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Kobayashi-Sato, Y.

Yoriko Kobayashi-Sato, born in Yamaguchi, Japan, in 1948. Ph.D. from Keio University, Tokyo. Professor of Art History at Mejiro University, Tokyo.

Fellow (1 September 2009 – 31 January 2010)


I addressed the question how Netherlandish art shipped by the VOC (Dutch East India Company) was appropriated in Japan, and how this process was affected by Chinese knowledge which had always nurtured Japanese intellectuals. I took Akita Ranga paintings as a case study, and came to the conclusion that the Akita Ranga School represented an important cultural turning point for Japan. Using a Japanese clichéd way of saying, it turned from the Japanese soul fed with Chinese knowledge to one fed with knowledge from Western styles. I also discovered quite a few VOC documents that specify subjects, sizes, and prices of Netherlandish paintings shipped by the Dutch to Japan. They show the great difference in appreciation of one and the same painting between the West and Japan.

The results of these investigations were presented at a NIAS seminar (November 2009) and the theme group’s conference (January 2010) held at NIAS, and hopefully will be published in 2010.