten years later, the Japanese mint, the postal savings system, and the Japan External Trade Organization number among the more than one hundred entities subject to such reclassification. These reforms were, and continue to be, the subject of heated discussion. On November 3, 2005, Hirayama Ikuo and Takashina Shuji led a group of prominent figures in Japanese arts, letters, and the sciences in presenting an open letter, “Concerns Regarding the Decline of Culture and the Arts through the Pursuit of Efficiency” (Kōritsusei tsuikyū ni yoru bunka geijutsu no suitai o kigu suru), to the Japanese government; it was subsequently republished on a government website and discussed in sevEpilogue • 215 •

eral newspapers, including the Asahi.44 The authors questioned what they saw as a push to privatize without due consideration for what made the cultural sphere distinct from national railways or the postal system (reform was under discussion in 2005 and carried out in 2007). On November 15, government representatives directly responded with an open letter of their own, also made public on a government website, titled “Regulation Reform, Opening up Opportunities for Privatization, and the Marketization Test Are Being Carried out Precisely for the Sake of Promoting Culture and the Arts” (Kisei kaikaku/minkan kaihō/shijōka tesuto ha bunka geijutsu no shinkō no tame ni koso okonowaremasu).45 The reply emphasized social benefits arising from competition for the right to provide various cultural services. This particular skirmish did not end well for the government critics. Their arguments evoked a romantic national collective more in the spirit of the late nineteenth century than the early twenty-­first century. In contrast, the state’s response adroitly framed the introduction of corporate management practices and incentives as a means of redressing the problem of bureaucratic elitism and insularity. Nevertheless, their pointed exchange of views indicates that a new period of negotiation has begun with regard to how to define the people, the state, their respective interests and responsibilities, and the very nature of their relationship. Shades of the Meiji era (1868–1912) imbued the initial letter from November 3, which argued that Japanese museums and related cultural institutions should be understood as the “nation’s face” (kuni no kao), which was in competition with other nations. If radical reforms based on the principle of economic efficiency were fully implemented, foreign nations “will begin to harbor doubts regarding our commitment to our nation’s culture and arts,” leading to a decline in Japan’s ability to engage in cultural exchange.46 No doubt, the idea was to get the attention of the state by playing the international prestige card. However, this nationalist claim was brushed aside by Suzuki Yoshio and Yashiro Naohiro, responding as members of the Council to Promote Regulation Reform and Privatization (Kisei kaikaku minkan kaihō suishin kaigi), with a curt acknowledgment that Japanese art and culture constituted an asset to the nation: “We, the members of the committee, have no objection whatsoever regarding the importance of ‘culture and the arts.’”47 Thereafter, Suzuki and Yashiro pointedly reframed the discussion in more contemporary terms. In place of the paradigm of nation pitted against nation in a cultural arms race, the Epilogue • 216 •

government committee offered globalization. Rather than subscribing to the idea that Japan was isolated (Nihon nomi) or weakening (jakutaika),48 they adopted a cosmopolitan stance by detailing various countries’ experimentation in cultural administration, all of which were “making efforts to lay the groundwork for independence in terms of finances and administration.”49 At the heart of the struggle was the question of how to define the people of Japan, specified in both letters as “national subjects” (kokumin). The two competing views produced opposed policy recommendations regarding the best way to protect popular interests. The letter from November 3 began with an appeal to collective experience bound together by artistic expression: “Culture provides pleasure, emotion, and spiritual solace, endowing life with richness. From the most distant past, people have painted paintings, decorated utensils, sung songs, and danced dances, in times of plenty and of want, in times of peace as well as of war and disaster.”50 Centuries of accumulated aesthetic experience had made the Japanese what they are today. Moreover, the process of nation building (kuni-­zukuri) had been nourished by a mutually reinforcing relationship between emotional fulfillment through the arts and concrete economic gains: “It is precisely a society in possession of a rich culture that will be able to achieve economic development as well.”51 To secure this collective lifestyle, dedicated state funding for public organizations (kōteki soshiki) was necessary to provide continuity and long-­term vision. The government spokespeople also made frequent and direct reference to Japanese national subjects. However, it was clear that they described quite a different constituency from that invoked by the critics: one composed of consumers or service recipients (juekisha) and taxpayers (nōzeisha) rather than comprising a cultural collective. Accordingly, when the committee members employed the term public (kōkyō as well as kōteki), it was strictly in the context of services for or resources drawn from the general population. Working for the public interest, then, meant obtaining the maximum service possible for each yen of taxes spent, and it was only natural that efficiency would be introduced to measure the operations of national cultural institutions. The underlying assumption was that relations between state and society were conflicted, not harmonious, as depicted in the letter from November 3. Indeed, the committee not only identified the state as a particular interest group—the bureaucracy (kan)—but also charged privatization critics with a “revere the bureaucracy, despise the Epilogue • 217 •

people” (kanson minpi) mindset.52 According to the committee, a marketization test simply challenged state-­funded institutions to prove that they were in fact the best providers of cultural services: “If today’s national art museums, national museums, and cultural-­treasure research bureaus are truly thinking of the sake of national subjects ‘kokumin,’ then should not the consistent response of the independent administrative institutions— the current agents of administration—be to participate with pride in the marketization test as invited, precisely to prove that they are better than private corporations?”53 Although Suzuki and Yashiro strenuously denied any foregone conclusions about whether the government or corporate sector would come out ahead in such direct competition, they implied an alignment of interests in the “private” sector between business and ordinary citizens. In spite of the individually varied politics of the signatories to the letter from November 3, their position was defensive and conservative, insistent that the state should not relinquish its authority in the public cultural sphere. In contrast, the government representatives were able to position the contemporary state as responsive, flexible, cosmopolitan, and progressive. Yet marketization is by no means the same as democratization. While promising more service to the public, the reforms of 2001 were directed toward adoption of corporate management practices as well as greater reliance on corporate sponsorship, and thus corporate influence.54 No one expected the national-­museum system to be completely self-­sustaining, even in the distant future. Dependence was simply being shifted away from the central state. Immediately after the reforms, evidence appeared of a shift of labor and fiscal resources toward marketing, both to draw visitors and attract corporate sponsorship. For example, the organizational chart provided in the annual report from 2003 of the Tokyo National Museum—­ before major structural changes had much chance to be implemented— still had the business-­development office (shōgai kaihatsu) relatively low in the hierarchy, under external affairs (shōgaika).55 By 2006, however, business development (eigyō kaihatsu) had risen to the level of planning and development (jigyō) and cultural properties (bunkazai), right under the executive vice director.56 With internal reorganization still in flux, by 2009 development had disappeared once more as a separate department, but the general division of planning has added special sections for informatics (jōhōka) and public relations and press (kōhōshitsu), along with Epilogue • 218 •

education (kyōikuka).57 A comparison of exhibition activity in the 1990s and early 2000s further reveals not only that the overall number of special exhibits increased from twenty-­six to forty-­one but also that the number of in-­house exhibits declined from eleven to six, while cosponsored shows rose from fifteen to thirty-­five.58 Nozaki Hiroshi, chair of the board of directors, proudly noted in his introductory remarks for the museum’s summary report of 2006 that their “target revenue has risen fifty percent”; in the pages that followed, more calls were made for support from corporate and individual sources.59 Kobayashi Mari is among the scholars who have indicated the dangers and damages emerging from the introduction of the profit motive into government cultural institutions via marketization reforms.60 But she also notes that the former status quo had, in fact, been characterized by a pervasive lack of bureaucratic concern for citizen opinion. She argues that the recent restructuring should serve as a wake-­up call for governmental cultural institutions to revitalize their sense of mission, a step forward, particularly if these sites open up decision making to greater citizen participation.61 To what degree that will happen at the Tokyo National Museum is unclear, but there are tangible signs that visitors’ senses of engagement and satisfaction are accorded a higher priority than before. Four-­page survey forms, readily available in each building, ask respondents to comment on the quality of their experiences in both a multiple-­choice and a freestyle format. Prompts are provided for discussing universal access and exhibit content alike. Explanatory labels and visuals have grown in number and quality, docent tours are a regular occurrence, new publications aim to introduce children to museum going, and the main building in the museum complex has repurposed two rooms on the first floor to provide an overview regarding the work of conservators and curators (and thus why they need financial support) and to offer materials and activities to encourage a more active form of involvement on the part of visitors.62 Attendance figures for the Tokyo National Museum have also demonstrated impressive growth over the decade, from 964,133 in 2001 to 2,469,657 in 2009.63 The details are a little more complicated: the total for the first year of “independence” represented a considerable drop from 2000’s (unusually high) attendance of 1,845,129; visitor numbers hit a plateau of about a million and a half in the mid-­2000s, only breaking the two-­ million mark in 2008; and other museums in the national network have Epilogue • 219 •

not shown the same kind of significantly upward trajectory. Yet, overall, the increased number of visitors indicates the continued vitality of the role of state museums as sites for negotiating publicness in Japanese society. Throughout the latter half of the twentieth century, the museum form grew ever more deeply entrenched in the Japanese cultural landscape.64 Thoroughly domesticated, museums have come to be perceived as a commonsensical mode of organizing artifacts, images, and activities for public consumption. From the 1950s on, the central state’s network expanded significantly: in addition to the pillar institutions of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nara, other national art museums currently include the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (Tokyo Kokuritsu Kindai Bijutsukan), established in 1952; the National Museum of Western Art (Kokuritsu Seiyō Bijutsukan), established in 1959;65 the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto (Kyoto Kokuritsu Kindai Bijutsukan), established in 1963 as an annex; the National Museum of Art, Osaka (Kokuritsu Kokusai Bijutsukan), established in 1977; and the Kyūshū National Museum (Kyushu Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan), established in 2005. Beyond the art museums, there is the National Museum of Science and Nature (Kokuritsu Kagaku Hakubutsukan), descended from the rival Ministry of Education museum founded in 1877; the National Museum of Ethnology (Kokuritsu Minzokugaku Hakubutsukan), established in 1974; and the National Museum of Japanese History (Kokuritsu Rekishi Minzoku Hakubutsukan), established in 1981. Private and commercial museums and exhibition halls are also familiar features in both metropolitan and rural regions, from the Suntory Museum of Art (Santorī Bijutsukan), established in 1961 in downtown Tokyo, to the inax museum complex (Inakusu Raibu Myūjiamu), established in 2006 in Aichi Prefecture. In recent years, the museums in Japan that have attracted the most critical attention are the “peace” and “war” museums directly addressing aspects of the Asia-­Pacific War.66 Typically driven by citizen rather than state initiative, these museums are characterized by intense and highly visible conflicts and negotiations among different factions within Japanese society and the state. The venerable Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum (Hiroshima Heiwa Kinen Shiryōkan) was the product of a citizens’ movement that led to a national referendum, which resulted in central state monies for its establishment in 1955. While the Hiroshima peace park and museum have long served as an anchor for a global antinuclear movement, the museum was also sharply criticized for severing the moment of nuclear anEpilogue • 220 •

nihilation from an account of Japanese responsibility for the war.67 In response, it began in the 1990s to incorporate more contextual discussions of the devastating Japanese military invasion of Asia. In 1981 local citizen and media collaboration resulted in the Osaka International Peace Center (Osaka Kokusai Heiwa Sentā).68 While the center focused on life in the city during wartime air raids, it framed the whole with an account of Japan as a militant aggressor as well as victim; for this reason, it has been targeted by right-­wing groups since the 1990s, forcing a number of concessions toward “parity.” On the other side of the political spectrum, the internationally infamous Yūshūkan of Yasukuni Shine was established in 1882 as a government museum primarily used to display war trophies, closed in 1945 for the duration of the occupation, revived through exhibits in the 1960s, and formally reopened in 1986 as a private venture under the shrine’s direction.69 Yet its hypernationalist sense of mission, along with the legally ambiguous visits of various conservative government figures to Yasukuni Shrine, considerably muddy the waters.70 Most recently, pressure placed on the government by the Japan Association of Bereaved Families (Nihon Izokukai) and veterans groups, which argue that the Japanese prosecution of the war was honorable and paved the way for postwar prosperity, has resulted in the opening of the National Showa Memorial Museum (Shōwakan) in 1999 and the Shokei Hall (Shōkeikan) in 2006.71 Both are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (Kōseirōdōshō) and are intended to educate later generations about the sacrifices made by Japanese civilians and soldiers during the war. As Laura Hein and Akiko Takenaka point out, the fierce debates surrounding such peace and war museums have stimulated a visceral awareness of public accountability among the curators of such museums.72 This heightened awareness of the need for increased give-­and-­take with the general public is not confined to these prominent cases but rather represents the overall trend for contemporary Japanese museums. For art museums in both the government and private sectors, the most immediate cause is the prolonged national economic downturn, which has forced them to articulate their mission more clearly to the public in order to remain operational.73 The free-­flowing monies of the bubble in the 1980s are long gone. Curatorial concepts, practices, and notions of the public are in the process of being rethought across the board; and while some reform measures may be merely lip service, others may have a more long-­range Epilogue • 221 •

effect.74 This book has traced the beginnings of this conversation, but it is not intended to serve as an origin story in which a particular end is already implied. Rather, I have explored the specific case of metropolitan, colonial, private, and corporate museums in imperial Japan in light of their conception of the public as a general community anchored by, though not always acquiescent to, a centralized modern state. Publicness was conceived in relational, and not inherently oppositional, terms. The boundary lines between Japanese state and society were drawn, and blurred, in different ways by different agents in the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century, as well as during the Asia-­Pacific War, the U.S. occupation, and the long, long postwar period. These lines are being renegotiated today, with the current state arguing against its old self, and some critics arguing for the old state against the new. Other critics look to push recent reforms, despite their corporate affinities, toward increased citizen participation. Publicness was, and is, historically negotiated. Its historicity stems not from a series of modifications to an enduring idea or ideal but from its intrinsic relationality; thus, the conversations are ongoing.

Epilogue • 222 •



1. Attendance figures from “Kanranshasū ichiranhyō,” in tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi (Tokyo: Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan, 1973), 663. 2. Noma Seiroku, Kuchinawa monogatari, image no. n87197 in the Tokyo National Museum (tkh) archives. 3. This is not to say that Noma’s emphasis was without precedent: his choice of the term emaki (picture scroll) clearly signaled that he was drawing on an older visual tradition in Japan. Moreover, depicting crowds at museum exhibits became more common in the postwar period, underscoring their eventfulness. 4. Attendance figures from “Kanranshasū ichiranhyō,” in tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 663. 5. Among Satō Dōshin’s major works are “Nihon bijutsu” tanjō: Kindai Nihon no “kotoba” to senryaku (Tokyo: Kōdansha, 1996); Meiji kokka to kindai bijutsu: Bi no seijigaku (Tokyo: Yoshikawa kōbun, 1999); and Bijutsu no aidentitii: Dare no tame ni, nan no tame ni (Tokyo: Yoshikawa kōbunkan, 2007). 6. Alice Tseng, The Imperial Museums of Meiji Japan: Architecture and the Art of the Nation (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008). See also Tseng’s “Art in Place: The Display of Japan at the Imperial Museums, 1872–1909” (PhD diss., Harvard University, 2004). For an earlier introduction in English to Japanese museums, see Masatoshi Konishi, “The Museum and Japanese Studies,” Current Anthropology 28: 4 (August/October 1987). See also the important work by the art historian Christine Guth in, for example, Art, Tea, and Industry: Masuda Takashi and the Mitsui Circle (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993); and Ellen Conant, ed., Challenging Past and Present: The Metamorphosis of Nineteenth-­Century Japanese Art (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2006). For a different approach to some of these issues, see Kim Brandt’s close

analysis of the Japanese folkcraft movement in Kingdom of Beauty: Mingei and the Politics of Folk Art in Imperial Japan (Durham: Duke University Press, 2007). Leslie Pincus provides an intellectual history of imperial-­era aesthetic discourse in Authenticating Culture in Imperial Japan: Kuki Shūzō and the Rise of National Aesthetics (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996). A current look at the role of the Japanese state in relation to national culture is offered by Kuniyuki Tomooka, Sachiko Kanno, and Mari Kobayashi in “Japanese Cultural Policy and the Influence of Western Institutions,” in Global Culture: Media, Arts, Policy, and Globalization, edited by Diane Crane, Nobuko Kawashima, and Ken’ichi Kawasaki (New York: Routledge, 2002). 7. Attendance figures from “Kanranshasū ichiranhyō,” in tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 663. 8. Jürgen Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society, translated by Thomas Burger (Cambridge: mit Press, 1994). 9. Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, 40. 10. See, for example, Habermas’s chapters “Political Functions of the Public Sphere” and “The Political Public Sphere and the Transformation of the Liberal Constitutional State into a Social-­Welfare State” in his The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, 57–88, 222–35. Habermas even warns, “The democratic procedures and arrangements that grant united citizens the chance for collective self-­determination and political control over their own social existence can only diminish as the nation-­state loses its functions and capabilities, unless some equivalent for them emerges at the supra-­state level.” Habermas, “Toward a Cosmopolitan Europe,” Journal of Democracy 14: 4 (October 2003): 92. 11. Nancy Fraser summarizes and extends various critiques of a Habermasian public sphere, while acknowledging the concept’s analytic uses. Fraser, “Re-­ thinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy,” Social Text 25/26 (1990). 12. Although I will not rehearse here the major debates in the rich and still-­growing Japanese- and English-­language literature on the public sphere and civil society, they have, of course, propelled the very conception of this book in its present form. Habermas’s work, already mentioned, not only has played a foundational role in the Western scholarly debates on this topic but also has been widely referenced in Japanese discussions. Hannah Arendt’s work along these lines, particularly in The Human Condition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989), has been equally if not more influential in Japanese circles. See, for example, Saitō Jun’ichi, Kōkyōsei: Publicness (Tokyo: Iwanami, 2000). Saitō uses Arendt’s formulations as a foundation for his consideration of publicness in contemporary Japan. The Public Culture special issue “New Imaginaries” (winter 2002), edited by Dilip Gaonkar and Benjamin Lee, and featuring contributions by Arjun Appadurai, Craig Calhoun, Mary Poovey, Charles Taylor, and Michael Warner, provides a useful introduction to approaches that to a greater Notes to Introduction • 224 •

or lesser degree begin to grapple with publicness as an issue that extends beyond Western Europe. Kuan-­Hsin Chen takes a hard and critical look at civil society theory and practice within East Asia in his Asia as Method: Toward Deimperialization (Durham: Duke University Press, 2010). 13. Museum studies is a rich and still growing field; I will note here only a few of the works that have informed this study: Tony Bennett, The Birth of the Museum: History, Theory, Politics (New York: Routledge, 1995); James Clifford, The Predicament of Culture (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988); Steven Conn, Museums and American Intellectual Life, 1876–1926 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998); Carol Duncan, Civilizing Rituals: Inside Public Art Museums (New York: Routledge, 1995); Shelly Errington, The Death of Authentic Primitive Culture and Other Tales of Progress (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998); Ivan Karp et al., eds., Museum Frictions: Public Cultures/Global Transformations (Durham: Duke University Press, 2006); Ivan Karp, Christine Mullen Kreamer, and Steven Levine, eds., Museums and Communities (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992); Ivan Karp and Steven Levine, Exhibiting Cultures: The Poetics and Politics of Museum Display (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991); Jim McGuigan, Culture and the Public Sphere (New York: Routledge, 1996); Daniel Sherman, Worthy Monuments: Art Museums and the Politics of Culture in Nineteenth-­Century France (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998). 14. For example, Tze Loo offers a sharp historical analysis of the museumification of Shuri Castle in her article, “Shuri Castle’s Other History: Architecture and Empire in Okinawa’s History,” The Asia-­Pacific Journal: Japan Focus (2009), accessed January 21, 2013,­tze_ m _-­loo/3232. See also the various chapters that critically examine American and Japanese memory making with regard to the Asia-­Pacific War in Laura Hein and Mark Selden, eds., Living with the Bomb: American and Japanese Cultural Conflicts in the Nuclear Age (Armonk: M.E. Sharpe, 1997). Also of interest is the proposed but ultimately rejected script for the Smithsonian exhibit of the Enola Gay, published in Philip Nobile, ed., Judgment at the Smithsonian (New York: Marlowe and Co., 1995). Cross-­ cultural comparisons can also be found in Michael J. Hogan, ed., Hiroshima in History and Memory (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996). I touch on Japanese peace and war museums once more in the epilogue. 15. While the question of whether Habermas’s formulation of the public sphere can be extended to analyze specific developments in Asia is not central to this book, there are a growing number of works that pursue this issue in a nuanced and detailed fashion, such as Eiko Ikegami, Bonds of Civility: Aesthetic Networks and the Political Origins of Japanese Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005); and Jeong-­Woo Koo, “The Origins of the Public Sphere and Civil Society: Private Academies and Petitions in Korea, 1506–1800,” Social Science History 31: 3 (fall 2007). 16. Habermas and others have, of course, noted potential problems in the very Notes to Introduction • 225 •

multiplicity of meanings and uses of public and its cognates; Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, 1–2. Michael Edwards provides a succinct discussion of the forms and norms of the public sphere in his Civil Society (Cambridge, U.K.: Polity Press, 2004), 54–71. 17. Publicness as a concept in Japan before 1945 has not constituted a major topic in the English-­language literature, the exceptions being M. E. Berry’s incisive essay “Public Life in Authoritarian Japan,” Daedalus 17: 3 (1998); Douglas Howland’s Translating the West: Language and Political Reason in Nineteenth-­Century Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2002), and Personal Liberty and the Public Good: The Introduction of John Stuart Mill to Japan and China (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005); and Ikegami’s sweeping Bonds of Civility. In Japan, however, studies of kōkyōsei (today used as a translation for the public sphere) have recently increased exponentially, to the point that they can claim their own shelf or two within various bookstores. The ten-­volume University of Tokyo series Kōkyō Tetsugaku (Public Philosophy) provides an organizational core to the field by drawing together prominent scholars and publishing their presentations with transcriptions of follow-­up roundtable discussions. See Sasaki Takeshi and Kim Tae-­Chang, eds., Kōkyō tetsugaku, 10 vols. (Tokyo: Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai, 2001–6). Sasaki Takeshi, Yamawaki Naoshi, and Murata Yūjirō, eds., Higashi Ajia ni okeru kōkyōwa no sōshutsu: Kako, genzai, mirai (Tokyo: Tokyo: Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai, 2003), raise the topic in a comparative framework. “Kōkyōen no hakken,” Gendai shisō 30: 6 (May 2002), and “Kōkyōsei o tō,” Gendai shisō 33: 5 (May 2005), are only two of a number of recent special issues in major journals on publicness. Hirata Oriza examines financial support of the arts in light of publicness in Geijutsu rikkokuron (Tokyo: Shūeisha, 2001). Ono Ryōhei explores public spaces in the late nineteenth century in Kōen no tanjō (Tokyo: Furukawa Kōbunkan, 2003). 18. Irokawa Daikichi, The Culture of the Meiji Period (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985); and Carol Gluck, Japan’s Modern Myths: Ideology in the Late Meiji Period (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985), are classic works that examine active engagement in the nineteenth century with new political concepts and practices among both central elites and rural citizens. 19. Conrad Totman provides a close look at Tokugawa tensions embodied in the word kuni and transformation in the Meiji period in “Ethnicity in the Meiji Restoration: An Interpretive Essay,” Monumenta Nipponica 37: 3 (autumn 1982). Takashi Fujitani examines the making of the modern emperor as a focal point for a national communal imaginary in Splendid Monarchy: Power and Pageantry in Modern Japan (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996). 20. Kevin Doak provides an incisive overview of the field in “What Is a Nation and Who Belongs? National Narratives and Ethnic Imagination in Twentieth-­ Century Japan,” The American Historical Review 102: 2 (April 1997). Major works published since Doak’s essay include Tessa Morris-­Suzuki’s Re-­inventing Japan: Time, Space, Nation (New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1998); and Stefan Tanaka’s New Notes to Introduction • 226 •

