The word “Kokugaku” in the name of this university is often translated as “National Learning,” and it refers to a field of study that aims to elucidate the development and essential nature of various phenomena and events related to Japan’s traditional culture. The discipline of “Kokugaku” is a comprehensive study of Japanese culture which uses material cultural remnants (mono) like ancient texts and artifacts in order to investigate the kokoro, “the heart” or “spirit” of the Japanese people.
This exhibition brings together materials from the university and library collection, including materials from the predecessor to Kokugakuin, the Imperial Institute for the Study of the Classics (Koten Kokyusho) in order to reveal the history of research and education dealing with Japanese traditional culture. The exhibition follows the historical development of Kokugakuin by looking to the history of National Learning as it was conducted here in light of that discipline’s two themes, the material (mono) and the spiritual (kokoro).
Portrait of Prince Arisugawa Takahito
[Arisugawa no miya Takahito shinnō] Meiji period
The work exhibited here is a copper engraving done by the Italian artist Edoardo Chiossone. Chiossone came to Japan in 1875 at th...more
Official notice from Prince Arisugawa Takahito (copy)
Meiji period (November 4th, 1882)
Official notice read out on November 4, 1882, to faculty and students at the inauguration ceremony for Koten Kokyusho (Researc...more
Kokugakuin University has in its possession items handed down from the princely Arisugawa family. The decorations exhibited ...more
Lacquerware seal case covered
Lacquerware seal case covered with densely sprinkled gold powder and mother-ofpearl chrysanthenums and butterflies, “Shibayama” Late Edo period
A seal case bearing the name “Shibayama” and decorated with chrysanthenums and butterflies inlaid with mother-of-pearl. The ...more
Middle Edo period - Meiji period
The Arisugawa family made the arts of waka poetry composition and calligraphy their specific areas of study, and instructed pa...more