Tracing the origin of museums in Japan, Yushima Shrine, through visual materials

Yushima Seido occupies a significant place in Japanese history, marking the geographic birthplace of modern education and universities (including the University of Tokyo, Ochanomizu University and Tsukuba University), libraries, exhibition culture and museums in the country. By examining a few historical materials, this article focuses on Yushima Seido’s intimate connection with the country’s embryonic development of exhibitionary institutions and spectators in early Meiji period.

Yushima Seido underwent various changes in the course of its several hundred year history. In 1691, the Tokugawa regime relocated the facility from the private land of Hayashi Razan (1583-1657), a prominent Confucius scholar at the time, in Ueno Shinobuoka, today the east side of Shinobazu pond, to its current location in the Yushima area (Fig. 1). After several fires and reconstructions, an expansion in 1799 largely shaped its appearance today. This expansion followed a model design by Shu Shunsui (1600-1682), a refugee Chinese scholar whose served as the teacher and advisor to Tokugawa Mitsukuni (1628-1701).

Fig. 1. Shinita Edo Dai’ezu (published in 1676)(arrow shows the place of Hayashi Razan’s house and Confucius temple, east side of Shinobazu Pond) Source: 筑波大学大学院日本美術史研究室編, 『草創期の湯島聖堂: よみがえる江戸の「学習」空間 : 孔子祭復活百周年記念事業』, 東京: 清流出版社, 2007, p. 97.

Fig. 1 Shinita Edo Dai’ezu (published in 1676)(arrow shows the place of Hayashi Razan’s house and Confucius temple, east side of Shinobazu Pond)
Source: 筑波大学大学院日本美術史研究室編, 『草創期の湯島聖堂: よみがえる江戸の「学習」空間 : 孔子祭復活百周年記念事業』, 東京: 清流出版社, 2007, p. 97.

Figure 2 shows a design of the Confucian temple drawn by Shu in the 17th Century. By comparison with a drawing of the temple by Sakurai Sessen (1762-1804) in Edo-Tokyo Museum’s collection (Figure 3) and an illustration by Saito Choshu (1737-1799) in Tokyo National Museum’s collection (Figure 4), we can see a few coherences, for example, the layout of the buildings and architectural features including courtyard space in front of the main hall, Taiseiden, and bu, the flanking corridors and rooms on the two sides. The courtyard and corridors would become the main exhibition space for the 1873 Exhibition. Sessen’s and Choshu’s works also show how the walls separated the temple from its surroundings, and how people at the time moved around by traversing the slopes and staircases. One obvious difference between Shu’s design and the actual structure of Yushima Seido is that Shu’s is basically symmetrical; however the actual building and Sessen’s and Choshu’s drawings stress the main access from the east. The kind of detoured access can be explained by the difference between Shu’s idealized design and the limitations of the actual site, as well as the difference in the nature between the plan and the more artistic rendering by Sessen and Choshu. Here we can also see a kind of Japanese aesthetic preference for asymmetry, deviating from the emphasis on a central axis defining architectural structures that is often seen in Chinese architecture.

P9 画像2

Fig. 2 Plan of a Confucian shrine drawn up by Shu Shunsui, Source: Fukushima Kanezo et. al., Kinsei Nihonno Jugaku, Iwanami, 1939; cited by Julia Ching “Chu Shun-Shui, 1600-82. A Chinese Confucian Scholar in Tokugawa Japan”, Monumenta Nipponica, 30: (2), 1975, p. 189.

Fig 7. 文部省博物局主催博覧会湯島聖堂会場, 明治5年, 江戸東京博物館収蔵品。 http://digitalmuseum.rekibun.or.jp/edohaku/app/collection/detail?id=0191214187&sr=%93%92%93%87%90%B9%93%B0 2015年7月URL取得。

Fig 3. Yushima Seido Picture by Sakurai Sessen, after 1799. Collection of Edo-Tokyo Museum. http://digitalmuseum.rekibun.or.jp/edohaku/app/collection/detail?id=0195201291&sr=%93%92%93%87%90%B9%93%B0, 2015年7月URL取得。