Times in Modern Japan (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004). Both authors bring fresh attention to temporality as an integral dimension of the modern Japanese nation. 21. See, for example, Bernard S. Silberman, “The Bureaucratic State in Japan: The Problem of Authority and Legitimacy,” in Conflict in Modern Japanese History: the Neglected Tradition, edited by Tetsuo Najita and J. Victor Koschmann (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982). More recently, he has placed his analysis of the Japanese bureaucracy in a comparative framework. See Silberman, Cages of Reason: The Rise of the Rational State in France, Japan, the United States, and Great Britain (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993). E. H. Norman’s classic work was republished in Origins of the Modern Japanese State, edited by John W. Dower (New York: Pantheon, 1975). Ryōsuke Ishii provides an overview of Japanese governing structures in A History of Political Institutions in Japan (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1980). Chalmers Johnson’s miti and the Japanese Miracle: The Growth of Industrial Policy, 1925–1975 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1982), while more focused on the postwar era, has been extremely influential; a further look at the state’s impact and further application is available in Meredith Woo-­Cumings, ed., The Developmental State (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999). Muramatsu Michio provides an overview with attention to central-­regional administrative relations in Nihon no gyōsei (Tokyo: Chūō kōron, 1994). A translation of the Charter Oath of 1868 can be found in W. Theodore de Bary, ed., Sources of Japanese Tradition, vol. 2 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1958), 136. 22. The emperor system has been a key point of Japanese historiographical debate. In English, prominent works range from the early postwar work of Maruyama Masao, available in Thought and Behavior in Modern Japanese Politics, edited by Ivan Morris (London: Oxford University Press, 1963), to more recently Harold Bix’s Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan (New York: Harper Collins, 2000). The influential volumes by Irokawa (The Culture of the Meiji Period), Gluck (Japan’s Modern Myths), and Fujitani (Splendid Monarchy) have been cited above. 23. Doak, “What Is a Nation and Who Belongs?,” 287. 24. See in particular Howland’s nuanced examination of the impact of translation as a historically situated practice on conceptions of the “people” in Translating the West and Personal Liberty and the Public Good. 25. Fujitani analyzes the Japanese imperial state in light of the Foucauldian concept of biopolitics in “Right to Kill, Right to Make Live: Koreans as Japanese and Japanese as Americans in wwii,” Representations 99 (summer 2007). 26. Works that closely examine conceptions of society (shakai) in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries include H. D. Harootunian, Overcome by Modernity (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000); and Marilyn Ivy, “Formations of Mass Culture,” in Postwar Japan as History, edited by Andrew Gordon (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993). In Translating the West, Notes to Introduction • 227 •

Howland devotes a chapter to this topic, “Representing the People, Imagining Society,” 153–82. Germaine Houston focuses on how Marxist theorists and activists in Asia approached the question in The State, Identity, and the National Question in China and Japan (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994). 27. Andrew Gordon’s Labor and Imperial Democracy in Prewar Japan (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991) directly confronts the intertwining of nationalism, colonialism, and suffrage in the early twentieth century. Eiji Oguma’s A Genealogy of “Japanese” Self-­Images, translated by David Askew (Melbourne: Trans-­Pacific Press, 2002), provides an encyclopedic overview of multiple and often clashing positions in the imperial era. The literature on Japanese colonialism in English has rapidly grown in recent years: an early overview was provided in Ramon Myers and Mark Peattie, eds., The Japanese Colonial Empire, 1895–1945 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984); Stefan Tanaka analyzes the construction of “Shina” (China) in the imperial Japanese academy in Japan’s Orient: Rendering Pasts into History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993); Louise Young’s Japan’s Total Empire: Manchuria and the Culture of Japanese Imperialism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999) has led a reassessment of colonialism as a social project; and Peter Duus’s The Abacus and the Sword: The Japanese Penetration of Korea, 1895–1910 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995) and Hyun Ok Park’s Two Dreams in One Bed: Empire, Social Life, and the Origins of the North Korean Revolution in Manchuria (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005) directly engage with the question of capitalism and private property in Japanese colonial expansion to the Asian continent. There is a large literature in Japanese, with Ōe Shinobu et al., eds., Kindai Nihon to shokuminchi, vols. 1–8 (Tokyo: Iwanami, 1992–93), offering a comprehensive introduction. 28. Mizubayashi Takeshi, “Nihon-­teki ‘kō-­shi’ kannen no genkei to tenkai,” in Nihon ni okeru kō to shi, vol. 3, Kōkyō tetsugaku, edited by Sasaki Takeshi and Kim Tae-­Chang (Tokyo: Tōkyō Daigaku Shuppankai, 2002). 29. The Chinese binary gong-­si (public-­private) initially emerged as a means of differentiating between the concerns (particularly land) of a chief as the head of a community and those of individual members of said community. From the fourth century bce, guan (bureaucracy) and min (the people) began to be deployed within an emerging imperial state apparatus in China to distinguish between state and society. In this context, the term gong bridged the gap between ruler and ruled—incorporated into character compounds for popular opinion as well as government offices—in its sense of “communal matters”; si was that which was not relevant to the community. Gong-­si and guan-­min overlapped but were not equivalent, until, in the seventh century ce, imperial officials began to substitute gong-­si for guan-­min in order to avoid reference to the Tang dynasty’s own min origins. Mizubayashi, “Nihon-­teki ‘kō-­shi’ kannen no genkei to tenkai,” 7–8. Also see Joan Piggot, The Emergence of Japanese Kingship (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997), for a detailed discussion of the state-­building project. Notes to Introduction • 228 •

30. Ōyake had previously been complemented by the term woyake, designating a clan possessed of a lower level of status. Since woyake had never demarcated a space outside of governance (that is, both ōyake and woyake referred to ruling structures, distinguishable only in terms of scale), woyake soon faded into irrelevance with the rise of a more totalizing form of imperial hegemony. Mizubayashi, “Nihon-­teki ‘kō-­shi’ kannen no genkei to tenkai,” 6. 31. The law is known as the Konden Einen Shizaihō (墾田永年私財法). Mizubayashi, “Nihon-­teki ‘kō-­shi’ kannen no genkei to tenkai,” 12. 32. A new formal basis for shōen in the eleventh century was established by requiring up-­to-­date documentation to enjoy tax-­free status. Many improperly or undocumented shōen were then converted to “imperial edict fields” (chokushiden), essentially private estates possessed by members of the imperial line. See Thomas Keirstead, The Geography of Power in Medieval Japan (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992), for an extended discussion. 33. Mizubayashi, “Nihon-­teki ‘kō-­shi’ kannen no genkei to tenkai,” 13. 34. For the Tokugawa period, Watanabe Hiroshi employs the image of a series of nested boxes, the enclosing one labeled ōyake and the enclosed labeled watakushi; those lower down at any point of the social pyramid under the shogun would refer to matters above their level as ōyake and matters at their own level as watakushi. Meanwhile, superiors drew inferiors into publicness with the appellation of ōyake or kō for affairs subject to regulation in the name of social order, such as marriage alliances within the ruling elite. Watanabe Hiroshi, “Nihon shisōshiteki myakuraku kara mita kō-­shi mondai,” in Shōrai sedai sōgō kenkyūjo, ed., Hikaku shisōshiteki myakuraku kara mita kō-­shi mondai: Dai ikkai kōkyō tetsugaku kyōdō kenkyūkai (Japan: Shōrai sedai kokusai zaidan, 1998), 121; quoted in Mizubayashi, “Nihon-­teki ‘kō-­shi’ kannen no genkei to tenkai,” 19. Watanabe also provides a comparative look at Chinese, Japanese, and English conceptions of publicness in “‘Ōyake’ ‘watakushi’ no gogi,” in Sasaki and Kim, eds., Kō to shi no shisōshi, 145–74. 35. Deep skepticism regarding modern Japanese civil society, let alone Habermasian public sphere, is justifiably engrained in Japanese- and Western-­language studies of modern Japan. See, for example, Sheldon Garon’s Molding Japanese Minds: The State in Everyday Life (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997); and Gregory Kasza, The Conscription Society: Administered Mass Organizations (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995). Saitō Jun’ichi emphasizes that the three-­character-­compound kōkyōsei referring to a Habermasian public sphere only came into common use in Japan in the 1990s. Saitō, Kōkyōsei: Publicness (Tokyo: Iwanami, 2000), 1–2. 1. Stating the Public

Translations of published Japanese texts are mine, except in cases that I note when I have found a published English translation already in circulation. 1. See, for example, Hashizume Shin’ya, Meiji no meikyū toshi (Tokyo: Heibonsha, Notes to Chapter 1 • 229 •

1990); Kinoshita Naoyuki, Bijutsu to iu misemono (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1993); Peter Kornicki, “Public Display and Changing Values: Early Meiji Expositions and Their Precursors,” Monumenta Nipponica 49: 2 (summer 1994); Andrew Markus, “The Carnival of Edo: Misemono Spectacles from Contemporary Accounts,” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 45:2 (1985); Timon Screech, The Lens within the Heart (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2002). 2. As Douglas Howland points out, “Japanese efforts to translate the West must be understood both as problems of language—the creation and circulation of new concepts—and as problems of action—the usage of new concepts in debates about the policies to be implemented in a westernizing Japan.” Howland, Translating the West: Language and Political Reason in Nineteenth-­Century Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2002), 2. 3. Kitazawa Noriaki, Me no shinden (Tokyo: Bijutsu shuppansha, 1989), 115. The Institute for the Study of Barbarian Books (Bansho Shirabesho), an expanded and revitalized version of the Tokugawa Shogunate’s translation bureau, was established in 1856 not only to shore up the long-­standing shogunal monopoly on foreign information but also to train young intellectuals to confront the national crisis precipitated by the arrival of Commodore Matthew Perry in 1853. For more, see Howland, Translating the West, 9–10. 4. Kitazawa, Me no shinden, 112–15; Shiina Noritaka, Meiji hakubutsukan kotohajime (Kyoto: Shibunkaku, 1989), 17–30. For a detailed English-­language account of the mission of 1860, see Masao Miyoshi, As We Saw Them: The First Japanese Embassy to the West (New York: Kodansha International, 1994). 5. Kitazawa, Me no shinden, 112–14; Shiina, Meiji hakubutsukan kotohajime, 23. 6. Shiina, Meiji hakubutsukan kotohajime, 21–23. 7. Kitazawa, Me no shinden, 112. 8. Tony Bennett, The Birth of the Museum: History, Theory, Politics (New York: Routledge, 1995), 19. Also see Steven Conn, Museums and American Intellectual Life, 1876–1926 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998); and Daniel Sherman, Worthy Monuments: Art Museums and the Politics of Culture in Nineteenth-­ Century France (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998). 9. This formulation draws from the work of Howland, who engages with Reinhart Koselleck’s theories of language, ideas, and history to explore the complexity of introducing Western philosophical and political concepts to a nineteenth-­ century Japanese context in Translating the West. 10. Both Shiina and Kitazawa analyze Fukuzawa’s definition and its impact. Kitazawa, Me no shinden, 117; Shiina, Meiji hakubutsukan kotohajime, 31–36. Alice Tseng offers a complete translation in “Art in Place: The Display of Japan at the Imperial Museums, 1872–1909” (PhD diss., Harvard University, 2004), 25–26. 11. Shiina, Meiji hakubutsukan kotohajime, 29. 12. Reprint of Seiyō jijō in Fukuzawa Yukichi, Fukuzawa Yukichi, in Nihon no meicho: 33, edited by Nagai Michio (Tokyo: Chūō kōron, 1969), 376. 13. Kitazawa, Me no shinden, 117. Notes to Chapter 1 • 230 •

14. Shiina, Meiji hakubutsukan kotohajime, 31–35. The Jardin des Plantes is now a department in the French National Museum of Natural History (Muséum national d’histoire naturelle). 15. Shiina, Meiji hakubutsukan kotohajime, 25. 16. Shiina, Meiji hakubutsukan kotohajime, 29–30. 17. Bennett, The Birth of the Museum, 20. 18. I am borrowing the phrase from John Berger’s Ways of Seeing (New York: Viking Press, 1973). 19. Prominent, but not the sole, representatives of this field are Kinoshita, Bijutsu to iu misemono; Kornicki, “Public Display and Changing Values”; Markus, “The Carnival of Edo”; and Screech, The Lens within the Heart. 20. Kitazawa, Me no shinden, 116–17; Shiina, Meiji hakubutsukan kotohajime, 43–47; tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi (Tokyo: Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan, 1973), 2–7. 21. The visits of a handful of Europeans with an interest in Japanese botany during the Tokugawa period are also often mentioned as a stimulating influence. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 3–4. 22. For detailed information on major figures in honzōgaku (medicinal-­plant studies), see Ueno Masuzō, Hakubutsugakusha retsuden (Tokyo: Yasaka shobō, 1991). 23. Hiraga was a scholar and popular writer who studied kokugaku (native studies), rangaku, bussangaku (study of man-­made and natural products), and honzōgaku. He is well known both for having invented a machine to generate static electricity for therapeutic purposes and for his satirical works of fiction. Unfortunately, he died in jail after going insane and killing one of his students. 24. Shiina, Meiji hakubutsukan kotohajime, 44–45. 25. See, for example, Ueno’s account in Nihon hakubutsugaku-­shi (Tokyo: Kōdansha gakujutsu bunko, 1989), 166–80. 26. Ueno, Hakubutsugakusha retsuden, 53–55. 27. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 5. 28. See Amino Yoshihiko’s classic Muen•kugai•raku for a detailed study of the concept of this spatial expression of Otherness as it developed in the medieval period. Amino also addressed these issues in his work Nihon no rekishi o yominaosu (Tokyo: Chikuma shobō, 1991) and Zoku Nihon no rekishi o yominaosu (Tokyo: Chikuma shobō, 1996) aimed at a more general audience. See also Alan Christy’s translation of the latter two as Rereading Japanese History (Ann Arbor: Center for Japanese Studies, 2012). 29. Amino Yoshihiko, Zoku Nihon no rekishi o yominaosu, 51–55. See also the discussion in Eiko Ikegami, Bonds of Civility: Aesthetic Networks and the Political Origins of Japanese Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 88–90. 30. See, for example, Michael Smitka, ed., The Japanese Economy in the Tokugawa Era, 1600–1868 (New York: Routledge, 1998), particularly the chapters by David Howell, “Proto-­industrial Origins of Japanese Capitalism,” 112–30, and by NoNotes to Chapter 1 • 231 •

buhiko Nakai and James L. McClain, “Commercial Change and Urban Growth in Early Modern Japan,” 131–208. For more in-­depth discussion of the complex economic intersections in the Tokugawa period of local, domainal, and shogunal interests linking protoindustrialization with the emergence of capitalism, see David Howell, Capitalism from Within: Economy, Society, and the State in a Japanese Fishery (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995). 31. Kornicki, “Public Display and Changing Values,” 179. 32. M. E. Berry, Japan in Print: Information and Nation in the Early Modern Period (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006), 231. 33. Berry, Japan in Print, 231. 34. Berry, Japan in Print, 230. 35. Ikegami, Bonds of Civility, 366. 36. Berry, Japan in Print, 211–13. 37. Shiina, Meiji hakubutsukan kotohajime, 48–50. 38. Quoted in Shiina, Meiji hakubutsukan kotohajime, 48. 39. Michel Foucault, “Governmentality,” in The Essential Foucault, edited by Paul Rabinow and Nikolas Rose (New York: The New Press, 2003), 244. 40. Ueno gives a synopsis of the Meiji government’s steps toward establishing an educational system, which began with taking over the shogunate’s Kaiseijo (formerly the Institute for the Study of Barbarian—then Western—Books) in 1868. Ueno, Hakubutsugakusha retsuden, 154. 41. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 42–47. 42. Tanaka was of samurai background and born in Owari Domain. He was influenced by his father and brother, who were physicians, and studied with Itō Keisuke (1803–1901), an eminent scholar of medicine and rangaku. Tanaka was employed by the Institute for the Study of Barbarian Books and helped prepare and oversee the shogunate’s natural-­history exhibits for the Paris exposition of 1867. After the establishment of the Meiji regime, Tanaka was employed in the university and dispatched to the Vienna exposition of 1873. He was closely involved in the founding of the first permanent government museum and instrumental in opening a government zoo in Ueno Park. He was the second director of the national museum in Ueno, following Machida Hisanari, with whom he had clashed. See the biography provided by Ueno, Hakubutsugakusha retsuden, 151–60. For an account that highlights his conflict with Machida, see Kuresawa Takemi, Bijutsukan no seijigaku (Tokyo: Seikyusha, 2007), 78–81. 43. The proposal from February 1871 is quoted in tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 28–29. In the end, credit as the first domestic exposition went to the Kyoto exposition of 1871. See Maruyama Hiroshi, “Meiji shoki no Kyoto Hakurankai,” in Bankoku hakurankai no kenkyū, edited by Yoshida Mitsukuni (Kyoto: Shibunkaku, 1986). 44. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 22–36. 45. Quoted in tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 29. 46. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 32–34. Notes to Chapter 1 • 232 •

47. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, shiryōhen (Tokyo: Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan, 1973), 605. For an illuminating comparison, see the succinct but far-­reaching account of the turn represented by nineteenth-­ century Western scientific archival philosophy by Geoffrey Bowker in Memory Practices in the Sciences (Cambridge: mit Press, 2005), 71. 48. The process by which the state developed its educational arm was not at all smooth, and the main branch of the university had actually been dismantled in 1870. For more details, see tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 23–24. For the establishment of the Exhibition Bureau, see tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 42–43. 49. Satō Dōshin, “Kindai shigaku to shite no bijutsu shigaku no seiritsu to tenkai,” in Nihon bijutsushi no suimyaku, edited by Tsuji Tadao-­sensei chireki kinenkai (Tokyo: Perikansha, 1993), 152. 50. Robert Rydell’s landmark studies All the World’s a Fair (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984) and World of Fairs (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993) provide a critical overview of this era, with particular attention to representations of nation, race, and ethnicity. Yoshimi Shunya analyzes Euro-­ American world’s fairs, with a critical discussion of Japanese participation in exposition culture, noting how the twin forces of the state and capital used the fairs to visualize an imperial nation that was disciplinary in nature, in his classic Hakurankai no seijigaku: Manazashi no kindai (Tokyo: Chūō kōronsha, 1992). Official and unofficial records and albums from these expositions abound, including Paris illustré: 1889 exposition universelle (Paris: A. Lahure, 1889); John J. Flinn, Official Guide to the World’s Columbian Exposition in the City of Chicago, State of Illinois, May 1 to October 26, 1893 (Chicago: Columbian Guide Company, 1893); and Plan and Scope of the International Exposition at St. Louis (St. Louis: Louisiana Purchase Exposition, 1903). 51. Last public address of William McKinley at the Pan-­American Exposition, Buffalo, New York, September 5, 1901, recording by Thomas A. Edison, Inc. Thomas A. Edison, President McKinley’s Speech at the Pan-­American Exposition, 35 mm paper pos. (New York: Thomas A. Edison, 1901), United States Library of Congress Paper Print Collection (lc 1811). 52. Rydell, All the World’s a Fair, 3. 53. Peter Hoffenberg, An Empire on Display: English, Indian, and Australian Exhibitions from the Crystal Palace to the Great War (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001). 54. Robert Rydell, “A Cultural Frankenstein? The Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893,” in Grand Illusions: Chicago’s World’s Fair of 1893, edited by Neil Harris, Wim de Wit, James Gilbert, and Robert Rydell (Chicago: Chicago Historical Society, 1993). 55. Rutherford Alcock had assiduously collected close to nine hundred pieces of lacquerware, pottery, copperware, cloisonné, paintings, armor, swords, lanterns, straw coats, footwear, Japanese clocks, and mechanical dolls. For an account of Notes to Chapter 1 • 233 •

