Philadelphia and Meiji Japan

This symposium is part of a larger collaboration between the Penn Forum on Japan, the Meiji Jingu Intercultural Research Institute (Tokyo), the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia to commemorate the deep ties between Philadelphia and 19th century Japan.  To take place in Philadelphia and Tokyo in September and October 2018, the larger project coincides with the 150th anniversary of the advent of Meiji Japan (1868-1912) and with Philadelphia’s recent designation as America’s first UNESCO World Heritage City.

The symposium is one of four main components of this larger project, which will, collectively, accentuate the significance of Philadelphia in 19th century Japan and the importance of Japan in the making of a global Philadelphia.  The four components of the larger project include:

I) Philadelphia and Meiji Japan symposium, University of Pennsylvania, Sept. 20 – 22, 2018
Through the generous sponsorship of the Japan Foundation Institutional Project Support (IPS) Small Grant Program, the Meiji Jingu Intercultural Research Institute (Tokyo), the Penn School of Arts and Sciences, the Penn Center for East Asian Studies, the Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies, and the Penn Department of History, “Philadelphia and Meiji Japan” will take place at the University of Pennsylvania from Sept. 20 to Sept. 22, 2018.  It will feature six panels organized around six viewings of objects and performances that exemplify Philadelphia’s deep ties with 19th century Japan.  This symposium is free and open to the public, but please be sure to register!

II) “Philadelphia Collects Meiji,” Philadelphia Museum of Art, Sept. 1, 2018 – May 1, 2019
Organized by Curator of Japanese Art at the PMA, Dr. Felice Fischer, this special exhibit will feature objects from four celebrated 19th century American collectors of Japanese art, Hector Tyndale, Ernest Fenollosa, Mary Harris Morris, and Samuel S. White, 3rd.

III) Japanese House and Garden (松風荘), Sept. 2018
During the month of September 2018, the Japanese House and Garden in Fairmount Park will exhibit archaeological artifacts from the site of the Japanese Bazaar at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.  It will also organize tours to a diorama of the Centennial Exposition at the Please Touch Museum, the excavation site of the 1876 Japanese Bazaar, the Japanese House and Garden itself, and two red brick rest facilities, two of the few original structures remaining from the 1876 Exposition.

IV) “One Hundred and Fifty Years of Meiji Japan and the World (明治日本と世界の150),” Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery, Tokyo, Oct. 6 – Nov. 11, 2018
The Meiji Jingu Intercultural Research Institute will sponsor a series of lectures and special exhibit of objects at the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery in Tokyo highlighting Meiji Japan’s ties with Britain, France, and the United States.  Included will be a prominent display of twelve panels depicting Philadelphia’s deep ties with Meiji Japan.

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