Fig 4. Edo Meisho Zue(Yushima Seido no zu), Saito Choshu (1737-1799). http://webarchives.tnm.jp/imgsearch/show/C0034180, 2015年7月URL取得。

Fig 4. Edo Meisho Zue(Yushima Seido no zu), Saito Choshu (1737-1799).
http://webarchives.tnm.jp/imgsearch/show/C0034180, 2015年7月URL取得。

The year 1871 marked major shifts in the societal role of the temple. Before the Meiji government took over, the temple mainly functioned as a Confucian school and ritual location. In 1872, the Ministry of Culture of the new government held its first exposition at Yushima Seido. This exhibition, as preparation for the country’s first official participation at an international exposition overseas, Expo 1873 in Vienna, gathered crafts and samples of flora and fauna from all over the country. The display of golden shachi (Japanese folklore with the head of a tiger and the body of a carp) from Nagoya was especially popular. From color-printed ukiyoe by Shosai Ikkei (Figure 5 & 6), we can see the spectacle of the displays, the bustling atmosphere, and how the golden shachi aspired awe in the audience. A comparison with the photograph (Figure 7) would immediately show how the ukiyoe exaggerated the size of the golden shachi. However there is no doubt that this event manifested the government’s ambition to develop exhibitionary and museum institutions to rival the West and produce a mass audience from its citizenry.

Fig. 5 『元昌平坂聖堂二於テ博覧会図』, 昇斎一景, 斯文会蔵。

Fig. 5 『元昌平坂聖堂二於テ博覧会図』, 昇斎一景, 斯文会蔵。

Fig 6. A Selection of Thirty-six Amusing Views of Famous Places in Tokyo: The Exposition at Motoshohezaka, Shosai Ikkei, Edo-Tokyo Museum collection, http://digitalmuseum.rekibun.or.jp/app/collection/detail?id=0191200239&sr=%8F%B9%95%BD, 2015年7月URL取得。

Fig 6. A Selection of Thirty-six Amusing Views of Famous Places in Tokyo: The Exposition at Motoshohezaka, Shosai Ikkei, Edo-Tokyo Museum collection,
http://digitalmuseum.rekibun.or.jp/app/collection/detail?id=0191200239&sr=%8F%B9%95%BD,
2015年7月URL取得。

Fig 7. Venue of Ministry of Culture Exhibition at Yeshima Seido, 1872, Edo-Tokyo Museum collection. http://digitalmuseum.rekibun.or.jp/edohaku/app/collection/detail?id=0191214187&sr=%93%92%93%87%90%B9%93%B0 2015年7月URL取得。

Fig 7.
Venue of Ministry of Culture Exhibition at Yeshima Seido, 1872, Edo-Tokyo Museum collection. http://digitalmuseum.rekibun.or.jp/edohaku/app/collection/detail?id=0191214187&sr=%93%92%93%87%90%B9%93%B0 2015年7月URL取得。

Today’s Tokyo National Museum and National Museum of Nature and Science in Ueno Park evolved from this 1873 exhibition and Yushima Seido. These historical documents reveal the early appearance of the temple with architectural details, people’s activities, and the producers’ particular expression and interest. They also offer us glimpse into the society at the time and how the city we live in today inherits or distinguishes itself from the past.

参考文献:
Aso, Noriko. 2014. Public Properties: Museums in Imperial Japan, Durham and London: Duke University Press.
Ching, Julia, 1975, “Chu Shun-Shui, 1600-82. A Chinese Confucian Scholar in Tokugawa Japan”, Monumenta Nipponica, 30: (2), (Summer, 1975), pp. 177-91.
筑波大学大学院日本美術史研究室編, 『草創期の湯島聖堂: よみがえる江戸の「学習」空間 : 孔子祭復活百周年記念事業』, 東京: 清流出版社, 2007.
東京国立博物館編, 『東京国立博物館百年史』, 1973.
福井庸子, 「わが国における博物館成立過程の研究: 展示空間の教育的特質」, 早稲田大学, 2010.

作成者  | 2016-04-23 (土)
タグ : , , , , ,

Copyright © 2014 東京大学大学院情報学環吉見俊哉研究室 contact at shinobazu-prj [at] googlegroups.com