Alcock’s time in Japan, see his The Capital of the Tycoon: A Narrative of a Three Years’ Residence in Japan, vol. 1 (London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, and Green, 1863). 56. Yoshimi, Hakurankai no seijigaku, 112. 57. These were probably the first Japanese women in Europe, and the first on government books in Japan as “employees.” One Western observer wondered at the composure of these women before the throngs of curious onlookers, subjected to requests for the very clothing off their backs. The writer doubts that many European ladies could have held up as well under the pressure of being so displayed. Of course, as high-­class geisha, O-­sumi, O-­Sato, and O-­Kane were accustomed to spending their lives on stage. O-­sumi was probably the same O-­sumi who accompanied the second Tokugawa mission to the West in 1862 as “companionship” for the thirty-­eight delegates. As Shibusawa Hanako points out, this is an early example of using national monies to “provide” for government officials, later put in practice on a large scale as the “comfort women” (ianfu) system during the Asia-Pacific War. Shibusawa Hanako, Shibusawa Eiichi, Pari banpaku e (Tokyo: Kabushiki gaisha kokusho kankōkai, 1995), 87–89. See also Yoshida Mitsukuni, ed., Bankokuhaku no Nihonkan (Tokyo: inax, 1990), 11. 58. Ayako Hotta-­Lister provides a close examination of various aspects, including economic, of Japanese participation in both major and minor overseas exhibitions in The Japan-­British Exhibition of 1910 (Richmond, U.K.: Japan Library, 1999). 59. See the discussion of this in tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 13–18. 60. Machida Hisanari was born in Satsuma Domain to a very prominent samurai household. He went at age nineteen to Edo to study kokugaku (native studies). He was later called back to Satsuma and directed to study English and Western matters. At the young age of twenty-­six, he was appointed ōmetsuke (high inspector). Machida was sent by his domain in 1865 to London, and in 1867 he was asked to help with the Satsuma presentation in Paris. In 1868 the new government employed Machida in what was to become the Foreign Ministry. In 1870 he was moved from foreign affairs to the university with particular responsibility for the division that represented the legacy of the Institute for the Study of Barbarian Books. From the beginning, Machida promoted the establishment of a permanent museum along the lines of the British and South Kensington (Victoria and Albert) museums, and he headed various incarnations of exposition and museum bureaus. He was also a major private-­art collector and a force in beginning a program for government preservation of antiquities. He worked with Tanaka Yoshio to bring the museum to Ueno Park, but clashed with Tanaka regarding the museum’s direction. Machida was ousted as museum director in 1882 and replaced by Tanaka. Machida soon after departed from government service and took Buddhist vows at a temple on Mount Hiei. Machida figures prominently throughout much of tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakuNotes to Chapter 1 • 234 •

nenshi; for initial background information, see pages 18, 24–28, and for his departure, see pages 226–29. Kuresawa also discusses Machida in some detail in Bijutsukan no seijigaku, 75–82. Christine Guth offers a short English-­language introduction to Machida’s career in Art, Tea, and Industry: Masuda Takashi and the Mitsui Circle (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), 106–7. 61. Ueno, Hakubutsugakusha retsuden, 151. 62. Yamataka Nobutsura was born in Shizuoka Domain of samurai background, and was appointed as a shogunal metsuke (inspector). In this capacity, he was sent to the Paris exposition of 1867. Yamataka later joined the Meiji government’s Ministry of Finance, and in 1872 he was appointed to the Exposition Office to help prepare for Vienna. In 1876 he was placed in charge of general affairs (shōmugakari) for the exhibition division, rising to a level of responsibility just below Machida and Tanaka, in charge of the crafts division (kōgei). He became director of the Ueno museum from 1885 to 1889. He later became director of the Kyoto and Nara imperial museums in 1894. In addition, Yamataka was a noted bunjinga (literati style) painter. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 18, 70, 175, 177, 225, 229–30, 262. For a recent biography, see Shiba Kōshi, Yamataka Nobutsura to sono shinzoku (Yokohama: Shiba Kōshi, 2005). 63. Sano Tsunetami is most widely known for his role in helping establish the Hakuaisha, forerunner to the Japanese Red Cross. He was born in Saga Domain of samurai background, and first went to Edo in 1837, for training in medicine and the sciences. He returned to Saga several times, and in 1857 he got involved in building up a navy. He was dispatched to the Paris exposition of 1867 on the basis of his scientific expertise. In 1870 he was appointed by the Meiji government to help establish a navy but was circulated out due to various conflicts. Sano helped prepare for, and was sent to, the Vienna exposition of 1873. He continued to serve the government, but in the 1880s he also became closely involved with the establishment of the Hakuaisha. In addition, Sano was very active in the art world: he was dispatched on an official survey of European art schools and museums and drafted a report in 1875; he was president of the Ryūchikai and the Nihon bijutsu kyōkai (Japan Art Association); he helped institute a system of creating imperial household appointments and patronage for artists. For a full biography of Sano, see Yoshikawa Ryūko, Nisseki no sōshisha Sano Tsunetami (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 2001). Various references to his activities in the art and museum world can be found in tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, such as on 19, 115–17, 122–28; and in Ellen Conant, Steven D. Owyoung, and J. Thomas Rimer, eds., nihonga: Transcending the Past; Japanese-­Style Painting, 1868–1968 (New York: Weatherhill, 1995), 20, 22, 80–81, 92. 64. Ōkuma is so well-­known that I will not include biographical details here. In English, see Joyce Lebra-­Chapman, Okuma Shigenobu: Statesman of Meiji Japan (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1973). It is also worth noting that both Shibusawa Eiichi (1840–1931), traveling as an advisor to Tokugawa Notes to Chapter 1 • 235 •

Akitake and about to found a financial empire, and the future textile magnate Godai Tomoatsu (1835–85), who managed the Satsuma displays, would return to Japan stressing the importance of adopting the corporation form of business organization. Nakaoka Tetsurō, Hakurankai (Tokyo: Asahi shimbunsha, 2005), 195–96. 65. For a close analysis of the problem of recruitment and continuity in the Meiji bureaucracy, see Bernard S. Silberman, “Bureaucratization of the Meiji State: The Problem of Authority and Legitimacy,” in Conflict in Modern Japanese History: The Neglected Tradition, edited by Tetsuo Najita and J. Victor Koschmann (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982), 421–30. 66. Rydell, All the World’s a Fair, 55–56; see also Timothy Mitchell, “Egypt at the Exhibition,” in Colonising Egypt (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991), 1–33; and Hoffenberg, “Terrae Nullius? Australia and India at Overseas Exhibitions,” in An Empire on Display, 129–65. 67. For a stimulating account of Mexico’s struggles for recognition at international expositions, see Mauricio Tenorio-­Trillo, Mexico at the World’s Fairs: Crafting a Modern Nation (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996). 68. Russell Lewis, “Preface,” in Harris et al., Grand Illusions, xii. 69. Lewis, “Preface,” xii. 70. Kitazawa, Me no shinden, 136. 71. James W. Buel, ed., Louisiana and the Fair: An Exposition of the World, Its People, and Their Achievements, vol. 4 (St. Louis: World’s Progress Publication Company, 1904), 1399–400. 72. See tkh, Seiki no saiten: Bankoku hakurankai no bijutsu (Tokyo: Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan, 2004); tkh, Umi o watatta Meiji no bijutsu: Saiken! 1893-­ nen Shikago Koronbusu sekai hakurankai (Tokyo: Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutuskan, 1997); and Tokyo-­to Edo-­Tokyo Hakubutsukan, Hakuran toshi Edo Tokyo (Tokyo: Edo Tokyo Rekishi Zaidan, 1993). Reproductions of period materials related to expositions in the late nineteenth century can also be found in Tsunoyama Yukihiro, ed., Uiin banpaku no kenkyū (shiryōhen) (Tokyo: Dōbōsha, 2000). Hino Eiichi notes that Arita tokkuri (servers for Japanese wine) were a hit at the exposition in 1867, but they were used for lamp stands rather than for their original purpose. Hino, “Bankoku hakurankai to Nihon no ‘bijutsu kōgei,’” in Bankoku hakurankai no kenkyū, edited by Yoshida Mitsukuni (Kyoto: Shibunkaku, 1986), 22. 73. Tokyo-­to Edo-­Tokyo Hakubutsukan, Hakuran toshi Edo Tokyo, 56. Léon Roches (1809–1901), French envoy to Japan from 1864 to 1868, promoted trade between France and Japan. Toward this end, he contributed to the construction of factories and similar projects. 74. Wagener, a German chemist who arrived in Tokyo in 1868, greatly contributed to developments in the fields of chemistry and craft production in Japan. Kitazawa, Me no shinden, 136; Hino, “Bankoku hakurankai to Nihon no ‘bijutsu kōgei,’” 23. Notes to Chapter 1 • 236 •

75. Kitazawa, Me no shinden, 136–37. 76. Nakaoka, Hakurankai, 200–205. 77. Satō Dōshin, “Rekishi shiryō to shite no korekushon,” in Kindai Gasetsu 2 (Tokyo: Meiji bijutsu gakkai, 1993), 44. 78. For further accounts of Japonisme, see Kodama Sanehide, Amerika no japonizumu (Tokyo: Chūō kōronsha, 1995); Kokuritsu seiyō bijutsukan, ed., Japonizumu ten zuroku (Tokyo: Kokuritsu seiyō bijutsukan, Kokusai kōryū kikin, Nihon hōsō kyōkai, Yomiuri shimbun, 1988); and Salem Peabody and Essex Museum, ed., A Pleasing Novelty: Bunkio Matsuo and the Japan Craze in Victorian Salem (Salem, Mass.: Peabody and Essex Museum, 1993). 79. Hino, “Bankoku hakurankai to Nihon no ‘bijutsu kōgei,’” 24. 80. The call was circulated for the domestic exposition of 1872 that was intended to prepare for the world’s fair in 1873. Hakurankai jimukyoku, “Uinfu (Ōchiri no miyako) ni oite rai-­1873-­nen hakurankai o moyōsu shidai” (1872), quoted by Hino, “Bankoku hakurankai to Nihon no ‘bijutsu kōgei,’” 24. 81. For visual illustration of such tendencies, see the official catalogue for the Tokyo National Museum’s exhibit from 1997, tkh, Umi o watatta Meiji no bijutsu: Saiken! 1893-­nen Shikago-­Koronbusu Sekai Hakurankai. This trend is explicitly analyzed on pages 93–94. 82. Pierre Lehmann also notes the strong resistance on the part of many in or from the West to non-­Westerners refusing the role of the Other. Thus the unkind comments about Japanese in Western dress appearing as monkeys. Lehmann, The Image of Japan: From Feudal Isolation to World Power, 1850–1905 (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1978). 83. Kinoshita, Bijutsu to iu misemono, 16–34; see also Nakamura Denzaburō, “Meiji Sculpture,” in Japanese Arts and Crafts in the Meiji Era, edited by Uyeno Naoteru (Tokyo: Pan-­Pacific Press, 1958). 84. For a detailed account of the tumultuous fate of Buddhism during the Meiji period, see James Ketelaar, Of Heretics and Martyrs: Buddhism and Its Persecution in Meiji Japan (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990). 85. Kinoshita, Bijutsu to iu misemono, 29–31. 86. Kinoshita, Bijutsu to iu misemono, 30. 87. For Takamura Kōun’s own recollection on the making of this statue, see Takamura, Bakumatsu ishin kaikodan (Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 1995), 372–77. 88. See Hino’s discussion of the classification of Japanese works as art in 1893, “Bankoku hakurankai to Nihon no ‘bijutsu kōgei,’” 31–33, and in 1900, 34–38. 89. Yoshida, Bankokuhaku no Nihonkan, 22. 90. Umesao Tadao, “Chi” no korekutaatachi (Tokyo: Kōdansha, 1989), 237–38. 91. For a critical overview, see Yoshimi, Hakurankai no seijigaku, 122–44. For reproductions of primary materials related to domestic expositions, see the invaluable series published by the Meiji Bunken Shiryō Kankōkai, Meiji zenki sangyō hattatsu shi shiryō, 110 vols. (Tokyo: Meiji bunken shiryō kankōkai, 1973). 92. Satō describes the relationship as a “two-­tiered transformer” for the economy Notes to Chapter 1 • 237 •

in “Meiji no shokusan kōgyō seisaku to Ōbei no Nihon bijutsu korekushon,” a report presented as a member of the Tokyo Kokuritsu Bunkazai research group (unpublished, date unknown), 4. 93. The Cultural Bureau (Bunkachō) explicitly models categories, in particular with regard to the case of Japanese art. See Bunkachō, ed., Wagakuni no bunka to bunka gyōsei (Tokyo: Kabushiki gaisha gyōsei, 1988), 103–31. 94. Detailed accounts are offered by Shiina, Meiji hakubutsukan kotohajime, 54–71; and tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 49–60. 95. Currency denominations followed the New Currency Act of 1871, which established the yen, sen, and ri. The transitional form of ryō, equivalent to yen, was also still employed at the time. One yen equals one hundred sen, and one sen equals ten ri. At the time, one shō (1.8 liters) of rice cost about 42 sen. 96. Proposal quoted in tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 49–50. 97. Proposal from 1872, quoted in tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 49. 98. Quoted in tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 49. 99. Kitazawa, Me no shinden, 124. 100. Yoshimi, Hakurankai no seijigaku, 122–23. 101. Rudyard Kipling, From Sea to Sea: Letters of Travel, vol. 1 (New York: Doubleday & McClure Company, 1899), 331. 102. Kitazawa, Me no shinden, 119. 103. Stephen Vlastos, “Opposition Movements in Early Meiji, 1868–1885,” in The Cambridge History of Japan, Vol. 5: The Nineteenth Century, edited by Marius B. Jansen (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 398. 104. Satō, “Meiji no shokusan kōgyō seisaku to ōbei no nihon bijutsu korekushon,” 5. 105. Hakurankai annai: Daigokai naikoku kangyō hakurankai sōsetsu (Tokyo: Kinkōdō, 1903), 1. In everything from conception to timing, domestic expositions were seen by the government as integrally connected to Japanese participation in world’s fairs. See, for example, Hakurankai annai, 2–3. 106. Information on the evolution of the national expositions is from Hakurankai annai, 2–7. See also Noriko Aso, “New Illusions: The Emergence of a Discourse on Traditional Japanese Arts and Crafts, 1868–1945” (PhD diss., University of Chicago, 1997); and Yoshimi, Hakurankai no seijigaku. 107. Hakurankai annai, frontispiece map. 108. Buel, Louisiana and the Fair, vol. 5, 1692. 109. Daigokai naikoku kangyō hakurankai kinen shashinchō offered a particularly rich visual record of the exposition (Osaka: Gyokumeikwan, 1903). 110. See Neil Harris, “Memory and the White City,” and Wim de Wit, “Building an Illusion: The Design of the World’s Columbian Exposition,” in Harris et al., Grand Illusions. 111. The seven-­volume series Daigokai naikoku kangyō hakurankai kinen shashinchō provides a rich set of images of various aspects of the exposition. See, for example, plate 2 of the Bazaar of Nagoya (Nagoya-­kan; English translation as Notes to Chapter 1 • 238 •

given in the original), and plates 7–8 of the Formosa Building (Taiwan-­kan) in vol. 1, 13–14, 19. See also plate 7 of the Bazaar of Osaka in vol. 3, 41; and plate 11 for the Bazaar of Kyoto in vol. 4, 10. 112. Stefan Tanaka, Japan’s Orient: Rendering Pasts into History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), 19. 113. Hakurankai annai, 95. 114. Hakurankai annai, 96. 115. Hakurankai annai, 95. 116. Hakurankai annai, 95–97. 117. See Hakurankai annai, 63. 118. Matsuda Kyōko, Teikoku no shisen: Hakurankai to ibunka hyōshō (Tokyo: Furukawa kōbunkan, 2003), 76–77. 119. Hakurankai annai, 63. 120. Hakurankai annai, 98. 121. Matsuda, Teikoku no shisen, 82–118. 122. Hakurankai annai, 63, 97–99. 123. For a discussion of conceptualizing a nation as a “collective actor,” see Craig Calhoun, Nations Matter: Culture, History, and the Cosmopolitan Dream (London: Routledge, 2007), 48. 124. Accounts of this pavilion may be found in Arazato Kinbuku, Ōshiro Tatsuhiro, and the Ryūkyū shinpōsha, Okinawa no hyakunen, vol. 2 (Tokyo: Taihei, 1971), 198–200; Murata Yūjirō, “Chinese Nationalism and Modern Japan: Imitation and Resistance in the Formation of National Subjects,” in Japanese Civilization in the Modern World XVI: Nation, State, Empire, edited by T. Umesao, T. Fujitani, and E. Kurimoto, and translated by Noriko Aso (Osaka: Japanese National Museum of Ethnology, 2000); and Ōta Masahide, Okinawa no minshū ishiki (Tokyo: Shinsensha, 1987), 289–95. 125. Murata, “Chinese Nationalism and Modern Japan: Imitation and Resistance in the Formation of National Subjects,” 39, footnote 9. 126. Hoffenberg, An Empire on Display, 97. 127. Hoffenberg, An Empire on Display, 236. 128. Shiina, Meiji hakubutsukan kotohajime, 60–65. 129. Quoted by Shiina, Meiji hakubutsukan kotohajime, 60–61. 130. Fujiwara Masato, ed., Meiji zenki sangyō hattatsu shi shiryō, kangyō hakurankai shiryō 6: Daigokai naikoku kangyō hakurankai Tokyo shuppin renmeikai hōkoku (Tokyo: Meiji bunken shiryō kankōkai, 1973), 63–64. See also Hakurankai annai, 167–71. 131. Fujiwara, Meiji zenki sangyō hattatsu shi shiryō, kangyō hakurankai shiryō 6, 64–67. 132. Hakurankai annai, frontispiece map. 133. Bennett, The Birth of the Museum, 69–75. 134. In the Tokugawa and early Meiji periods, rest days were configured in a different manner, but from the 1870s on, the idea of designating at least a portion of Notes to Chapter 1 • 239 •

Saturday and Sunday as regular days off work gradually transformed working schedules. 135. Fujiwara Masato, ed., Meiji zenki sangyō hattatsu shi shiryō, kangyō hakurankai shiryō 1: Daigokai naikoku kangyō hakurankai Osaka to hakurankai (Tokyo: Meiji bunken shiryō kankōkai, 1973), 51–53. 136. Bennett, The Birth of the Museum, 48–58. 137. Bennett, The Birth of the Museum, 65. 138. The national exposition of 1903 was well documented through photography. See (unnumbered) frontispieces for Fujiwara, Meiji zenki sangyō hattatsu shi shiryō, kangyō hakurankai shiryō 6; and Hakurankai annai, 167–71. See also all the volumes of Daigokai naikoku kangyō hakurankai kinen shashinchō. 139. After the heyday of the national industrial expositions, domestic sponsorship was increasingly entrusted to private entities and organizers who focused more on promoting consumption rather than production as such. 140. Kitazawa, Me no shinden, 121. 141. These changes are discussed in detail in tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, and summarized in tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, shiryōhen, 707. 142. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, shiryōhen, 3–4; tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 63–64. 143. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 62. 144. See the discussion in tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 62; even today, the Yushima site hosts the Tokyo Medical and Dental University (Tokyo ika shika daigaku). 145. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 87–89. 146. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 90–95. 147. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 104. 148. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 103–8. Tanaka Fujimaro was of samurai descent and born in Owari. A restorationist, he joined the new government in 1868. In 1871 he was appointed to head the Ministry of Education as well as to the Iwakura Mission. Upon his return from the mission, he pursued various educational reforms, but he moved to the Ministry of Justice in 1880. He continued to fulfill prominent government roles thereafter. For his biography, see Nishio Toyosaku, Shishaku Tanaka Fujimaro-­den (Nagoya: Kōsaijuku, 1934). 149. Shiina, Meiji hakubutsukan kotohajime, 154–60. 150. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 180–83. Tseng also discusses the competition over location in “Art in Place,” 46–47. 151. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 108. 152. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 122–29. 153. Kuresawa, Bijutsukan no seijigaku, 81. 154. This account of Ueno’s history is drawn from Suga Hajime, Ueno Kan’eiji (Tokyo: Kokusho kankōsha, 1990); and Hayashi Jōji and Tan’o Yasunori, Konna ni omoshiroi Ueno kōen (Tokyo: Shinchōsha, 1994). Notes to Chapter 1 • 240 •

155. See the lively account by Shiina in Meiji hakubutsukan kotohajime, 103–9. 156. The first five public parks in Tokyo included the already popular scenic areas of Ueno, Asakusa, and Shiba. See Edward Seidensticker, Low City, High City: Tokyo from Edo to the Earthquake (New York: Knopf, 1983), 117. 157. Tseng, “Art in Place,” 51–54. 158. Tseng provides an intriguing discussion of the “Saracenic” elements of Conder’s design as his attempt to develop an appropriate style for the Japanese national museum. Tseng, “Art in Place,” 78–85. 159. For more details, see the account given in tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 45, 50–51, 60, 131–33, 183, 205, 208. 160. In 1876, however, the government adopted a vacation schedule that designated Saturdays as half-­days and Sundays off. 161. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 94. 162. Kankoba origins lie in permanent exhibits in Tokyo organized by regional administrations, Hokkaidō in particular, in order to drum up a domestic market for such novelties as ice cream, beer, and butter. For the first decade or so of the Meiji period, kankoba enjoyed great popularity, located at such prime locations as the Ginza, still today a high-­priced shopping mecca. See Hatsuda Tōru, Hyakkaten no tanjō (Tokyo: Sanseidō, 1993), 7–59. 163. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 226–29; Kuresawa, Bijutsukan no seijigaku, 81–83. 164. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 229. 165. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 226. 2. Imperial Properties

1. Bureaucratic rivalry had long been part of the naming process: when the Ministry of Education lost control over the Museum, it started over again with the Ministry of Education Museum (Monbushō Hakubutsukan). In response, the Home Ministry insisted that the archetypal title of “Museum” should belong only to the original institution; all others would have to add qualifiers. This policy remained in effect when in 1881 the Museum was shifted to the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce, and in 1886 when it was transferred to the Imperial Household Ministry. In 1889, however, this policy was modified when the Museum became the Imperial Museum (Teikoku Hakubutsukan), in part to herald plans for expansion that would result in the Imperial Museum of Kyoto and the Imperial Museum of Nara. In 1900 the central museum was rebranded as the Tokyo Imperial Household Museum until the end of the Pacific War, a move that replaced the “imperial” of teikoku (empire) with that of teishitsu (imperial household). Underscoring Imperial Household possession was also seen as vital in light of the intertwined institutional histories of the state museum and library, the latter held by the Ministry of Education. For naming in the shift in 1900, see tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi (Tokyo: Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan, 1973), 310. Notes to Chapter 2 • 241 •

2. Kuroita quoted by Li, “Chōsen ōchō no shōchō kūkan to hakubutsukan,” in Shokuminchi kindai no shiza: Chōsen to Nihon, edited by Miyajima Hiroshi et al. (Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 2004), 38. Kuroita Katsumi was born in Nagasaki Prefecture of samurai background. He studied history at the Imperial University and went on to join the faculty in 1902. Kuroita played an important role as an editor as well as an author in systematizing the documentary study of ancient Japanese history, with an emphasis on collection and conservation. One of his central tenets as a conservative nationalist was the continuity and transcendence of the Japanese imperial dynasty. John Brownlee offers an introduction to Kuroita in Japanese Historians and the National Myths 1600–1945: The Age of the Gods (Vancouver: ubc Press, 1999), 145–55. 3. For an early postwar indictment of the emperor system, see Maruyama Masao’s chapter “Theory and Psychology of Ultra-­nationalism” in Thought and Behavior in Modern Japanese Politics, edited by Ivan Morris (London: Oxford University Press, 1963), 1–24. For a close discussion of the emperor and the Meiji ­Constitution, see Suzuki Masayuki, Kōshitsu seido (Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 1993), 27–52. 4. Inoue Kowashi quoted in Carol Gluck, Japan’s Modern Myths: Ideology in the Late Meiji Period (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985), 77. 5. This is thus another case of what Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger famously called “the invention of tradition.” Hobsbawm and Ranger, eds., The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983). 6. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi (Tokyo: Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan, 1973), 37–40. 7. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 37. 8. It is thought that the initiative came from Machida Hisanari, although not documented as such. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 39; tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, shiryōhen (Tokyo: Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan, 1973), 606–7. 9. For a concise discussion of “national treasures” as an official category in the prewar period, see Christine Guth, “Kokuhō: From Dynastic to Artistic Treasure,” Cahiers d’Extrême-­Asie 9 (1996–97). 10. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, shiryōhen, 606. 11. Beautifully crafted weaponry had already served as state gifts before the Meiji Restoration. According to Rutherford Alcock, “arms and silk” were given by the Japanese government to British officers for “favours yet to come” upon their return to Great Britain. However, they functioned at that point more as a symbol of the military government rather than of the “people” as such. Alcock, The Capital of the Tycoon: A Narrative of a Three Years’ Residence in Japan, vol. 1. (London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, and Green, 1863), 382. 12. Ochiai Hiroki, Meiji kokka to shizoku (Tokyo: Yoshikawa kōbunkan, 2001). 13. In 1872 the Meiji state permitted land sales, which had been officially prohibited during the Tokugawa era. The next step was the Land Tax Reform (ChisokaiNotes to Chapter 2 • 242 •

sei) of 1873, which initiated land surveys, registration, and the issuing of bonds. Article 27 enshrined private property within the Meiji Constitution. See E. H. Norman, Origins of the Modern Japanese State, edited by John W. Dower (New York: Pantheon, 1975), 243–51. 14. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 73. See also Guth, “Kokuhō,” 313–22; and Alice Tseng, “Art in Place: The Display of Japan at the Imperial Museums, 1872–1909” (PhD diss., Harvard University, 2004), 158–93. 15. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, shiryōhen, 611–12. 16. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 75–76. 17. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 75. 18. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 74. 19. Various artifacts were saved through such stratagems as transferring icons to lesser branches. Christine Guth, Art, Tea, and Industry: Masuda Takashi and the Mitsui Circle (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), 103–5. 20. Ernest Francisco Fenollosa Papers, Houghton Library, Harvard University, bMS am 1759.2 (62); reproduced in full in Tseng, “Art in Place,” 233–37. 21. Tseng, “Art in Place,” 172. 22. Numerous documents related to this matter are reproduced in tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, shiryōhen, 611–22. 23. An account of the process is provided in tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 164. 24. A discussion of the transfer can be found in tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 159–60. See also Stefan Tanaka, New Times in Modern Japan (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004), 30–31, 36–37. 25. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 165. 26. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 165. 27. Tanaka, New Times in Modern Japan, 37. 28. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 169–71. 29. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 169. 30. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 243. 31. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 585–87. 32. Gluck, Japan’s Modern Myths; Takashi Fujitani, Splendid Monarchy: Power and Pageantry in Modern Japan (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996); Suzuki, Kōshitsu seido. 33. An English-­language translation of the Meiji Constitution is available in Centre for East Asian Cultural Studies, ed., The Meiji Japan through Contemporary Sources, Volume 1: Basic Documents, 1854–1889 (Tokyo: Centre for East Asian Cultural Studies, 1969), 95–105. 34. In opposition to Minobe Tatsukichi and his “organ” theory, Shinkichi Uyesugi argued that “the Japanese political system recognizes a separation of powers, but all of the organs exercising these powers are subordinate to the Emperor.” Quoted in Kenneth Colegrove, “Powers and Functions of the Japanese Diet,” American Political Science Review 27: 6 (December 1933): 886. Notes to Chapter 2 • 243 •

