The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Magnificent 1:10 scale model of lost Japanese architectural treasure returns to Tokyo
Taitokuin Mausoleum Model undergoing restoration work . Interior of Main Hall (Honden). Photo: Courtesy of Zojo-ji.

LONDON.- A spectacular 1:10 scale model of one of Tokyo's most important lost architectural treasures has returned to Japan after more than 100 years. Part of the British Royal Collection, the model represents the Taitokuin Mausoleum, the memorial to Tokugawa Hidetada (1579 –1632), the second Tokugawa Shogun. Following painstaking restoration by Japanese craftsmen and women for the past twelve months, it will go on long-term display at the Zojo-ji Temple in Tokyo (formerly Edo), where the original building once stood, by gracious permission of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The model will form the centrepiece of an exhibition (open to the public from 2 April) to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of the founding Tokugawa Shogun.

The Taitokuin Mausoleum was built in 1632 in the precincts of the Tokugawa family temple of Zojo-ji, taking its name from Tokugawa Hidetada's priestly title. The building became a pattern for all subsequent mausoleum architecture, in particular its unique exploitation of every surface for decoration. The Mausoleum was destroyed by wartime bombing of Tokyo in 1945.

The model was commissioned by the City of Tokyo for the 1910 Japan-British Exhibition in London, where it was displayed along with 13 other smaller-scale models of historic Japanese buildings. It was created by a team of the finest carpenters, lacquer artists and sculptors under the supervision of experts at Tokyo Art School, including the famous sculptor Takamura Koun. At 3.6 metres wide, 5.4 metres long and 1.8 metres high, it was five times larger than most of the other models commissioned for the exhibition.

The model replicates in intricate and colourful detail, both inside and out, the three interlocking buildings of the Taitokuin Mausoleum complex – the Main Hall (honden), Worship Hall (haiden), and Connecting Hall (ainoma). It faithfully incorporates the materials and techniques used in the Mausoleum, including thousands of miniature copper roof tiles, each the size of a thumb-nail.

Conservation work in Tokyo has focussed on the Main Hall, including repairing and cleaning the roof tiles, lacquered timber framing and doors, bamboo blinds, the Tokugawa family crests and the gilded wall paintings of the paradise of the Amida Buddha. The two Pillars of Paradise (Raigo-bashira), which flank the main altar, have also been carefully restored. The large fence (sukibei) that surrounded the Mausoleum has been cleaned and reassembled.

The Japan-British Exhibition, which took place at White City, London, from 14 May to 29 October 1910, was the largest international exposition that Japan had participated in. It aimed to project a progressive image of the country to the British and enhance trade between the two nations. The exhibition included demonstrations of Japanese crafts, music, sports and entertainments and was visited by more than eight million people, including Their Majesties King George V and Queen Mary. The model was subsequently presented to the King and for many years was on public display at Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew.

Jonathan Marsden, Director, Royal Collection Trust, said, 'The significance of this extraordinary model has greatly increased, owing to the loss of the original building and its site. On behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, I am responsible for the care of this magnificent work of art in the Royal Collection, so I am delighted that, thanks to this remarkable partnership between Royal Collection Trust and Zojo-ji, the model is being restored by the very best craftsmen so that the people of Tokyo can fully appreciate one of the great architectural glories of Edo.'

Tim Hitchens, British Ambassador to Japan, said, 'I am absolutely delighted that, after so many years, the Taitokuin model is returning to Japan. In 2008 His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales visited Japan and presented one of the model’s pillars (Raigo-bashira) to the Vice Abbott of Zojo-ji temple. Now the whole model is back. It is a wonderful symbol of the way in which Britain and Japan can work together to bring to the wider public exceptional craftsmanship of profound historical and political significance. The model brings back to life what was lost in flames and thought irretrievable.'

Bishop Tatsuyu Tomoda, Chief Secretary, Zojo-ji Temple said, 'It brings me heartfelt joy that by the gracious permission of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the model of the Taitokuin Mausoleum will be returning to Japan after more than 100 years for public display at Zojo-ji Temple from 2 April. The model is a precious artefact documenting the earlier years of Zojo-ji, which has evolved as the Tokugawa Shogun's family temple, and I would like to express my gratitude to the British Royal Collection Trust, the British Embassy in Tokyo and to everyone who made its restoration and exhibition a reality.'

Today's News

February 6, 2015

Exhibition of masterpieces from The Frick Collection opens today at Holland's Mauritshuis

Metropolitan Curator Walter Liedtke, our friend and distinguished colleague (1945-2015)

National Gallery of Art announces acquisition of more than 6,000 works of art from the Corcoran Gallery of Art

The Broad, new contemporary art museum in Los Angeles, to open to the public September 20

Free visits at Louvre as French archaeologists protest; 100 protesters block the ticketing area

Expedition by archaeologists from the Western Australian Museum reveals new Batavia burial site

'American Encounters: The Simple Pleasures of Still Life' opens at the Louvre

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall mark the launch of London Craft Week

The Hepworth Wakefield presents the UK's first major exhibition of work by Lynda Benglis

'Dahl and Friedrich: Romantic Landscapes' opens at the Albertinum in Dresden

RM Auctions returns to Paris for its second sale during the Retromobile week, posting over €19 million in sales

ZERO & More: Heinz Mack opens a major solo exhibition at Ben Brown Fine Arts

Magnificent 1:10 scale model of lost Japanese architectural treasure returns to Tokyo

Curioos ushers in new age of art trading with augmented reality app

Exhibition of works by Keith Sonnier opens at Castelli Gallery

Moscow Museum of Modern Art opens retrospective exhibition of Sveta Vikkers' work

Hugh Scott-Douglas' first solo show in London opens at Simon Lee Gallery

Online luxury marketplace 1stdibs launches first ever mobile app

More than a quarter of a million people visit 'Rembrandt: The Late Works' at the National Gallery

Rare jeweled Chinese tribute clock to star at Bonhams

Tsibi Geva selected to represent Israel at the 56th International Art Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia

Solo exhibition of Tibetan-American artist Palden Weinreb's works opens at Rossi & Rossi

'I'm not an enemy': Moscow exhibit showcases Gulag letters

Nye and Company announce first sale of the season now live on iGavel

Sigmar Polke rasterbilder painting for sale at Bonhams

The Hollywood Museum opens 'Celebration of Entertainment Awards' special award season exhibition

Exhibition of work by Bay Area–artist Vanessa Marsh opens at Dolby Chadwwick Gallery

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lévy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful