CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Japan envisions the West: an international symposium on 16th–19th century art from Kobe City Museum

Symposium: 30 November - 1 December 2007

World map, from Four large cities of the world, early 17th century. Kobe Art Museum

World map, from Four large cities of the world, early 17th century
Eight-panel screen; ink, color and gold on paper
Kobe, Kobe City Museum


Plestcheeff Auditorium, Seattle Art Museum Downtown


Seattle Art Museum
Kobe City Museum

Museum information

In conjunction with the exhibition Japan envisions the West, SAM presents a symposium on Japanese art made in response to contact with Western arts, culture, and science in the pre-modern age. Six brilliant scholars from Japan, the Netherlands
and the United States will present their research and discuss the themes of the exhibition in panel discussions.

Friday, November 30

Keynote lecture: 7 p.m.

“Namban: The Iberian irruption and Japanese vision” (Ronald P. Toby, Professor, Japanese History, University of Illinois)

A reception follows.

Saturday, December 1

Morning session: 10 a.m.

“The cartography of contact: western-inspired maps in Japan” (Mia Mochizuki, Assistant Professor, Thomas E. Bertelsen, Jr. Chair of Art History and Religion, Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley)

“Both sides: the mutual misunderstanding created by Western projection and Japanese reflection in Namban art” (Katsushi Narusawa, Senior Curator, Kobe City Koiso Memorial Museum of Art)

“‘Ran-ga’: a creative reception of Western art into Japanese art” (Yoriko Kobayashi, Professor, Department of Media Presentation, Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, Mejiro University)

Afternoon session: 2 p.m.

“Western perspective in Japanese art: the harmonic integration of Western naturalism and Japanese sensibility” (Yasumasa Oka, Chief Curator, Kobe City Museum)

“Japan in the Dutch interior” (Christiaan J.A. Jörg, Professor, History of the Cultural Interactions between Asia and Europe, Department of Art History, Leiden University)

“Perspectives on global encounter: Japan and the West, 1550–1860”: An open discussion moderated by Ronald P. Toby.

Free with museum admission. To reserve your space, please contact the SAM Box Office at +1 206 654 3121.


Generous support of the symposium was provided by
Richard and Peggy Danziger
Uwajimaya, Inc.

in addition to
Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Foundation
Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs
The Seattle Times
National Endowment for the Arts
The E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation
U.S. Bank
Yoko and Minoru Arakawa
Obayashi Corporation and Obayashi Foundation
ORIX USA Corporation
Russell Investments
Catherine and Taisuke Sasanuma
Starbucks Coffee Company
Mary Ann &
Henry James Asian Art Exhibition Endowment
Japan Foundation
Nintendo of America
World Bridge Art.

Additional support provided by contributors to the Annual Fund. In-kind support generously provided by Penfolds Wines and TalkingRain Beverage Co.

Related event

Exhibition Japan envisions the West: 16th-19th century Japanese art from Kobe City Museum, Seattle, Seattle Art Museum (11 October 2007–6 January 2008)