35. On the origins of the Kyoto and Nara museums, see tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 379–80; on the gifting of the museum, see page 408. 36. Suzuki offers a close discussion of debates on imperial finances in the modern era in Kōshitsu seido, 80–90. The Meiji emperor’s direct inheritance from his father came to only about 100,000 yen, not enough to personally finance the new role envisioned for him by the Meiji state. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 245. 37. The enrichment of the aristocracy through the rise of shōen (tax-­free estates) in classical and medieval Japan similarly placed the imperial family in an awkward position when all land and no land was in imperial possession. For discussion of this problem, see, for example, Thomas Keirstead, The Geography of Power in Medieval Japan (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992). Also, in 1880 Ōkuma proposed moving the museums to the Imperial Household Ministry as part of the separation of imperial and state finances. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 246. 38. Suzuki, Kōshitsu seido, 81. 39. Fukuzawa Yukichi, “Teishitsuron,” in Meiji bungaku zenshū 8: Fukuzawa Yukichi shū, edited by Tomita Masafumi (Tokyo: Chikuma shobō, 1966), 77. 40. Quoted by Suzuki, Kōshitsu seido, 84. 41. From an opinion addressed to Sanjō Sanetomi, then chancellor of the realm (dajōkan daijin), quoted in part by Suzuki, Kōshitsu seido, 82. 42. Okuda Haruki provides an extensive analysis of property rights in Meiji Japan in Meiji kokka to kindaiteki tochi shoyū (Tokyo: Dōseisha, 2007). For his summary of the content of the land tax reform law of 1873, see pages 82–84. 43. Summarized by Suzuki, Kōshitsu seido, 86–87. 44. Summarized by Suzuki, Kōshitsu seido, 83–84. 45. Suzuki, Kōshitsu seido, 106. 46. Suzuki, Kōshitsu seido, 88. 47. Suzuki, Kōshitsu seido, 106–7. 48. Suzuki, Kōshitsu seido, 107. 49. Suzuki, Kōshitsu seido, 107–8. See also the discussion in Harold Bix, Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan (New York: Harper Collins, 2000), 94–95. 50. Suzuki, Kōshitsu seido, 109.
 51. Suzuki, Kōshitsu seido, 109–11. 52. Quoted by Suzuki, Kōshitsu seido, 111–12. 53. Suzuki, Kōshitsu seido, 146–47. 54. Quoted by Suzuki, Kōshitsu seido, 146. 55. Suzuki, Kōshitsu seido, 81; Gluck, Japan’s Modern Myths, 91–92. 56. Suzuki, Kōshitsu seido, 146. 57. Gluck, Japan’s Modern Myths, 91. 58. Although the idealized model changed somewhat, the imperial family continued to fulfill this function in the post–Second World War period. 59. Kitazawa Noriaki, Me no shinden (Tokyo: Bijutsu shuppansha, 1989), 173–75. For Notes to Chapter 2 • 244 •

some concrete examples, see Guth, Art, Tea, and Industry, 92–94. See also tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, shiryōhen, 698–700, for tables of imperial museum visits. 60. Satō Dōshin, “Imperial Household Artists,” in nihonga: Transcending the Past; Japanese-­Style Painting, 1868–1968, edited by Ellen Conant, Steven D. Owyoung, and J. Thomas Rimer (New York: Weatherhill, 1995), 92–93. 61. Satō, “Imperial Household Artists,” 93. 62. Kitazawa, Me no shinden, 174. 63. Tseng, “Art in Place,” 180. 64. Tseng, “Art in Place,” 115, 134–35, 138–39. 65. See tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, shiryōhen, 698–700, for dates of all imperial visits. 66. For related documents and a chart of donations, see tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 331–35. For a discussion of the documents and chart, see Tseng, “Art in Place,” 194, 203–4, 214–20. 67. Tseng, “Art in Place,” 210. 68. Tseng, “Art in Place,” 217. 69. The Asakusa library was originally based on the collection inherited from the Tokugawa shogunate by the Meiji state, which was its first modern public library in 1872. The university had control of most of the collection, and the Southern College (Daigaku Nankō) division, which also was the initial home of the museum, was responsible for the holdings of the Institute of Barbarian Books. Linked closely with the museum, the library also changed hands in 1875 from the Ministry of Education to the Home Ministry. However, when the museum went to the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce, the Home Ministry balked at transferring the library as well. See Tōjō Fuminori for a critical history of public libraries in Toshokan no seijigaku (Tokyo: Seikyūsha, 2006); and tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 213, for the conflict between ministries over the library. 70. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 290. 71. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 290. Kuki Ryūichi was of samurai background, born in Sanda Domain, and adopted by the Kuki family of Ayabe Domain. He studied under Fukuzawa Yukichi and joined the Ministry of Education in 1872. He was sent to Europe and the United States in 1873, and swiftly rose in the ranks upon his return. Kuki was sent to the Paris exposition of 1878 and returned the following year with reports on education and the arts in Europe. He was appointed envoy to the United States in 1884. Through the 1880s he was involved with various surveys of, and legislation for the protection of, Japanese art, forming close ties with Okakura Kakuzō in the process. Kuki was director of the imperial museum system from 1889 to 1902. For more details on Kuki Ryūichi’s life, see tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 253. Kuki’s art politics are discussed in Conant, Owyoung, and Rimer, nihonga, 31, 92–93. Notes to Chapter 2 • 245 •

72. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 421–23. 73. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 208–14, 216–17. The pricing structure for tickets was as follows: five-­sen red tickets for Sunday, three-­sen blue tickets for Tuesday through Friday, and two-­sen yellow tickets for Saturday. These tickets would be exchanged at the gate for an entry token (numbering five thousand in total), to be returned upon exit. 74. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 289. 75. Reproduction of regulations are in tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 271–73. Quotation from 272. 76. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 289–90. 77. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 420–21. 78. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 243, 244. 79. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 243–44. 80. In the words of Kuresawa Takemi, the museum “changed to a facility for preservation and collection in relation to imperial estates [teishitsu no zaisan].” Kuresawa, Bijutsukan no seijigaku (Tokyo: Seikyusha, 2007), 84. 81. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 244. 82. The remnants of this contract were swept out in 1890. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 247. 83. For structure and personnel of the Ueno museum, see tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, shiryōhen, 654–59. 84. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 247. 85. Kuresawa, Bijutsukan no seijigaku, 75–77. 86. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 291–93. 87. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 291. Fenollosa’s contract of employment is reproduced on this page. 88. Ellen Conant, “Principles and Pragmatism: The Yatoi in the Field of Art,” in Foreign Employees in Nineteenth Century Japan, edited by Edward R. Beauchamp and Akira Iriye (Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1990), 144–54, 156. 89. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 292. 90. Ernest Fenollosa, Epochs in Chinese and Japanese Art: An Outline of East Asiatic Design, 2 vols. (New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1911); Okakura Kakuzō, The Book of Tea (Rutland, Vt.: Tuttle, 1956); Okakura Kakuzō, The Ideals of the East with Special Reference to the Art of Japan (London: John Murray, 1905). With Okakura at the helm, Kokka was first published in 1889 by the Kokkasha. In addition to their own writings, many later accounts portray Fenollosa and Okakura in a heroic light as discoverers; see, for example, Uyeno Naoteru, ed., Japanese Arts and Crafts in the Meiji Era (Tokyo: Pan-­Pacific Press, 1958). 91. Conant, “Principles and Pragmatism,” 157. 92. Both Fenollosa and Okakura are quite explicit in their respective works regarding this dialectic, but F. G. Notehelfer offers a useful summary. Notehelfer, “On Idealism and Realism in the Thought of Okakura Tenshin,” Journal of Japanese Studies 16: 2 (summer 1990): 321–22, 331. Notes to Chapter 2 • 246 •

93. For an overview of the development of the genre that takes into consideration its location within institutional and other politics, see Conant, Owyoung, and Rimer, nihonga. 94. Fenollosa, Epochs in Chinese and Japanese Art, vol. 1, xxiv. 95. Okakura Kakuzō, “The Awakening of Japan,” in Okakura Kakuzo: Collected Eng­ lish Writings, vol. 1, edited by Okakura Koshiro (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1984), 254. 96. Okakura, Ideals of the East with Special Reference to the Art of Japan, 1. 97. Okakura, “The Awakening of Japan,” 250–51. 98. Okakura, Ideals of the East with Special Reference to the Art of Japan, 16. 99. For a sharp account of the formation of art history as a modern field, see Satō Dōshin, Meiji Kokka to kindai bijutsu: Bi no seijigaku (Tokyo: Yoshikawa kōbun, 1999), particularly 124–55. For discussion of the teaching of art history, see pages 141–42. 100. Tanaka, New Times in Modern Japan, 103. Tanaka supports his analysis with a critical discussion of the famous unveiling of the Guze Kannon; see pages 104–7. 101. Okakura translated by Tanaka, New Times in Modern Japan, 106. 102. As Tanaka drily notes, “the question of the artist is often ignored.” Tanaka, New Times in Modern Japan, 104. Although the field and focus differed, it is instructive to look as well at Geoffrey Bowker’s analysis of the rise in the nineteenth century of an understanding of temporality rooted in the natural sciences and industry and quickly expanding beyond, which refigured past and present into a “stateless present” through a similarly centrally situated observer. On the geologist Charles Lyell (1797–1875), Bowker writes: “For Lyell, the role of the interpreter of nature is central: God and Nature are both profoundly unknowable, and it is only through an epiphanic moment of profound insight that the scientist can hope to grasp their mysteries.” The connection to the efforts of Okakura and Fenollosa would be that “the arrow of historical causation in this case is not from towering intellect to society through the mediation of ideas, but from society to intellect mediated by the day-­to-­day exercise of the profession of geology. The problem of the division of labor and the organization of time in factories and geology was precisely the same problem. Through the mediation of the creation of the profession of geologist in the image of the middle management of a thriving business, Lyell inscribed the same time scientifically onto the history of the earth as others inscribed socially onto industrial society.” Bowker, Memory Practices in the Sciences (Cambridge: mit Press, 2005), 63, 70. 103. Tanaka discusses these repeated discoveries in New Times in Modern Japan, 170– 71. Tze M. Loo discusses Itō Chūta in her essay “Shuri Castle’s Other History: Architecture and Empire in Okinawa’s History,” The Asia-­Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, October 12, 2009,­tze_ m _-­loo/3232 (accessed January 21, 2013). 104. Infighting, rather than maverick behavior, was the most likely reason behind Okakura’s ouster: he sought Ministry of Education funding in 1897 for expanding and reorganizing art education and institutions, which would have underNotes to Chapter 2 • 247 •

mined Imperial Household Ministry control. Conant, Owyoung, and Rimer, nihonga, 28. Okakura’s and Fenollosa’s respective major works contain few references to the other, indicating complete breakdown of a sense of partnership. 105. Stefan Tanaka, New Times in Modern Japan, 103. 106. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 421–34. 107. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 292. 108. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 293. 109. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 297–303. See also discussion in Satō, Meiji kokka to kindai bijutsu, 144. 110. Teishitsu hakubutsukan annai: Kaigabu (Tokyo: Teishitsu Hakubutsukan, 1925– 29); Teishitsu hakubutsukan nenpō (Tokyo: Teishitsu Hakubutsukan, 1925–36); Tokyo teishitsu hakubutsukan kōen-­shū (Tokyo: Teishitsu Hakubutsukan, 1925– 42). 111. For a synopsis of major conservation legislation before 1945, see Bunkachō, Atarashii bunka rikkoku no sōzō o mezashite (Tokyo: Gyōsei, 1996), 325–28. 112. See also the discussion of this law with particular attention to the creation of the category “national treasure” (kokuhō) in Guth, “Kokuhō,” 313–22. 113. The entire text is reproduced with annotations in Koshaji hozonhō zokkai (Kyoto: Baiyō shoin, 1897), 1–18. 114. In 1913 the law was amended to shift responsibility for disbursement from the Home Ministry to the Ministry of Education, when the latter took over administration of religious affairs. Brian McVeigh, Nationalisms of Japan: Managing and Mystifying Identity (Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 2004), 178. 115. Koshaji hozonhō zokkai, 12–13. 116. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 293. 117. See, for example, Bunkachō, Atarashii bunka rikkoku no sōzō o mezashite, 327. 118. Shiseki meishō tennen kinenbutsu hozon kisoku (Tokyo: Monbushō, 1934), 1–34. For documents related to evolution of government policy regarding buried and archaeological sites and artifacts, see tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, shiryōhen, 257–96. 119. See Fujitani, Splendid Monarchy, 18, for a comprehensive discussion of this process in terms of “memoryscape.” 120. Walter Edwards, “Contested Access: The Imperial Tombs in the Postwar Period,” Journal of Japanese Studies 26: 2 (summer 2000): 377–78. 121. Edwards, “Contested Access,” 380. 122. See also Lin Pei-­Yu, “Shokuminchi Taiwan no hakubutsukan to bunkazai” (ma thesis, no. 46166, University of Tokyo, 2006), 42–44. 123. The text of the legislation of 1929 can be found in Shōwa 11-­nen 5-­gatsu shinshitei kokuhō mokuroku: Tsuki-­Monbundaijin shitei shosha nami ni kokuhō hozonhō (Tokyo: Kokumin shiryōhensajo, 1936), 1–48. The text of the legislation of 1933 can be found in Bunkachō, Bunkazai hogo kankei hōreishū (Tokyo: Gyōsei, 2006), 92. Notes to Chapter 2 • 248 •

124. Guth, Art, Tea, and Industry, 190–91. 125. For example, private owners could use a registered item as collateral for a loan. 126. The law notes that regulations regarding the committee- and state-­owned national treasures would be specified in separate documents. 127. The text is reproduced in Bunkachō, Bunkazai hogo kankei hōreishū, 7–91. The postwar law unifies and builds on the prewar framework, but offers some significant reformulations. The first clause declares that conservation is to be pursued both for the nation and people (kokumin) and for the world (sekai). Also, the law established three new categories for protection: intangible (mukei), folk (minzoku), and buried (maizō) cultural properties. 3. Colonial Properties

1. For a detailed account of nineteenth-­century relations between China, Japan, and Taiwan up through the transfer of Taiwan to Japanese control, see Leonard H. D. Gordon, Confrontation over Taiwan: Nineteenth-­Century China and the Powers (Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2007). For an overview of how Japanese maintained control in Taiwan as well as other parts of its empire, see Ching-­chih Chen, “Police and Community Control Systems in the Empire,” in The Japanese Colonial Empire, 1895–1945, edited by Ramon Myers and Mark Peattie (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984). 2. The museum was renamed the Taiwan Provincial Museum in 1949 and is now known as the National Taiwan Museum. On colonial infrastructure, see, for example, Bruce Cumings, “Colonial Formations and Deformations,” in Parallax Visions: Making Sense of American-­East Asian Relations at the End of the Century (Durham: Duke University Press, 1999), 69–94; and part III, “The Economic Dynamics of Empire,” in Meyers and Peattie, The Japanese Colonial Empire, 347– 454. 3. For a close discussion of this imperial universalism in the form of an expansive conception of ethnicity from the 1930s through the postwar period, see Kevin Doak, “Building National Identity through Ethnicity: Ethnology in Wartime Japan and After,” Journal of Japanese Studies 27: 1 (winter 2001). See also Takashi Fujitani’s discussion of assimilation discourse in the Japanese imperial military in “Right to Kill, Right to Make Live: Koreans as Japanese and Japanese as Americans during WWII,” Representations 99 (summer 2007). 4. See Edward I-­te Chen, “The Attempt to Integrate the Empire,” in Myers and Peattie, The Japanese Colonial Empire. See also Komagome Takeshi, Shokuminchi teikoku Nihon no bunka tōgō (Tokyo: Iwanami, 1996), 32–42. 5. This arrangement came into effect in 1896, and was renewed through 1921, when it was both modified and made permanent. Edward I-­te Chen, “Attempt to Integrate the Empire,” 248. 6. A Japanese Ministry of Colonial Affairs (Takumushō) was established in 1929 to oversee Korea, Taiwan, Sakhalin, the southern territories, and Liaodong, but there was considerable pushback from colonial administrations. It was folded Notes to Chapter 3 • 249 •

into the Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Greater East Asia (Daitōashō) in 1942. Edward I-­te Chen, “Attempt to Integrate the Empire,” 264–65. 7. Lin Pei-­Yu offers a detailed and critical discussion of the Government-­General Museum of Taiwan in “Shokuminchi Taiwan no hakubutsukan to bunkazai” (ma thesis, no. 46166, University of Tokyo, 2006). 8. For a detailed discussion of colonial expositions in Japan, Korea, Manchuria, and Taiwan, see Yamaji Katsuhiko, Kindai Nihon no shokuminchi hakurankai (Tokyo: Fūkyōsha, 2008), particularly pages 198–278 for specifics on Taiwan. 9. Yamaji, Kindai Nihon no shokuminchi hakurankai, 197. 10. Yamaji, Kindai Nihon no shokuminchi hakurankai, 198–200; Lin, “Shokuminchi Taiwan no hakubutsukan to bunkazai,” 11–12. 11. Quoted by Lin, “Shokuminchi Taiwan no hakubutsukan to bunkazai,” 11. 12. For a critical account of Japanese colonial science, see Tomiyama Ichirō, “Colonialism and the Sciences of the Tropical Zone: The Academic Analysis of Difference in the ‘Island Peoples,’” in Formations of Colonial Modernity, edited by Tani Barlow (Durham: Duke University Press, 1997). 13. Lin, “Shokuminchi Taiwan no hakubutsukan to bunkazai,” 17–18. 14. See Matsuda Kyōko, Teikoku no shisen: Hakurankai to ibunka hyōshō (Tokyo: Furukawa kōbunkan, 2003), particularly “Chōsa/shūshū to iu ‘chi,’” 82–118. 15. Yamaji offers an in-­depth discussion of colonial pavilions in Japanese expositions in Kindai Nihon no shokuminchi hakurankai, 17–101, with considerable attention paid to Taiwanese examples. See also Matsuda, Teikoku no shisen, 55–81; and Lin, “Shokuminchi Taiwan no hakubutsukan to bunkazai,” 16. 16. Not, however, by its arts, thereby replicating the logic of civilizational hierarchy seen at world’s fairs. 17. Yamaji, Kindai Nihon no shokuminchi hakurankai, 58–73. Yamaji analyzes the colonial politics that shaped how the Japanese colonial government targeted particular groups to woo, the packed itinerary for one such tour, the extensive Japanese news coverage, and what happened upon the return of tour members to Japan. 18. Inoue Kumajirō, ed., Daigokai naikoku kangyō hakurankai annaiki ( Japan: Daigokai Naikoku Kangyō Hakurankai Jimukyoku, 1903), 41. 19. Lin, “Shokuminchi Taiwan no hakubutsukan to bunkazai,” 22. 20. Contemporary photographic and other records of the Osaka exposition of 1903 are reproduced in Fujiwara Masato, ed., Meiji zenki sangyō hattatsu shi shiryō, kangyō hakurankai shiryō 1: Daigokai naikoku kangyō hakurankai Osaka to hakurankai (Tokyo: Meiji bunken shiryō kankōkai, 1973). 21. See Nihon Hakubutuskan Kyōkai, ed., Zenkoku hakubutsukan annai (Tokyo: Tōkō shoin, 1932), 241–42. See also Lin, “Shokuminchi Taiwan no hakubutsukan to bunkazai,” 23. For an overview of Japanese colonial architecture, with particular attention to government bureaucracy, building organizations, and access to technology and materials, see Nishizawa Yasuhiko, Nihon no shokuminchi kenchiku: Teikoku ni kizukareta nettowaaku (Tokyo: Kawade shobō shinsha, 2009). Notes to Chapter 3 • 250 •

