Suzuki Kiitsu "Mountain Stream in Summer and Autumn" left screen
Edo-period, 19th-century (Nezu Museum, Tokyo)

Tue, Mar 24, 2020

Dadaiko drums of Kasuga Shrine to be newly designated as national treasures

Ministry council recommends enlisting 4 more cultural assets

The Cultural Affairs Council of Japan’s Education Ministry on March 19 compiled a report stating the ministry should newly designate 4 cultural assets — including the Dadaiko (drums used in gagaku) of Kasuga Shrine (Nara) from the Kamakura period — as national treasures, and 37 assets — such as Edo-period (19th-century) painter Suzuki Kiitsu’s “Mountain Stream in Summer and Autumn” folding screens (Nezu Museum, Tokyo) — as important cultural properties.

The council further recommended that 133 architectures from 25 prefectures — including Taro Okamato’s “Tower of the Sun” in Osaka, known as the symbol of Expo ’70 — and 1 artwork be registered as tangible cultural properties.

Dadaiko drums (Kasuga Shrine, Nara)

Some of the recommended assets were to be put on display at the “2020 Newly Designated National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties” exhibition to be held at the Tokyo National Museum (Ueno, Tokyo) from April 21 to May 10 (with special cooperation from The Yomiuri Shimbun). However, the exhibit was cancelled this year, due to the spread of coronavirus infections.

The three other assets recommended for designation as national treasures are: wooden statue of seated Amida Nyorai by Buddhist sculptor Inkaku (Hokongoin, Kyoto), wooden canopy (Horyuji temple, Nara) and items excavated from the Watanuki Kannonyama Kofun (Tumulus) in Gunma Prefecture (State-owned).

Wooden canopy (Horyuji temple, Nara)
Items excavated from the Watanuki Kannonyama Kofun (Tumulus) in Gunma Prefecture

Tangible cultural properties — paintings, sculptures, calligraphy, documents, excavated items, materials, architectures, etc. — that have been deemed historically or artistically significant in Japan or internationally are designated by the Japanese government as important cultural properties. National treasures are later chosen from among these assets.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun and other sources)



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