Chester Beatty Day 2012

11am to 4pm on Saturday 7th April
Described by the Lonely Planet as not just the best museum in Ireland, but one of the best in Europe, the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin is an art museum and library which houses the great collection of manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints, drawings, rare books and some decorative arts assembled by Sir Alfred Chester Beatty.  Its rich collections from countries across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe opens a window on the artistic treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world. Chester Beatty Library was awarded the title European Museum of the Year in 2002.  [Admission to the museum is free.]
Japanese Collection
From Japan’s decorative arts, which mostly date to the Edo period (about 1600-1868), there are tsuba (sword-guards), netsuke (toggles) and inrō (boxes), as well as portable shrines and other lacquer boxes and containers and over 120 painted scrolls and manuscripts, including many Nara e-hon and sutras.  The Japanese woodblock prints include some 450 ukiyo-e prints, as well as 350 privately produced surimono prints, the latter acquired in 1954 from the Dr M. Cooper collection and built up by Jack Hillier between then and about 1964.

Schedule for Saturday 7th April

Free Japanese Language Taster Class
11:00 – Children’s session (6 to 9 yr old)
14:00 – Adult’s session
Space is limited. To make a reservation email
Experience Japan is organising Free Japanese Language Taster Classes designed for absolute beginners and giving people an opportunity to get a flavour of the language.  This children’s session is for 6 to 9 year olds and will be a combination of fun activities with a language learning focus.  Their parent are welcome to watch this class.  The teachers are all experts in Japanese as a foreign language teaching.  To make a reservation for these classes please e-mail
Video Presentation
13:00 – “Can you see our lights? First Festival after the Tsunami”
NHK production following the preparations for the 1st Matsuri (Festival) after the 3.11 Tsunami.  [48 Minutes] No booking for this video presentation.
Japanese summer festivals serve as a time to hold memorial services for the souls of the departed. Although some of the many places devastated by the disaster of March 2011 were unable to hold their colorful and passionate centuries-old festivals, the people of Rikuzentakata, Soma, Minami Soma and some other cities decided to go ahead as usual. The program shows festival committee members busily repairing damaged floats and drums and encouraging the participation of dispersed former residents. What are the thoughts of the people holding these summer festivals? And what do they hope to express in them?
Traditional Music Performance
11:50  – Shamisen Performance
13:50 – Shamisen Performance
The Shamisen a three-stringed Japanese musical instrument played with a plectrum called a bachi.  Each performance will last approximately 10 minutes.




Other activities in the Chester Beatty Library over the following two weeks:

Printmaking Workshops
Thursday 12th – Friday 13th April from 10am-4pm
Join Hiroko Imada for this two-day printmaking workshop and learn how to make a colour print.  Limited to 15 places, €50 each, materials provided.
Please book online from Monday 2 April, 9.30am onwards at under Online Booking.
Chester Beatty Silk Worm Club
Saturday 14th April from 2-3.30pm
Make your own Japanese paper hat and listen to a Japanese story.  Suitable for ages 6-11.  Free.
Please book from Tuesday 10 April, 9.30am onwards at under Online Booking.
Public Lecture
Thursday 19th April at 1.10pm
A Mirror into the Floating World: Japanese prints of the Edo period, 1600-1860, in the Chester Beatty Library.
Ruth Starr, Lecturer, Arts of Japan, Trinity College Dublin