Nishizawa spends more time on Manchurian developments but outlines the Taiwanese Government-­General’s program, personnel, and structure on pages 90–94. See also Chao-­Ching Fu, “Taiwaneseness in Japanese Period Architecture in Taiwan,” in Refracted Modernity: Visual Culture and Identity in Colonial Taiwan, edited by Yuko Kikuchi (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2007); and Jason C. Kuo, “Architecture of Colonialism and Decolonization,” in Art and Cultural Politics in Postwar Taiwan (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2000), 15–31. 22. Statues of Kodama and Gōto flanked the lobby. 23. The Taihoku New Park is now known as the 228 Peace Memorial Park. 24. The Taiwan Customs Research Association was chaired by the governor-­general but funded by membership fees from a base that included private individuals as well as bureaucrats in Taiwan and the Japanese main islands. See Matsuda, Teikoku no shisen, 83–86. 25. Takashi Fujitani, Splendid Monarchy: Power and Pageantry in Modern Japan (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), 56–59; Lin, “Shokuminchi Taiwan no hakubutsukan to bunkazai,” 12–13; Matsuda, Teikoku no shisen, 83–85. For a discussion of the Imperial Household Ministry, surveys, and art history, see tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi (Tokyo: Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan, 1973), particularly 291–306. 26. See Leo T. S. Ching, Becoming “Japanese”: Colonial Taiwan and the Politics of Identity Formation (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001), 89–132. See also Hyun Ok Park, Two Dreams in One Bed: Empire, Social Life, and the Origins of the North Korean Revolution in Manchuria (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005). 27. Cementing this shift in orientation, the Government-­General built a separate product display center in 1920, which took from the museum collection all relevant artifacts. Lin, “Shokuminchi Taiwan no hakubutsukan to bunkazai,” 26–27. 28. Lin, “Shokuminchi Taiwan no hakubutsukan to bunkazai,” 31–32. 29. Takahashi Hidehito, “Taiwan hakubutsukan kyōkai no umareru made,” in Kagaku no Taiwan 1:1 (1933): 4. 30. Lin, “Shokuminchi Taiwan no hakubutsukan to bunkazai,” 32–34. 31. The year 1935 was the exception, as it featured much larger government celebrations for the fortieth anniversary of the Japanese colonization of Taiwan. 32. Lin, “Shokuminchi Taiwan no hakubutsukan to bunkazai,” 34, 38. 33. For a discussion of Tanahashi Gentarō, see Jordan Sand, House and Home in Modern Japan: Architecture, Domestic Space, and Bourgeois Culture, 1880–1930 (Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2003), 181–88. 34. See Carol Gluck, Japan’s Modern Myths: Ideology in the Late Meiji Period (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985), 187–88, for a definition of kazoku kokka (family-­state). See also Ueno Chizuko’s Kafuchōsei to shihonshugi (Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 1990). 35. For a general reference on this kind of disruption, see Geoffrey Bowker’s analyNotes to Chapter 3 • 251 •

sis of how the nineteenth-­century technologies of railroads, factory machines, and grain elevators created distinct, homogenizing forms of representational space and time in “Second Nature Once Removed: Time, Space and Representations,” Time and Society 4: 1 (1995). See also Bowker’s discussion of tensions in how to identify local forms of knowledge and critique of privileging academic scholarship as “universal” in Memory Practices in the Sciences (Cambridge: mit Press, 2005), 218–21. 36. Lin, “Shokuminchi Taiwan no hakubutsukan to bunkazai,” 42–66. 37. Lin, “Shokuminchi Taiwan no hakubutsukan to bunkazai,” 54. 38. Kanda Koji offers a detailed overview of the establishment of national parks in Taiwan in “Landscapes of National Parks in Taiwan During the Japanese Colonial Period,” in Representing Local Places and Rising Voices from Below, edited by Mizuuchi Toshio (Osaka: Osaka City University, 2003). 39. Kanda, “Landscapes of National Parks in Taiwan During the Japanese Colonial Period,” 115. 40. Taiwan nichinichi shinpō, July 9, 1927, 5; Lin, “Shokuminchi Taiwan no hakubutsukan to bunkazai,” 60–61. 41. Kanda, “Landscapes of National Parks in Taiwan During the Japanese Colonial Period,” 114–15. 42. See Peter Duus’s The Abacus and the Sword: The Japanese Penetration of Korea, 1895–1910 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), 136–57, for extensive discussion of railroads in the peninsula. Hyung-­Il Pai is also conducting important research on tourism and the dissemination of “Japanese” cultural properties. 43. The top eight in votes were slightly different from the top eight finally selected. Lin, “Shokuminchi Taiwan no hakubutsukan to bunkazai,” 60–61. 44. This legacy is discussed in Yuko Kikuchi, ed., Refracted Modernity: Visual Culture and Identity in Colonial Taiwan (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2007). Also, the colonial era triangulation is reminiscent of American discourse on Ryūkyūan identity during its formal occupation of Okinawa. See the introduction and fictional works by Ōshiro Tatsuhiro and Higashi Mineo in Steven Rabson, trans., Okinawa: Two Novellas (Berkeley: Center for Japanese Studies, 1989). 45. See Kuo, “Painting, Decolonization, and Cultural Politics in Postwar Taiwan,” 73–84. 46. Kuo discusses Tōyōga in detail in Art and Cultural Politics in Postwar Taiwan, 32–83. 47. Kuo, “Painting, Decolonization, and Cultural Politics in Postwar Taiwan,” 75–80. 48. Liu Shih quoted by Kuo, “Painting, Decolonization, and Cultural Politics in Postwar Taiwan,” 78. 49. Kuo, “Painting, Decolonization, and Cultural Politics in Postwar Taiwan,” 78–79. 50. John Clark, “Taiwanese Painting under the Japanese Occupation,” Journal of Oriental Studies 25: 1 (1987), 63–105. Notes to Chapter 3 • 252 •

51. Lin Yu-­shan quoted by Kuo, “Painting, Decolonization, and Cultural Politics in Postwar Taiwan,” 78. 52. For a critical overview of all three, see Li Seong-­Si, “Chōsen ōchō no shōchō kūkan to hakubutsukan,” in Shokuminchi kindai no shiza: Chōsen to Nihon, edited by Miyajima Hiroshi, Ri Sonshi, Yun Hedon, Im Jihyon (Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 2004). See also Sohyun Park, “Ri Ōke Hakubutsukan ni okeru Nihon no hakubutsukan seisaku ni tsuite” (ma thesis, University of Tokyo, 2003). 53. For an accessible and authoritative account, see Bruce Cumings, Korea’s Place in the Sun (New York: Norton, 1997). 54. Cumings, Parallax Visions, 72. For example, King Kojong (1864–1907) commissioned the Edison Lamp Company to bring electricity to the Seoul palace grounds in 1887, two years before the Tokyo Imperial Palace and the Forbidden City of Beijing. Refer to Nam Moon-­Hyon, “Early History of Electrical Engineering in Korea: Edison and the First Electrical Lighting in the Kingdom of Corea,” paper presented at “Singapore 2000: Promoting the History of ee,” Singapore, January 23–26, 2000. 55. Henry Em, “Minjok as a Modern and Democratic Construct: Sin Ch’aeho’s Historiography,” in Colonial Modernity in Korea, edited by Gi-­Wook Shin and Michael Robinson (Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 1999), 356. 56. Yamaji, Kindai Nihon no shokuminchi hakurankai, 107–45; Park, “Ri Ōke Hakubutsukan ni okeru Nihon no hakubutsukan seisaku ni tsuite,” 4–10. 57. The Korean enlightenment movement was considerably set back through its close association with Japan after the Gapsin Coup of 1884, which was staged by Korean reformers with Japanese support against the royal court. 58. Park, “Ri Ōke Hakubutsukan ni okeru Nihon no hakubutsukan seisaku ni tsuite,” 6. 59. Hubert Howe Bancroft, The Book of the Fair (New York: Bounty Books, 1894), 219. 60. Quoted by Park, “Ri Ōke Hakubutsukan ni okeru Nihon no hakubutsukan seisaku ni tsuite,” 13. 61. Park, “Ri Ōke Hakubutsukan ni okeru Nihon no hakubutsukan seisaku ni tsuite,” 13. 62. Ri Ōshoku bijutsu-­chō, Ri Ōke bijutsukan yōran (Seoul: Ri Ōshoku, 1938), 1. Park offers a detailed discussion in “Ri Ōke Hakubutsukan ni okeru Nihon no hakubutsukan seisaku ni tsuite,” 19–64. See also Li, “Chōsen ōchō no shōchō kūkan to hakubutsukan,” 28–35. Li notes that other early names for the museum included Yi Royal Private Museum (Ri ōke shisetsu hakubutsukan), Changgyeonggung Museum (Shōkeikyū hakubutsukan), and Changgyeongwon Museum (Shōkeien hakubutsukan), 28. 63. The Korean empire was a short-­lived entity established in 1897 that represented a formal break from the Chinese tributary order. 64. For an overview of Japanese colonial bureaucracy in Korea, see Cumings, Korea’s Place in the Sun, 148–54. Notes to Chapter 3 • 253 •

65. Li, “Chōsen ōchō no shōchō kūkan to hakubutsukan,” 32–33. 66. Park, “Ri Ōke Hakubutsukan ni okeru Nihon no hakubutsukan seisaku ni tsuite,” 29–30. 67. See Hong-­key Yoon, The Culture of Fengshui in Korea (Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2006), 289–92. 68. Li, “Chōsen ōchō no shōchō kūkan to hakubutsukan,” 35–36. See also Hong Kal’s detailed and strongly visual analysis of the colonial exhibitions of 1915 and 1929 in Korea. Importantly, Kal includes Korean responses to the exhibitions. Kal, “Modeling the West, Returning to Asia: Shifting Politics of Representation in Japanese Colonial Exhibitions in Korea,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 47: 3 (July 2005). 69. For the architectural terminology regarding the Yi Royal Fine Arts Museum, see Ri Ōshoku bijutsu-­chō, Ri Ōke bijutsukan yōran, 19. See also Nihon Hakubutsukan Kyōkai, Zenkoku hakubutsukan annai, 262. 70. “About Seoul Zoo,” accessed June 25, 2009, /html/seoul/0101 _ intro.jsp. 71. Park, “Ri Ōke Hakubutsukan ni okeru Nihon no hakubutsukan seisaku ni tsuite,” 17. 72. The Japanese government held a monopoly on the production of postcards until 1900. Art of the Japanese Postcard: The Lauder Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, March 10–June 6, 2004. 73. Fujitani, Splendid Monarchy, 25. 74. Park, “Ri Ōke Hakubutsukan ni okeru Nihon no hakubutsukan seisaku ni tsuite,” 20–23. 75. Li, “Chōsen ōchō no shōchō kūkan to hakubutsukan,” 34. 76. Quoted in Li, “Chōsen ōchō no shōchō kūkan to hakubutsukan,” 31. 77. Park, “Ri Ōke Hakubutsukan ni okeru Nihon no hakubutsukan seisaku ni tsuite,” 161. 78. Asakawa Noritaka, “Chōsen no bijutsu kōgei ni tsuite no kaikō,” in Chōsen no kaikō, edited by Wada Yachio (Seoul: Chikazawa shoten, 1945), 270. Kim Brandt discusses the important role played by Asakawa in inspiring a love of Korean pottery in the Japanese folkcraft movement founder Yanagi Muneyoshi in Kingdom of Beauty: Mingei and the Politics of Folk Art in Imperial Japan (Durham: Duke University Press, 2007), 7–37. 79. E. Taylor Atkins has recently published an analysis of Japanese colonial government as well as private efforts to “curate Koreana,” particularly in the areas of ethnological and enthnomusicological conservation. Atkins takes up the question of sympathy and a sense of affinity evinced by some colonial Japanese collectors in Primitive Selves: Koreana in the Japanese Colonial Gaze, 1910–1945 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010). Moreover, there are grounds for further comparison of “Koreana” for Japan to Japonisme for Europe and the Unites States, but this lies outside the scope of the present work. Notes to Chapter 3 • 254 •

80. Park, “Ri Ōke Hakubutsukan ni okeru Nihon no hakubutsukan seisaku ni tsuite,” 40–47. 81. Brandt discusses this market in her nuanced account, Kingdom of Beauty, 7–37. 82. Park, “Ri Ōke Hakubutsukan ni okeru Nihon no hakubutsukan seisaku ni tsuite,” 41–43. 83. Komiya Mihomatsu, “Chōsen geijutsu suibō no gen’in oyobi sono shōrai,” Chōsen ihō, August 1915, 12. 84. Sekino Tadashi, “Chōsen ni okeru bijutsuteki ibutsu,” Nihon geijutsu, June 1904, 11. See also Sekino Tadashi, Chōsen bijutsushi (Kyoto: Chōsen shigakkai, 1932). 85. Hyung Il Pai, Constructing “Korean” Origins: A Critical Review of Archaeology, Historiography, and Racial Myth in Korean State-­Formation Theories (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000), 29–30. 86. Pai, Constructing “Korean” Origins, 23–96. See also Li, “Chōsen ōchō no shōchō kūkan to hakubutsukan,” 36–40. 87. Discovery of the stele is discussed in Pai, Constructing “Korean” Origins, 26–27. Pai goes on to summarize the main themes of the Japanese narrative: “(1) the theory of Nissen dōsoron, that is, the common ancestral origins of the Korean and Japanese races; (2) the assertion that Japanese emperors ruled Korea between the fourth and seventh centuries; (3) the overwhelming impact of Chinese civilization and the consequent lack of unique Korean origins; and (4) the backwardness/stagnation (teitairon) of Korean civilization” (36). 88. Pai, Constructing “Korean” Origins, 33–34. 89. Pai, Constructing “Korean” Origins, 29–30, 432. 90. Li, “Chōsen ōchō no shōchō kūkan to hakubutsukan,” 38–39. 91. Park, “Ri Ōke Hakubutsukan ni okeru Nihon no hakubutsukan seisaku ni tsuite,” 66. 92. “Bijutsukan no setsuritsu ni taishite,” in Chōsen nippō, May 10, 1933; Li, “Chōsen ōchō no shōchō kūkan to hakubutsukan,” 68. 93. See Kuo, Art and Cultural Politics in Postwar Taiwan, 35–38. 94. Park, “Ri Ōke Hakubutsukan ni okeru Nihon no hakubutsukan seisaku ni tsuite,” 69. 95. Ri Ōshoku bijutsu-­chō, Ri Ōke bijutsukan yōran, 4. 96. Park, “Ri Ōke Hakubutsukan ni okeru Nihon no hakubutsukan seisaku ni tsuite,” 70–71. 97. Ri Ōshoku bijutsu-­chō, Ri Ōke bijutsukan yōran, 4–5. 98. Ri Ōshoku bijutsu-­chō, Ri Ōke bijutsukan yōran, 4. 99. Park, “Ri Ōke Hakubutsukan ni okeru Nihon no hakubutsukan seisaku ni tsuite,” 73. 100. Mark Caprio offers a thorough and wide-­ranging discussion of Naisen Ittai in Japanese Assimilation Policies in Colonial Korea, 1910–1945 (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2009). Em points out the work done by using the term interior rather than Japan in the slogan, making the colonial metropole both Notes to Chapter 3 • 255 •

center and antecedent. Em, “Minjok as a Modern and Democratic Construct,” 352–53. Park pairs this slogan with “Korea and Manchuria, one body” (Senman ittai) to underscore imperial Japanese claims to leadership of an “organic” Asian community in Two Dreams in One Bed, 46–49. 101. Caprio, Japanese Assimilation Policies in Colonial Korea, 189–93. 102. See the detailed account of access and visitation matters in Ri Ōshoku bijutsu-­ chō, Ri Ōke bijutsukan yōran, 33–38. 103. Ri Ōshoku bijutsu-­chō, Ri Ōke bijutsukan yōran, 35. 104. Ri Ōshoku bijutsu-­chō, Ri Ōke bijutsukan yōran, 18–33. Quoted phrase 19. 105. See, for example, the regular “Museum Work” (“Hakubutsukan no shigoto”) sections at the end of the Government-­General of Korea’s Hakubutsukanpō. 106. Park, “Ri Ōke Hakubutsukan ni okeru Nihon no hakubutsukan seisaku ni tsuite,” 71. 107. Em, “Minjok as a Modern and Democratic Construct,” 353. 108. Em highlights this tension in “Minjok as a Modern and Democratic Construct,” 354. 109. Em, for example, discusses Sin Ch’aeho’s sharp criticisms of Korean intellectuals who found themselves in agreement with the Japanese colonizers regarding the need to “enlighten” the masses, and therefore argued for more accommodationist measures than anticolonial revolution from below. Em, “Minjok as a Modern and Democratic Construct,” 358–60. 110. Pai, Constructing “Korean” Origins, 237–43. 111. Nihon Hakubutsu Kyōkai, Zenkoku hakubutsukan annai, 241–72. 112. The Singapore museum is currently known as the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research. Kaneko Atsushi, Hakubutsukan no seijigaku (Tokyo: Seikyūsha, 2001), 154–61. 113. Kaneko, Hakubutsukan no seijigaku, 161–83. 114. The response to the prime minister’s query is quoted by Kaneko, Hakubutsukan no seijigaku, 163; the discussion of branches is on pages 172–73. 4. Ōhara, Shibusawa, and Yanagi

1. The war was concluded with the Treaty of Portsmouth, brokered by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919). Russia did not escape unscathed, having to transfer to Japan half of Sakhalin and its lease on the Liaodong Peninsula. For a close account and analysis of the Hibiya Riot of 1905, see Shumpei Okamoto, “The Emperor and the Crowd: The Historical Significance of the Hibiya Riot,” in Conflict in Modern Japanese History: The Neglected Tradition, edited by Tetsuo Najita and J. Victor Koschmann (Ithaca: Cornell East Asia Program, 2005). For an incisive and influential analysis of the popular protest era spanning 1905 to 1918, see Andrew Gordon, Labor and Imperial Democracy in Prewar Japan (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991). 2. Kawazoe Noboru points out the vigor with which the “family state” (kazoku kokka) model was pushed in the face of widespread public unrest spanning the Notes to Chapter 4 • 256 •

war with Russia in 1904 and the renewal of military hostilities against China with the Manchurian Incident of 1931. Kawazoe, “Joshō: Haikei to shite no Taishōki,” in Nihon no kigyōka to shakai bunka jigyō, edited by Kawazoe Noboru and Yamaoka Yoshinori (Tokyo: Tōyō keizai shinpōsha, 1987), 2. See also Sheldon Garon’s Molding Japanese Minds: The State in Everyday Life (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997) for an overview of changing views on the role of the state in administering the population in pre- and postwar Japan. 3. Kawazoe, “Joshō,” 8. See also the preface of H. D. Harootunian’s Overcome by Modernity (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000), x–xxxii, for a critical overview that scrutinizes such intellectual currents as the temporality of capitalism through the lens of modernity. 4. Terade Kōji, “Ōhara Magosaburō to Ōhara San-­Kenkyūjo,” 93–94, in Kawazoe and Yamaoka, Nihon no kigyōka to shakai bunka jigyō. 5. Yanagi Muneyoshi is also referred to as Yanagi Sōetsu. 6. Various guides to the contemporary museum scene in Japan are available, including Nihon Keizai Shinbun Bunka-­bu, ed., Nikkei itsutsu-­boshi no bijutsukan (Tokyo: Nikkei, 2007). 7. Terade, “Ōhara Magosaburō to Ōhara San-­Kenkyūjo,” 94–95. 8. Terade, “Ōhara Magosaburō to Ōhara San-­Kenkyūjo,” 95–98. 9. These research centers still exist today, albeit having undergone organizational changes. 10. Kawazoe, “Joshō,” 8–9. 11. Kawazoe, “Joshō,” 7. 12. Kawazoe, “Joshō,” 6. 13. Yamaoka Yoshinori, “Kōshitsu kara no kashikin to zaibatsuka no kifu,” in Kawazoe and Yamaoka, Nihon no kigyōka to shakai bunka jigyō. 14. Andrew Gordon examines the Hibiya riots and political unrest with a particular focus on labor activities in Labor and Imperial Democracy in Prewar Japan. See also Stephen Large, The Rise of Labor in Japan: The Yūaikai, 1912–1919 (Tokyo: Sophia University, 1972). 15. Kawazoe, “Joshō,” 11–16. 16. Kawazoe, “Joshō,” 9–10. 17. Terade calls this “hometown centralism” (kyōdo chūshin-­shugi) in “Ōhara Magosaburō to Ōhara San-­Kenkyūjo,” 99. 18. Ōhara Magosaburō-­den Kankōkai, Ōhara Magosaburō-­den (Tokyo: Chūō Kōron, 1983), 55. 19. Ōhara Magosaburō-­den Kankōkai, Ōhara Magosaburō-­den, 56. 20. The most detailed account of their relationship can be found in Sasaki Ka­tsumi, ed., Yume kakeru: Ōhara bijutsukan no kiseki (Okayama: Sanyō Shinbunsha, 1991), 72–75, 84–130. 21. For a comprehensive account of Ōhara’s personal tastes, see “Shumi to Magosaburō” in Ōhara Magosaburō-­den Kankōkai, Ōhara Magosaburō-­den, 358–80. 22. Ōhara Magosaburō-­den Kankōkai, Ōhara Magosaburō-­den, 170–71. Notes to Chapter 4 • 257 •

23. The process is colorfully recounted in Sasaki, Yume kakeru, 14–82. 24. Further discussion of these exhibits can be found in Ōhara Magosaburō-­den Kankōkai, Ōhara Magosaburō-­den, 172–74. 25. Ōhara Magosaburō-­den Kankōkai, Ōhara Magosaburō-­den, 176. 26. Sasaki, Yume kakeru, 116–17. 27. Sasaki, Yume kakeru, 104–7. 28. Sasaki, Yume kakeru, 132–34; Ōhara Magosaburō-­ den Kankōkai, Ōhara Magosaburō-­den, 240–41. 29. Ōhara Magosaburō-­den Kankōkai, Ōhara Magosaburō-­den, 266. 30. Sasaki, Yume kakeru, 147. 31. See the discussion of Yakushiji in Sasaki, Yume kakeru, 135–38. 32. Ōhara Magosaburō-­den Kankōkai, Ōhara Magosaburō-­den, 239, 263. 33. Ōhara Magosaburō-­den Kankōkai, Ōhara Magosaburō-­den, 264–65. 34. Ōhara Magosaburō-­den Kankōkai, Ōhara Magosaburō-­den, 265. 35. Ōhara Magosaburō-­den Kankōkai, Ōhara Magosaburō-­den, 265. 36. Ōhara Magosaburō-­den Kankōkai, Ōhara Magosaburō-­den, 240. 37. Sasaki’s edited volume briefly touches on this sense of tension. See Yume kakeru, 71–72, 79–81. 38. For an overview of this discourse, see Eiji Oguma, A Genealogy of ‘Japanese’ Self-­Images, translated by David Askew (Melbourne: Trans-­Pacific Press, 2002), especially 172–85. See also Noriko Aso, “Greece of the East: Philhellenism in Imperial Japan,” in When Worlds Elide, edited by Karen Bassi and Peter Euben (Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2010). 39. Sasaki, Yume kakeru, 148–49. 40. Ōhara Magosaburō-­den Kankōkai, Ōhara Magosaburō-­den, 295–96. 41. Terade, “Ōhara Magosaburō to Ōhara San-­Kenkyūjo,” 104. 42. Ōhara Magosaburō-­den Kankōkai, Ōhara Magosaburō-­den, 326. 43. Ōhara Magosaburō-­den Kankōkai, Ōhara Magosaburō-­den, 42. 44. See Fujita Shin’ichrō, “Ōhara Bijutsukan: sono rinen to shimei,” in Sasaki, Yume kakeru. 45. Satō Kenji, “Shibusawa Keizō to Achikku Myūzeamu,” 128, in Kawazoe and Yamaoka, Nihon no kigyōka to shakai bunka jigyō. 46. Alan Christy discusses the important role that Shibusawa played in the formation of native ethnology. Alan Christy, A Discipline on Foot: Inventing Japanese Native Ethnography, 1910–1945 (Lanham, Md.: Roman and Littlefield, 2012). 47. Harootunian, Overcome by Modernity, 309. 48. Satō offers a rich analysis of the differences between Eiichi and Keizō, employing the term ecological to describe the principle that informed Keizō’s practice. See Satō, “Shibusawa Keizō to Achikku Myūzeamu,” 124–25, 127, 131, 137–41. 49. Aruga Kizaemon, “Nihon jōmin seikatsu shiryō sōsho, sōjo: Shibusawa Keizō to Yanagita Kunio, Yanagi Muneyoshi,” in Nihon jōmin seikatsu shiryō sōsho, vol. 1, edited by Nihon Jōmin Bunka Kenkyūjo (Tokyo: Nihon Jōmin Bunka Notes to Chapter 4 • 258 •

Kenkyūjo, 1972), 22–23; and Satō, “Shibusawa Keizō to Achikku Myūzeamu,” 137. 50. Quoted in Satō, “Shibusawa Keizō to Achikku Myūzeamu,” 137–38. 51. Quoted in Satō, “Shibusawa Keizō to Achikku Myūzeamu,” 138–39. 52. Satō, “Shibusawa Keizō to Achikku Myūzeamu,” 125–26. 53. The Ryūmonsha Foundation is today known as the Shibusawa Eiichi Memorial Foundation, which is still very active. 54. However, the extensive Museum of the History of Japanese Entrepreneurship (Nihon Jitsugyōshi Hakubutsukan) collection is currently housed intact at the National Institute of Japanese Literature (Koku Bungaku Kenkyū Shiryōkan). Under the direction of Mutsumi Aoki, the National Institute is in the process of making an abbreviated version of the catalogue and elements of the collection directly available to the general public. See the website, which already offers direct access to reproductions of numerous nishiki-­e woodblock prints collected for the proposed museum. 55. Shibusawa Keizō, “Hitotsu no teian,” unpublished document, Shibusawa Memorial Museum (Shibusawa Shirōkan), Tokyo, 1. 56. Shibusawa Keizō, “Hitotsu no teian,” 2. 57. Shibusawa Keizō, “Hitotsu no teian,” 6. 58. Quoted in Satō, “Shibusawa Keizō to Achikku Myūzeamu,” 131. 59. Kojita Yasunao, “Nihonteki kōshi kannen to kindaika,” in Kōkyō tetsugaku 3: Nihon ni okeru ooyake to watakushi, edited by Sasaki Takeshi and Kim Tae-­ Chung (Tokyo: Tokyo University Press, 2002), 39, 47. 60. For an account of Eiichi’s decisive leave-taking from government service, see Shibusawa Eiichi, The Autobiography of Shibusawa Eiichi: From Peasant to Entrepreneur, translated by Teruko Craig (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1994), 146–48. 61. Shibusawa Keizō, “Nihon kōkokushi shōkō,” in Shibusawa Keizō chosakushū, vol. 3 (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1992), 349. 62. Shibusawa Keizō, “Nihon kōkokushi shōkō,” in Shibusawa Keizō chosakushū, vol. 3, 349. 63. Satō, “Shibusawa Keizō to Achikku Myūzeamu,” 134–35; for more detail, see Yokohama-­shi Rekishi Hakubutsukan and Kanagawa Daigaku Nihon Jōmin Bunka Kenkyūjo, Yane-­ura no hakubutsukan: Jitsugyōka Shibusawa Keizō ga sodateta tami no gakumon (Yokohama: Yokohama-­shi Rekishi Hakubutsukan, 2002), 150–52. 64. The petition was titled “Bill for the Establishment of the Japan Ethnological Museum on the 2,600th Anniversary of Imperial Rule” (Kōki nisen roppyaku nen kinen Nihon minzoku hakubutsukan setsuritsu kengian). Quoted in Yokohama-­shi Rekishi Hakubutsukan and Kanagawa Daigaku Nihon Jōmin Bunka Kenkyūjo, Yane-­ura no hakubutsukan, 120. 65. Shibusawa Keizō, “Atikku no seichō,” in Shibusawa Keizō chosakushū, vol. 1, 16. Notes to Chapter 4 • 259 •

66. Shibusawa Keizō, “Hitotsu no teian,” 5–6. 67. Shibusawa Keizō, “Hitotsu no teian,” 4. 68. Shibusawa Keizō, “Hitotsu no teian,” 5. 69. Shibusawa Keizō, “Hitotsu no teian,” unnumbered “10.” 70. Shibusawa Keizō, “Hitotsu no teian,” 5. 71. Shibusawa Keizō, “Honpō kōgyōshi ni kansuru ichi kōsatsu,” in Shibusawa Keizō chosakushū, vol. 1, 235–325. 72. Shibusawa Keizō, “Nihon kōkokushi shōkō,” in Shibusawa Keizō chosakushū, vol. 3, 348–80. 73. The National Institute of Japanese Literature is issuing a complete catalogue for the collection. For specific examples, see Yokohama-­shi Rekishi Hakubutsukan and Kanagawa Daigaku Nihon Jōmin Bunka Kenkyūjo, Yane-­ura no hakubutsukan, 126–29. See also the catalogue for the “Exhibit on Meiji/Taishō/ Shōwa Economic Culture” (Meiji-­Taishō-­Shōwa keizai bunka tenrankai) based on Shibusawa’s collection, held in 1940 through the sponsorship of Oriental Economist (Tōyō Keizai). Tōyō keizai shinbunsha, ed., Meiji-­Taishō-­Shōwa keizai bunka tenrankai mokuroku (Tokyo: Tōyō keizai, 1940). 74. The world-­famous photographer Hamaya Hiroshi (1915–99) was commissioned for 144 of a total of 2,450 photographs. Hamaya met Shibusawa at the outset of his career, when he was just twenty-­four, and credited Shibusawa with a profound influence on his subsequent work in terms of the documentation of “everyday life.” See Yokohama-­shi Rekishi Hakubutsukan and Kanagawa Daigaku Nihon Jōmin Bunka Kenkyūjo, Yane-­ura no hakubutsukan, 100–101. 75. Shibusawa Keizō, “Nihon kōkokushi shōkō,” in Shibusawa Keizō chosakushū, vol. 3, 352. 76. Harootunian, Overcome by Modernity, 315. 77. Shibusawa Keizō, “Hitotsu no teian,” 5. 78. Shibusawa Keizō, “Hitotsu no teian,” 5. 79. While I would like to address gender in relation to the collection in more depth at some later point, I will note that it played an interesting but opaque role. The artifacts for the first (Seien) and third (portrait) sections of the proposed museum were overwhelmingly male in orientation. The artifacts for the second (folk-­economic history) section, however, included many objects that could and would have been used by either men or women, and some specifically by women. Additionally, many of the prints collected for the museum portrayed women at work, in factories and elsewhere. Thus, while records of the collection did not explicitly take gendered usage of the artifacts into account, reexamination of the artifacts in light of gender should prove illuminating, both in terms of how the collection internally cohered as a system and how viewers (of different genders and generations) might have understood what they saw. 80. Aruga, “Nihon jōmin seikatsu shiryō sōsho, sōjo,” 15–16. 81. Quoted in Aruga, “Nihon jōmin seikatsu shiryō sōsho, sōjo,” 16. 82. See Aruga, “Nihon jōmin seikatsu shiryō sōsho, sōjo,” 16–19. In English, see the Notes to Chapter 4 • 260 •

sharp critiques of Yanagita’s conceptualization of the jōmin offered by Christy, A Discipline on Foot; Gerald Figal, Civilizations and Monsters: Spirits of Modernity in Meiji Japan (Durham: Duke University Press, 1999); and Harootunian, Overcome by Modernity, particularly pages 306–28. I would also like to note that the surveys and published works of researchers associated with Shibusawa’s Nihon Jōmin Bunka Kenkyūjo have given rise to a “re-­thinking” of the entire span of Japanese history in terms of systemic mobility and exchange. A number of the published works of Amino Yoshihiko, former head of the research institute, place such findings into a broad and challenging interpretative framework. 83. Aruga, “Nihon jōmin seikatsu shiryō sōsho, sōjo,” 24. Aruga suggests that Shibusawa was a bit naive in such views regarding the jōmin in comparison to Yanagita’s subtle, even poetic, meditations on the category, although I would argue that Shibusawa’s views on the people should by no means be dismissed as simplistic. 84. Shibusawa Keizō, “Hitotsu no teian,” 3. 85. Shibusawa Keizō, “Mingu mondōshū, dai-­isshū, maegaki,” in Shibusawa Keizō chosakushū, vol. 3, 250. 86. Satō, “Shibusawa Keizō to Achikku Myūzeamu,” 134. 87. Shibusawa Keizō, “Sofu no ushiro-­sugata,” in Shibusawa Keizō chosakushū, vol. 1, 175–81. 88. Shibusawa Keizō, “Sofu no ushiro-­sugata,” Shibusawa Keizō chosakushū, vol. 1, 177–78. 89. Indeed, Yanagi quotes one rich collector as having said that Yanagi collected folkcraft only because he could not afford anything better. Yanagi Muneyoshi, “Binbōnin no shūshū” in Shūshū monogatari (Tokyo: Chūō kōronsha, 1989), 208. Shūshū monogatari is a collection of essays written at various dates and first published as one volume in 1956. 90. For more detail on Yanagi’s life and work, see Idegawa Naoki, Mingei: Riron no hōkai to yōshiki no tanjō (Tokyo: Shinchōsha, 1988); Mizuo Hiroshi, Nihon minzoku bunka taikei 6: Yanagi Muneyoshi (Tokyo: Kōdansha, 1978); Okamura Kichiemon, Yanagi Muneysoshi to shoki mingei undō (Tokyo: Tamagawa daigaku, 1991); Tsurumi Shunsuke, Yanagi Muneyoshi (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1987). See also Yanagi Muneyoshi, Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, 22 vols. (Tokyo: Chikuma shobō, 1980–92). 91. The issue of their journal Shirakaba from November 1910, for example, focuses on the sculpture of Rodin. 92. See Kim Brandt, Kingdom of Beauty: Mingei and the Politics of Folk Art in Imperial Japan (Durham: Duke University Press, 2007), particularly 7–37. Yanagi wrote articles on this topic for a range of periodicals, including the Yomiuri newspaper, the intellectual journal Kaizō, and the literature and arts journal Shirakaba, as well as books, including Chōsen to sono geijutsu (Tokyo: Sōbunkaku,1922). 93. Brandt analyzes the establishment of Yanagi’s Korean Folk Art Museum (Chōsen minzoku bijutsukan) in Kingdom of Beauty, 23–26. Notes to Chapter 4 • 261 •

94. Bernard Leach was an early participant and lifelong advocate for the Japanese folkcraft movement. An Englishman born in Hong Kong, Leach visited Japan many times, beginning in 1909. Although he made Yanagi’s acquaintance in Japan, they became close friends when Yanagi was touring China in 1917. At Yanagi’s invitation, he traveled to Japan in 1918 and set up a pottery workshop on Yanagi’s property in Abiko. In 1920 Leach moved to England, setting up a studio in St. Ives with the help of Hamada. As a tribute to his friend, Leach “adapted” (creatively translated) Yanagi’s writings in order to introduce them to a Western audience in Yanagi Muneyoshi, The Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight into Beauty, adapted by Bernard Leach (New York: Kodansha International, 1972). 95. Yanagi Muneyoshi with Tomimoto Kenkichi, Kawai Kanjirō, and Hamada Shōji, “Nihon Mingei Bijutsukan setsuritsu shūisho,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 16, 5–12. 96. Yanagi et al., “Nihon Mingei Bijutsukan setsuritsu shūisho,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 16, 11. 97. Yanagi et al., “Nihon Mingei Bijutsukan setsuritsu shūisho,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 16, 5. 98. Yanagi et al., “Nihon Mingei Bijutsukan setsuritsu shūisho,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 16, 6. 99. The works of Harootunian, Brandt, and Jordan Sand are among the recent major contributions on this topic. 100. Yanagi et al., “Nihon Mingei Bijutsukan setsuritsu shūisho,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 16, 7. 101. Yanagi et al., “Nihon Mingei Bijutsukan setsuritsu shūisho,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 16, 8. 102. Yanagi et al., “Nihon Mingei Bijutsukan setsuritsu shūisho,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 16, 8. 103. In an essay from 1942, Yanagi writes in a bitter vein over governmental lack of interest in this institution. Yanagi Muneyoshi, “Mingeikan no shigoto,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 16, 107–19. Moreover, in the finances section of a work from 1954, Yanagi emphatically states that the museum “did not once receive patronage from the government.” Yanagi Muneyoshi, “Nihon Mingeikan,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 16, 238. Finally, in a piece from 1957, Yanagi is sharply critical of the collecting practices of the bureaucrats in charge of designating national treasures as well as their patent neglect of what was offered in the Mingeikan. Nevertheless, he speculates that once the reputation of folkcraft has been securely established, the “cowardly” bureaucrats will come around. Yanagi, “Mingeikan to kokuhō,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 16, 269–72. 104. Yanagi, “Nihon Mingeikan,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 16, 178. 105. Yanagi, “Nihon Mingeikan,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 16, 178. 106. For further reading, see Yanagi, “Sankokusō shōshi,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 16, 17–27. Notes to Chapter 4 • 262 •

107. Yanagi, “Mingeikan no shigoto,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 16, 107. 108. Yanagi, “Nihon Mingeikan,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 16, 177. 109. “Art” was eliminated from the title primarily to make clear the institution’s focus on craft. Yanagi, “Nihon Mingeikan no annai,” Gekkan mingei 1: 6 (1939): 6. 110. Yanagi, “Nihon Mingeikan,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 16, 219. 111. Yanagi, “Nihon Mingeikan,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 16, 321. 112. Yanagi, “Nihon Mingeikan,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 16, 321. 113. Yanagi Muneyoshi, “‘Miru koto’ to ‘shiru koto,’” in Yanagi Muneyoshi senshū 8 (Tokyo: Shunshūsha, 1972), 27. 114. Yanagi, “‘Miru koto’ to ‘shiru koto,’” in Yanagi Muneyoshi senshū 8, 26. 115. Yanagi, “‘Miru koto’ to ‘shiru koto,’” in Yanagi Muneyoshi senshū 8, 24. 116. Yanagi, “‘Miru koto’ to ‘shiru koto,’” in Yanagi Muneyoshi senshū 8, 23–36. I should note that Yanagi’s use of shiru does not draw on the many layers of meaning that accrued to this word over the centuries. Shiru in this essay basically serves as a foil for miru in order to emphasize a distinction between learned and intuitive knowledge. 117. As one of Yanagi’s central concepts, references to chokkan are woven throughout many of his texts. However, for a summation of his understanding of chokkan, see Yanagi, “Nihon Mingeikan,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 16, 184–87. 118. Yanagi, “‘Miru koto’ to ‘shiru koto,’” in Yanagi Muneyoshi senshū 8, 34–35. 119. Yanagi Muneyoshi, “Tariki mon to bi,” in Tami to bi (Kyoto: Seibunsha, 1948), 303. 120. Yanagi, “Nihon Mingeikan,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 16, 223–24. 121. Yanagi, “Mingeikan no raikansha,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 16, 102–6. 122. Yanagi, “Mingeikan no raikansha,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 16, 106. 123. For a brief introduction to Yamamoto and his movement, see Ueda-­shi Yamamoto Kanae kinenkan, ed., Yamamoto Kanae (Ueda: Ueda-­shi Yamamoto Kanae kinenkan, 1992). Yanagi directly criticizes Yamamoto’s project in his essay “Mingei to nōmin bijutsu,” in Tami to bi, 353–66. I have not yet found anything documenting Yamamoto’s response. 124. For a general introduction to the early twentieth-­century crafts scene, see Hokkaidōritsu kindai bijutsukan et al., eds., Nihon kōgei no seishunki, 1920s–1945 (Tokyo: Bijutsu renraku kyōgikai, Yomiuri Shimbun, 1996). 125. Harootunian, Overcome by Modernity, xix. 126. Yanagi, “Nihon Mingeikan no annai,” 6. 127. Yanagi, “Hin to bi,” in Tami to bi, 323. 128. Yanagi, “Bi to keizai,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 10, 66. 129. Yanagi, “Bi to keizai,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 10, 51. 130. There are nevertheless significant exceptions to this formulation. For example, Yanagi’s involvement with the town of Shinjō in Yamagata Prefecture took the form of organizing regional and metropolitan exhibits of local crafts produced by farmers as a sideline. Yanagi further advised these farmers on how to tailor Notes to Chapter 4 • 263 •

their production for new uses in an urban context. However, the so-­called unknown craftsman who spent day in and day out “mass” producing pottery, textiles, or lacquerware remained the focus of Yanagi’s theorization. 131. Shibusawa Keizō, “Achikku no seichō,” in Shibusawa Keizō chosakushū, vol. 1, 17. Shibusawa does not directly name Yanagi in this essay, but refers in general to “those who prize mingei or getemono.” 132. Yanagi, “Bi to keizai,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 10, 56. 133. Yanagi, “Bi to keizai,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 10, 57. 134. Yanagi, “Bi to keizai,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 10, 61. 135. Yanagi et al., “Nihon Mingei Bijutsukan setsuritsu shūisho,” in Yanagi Muneyoshi zenshū, vol. 16, 6. 136. Noriko Aso, “Mediating the Masses: Yanagi Sōetsu and Fascism,” in The Culture of Japanese Fascism, edited by Alan Tansman (Durham: Duke University Press, 2009). 137. Technically, the samurai class was disbanded in the Meiji period; however, I am using this term to refer to former samurai class members who still had a strong consciousness of their Tokugawa period background. When I say that the general population was remade along “samurai” lines, I am referring to the process exemplified by the drafting of the Meiji Civil Code. The authors, often of samurai origins, of such legislation primarily looked to the mores of their own class as a model for the nation as a whole. See, for example, the discussion in Carol Gluck, Japan’s Modern Myths: Ideology in the Late Meiji Period (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985), 181–82. 138. In the early 1940s there were a number of discussions in the pages of Gekkan mingei regarding selecting or designing objects suited to the lifestyle of colonists in Manchuria, the role of Japanese crafts in the “new order” (shintaisei) of wartime Japan, and various meditations on “national character” (kokuminsei). 139. Brandt, Kingdom of Beauty, 9. 140. Brandt, Kingdom of Beauty, 21. 141. Brandt, Kingdom of Beauty, 27–37. 142. Quoted by Brandt, Kingdom of Beauty, 28; Yanagi Muneyoshi, “Kondo no sashie ni tsuite,” Shirakaba, July 1919, 108–9. 143. Yanagie Yūhei, “‘Jitsuhaku’ jigyō ni kakawatta hitobito ni tsuite: Shibusawa Keizō no shūen,” presentation made at the National Institute of Japanese Literature, Tokyo, March 22, 2006. 144. Shibusawa Keizō, “Attiku no seichō,” in Shibusawa Keizō chosakushū, vol. 1, 16. 145. For a summary overview of the variety of such collections, particularly those mentioned earlier, see Nihon Hakubutsu Kyōkai, ed., Zenkoku hakubutsukan annai (Tokyo: Tōkō shoin, 1932), 17–18, 23–25, 31–32, 46. I discussed the Rosanjin collection in “New Illusions: The Emergence of a Discourse on Traditional Japanese Arts and Crafts, 1868–1945” (PhD diss., University of Chicago, 1997), 244–50. Notes to Chapter 4 • 264 •

5. Consuming Publics

1. Formerly the main business of the Mitsui family, the dry-­goods store Echigoya suffered from neglect as the Mitsui family rapidly expanded during the Meiji era into many other types of enterprise. The Mitsui family then divided into a main and a subsidiary branch in order to separate the retail business from its other concerns. The name Mitsukoshi for the subsidiary branch was coined from the characters mitsu from Mitsui and the alternative reading of go from Echigoya, that is, koshi. Yamaguchi Masao, “Haisha” no seishinshi (Tokyo: Iwanami, 1995), 6. 2. “Aratanaru Mitsukoshi gofukuten no aratanaru katsudō,” in Mitsukoshi 4: 11 (1914): 1. 3. “Mitsukoshi gofukuten shinkan no tokuchō,” in Mitsukoshi 4: 8 (1914): 8–9. Further details in the paragraph are drawn from the same piece. 4. See Hatsuda Tōru, Hyakkaten no tanjō (Tokyo: Sanseidō, 1993); Jinno Yuki, Shumi no tanjō: Hyakkaten ga tsukutta teisuto (Tokyo: Keisō, 1994); and Miyano Rikiya, Hyakkaten bunkashi (Tokyo: Nikkei keizai shimbunsha, 2002), for discussions of the origins and development of department stores in the imperial era. In English, see Brian Moeran, “The Birth of the Japanese Department Store,” in Asian Department Stores, edited by Kerrie MacPherson (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i, 1998). I also discussed department stores in “New Illusions: The Emergence of a Discourse on Traditional Japanese Arts and Crafts, 1868–1945” (PhD diss., University of Chicago, 1997). For accounts of department stores in Europe and America, see Bill Lancaster, The Department Store: A Social History (London: Leicester University Press, 1995); William Leach, Land of Desire: Merchants, Power, and the Rise of a New American Culture (New York: Pantheon Books, 1993); and Rosalind Williams, Dream Worlds: Mass Consumption in Late Nineteenth-­Century France (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982). 5. Tony Bennett, The Birth of the Museum: History, Theory, Politics (New York: Routledge, 1995), particularly 59–88. For further discussion of the relationship between expositions and department stores, see Hatsuda, Hyakkaten no tanjō, 129–37; Jinno, Shumi no tanjō, 111–15; and Yoshimi Shunya, Hakurankai no seijigaku: Manazashi no kindai (Tokyo: Chūō kōronsha, 1992), 158–65. 6. Hoshino Shōjirō, Mitsukoshi sōshisha: Hibi Ōsuke (Tokyo: Sōbunsha, 1927), 136. Hibi even warned of looming class warfare if the store did not take its social responsibilities to heart. Hoshino, Mitsukoshi sōshisha, 145. 7. Tanahashi Gentarō, lecture published in Hakubutsukan kenkyū 2: 9 (September 1929): 7. 8. Bennett, The Birth of the Museum, 67. 9. The latter stores include the department stores associated with the Hankyū or Seibu train lines; these primarily emerged in the 1910s and 1920s. 10. Hatsuda, Hyakkaten no tanjō, 61. Notes to Chapter 5 • 265 •

11. The dominance of Mitsukoshi was illustrated by the allocation of 143 pages in the Japanese Department Store Association yearbook published in 1938, far exceeding the 33 pages given over to the second-­most-­discussed Shirokiya. Ōhashi Tomiichirō, ed., Hyakkaten nenkan Shōwa 13-­nen han (Tokyo: Nihon hyakkaten tsushinsha, 1938). 12. Jinno, Shumi no tanjō, 113–14. 13. Quoted by Jinno, Shumi no tanjō, 114. 14. Miyano, Hyakkaten bunkashi, 186. 15. Indeed, it is said that Aristide Boucicaut was so inspired by the Paris exposition of 1855 that when he built his pioneering Parisian department store, the Bon Marché, he set out to recreate the same atmosphere by employing architects with extensive exposition experience. Lancaster, The Department Store, 17. 16. This is a term coined by Hatsuda in Hyakkaten no tanjō. 17. Quoted in Hatsuda, Hyakkaten no tanjō, 131. 18. Yamaguchi, “Haisha” no seishinshi, 43–45. Indeed, this devaluation of the status of clerks was the source of labor disputes, strikes even, at Mitsukoshi, Daimaru, and Shirokiya. 19. An alternate pronunciation was kankoba. For a further discussion of kankōba, see Hatsuda, Hyakkaten no tanjō; Shiina Noritaka, Meiji hakubutsukan kotohajime (Kyoto: Shibunkaku, 1989); and Yoshimi, Hakurankai no seijigaku. 20. Quoted in Yoshimi, Hakurankai no seijigaku, 137. 21. Yoshimi, Hakurankai no seijigaku, 138. 22. Mitsukoshi and Takashimaya had experimented with the use of fixed prices even in the Tokugawa period; however, the practice was not widely adopted until after the appearance of kankōba. 23. Hatsuda, Hyakkaten no tanjō, 39–40, 43. 24. Hatsuda, Hyakkaten no tanjō, 33–34. 25. Hoshino, Mitsukoshi sōshisha, 123–24. 26. Hatsuda, Hyakkaten no tanjō, 42–43; Edward Seidensticker, Low City, High City: Tokyo from Edo to the Earthquake (New York: Knopf, 1983), 113. 27. Jinno, Shumi no tanjō, 2. 28. Quoted in Hatsuda, Hyakkaten no tanjō, 8. 29. Kabushiki-­gaisha Takashimaya, Takashimaya 150-­nen shi (Tokyo: Takashimaya 150 nen shi hensanininkai, 1982), 66–68. 30. In the 1850s the Bon Marché in Paris pioneered this style of laying out goods for the inspection of customers on a permanent basis rather than having clerks fetch samples of goods that the consumer might wish to buy. By the turn of the century, the use of glass cases had overtaken the use of tables and counters for such displays. Lancaster, The Department Store, 17–19, 51, 80. 31. Quoted in Hatsuda, Hyakkaten no tanjō, 66. 32. Hatsuda, Hyakkaten no tanjō, 100. Shirokiya was the one department store that somewhat bucked the trend, going with a hybrid style that combined Japanese and Western architectural elements. Notes to Chapter 5 • 266 •

33. Uchida Makoto was quoted in Hatsuda, Hyakkaten no tanjō, 99. 34. Hatsuda, Hyakkaten no tanjō, 98–99; Miyano, Hyakkaten bunkashi, 271–77. 35. Hatsuda, Hyakkaten no tanjō, 101–5. 36. Mitsukoshi no ayumi, 32–35; Miyano, Hyakkaten bunkashi, 273–77. 37. Tony Bennett sees such spatial devices as offering a counterpoint and supplement to the panopticon as understood in a Foucauldian analysis of modern governmentality. Jeremy Bentham’s (1748–1832) influential prison model was one in which guards (the state) could see and thus control all, while prisoners (subjects) could neither see each other nor the guards seeing them. Members of the exhibitionary complex shared with the panopticon the project of visual management in order to foster “self”-­control. Bennett, The Birth of the Museum, 63. 38. Hatsuda, Hyakkaten no tanjō, 83. 39. Ōhashi Tomiichirō, ed., Hyakkaten nenkan Shōwa 13-­nen han, 390. 40. Hatsuda, Hyakkaten no tanjō, 97–98. 41. See the discussions in Hatsuda, Hyakkaten no tanjō; Jinno, Shumi no tanjō; and Miyano, Hyakkaten bunkashi, as well as the voluminous primary materials in the various journals published by Mitsukoshi and the commemorative histories of other department stores. 42. Miyano, Hyakkaten bunkashi, 184–85. The Imperial Theater (Teikoku Gekijō), which opened in 1911, was a project supported by such prominent figures in and out of the government, including Ōkura Kichachirō, Shibusawa Eiichi, Prince Saionji Kinmochi, and Itō Hirobumi. Although this Western-­style theater was a private venture, it was conceived from the start as a site of cultural diplomacy and exchange to pursue national interests. See Mine Takashi, Teikoku gekijō kaimaku: kyō wa Teigeki, asu wa Mitsukoshi (Tokyo: Chūō kōronsha, 1996). 43. Hatsuda, Hyakkaten no tanjō, 154–55. 44. See Lancaster’s discussion of the origins of Harrods in The Department Store, 22–23. See also Hatsuda, Hyakkaten no tanjō, 182–83. 45. Quoted in Hatsuda, Hyakkaten no tanjō, 111. 46. Kon Wajirō, “Depaato fūzoku shakaigaku” in Kon Wajirō zenshū, vol. 1 (Tokyo: Domesu shuppan, 1971). This was first published in Fujin no tomo in January 1929. For discussions of the intriguing ethnographical practices of Kon, see Alan S. Christy, “Representing the Rural: Place as Method in the Formation of Japanese Native Ethnology, 1910–1945” (PhD diss., University of Chicago, 1996); and Miriam Silverberg, “Constructing the Japanese Ethnography of Modernity,” Journal of Japanese Studies 51: 1 (February 1992). 47. Kon, “Depaato fūzoku shakaigaku,” 231–32. 48. Kon, “Depaato fūzoku shakaigaku,” 236. 49. The western residential areas of Tokyo known collectively as Yamanote represented “the right side of the tracks” during the prewar period. See also Hatsuda, Hyakkaten no tanjō, 82–86. 50. Kon, “Depaato fūzoku shakaigaku,” 234–36. 51. Kon, “Depaato fūzoku shakaigaku,” 227–28. Notes to Chapter 5 • 267 •

52. Kon, “Depaato fūzoku shakaigaku,” 228. 53. While the French and Americans championed the freedom of the customer to walk around displays of goods freely and without any direct pressure to buy, the English adhered for a long time to a more controlled model for department stores in which floor walkers sent those who were “just looking” to the exit. 54. Miyano has a short discussion of the Tengu cigarette campaign in Hyakkaten bunkashi, 209. 55. Hirotsu Ryūrō, “Innen,” Jikō 3 (1904): 3–8. 56. Elaine Abelson, When Ladies Go A-­Thieving: Middle-­Class Shoplifters in the Victorian Department Store (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989). See also Susan Benson Porter’s pioneering work on women and department stores, Counter Culture: Saleswomen, Managers, and Customers in American Department Stores, 1890–1940 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986). 57. Hatsuda, Hyakkaten no tanjō, 117–24. 58. Quoted by Hatsuda, Hyakkaten no tanjō, 115–16. See also Yoshimi, Hakurankai no seijigaku, 162, for a discussion of how department stores looked to capture the interest of every member of the household. 59. Hoshino, Mitsukoshi sōshisha, 135. 60. For general histories of this department store, see Mitsukoshi no ayumi (Tokyo: Kabushiki-­gaisha Mitsukoshi, 1954); and Takahashi Junjirō, Mitsukoshi sambyakunen no keiei senryaku (Tokyo: Sankei shimbun, 1972). The announcement was reproduced in Kabushiki-­gaisha Mitsukoshi, Kabushiki-­gaisha Mitsukoshi 85 nen no kiroku (Tokyo: Zenyōsho, 1989), 285. The full text of the announcement is as follows: Greetings, Upon the succession of this store to the operation of the unlimited partnership of the Mitsui Dry Goods Store, the store employees will devote their full attention to the main Tokyo store, studying and pursuing the convenience of our valued customers. While we will of course exert ourselves to the utmost to meet the needs of the customers, as has been our practice up until now, we shall also earnestly redouble our efforts. With this in mind, we will endeavor to carry out the following: 1. The main Tokyo branch will renovate its appearance, upgrade its products, and add improvements in every quarter in order to enhance the aesthetic experience of the visitor, and to provide every possible facility for making the act of purchase pleasant. 2. Our design division will provide a pattern reference room. For customers who wish to special order, this room will offer various old and new samples for viewing in order to facilitate selection. 3. We have also increased the variety of products sold at this store; we are now equipped to supply most items related to clothing and adornment all under one roof. In short, we shall constitute a department store like those in the United States. Notes to Chapter 5 • 268 •

4. In the spring and fall, we will hold special exhibits of new patterns, promoting new products from makers all over Japan. At the same time, we will hold artistic exhibits, which, in addition to demonstrating advances made in design, will present unparalleled displays of goods for our visitors to choose from. 5. The Kyoto warehouse will undertake further improvements to stand at the forefront of fashion, including expanding its dye and weaving facilities and manufacturing the very latest elegant fashionable goods. 6. The regional sales division will, with care and skill, endeavor to meet the needs of customers living far away, filling orders and sending patterns for metropolitan fashion goods as depicted in our monthly journal Jikō [Vogue]. For the purpose of the store enhancements along the lines mentioned above, our employee Hayashi Kōhei has been sent to the United States. Upon his imminent return, the cutting-­edge methods of improvement that he will bring back will gradually be implemented in this store. These are our intentions that we would like to declare, despite the impertinence, on this occasion of our announcement of the store’s incorporation. December, Meiji 37 Mitsukoshi Dry Goods Store, Inc. 61. See Hoshino’s biography, Mitsukoshi sōshisha. 62. Mitsukoshi’s line of publications began with the journal-­catalogue Flower Garments (Hanagoromo) in 1899. Summer Garments (Natsugoromo) followed the same year, and soon journals such as Spring Patterns (Haru moyō) and Summer Patterns (Natsu moyō) appeared on a biannual basis. After the last such seasonal issue, The Metropolitan Way (Miyakoburi), Mitsukoshi began publishing the more literary and artistic monthly Vogue from 1904 to 1908. It was then replaced by the Mitsukoshi Times, published from 1908 to 1923. The journal Mitsukoshi was published alongside the Mitsukoshi Times from 1911 to 1923 and on its own until 1932, after which it was issued on a periodic basis until 1938. 63. Jinno, Shumi no tanjō, 123. 64. Thereafter, the dry-­goods stores Matsuzakaya (in 1910), Shirokiya (in 1919), Takashimaya (in 1919), Daimaru (in 1920), and Isetan (in 1922) transformed themselves into hyakkaten or department stores. 65. Mori Ōgai even mentioned this fad in his poem “Mitsukoshi,” first published in the journal Shumi in 1907. Mori Ōgai, “Mitsukoshi,” in Ōgai zenshū chosakuhen, vol. 1 (Tokyo: Iwanami, 1938). 66. Takahashi Yoshio, Jikō 3: 4 (1905): 41–42. 67. See the discussions in Jinno, Shumi no tanjō, 125–29; and Yamaguchi, “Haisha” no seishinshi, 52–54. 68. Susan Stewart, On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984), xiii. 69. Chizuka Reisui, Mitsukoshi 3: 11 (November 1913): 13. 70. Gotō Shimpei, Mitsukoshi Taimusu 10: 8 (July 1912): 10–11. Notes to Chapter 5 • 269 •

71. Mori Ōgai, “Ryūkō,” in Ōgai zenshū chosakuhen, vol. 1, 139. This can be read as a textual trace of the compromised relation of department stores and Japanese colonialist ambitions generated via international capitalism. The connections became increasingly articulated in the pages of the house journal Mitsukoshi during the 1920s and 1930s, as we can see in the staging of exhibits that featured military technology, covers such as the one splashed with the imperial flag (vol. 18, no. 11, November 1928), and such articles as Horiguchi Kuman’ichi’s “The Need for Overseas Expansion” (“Kaigai hatten no hitsuyō”) (vol. 22, no. 8, August 1932). 72. Mori Ōgai, “Ryūkō,” 141. 73. Teignmouth W. Shore, D’Orsay; or, The Complete Dandy. 74. Hamada Jirō, Hyakkaten isseki wa (Tokyo: Nihon denpō tsūshinsha, 1948), 17. 75. For close studies of minzokugaku, see Christy, “Representing the Rural”; Gerald Figal, “The Folk and the Fantastic in Japanese Modernity: Dialogues on Reason and the Imagination in Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Japan” (Ph.D. diss., University of Chicago, 1992); H. D. Harootunian, Overcome by Modernity (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000), 293–357; Marilyn Ivy, Discourses of the Vanishing: Modernity, Phantasm, Japan (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), 66–140. 76. See Hatsuda, Hyakkaten no tanjō; Yamaguchi, “Haisha” no seishinshi; and Yoshimi, Hakurankai no seijigaku, for discussions of the study of toys and the “discovery of childhood” in relation to Japanese department stores. 77. Yamaguchi, “Haisha” no seishinshi, 77. 78. Jikō (March 1904): 1. 79. Jikō (March 1904): 1. 80. See, for example, Lancaster, The Department Store, 85, 94–106; Leach, Land of Desire, 323–48. 81. Ogata Kōrin (1658–1716), founder of the Rinpa or Kōrin school of painting, enjoyed the patronage of the Kyoto court and has been celebrated ever since as one of the great masters of Japanese painting and design. 82. Mitsukoshi Taimusu, May 1910. 83. Yamaguchi, “Haisha” no seishinshi, 16. 84. Kishida Ryūsei, Kishida Ryūsei zenshū 4 (Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 1979), 308. 85. This was also not uncommon in European galleries. 86. Photographs and mentions of art for purchase were regularly featured in the store journals, as in Mitsukoshi 4:1 (January 1928), 5. 87. Hatsuda, Hyakkaten no tanjō, 149. 88. The first was held in Ueno. 89. For further details and a list indicating the range of mingei exhibits from 1927 to 1944, see Kanaya Miwa, “Bunka no shōhi: Nihon Mingei Undō no tenji o megutte,” Jinbungaku hō 77 (January 1996). 90. Kanaya, “Bunka no shōhi,” 73. 91. See Kōgei, no. 47 (November 1934). The entire volume was a special edition deNotes to Chapter 5 • 270 •

voted to the Contemporary Japanese Folkcraft Exhibit (Gendai Nihon mingei tenrankai). 92. Yoshida Mitsukuni, ed., Bankokuhaku no Nihonkan (Tokyo: inax, 1990), 4. 93. Hatsuda, Hyakkaten no tanjō, 150. 94. Mitsukoshi Taimusu (November 1910). 95. See the advertisements and articles in Jikō (April 1904): 28–29; Jikō ( July 1904): 56–59; Jikō (September 1904): 33; Jikō (December 1904): 44; and so on. Miyake’s work also appeared in the July 1904 issue of Jikō on pages 32–40. For celebrations in 1905, see, for example, the frontispiece photographs in the December issue of Jikō. 96. Hoshino, Mitsukoshi sōshisha, 139. 97. The flag cover was for Mitsukoshi (November 1923). Horiguchi Kuman’ichi’s “Kaigai hatten no hitsuyō” was in Mitsukoshi (August 1932). 98. For a discussion of war and department store dining halls, see Miyano, Hyakkaten bunkashi, 81–82. For more on the “three human bombs,” see Louise Young, Japan’s Total Empire: Manchuria and the Culture of Japanese Imperialism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999), 77–78. 99. Hamada Jirō, “Chōsen-­dayori,” Jikō (December 1904): 31–32. 100. Hamada, “Chōsen-­dayori,” 31. 101. Hamada, “Chōsen-­dayori,” 32. 102. Hamada, “Chōsen-­dayori,” 32. 103. Iwaya Sazanami, “Man-­Sen no shōkokumin,” Mitsukoshi 4: 1 ( January 1914): 1–23. 104. Iwaya, “Man-­Sen no shōkokumin,” 1. For an in-­depth analysis of the complex character and wide-­ranging impact of this company, see Young, Japan’s Total Empire. 105. Iwaya, “Man-­Sen no shōkokumin,” 22. 106. Iwaya, “Man-­Sen no shōkokumin,” 23. 107. Iwaya, “Man-­Sen no shōkokumin,” 6, 9. 108. Iwaya, “Man-­Sen no shōkokumin,” 6. 109. Iwaya, “Man-­Sen no shōkokumin,” 20–21. 110. Iwaya, “Man-­Sen no shōkokumin,” 21–22. 111. Toyoizumi Masuzō, ed., Echigoya yori Mitsukoshi (Tokyo: Kawase Gosetsudō, 1936), 98–99. 112. Ch’ae Man-­sik, Peace under Heaven, translated by Chun Kyung-­Ja (New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1993), 225. 113. Ch’ae, Peace under Heaven, 221. 114. Ch’ae, Peace under Heaven, 221. 115. Ch’ae, Peace under Heaven, 232–34. 116. Ch’ae, Peace under Heaven, 238–41. 117. Yi Sang, “The Wings,” in Nalgae, Bongbyeolgi, Donghae, translated by Ahn Jung-­ hyo and James B. Lee (Seoul: Jimoondang, 2001). Notes to Chapter 5 • 271 •

118. Yi, “The Wings,” 38–39. 119. Yi, “The Wings,” 39–40. 120. A helpful chronology is included in Mitsukoshi no ayumi, 67–68. 121. Mitsukoshi no ayumi, 39. 122. See Miyano, Hyakkaten bunkashi, 81–82. 123. Mitsukoshi no ayumi, 46. 124. Kataoka Sadao, “Daiyōshoku no osusume,” Mitsukoshi (December 1939, Osaka edition), 10–11. 125. Kataoka, “Daiyōshoku no osusume,” 11. 126. Kataoka, “Daiyōshoku no osusume,” 11. Various scholars have scrutinized wartime recruitment of women, children, and working-­class women on the home front: Gail Bernstein, ed. Recreating Japanese Women, 1600–1945 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991); J. Viktor Koschmann, “Intellectuals and Politics,” in Postwar Japan as History, edited by Andrew Gordon (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993); Mariko Tamanoi, Under the Shadow of Nationalism: Politics and Poetics of Rural Japanese Women (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1998); and Ueno Chizuko, Nationalism and Gender, translated by Beverley Yamamoto (Melbourne: Trans-­Pacific, 2004), are good places to start. Epilogue

1. John Dower, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1999). See in particular his discussion of the postwar constitution, 346–404. See also U.S. Department of State, The Constitution of Japan, Effective May 3, 1947. 2. Articles 1 and 4 of the U.S. Department of State’s publication of The Constitution of Japan, Effective May 3, 1947, U.S. Department of State Publication 2836, Far Eastern Series (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1947). 3. For a critical analysis of Japan’s containment, see Bruce Cumings, “Japan’s Position in the World System,” in Postwar Japan as History, edited by Andrew Gordon (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993). 4. For a more in-­depth discussion of the fate of the Tokyo national museum during wartime, see tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi (Tokyo: Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan, 1973), 525–62. 5. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, shiryōhen (Tokyo: Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan, 1973), 663. 6. Asano Shōichirō, Sengo bijutsuten ryakushi, 1945–1990 (Tokyo: Kyūryūdō, 1997), 12. 7. Publication of the folkcraft movement’s journals Kōgei and Gekkan mingei had already been suspended in 1944. Kōgei resumed publication in 1946, while Gekkan mingei (renamed Mingei in 1942) resumed in 1948. Mizuo Hiroshi, Nihon minzoku bunka taikei 6: Yanagi Muneyoshi (Tokyo: Kōdansha, 1978), 129. For more on the publishing scene, see Asano, Sengo bijutsuten ryakushi, 27. Notes to Epilogue • 272 •

8. There are already several volumes out in both Japanese and English that deal with the postwar Japanese art scene. However, many of them focus on modern rather than “traditional” art. See Asano, Sengo bijutsuten ryakushi, 1945–90; and Alexandra Munroe, Japanese Art after 1945: Scream against the Sky (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1994). For a greater emphasis on older forms of Japanese arts and crafts, see Thomas Havens, Artist and Patron in Postwar Japan: Dance, Music, Theater, and the Visual Arts, 1955–1980 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982); and Brian Moeran, “The Art World of Contemporary Japanese Ceramics,” Journal of Japanese Studies 13: 1 (1987); and Lost Innocence: Folk Craft Potters of Onta, Japan (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984). 9. Asano, Sengo bijutsuten ryakushi, 9–36. 10. This was the first Japanese exhibit to feature originals of major works from overseas. 11. For more information on these exhibits, see Asano, Sengo bijutsuten ryakushi, 18, 20–22, 70–72. 12. For more details on reforms in the national museum and treasure system, see tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 628–33. 13. For the negotiations and subsequent fate of the national museums, see tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 586–88. 14. While the Imperial Household Agency did not have a formal administrative relationship with the museums after 1947, the imperial family remained in possession of many important artifacts. In 1993 the central government established the Museum of the Imperial Collections (Kunaichō Sannomaru Shōzōkan), following the donation in 1989 of six thousand artworks by the imperial family. Later donations by imperial family members have brought the collection to eight thousand. 15. U.S. State Department, The Constitution of Japan, Effective May 3, 1947, 22. For a close discussion of the retention of the Shōwa emperor during the occupation, see Dower, Embracing Defeat, 277–404. See also Yoshikuni Igarashi’s analysis in Bodies of Memory: Narratives of War in Postwar Japanese Culture, 1945–1970 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000), 19–46. 16. Although Katayama was something of an anomaly as a socialist prime minister, he was not unorthodox at the time in his reference to culture in association with democracy and peace. Hirano Ken’ichirō, “Sengo Nihon gaikō ni okeru ‘bunka,’” in Sengo Nihon no taigai seisaku, edited by Watanabe Akio (Tokyo: Yōhikaku, 1985), 344. 17. Dower, Embracing Defeat, 177. 18. Hirano, “Sengo Nihon ni okeru ‘bunka,’” 345. See also Fukuda Tsuneari, Bunka naki bunka kokka (Kyoto: php Kenkyūkai, 1980), 16, 30–31, 249. 19. For a brief summary of the trial results, see “International Military Tribunal for the Far East,” International Organization 3: 1 (February 1949): 184–86. Influential discussions of the trials include Harold Bix, Hirohito and the Making of Notes to Epilogue • 273 •

Modern Japan (New York: Harper Collins, 2000); Dower, Embracing Defeat; and Richard Minear, Victor’s Justice: The Tokyo War Crimes Trials (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971). 20. See Kathleen Canning, Languages of Labor and Gender (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996), 92–93. 21. For a firsthand account of U.S. activities in this field, see Sherman Lee, “My Work in Japan: Arts and Monuments, 1946–1952,” in The Confusion Era: Art and Culture of Japan During the Allied Occupation, edited by Mark Sandler (Seattle: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and University of Washington Press, 1997). According to Lee, U.S. contributions at the time were primarily aimed at democratization and supporting the efforts of Japanese colleagues. 22. The text of the law is reproduced in Bunkachō, Bunkazai hogo kankei hōreishū (Tokyo: Gyōsei, 2006), 7–91. 23. Bunkachō, Bunkazai hogo kankei hōreishū, 8. 24. For a comprehensive account, see tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 588–633. 25. Two important exceptions to the overall conservatism were (1) the creation of the category of “intangible cultural properties” (mukei bunkazai); and (2) the first inclusion of “modern” art of the Meiji period in museum holdings. It should also be noted that not all museum holdings are classified as cultural properties of varying grades, nor are all cultural properties held in national museums. Sohyun Park provides an incisive analysis of modern art in the Japanese national museum system in “Becoming moma: The Inter/nationalism of Reinventing Japanese Modern Art History in the Postwar Era,” paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, Atlanta, Georgia, April 6, 2008. 26. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 601–2. 27. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 598. 28. Figures from tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, shiryōhen, 663– 64. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, offers more detail on each of these events. 29. De Coubertin himself took a gold medal in literature with his “Ode to Sport.” For further details on the art competitions, see Ian Buchanan and Bill Mallon, Historical Dictionary of the Olympic Movement (Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2001), 14–15. Japan had also been accorded respect at the fine arts competitions before the Second World War. For example, Japan was the only non-­Western country with an Olympic-­committee representative for assembling works for the fine arts exhibit for the Olympics of 1932. See Olympic Fine Arts Committee, Olympic Competition and Exhibition of Art: Catalogue of the Exhibition at the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science, and Art (Los Angeles: Neuner, 1932). 30. Yashiro Yukio, “Sekai ni okeru Nihon bijutsu no ninshiki,” part 1, Gekkan bunkazai, October 1963, 4–7. Parts 2 through 4 followed in February 1964, 4–11; April 1965, 11–15; and June 1965, 11–15. Quotations from part 1, 4. Notes to Epilogue • 274 •

31. Yashiro, “Sekai ni okeru Nihon bijutsu no ninshiki,” part 3, Gekkan bunkazai, April 1965, 12. 32. “Nihon kobijutsuten o megutte,” Gekkan bunkazai, October 1964, 10. This roundtable featured Noma Seiroku, Okada Jō, Kurada Osamu, Sekino Masaru, Dohi Fuyuo, and Matsushita Takaaki. 33. See, for example, the coverage of the “Art Olympics” in the Japan Times, October 15, 1964, 14. 34. “Nihon kobijutsuten o megutte,” Gekkan bunkazai, October 1964, 18–27. 35. Noma Seiroku, introduction to tkh, ed., Nihon kobijutsuten zuroku (Tokyo: Benridō, 1964), 7–12. This topic was also the main theme of a lecture he gave on October 18, 1964, as one of the special events associated with the Olympics arts festival. tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 581, 709. 36. “Nihon kobijutsuten o megutte,” Gekkan bunkazai, October 1964, 10. 37. Furukawa Takahisa, Kōki/Banpaku/Orinpikku (Tokyo: Chikuma, 1990), 220; and Igarashi, Bodies of Memory, 143–63. 38. For an in-­depth discussion of the protests, see Wesley Sasaki-­Uemura, Organizing the Spontaneous: Citizen Protest in Postwar Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2001), particularly 15–54. See also Igarashi, Bodies of Memory, 131–43; and J. Victor Koschmann, “Intellectuals and Politics,” in Gordon, Postwar Japan as History, particularly 406–9. 39. For an overview of lectures during this time period, see tkh, Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan hyakunenshi, 736. 40. Hirano, “Sengo Nihon gaikō ni okeru ‘bunka,’” 362. 41. Cumings discusses Nakasone in terms of postwar Japanese defense posture in “Japan’s Position in the World System,” and Carol Gluck takes up Nakasone’s cultural arguments in “The Past in the Present,” in Gordon, Postwar Japan as History, 34–63, 72–73. 42. For a discussion of the railway-­privatization process, with special attention to unions, see Charles Weathers, “Reconstruction of Labor-­Management Relations in Japan’s National Railways,” Asian Survey 34: 7 ( July 1994). 43. Morita Akira, “Gyōsei kaikaku,” Hō-­shakaigaku 55 (2001). On independent administrative institutions, see pages 81–85. 44. The correspondence appeared on the cabinet website and was the topic of short articles in several newspapers, including the Japanese newspaper of record, the Asahi, and the Communist newspaper, Akahata. For the initial letter’s text, see Hirayama Ikuo and Takashina Shuji, “Kōritsusei tsuikyū ni yoru bunka geijutsu no suitai o kigu suru,” Kisei kaikaku, November 3, 2005, accessed November 22, 2005, http://www.kisei-­ 45. Suzuki Yoshio and Yashiro Naohiro, “Kisei kaikaku/minkan kaihō/shijōka tesuto wa bunka geijutsu no tame ni koso okonowaremasu—11-­gatsu 3-­nichi-­zuke ‘Kōritsusei tsuikyū ni yoru bunka geijutsu no suitai o kigu suru’ ni tsuite,” Kisei kaikaku, accessed November 22, 2005, http://www.kisei-­ /2005/1116/item051116_02.pdf. Notes to Epilogue • 275 •

46. Hirayama and Takashina, “Kōritsusei tsuikyū ni yoru bunka geijutsu no suitai o kigu suru,” 1. 47. Suzuki and Yashiro, “Kisei kaikaku/minkan kaihō/shijōka tesuto wa bunka geijutsu no tame ni koso okonowaremasu,” 1. 48. Hirayama and Takashina, “Kōritsusei tsuikyū ni yoru bunka geijutsu no suitai o kigu suru,”1. 49. Suzuki and Yashiro, “Kisei kaikaku/minkan kaihō/shijōka tesuto wa bunka geijutsu no tame ni koso okonowaremasu,” 3. 50. Hirayama and Takashina, “Kōritsusei tsuikyū ni yoru bunka geijutsu no suitai o kigu suru,” 1. 51. Hirayama and Takashina, “Kōritsusei tsuikyū ni yoru bunka geijutsu no suitai o kigu suru,” 1. 52. Suzuki and Yashiro, “Kisei kaikaku/minkan kaihō/shijōka tesuto wa bunka geijutsu no tame ni koso okonowaremasu,” 2. 53. Suzuki and Yashiro, “Kisei kaikaku/minkan kaihō/shijōka tesuto wa bunka geijutsu no tame ni koso okonowaremasu,” 2. 54. For a trenchant discussion of such policies in Britain, see Jim McGuigan, Rethinking Cultural Policy (Berkshire, U.K.: Open University Press, 2004). 55. Dokuritsu gyōsei hōjin kokuritsu hakubutsukan, Dokuritsu gyōsei hōjin kokuritsu hakubutuskan gaiyō: Heisei 16 nendo (Tokyo: Dokuritsu gyōsei hōjin kokuritsu hakubutsukan, 2005), 12. 56. Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan, “Soshiki-­zu,” Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan, accessed October 22, 2006, .html. 57. Tokyo Kokuritsu Bunkazai Kikō, Dokuritsu gyōsei hōjin kokuritsu bunkazai kikō gaiyō: Heisei 21-­nendo (Tokyo: Dokuritsu gyōsei hōjin kokuritsu bunkazai kikō, 2009), 37. 58. Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan, “Kako no tenrankai ichiran,” Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan, accessed October 22, 2006, /past.html. 59. tkh, Dokuritsu gyōsei hōjin kokuritsu hakubutuskan gaiyō: Heisei 18-­nendo (Tokyo: Dokuritsu gyōsei hōjin kokuritsu hakubutsukan honbu jimukyoku, 2007), 1, 9. 60. Kobayashi Mari, “Administrative Reform and the Impact of Privatization on Publicly Funded Arts Facilities in Japan,” paper presented at the Fourth International Conference on Cultural Policy Research, Vienna, 2006, 8; copy in author’s possession. Kobayashi provides in-­depth analysis in Bunkaken no kakuritsu ni mukete: Bunka shinkōhō no kokusai hikaku to Nihon no genjitsu (Tokyo: Keisō shobō, 2004). 61. Kobayashi, “Administrative Reform and the Impact of Privatization on Publicly Funded Arts Facilities in Japan,” 8. 62. Recent national museum publications for children include Mizuki, Miyajima Shin’ichi, and the Kyushu National Museum, Zoku zoku zo zo zo (Tokyo: Notes to Epilogue • 276 •

Table E.2 Recent Attendance Figures for the Tokyo National Museum

Year 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003

Total attendance 597,858 873,467 1​ ,143,900 ​1,845,129 964,133 1​ ,046,182 ​1,196,408


Total attendance

2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

1,527,677 1,443,719 1,417,195 1,768,198 2,171,942 2,469,657

Sources: From Dokuritsu gyōsei hōjin kokuritsu hakubutsukan, “Fuzoku shiryō,” in Dokuritsu gyōsei hōjin kokuritsu hakubutsukan Heisei 13 nendo nenpō (Tokyo: Dokuritsu gyōsei hōjin kokuritsu hakubutsukan, 2003), 6; “Fuzoku shiryō,” in Dokuritsu gyōsei hōjin kokuritsu hakubutsukan Heisei 18 nendo nenpō (Tokyo: Dokuritsu gyōsei hōjin kokuritsu hakubutsukan, 2007), 16; Dokuritsu gyōsei hōjin kokuritsu bunkazai kikō gaiyō Heisei 19 nendo (Tokyo: Dokuritsu gyōsei hōjin kokuritsu hakubutsukan, 2008), 5; Dokuritsu gyōsei hōjin kokuritsu bunkazai kikō gaiyō Heisei 20 nendo (Tokyo: Dokuritsu gyōsei hōjin kokuritsu hakubutsukan, 2009), 5; Dokuritsu gyōsei hōjin kokuritsu bunkazai kikō gaiyō Heisei 21 nendo (Tokyo: Dokuritsu gyōsei hōjin kokuritsu hakubutsukan, 2010), 5; Dokuritsu gyōsei hōjin kokuritsu bunkazai kikō gaiyō Heisei 22 nendo (Tokyo: Dokuritsu gyōsei hōjin kokuritsu hakubutsukan, 2011), 5.

Froebel-­kan, 2007); and Tsuda and the Kyushu National Museum, Ōki-­na hakubutsukan (Tokyo: Froebel-­kan, 2008). 63. See recent attendance figures for the Tokyo National Museum in table E.2. 64. In 2008 the Japan Association of Museums (Nihon Hakubutsu Kyōkai) conducted a survey for the government that targeted 4,035 museums and museum-­ like institutions; other small-­scale informal exhibition sites are likely to have fallen through this net. Of the 56 percent that responded, the largest grouping was historical museums at 44 percent, with the next largest category composed of art and art-­historical museums, at 21 percent. Nihon Hakubutsu Kyōkai, “Hajime ni,” in Chiiki to tomo ni ayumu hakubutsukan kyōsei jigyō: Nihon no hakubutsukan sōgō chōsa kenkyū hōkokusho (Tokyo: Monbukagakushō, 2009), i, 41. 65. This was actually a condition stipulated by the French government for returning the Matsukata collection to Japan. 66. The open-­source online journal The Asia-­Pacific Journal: Japan Focus (http:// has developed a particularly rich conversation regarding this topic, examined from various other Asian, as well as Japanese and Western, perspectives. Laura Hein and Akiko Takenaka also provide an overview of such museums in Japan and the United States, including in their discussion both formal museums and exhibition sites that fulfill similar functions. Hein and TaNotes to Epilogue • 277 •

kenaka, “Exhibiting World War II in Japan and the United States since 1995,” Pacific Historical Review 76: 1 (2007). 67. For a complex and in-­depth discussion of Hiroshima and historical memory, see Lisa Yoneyama, Hiroshima Traces: Time, Space, and the Dialectics of Memory (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999). Hiro Saito also provides an overview of how Hiroshima became incorporated into national memory in “Reiterated Commemoration: Hiroshima as National Trauma,” Sociological Theory 24: 4 (2006). 68. Hein and Takenaka give a detailed account of Peace Osaka in “Exhibiting World War II in Japan and the United States since 1995,” 68–75. 69. A succinct history of the institution is available on the Yūshūkan website, http://, accessed September 20, 2010. 70. Among those who have critically discussed the Yūshūkan are Ian Buruma, The Wages of Guilt: Memories of War in Germany and Japan (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1994), 219–24; Roger B. Jeans, “Victims or Victimizers? Museums, Textbooks, and the War Debate in Contemporary Japan,” The Journal of Military History 69: 1 (2005); and Mark Selden, “Japan, the United States and Yasukuni Nationalism: War, Historical Memory and the Future of the Asia Pacific,” The Asia-­Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, September 8, 2010, accessed September 8, 2010,­Mark-­Selden/2892. 71. Kerry Smith, “The Shōwa Hall: Memorializing Japan’s War at Home,” The Public Historian 24: 4 (autumn 2002); Hein and Takenaka, “Exhibiting World War II in Japan and the United States since 1995,” 76–77. For the Shōkei Hall, see its website,, accessed September 13, 2010. The Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare also regularly includes discussion of these institutions in annual reports available at its website, /index.shtml, accessed September 13, 2010. 72. Hein and Takenaka, “Exhibiting World War II in Japan and the United States since 1995,” 80–84. In addition, Perilous Memories represents a pioneering attempt to analyze the production of Asia-­Pacific War memories from multiple perspectives. See Takashi Fujitani, Geoffrey White, and Lisa Yoneyama, eds., Perilous Memories: The Asia-­Pacific War(s) (Durham: Duke University Press, 2001). 73. Nihon Hakubutsu Kyōkai, Chiiki to tomo ni ayumu hakubutsukan kyōsei jigyō, 138–39. 74. There are certainly degrees and types of interactivity that require closer scrutiny. For example, pressing a button to light up areas on a map, a device employed particularly in science and history museums the world over, performs a preset highlighting function that does not rely on or even open up much space for a two-­way conversation.

Notes to Epilogue • 278 •



Gekkan bunkazai (1963–) Gekkan mingei (1939–44, 1947); renamed Mingei in 1942 Hakubutsukan kenkyū (1928–74) Jikō (1903–8) Kōgei (1931–43, 1947–48) Kokka (1889–1995) Mitsukoshi (1911–38, Osaka edition to 1943) Mitsukoshi Taimusu (1908–23) Shirakaba (1910–23) Books and Journal Articles

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Hakubutsukan, terminology for, 14–16, 50. See also Museums entries Hakurankai, terminology for, 14–16, 34–35. See also Expositions entries Hamada Jirō, 172–73, 179, 189, 196–97 Hamada Shōji, 129, 152, 165, 193, 262n94 Hibi Ōsuke, 171, 178 Hiraga Gennai, 17–18 Home Ministry, 50–51, 56, 70–71, 82, 84, 89, 92, 130, 203, 241n1 Imperial Household Agency, 273n14 Imperial Household Ministry, 51, 70–88, 92, 96–97, 115, 119–21, 125, 130, 155, 195, 203, 241n1, 244n37, 247n104 Imperial Household Office, 203 Important Cultural Properties. See Jūyō bunkazai Institute for the Study of Barbarian Books, 13, 21, 230n3, 232n40, 232n42, 234n60, 245n69 Itō Hirobumi, 74, 114–16, 267n42 Iwakura Tomomi, 54, 75, 101 Iwaya Sazanami, 187, 197–98, 202 Japan Folk Crafts Museum, 6, 128, 151–66, 205 Japan Museum Association, 125, 277n64 Junkō no mono shutchō kokoroe-­hō. See Fieldwork Guidelines for Surveyors Jūyō bijutsuhin nado no hozon ni kansuru hōritsu. See Law Regarding the Preservation of Important Works of Fine Arts Jūyō bunkazai, 65, 91–92, 204, 208–12 Kaichō, 16–18, 20, 71. See also Tokugawa period display culture Kankōba (kankoba), 59, 173–75, 183, 191, 241n162, 266n22 Kawai Kanjirō, 129, 133, 152, 165, 193 Kitaōji Rosanjin, 160, 166 Kodama Gentarō, 99–100, 251n22 Kojima Torajirō, 132–38 Koki Kyūbutsu Hozon ni tsuite Fukoku. See Notice on the Preservation of Antiquities


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Kokuhō, 65–68, 91–92, 129, 153–54, 204, 208–14, 248n112, 249n126, 262n103 Kokuhō hozon hō. See Law for the Preservation of National Treasures Kokuhō hozonkai. See Committee for the Preservation of National Treasures Kōkyōsei. See Public, Japanese terminology for; Publicness; Public sphere Komiya Mihomatsu, 111–12, 114–17 Kon Wajirō, 179–81 Koseki oyobi ibutsu hozon kitei. See Regulations for the Preservation of Ruins and Remains Koshaji hozon hō. See Law for the Preservation of Ancient Temples and Shrines Koshaji hozonkai. See Committee for the Preservation of Ancient Temples and Shrines Kuki Ryūichi, 80, 84–85, 88–89, 245n71 Kunaichō. See Imperial Household Agency Kunaifu. See Imperial Household Office Kunaishō. See Imperial Household Ministry Kuroita Katsumi, 63, 119–21, 242n2 Kyōdo, 103–4, 107–8, 189, 257n17 Law for the Preservation of Ancient Temples and Shrines (1897), 89–90, 91 Law for the Preservation of National Treasures (1929), 91–92 Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties (1950), 92, 208 Law for the Protection of Historic Sites, Places of Scenic Beauty, and Natural Monuments (1919), 90, 104–5 Law Regarding the Preservation of Important Works of Fine Arts (1933), 91–92 Leach, Bernard, 152, 193, 262n94 Machida Hisanari, 26–27, 54–56, 60–61, 71–72, 87, 232n42, 234n60, 242n8 Mingei undō, 132–37, 152–56, 161–66, 193–94, 272n7. See also Japan Folk Crafts Museum; Yanagi Muneyoshi Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce, 51, 59–60, 80–84, 130, 241n1, 245n69

Ministry of Education, 23, 33–35, 46, 50–56, 69–73, 80, 84, 90–92, 102–3, 125, 171, 206–9, 220 Ministry of Finance, 34, 68–71, 140 Minzokugaku, 105, 131, 138, 144, 147–49, 152, 189, 220 Misemono, 16–20. See also Tokugawa period display culture Missions, Japan to West, 13–15, 25, 75, 234n57, 240n148 Monbushō. See Ministry of Education Mori Ōgai, 185, 188–89, 270n71 Muen, 18, 231n28 Museum administration, 50–56, 59–61, 71–73, 83–85, 95–97, 102, 111–12, 119, 125–26, 206, 215 Museums, central government, 3, 7–8, 20–21, 34, 51–61, 142–44, 160, 165–66, 204–5, 220–22; Education (Science), 54, 102–3; Hyōkeikan, 78–79; independent administrative institutions, 215–20; Kyoto and Nara, 27, 63, 69, 73, 78–79, 88, 114, 220, 235n62, 241n1; location, 49–56; Tokyo Imperial Household, 1–2, 56, 63, 73, 80–84, 119, 155, 204–9, 235n62; Tokyo National, 1–3, 206–14, 218–20, 277 Museums, colonial, 3, 5, 95, 124–26, 204; Korea, 5–6, 95, 109–13, 115–24; location, 100, 112–14; Taiwan, 5, 95–104 Museums, private, 3, 142, 151, 164–67, 204, 220–22. See also Department stores, Japanese; Japan Folk Crafts Museum; Ōhara Museum of Art; Shibusawa Seien Memorial Museum of Entrepreneurship Museums, Western, 4, 12–16, 20, 49 Myeongseong, Empress, 6 Naimushō. See Home Ministry Naisen ittai, 121–22 National treasures. See Kokuhō Native ethnology. See Minzokugaku Nihonga, 77, 86, 107–8, 120–21, 192 Nihon Hakubutsu Kyōkai. See Japan Museum Association Nihon Mingeikan. See Japan Folk Crafts Museum


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Noma Seiroku, 2, 213, 223n3 Nōshōmushō. See Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce Notice on the Preservation of Antiquities (1871), 64–68, 89 Occupation by United States, 7, 51, 139, 203–9, 221–22, 252n44 Ōhara Magosaburō, 6–8, 128–39, 151, 165–66 Ōhara Museum of Art, 6, 128–29, 133–38, 155, 159, 165–66, 205 Okakura Kakuzō, 84–89, 245n71, 246n90, 246n92, 247n92, 247n102, 247n104 Ōkuma Shigenobu, 27, 35, 74, 129, 235n64, 244n37 Ōkurashō. See Ministry of Finance Olympics: 1940, 140; 1964, 7, 210–15 People and Society, Japanese terminology for, 9–10, 135, 139–41, 148–50, 217–18; hito/hitobito, 21, 35; kokumin, 63, 73, 126, 145, 203, 208, 213; min/tami, 10, 75, 161– 64; shakai, 10, 102, 128–30, 140–41, 148, 171, 184; shūsho, 9, 22, 35, 80, 97 Privatization, 5, 76, 204, 215–20 Property rights, 10–11, 68–71, 72–78, 89–93 Proposal Regarding the Permanent Conservation of Shrine and Temple Treasures (1879), 72 Public, Japanese terminology for, 9–12, 75–76, 92, 138–40, 148–49, 217, 228n29 Public sphere, 8–9, 224n10 Publicness, 5–9, 64, 79–80, 92–93, 177–78, 183, 191, 201–6, 217–22; colonial, 97, 100– 102, 112–14, 122–23; premodern, 10–12, 20, 229n34; private museums, in, 128–44, 154, 165–67 Regulations for the Preservation of Ruins and Remains (1916), 118 Research groups: Japan, 7, 128–31, 185–90, 197; Korea, 115–24; Taiwan, 99–102 Rinji Taiwan kyukan chosakai. See Ad Hoc Taiwan Ancient Customs Survey Association Roches, Leon, 30, 236n73

Russo-­Japanese War, 7, 109–10, 116, 127, 185–86, 191, 196 Ryūmonsha, 139, 259n53 Sano Tsunetami, 27, 30, 54–55, 77, 235n63 Shaji jūhō eisei hozon no wake ni tsuki hatsugi. See Proposal Regarding the Permanent Conservation of Shrine and Temple Treasures Shibusawa Eiichi, 138–41, 144–45, 148–51, 235n64, 267n42 Shibusawa Keizō, 6–8, 128, 138–52, 162, 165–66 Shibusawa Seien Memorial Museum of Entrepreneurship, 6, 128, 139–40, 144– 48, 151 Shibusawa Seien-­ō Kinen Jitsugyō Hakubutsukan. See Shibusawa Seien Memorial Museum of Entrepreneurship Shiseki meishō tennen kinenbutsu hozonhō. See Law for the Protection of Historic Sites, Places of Scenic Beauty, and Natural Monuments Shōhinkan, 59, 97, 125, 152, 251n27 Shōsōin, 1–3, 6, 70–71, 73, 204 Sōtokufu, Chōsen, 95, 109–15, 118–24 Sōtokufu, Taiwan, 95–97, 101–2, 107, 129 State, Japanese terminology for, 9–11, 26, 46, 75, 88–89, 106, 128, 207, 217–18, 229n30, 229n34; teishitsu, 63, 74–77, 92, 111, 126, 241, 246n80 Sunjong (Emperor Yunghui), 112–15 Taiwan Museum Association, 102 Taiwan Pavilion, 35, 40–44, 99–100 Takahashi Yoshio, 175, 185–86 Tanahashi Gentarō, 103–4, 171 Tanaka Fujimaro, 54, 240n148 Tanaka Yoshio, 21–22, 26–27, 54–55, 60–61, 84, 232n42, 234n60 Tennō. See Emperor Tokugawa period display culture. See Bussankai; Kaichō; Misemono Tokugawa shogunate, 11, 19–21, 25–26, 30, 55–56, 74, 229n34, 230n3 Tomimoto Kenkichi, 152


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Ueno Park, 53–56 Wagener, Gottfried, 30, 236n74 Yamamoto Kanae, 160–62 Yamataka Nobutsura, 27, 84, 235n62 Yanagi Muneyoshi, 128, 137, 151–66, 193–94,

205, 257n5, 261n89, 262n103, 263n116, 263n130; Korea, 116, 151, 164, 254n78, 261n92 Yanagita Kunio, 147, 149–50, 189, 261n83 Yi Sang, 7 Yushima Seidō, 17, 33–34, 50–52, 54–56, 240n144


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