Chester Beatty Day 2013

11am to 4pm on Saturday 20th 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 20th April

Free Japanese Language Taster Class (for absolute beginners only)
13:45 – Family session for Children (for children between 6 to 9 yr old)
13:45 – Adult 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
Tours of Chester Beatty Library
13:45 – Chester Beatty Library Tours (English / Japanese)
Community Ambassador Tour in Japanese with Hiromi Anzai and another Tour in English.  Free and no booking required.
Taiko Performances
11:15  – Shamisen Performance
13:30 – Shamisen Performance
The Taiko’s are traditional Japanese Drums and are very popular at Festivals or Matsuri adding atmosphere and encouraging participation in the event.  Each performance will last approximately 15 minutes.
Experience Japan Seminar Series – CBL2013
Talks at 11.30, 12.30 and 14.30 (see below)
11:30 – ‘Story telling in Japanese art’ by Ruth Starr (lecturer, Trinity College Dublin)
Japanese handscrolls (emaki-mono) are often considered the forerunner of Manga (comic books/graphic novels) and even Anime (animated films) as they show ‘time and motion’ story boarded on a two dimensional surface. Ireland has benefited greatly as a result of the generosity of Sir Alfred Chester Beatty’s bequest of art collection to the nation. Among the many ‘jewels in the crown’ of Beatty’s collection are some of the world’s finest examples of Japanese handscrolls. This illustrated talk will look at some of the highlights of the emaki collection including the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter and the Chogonka Scroll.
12:30 – Seminar Talk / Video Presentation by Jimmy Murakami
Jimmy Murakami has extensive experience working in the Animation Industries in America, Europe and Ireland.  Among the projects he has directed and animated are “The Breath” (Annecy Grand Prix), “The Magic Pear Tree” (Oscar nominated), and “And of Course You” (Golden Eagle Award winner).  Jimmy was the supervising director on one of the best-loved animated films ever produced – the Oscar nominated and BAFTA award winning “The Snowman.” He has also adapted and directed another Raymond Briggs book in the feature film version of “When the Wind Blows” (Annecy Grand Prix Feature Film winner). In this talk, Jimmy will show you high lights of a documentary feature film ” Jimmy Murakami non-Alien” – Jimmy as a young man struggling to live after my 4 years in a concentration camp in America, explaining his reason for wanting to make his next feature film based on the Hiroshima bombing. This film was produced by WOWOW broadcasting in Japan’. This documentary was filmed in Japan, America and Ireland and includes an interview with the musician Paddy Maloney. The feature film ” Hiroshima Seven Rivers” is a co-production between Ireland and Japan.
14:30 – ‘The Japanese ‘Dry Landscape’ Garden & Environmental Awareness’ by Prof Graham Parkes (University College Cork, BA, PhD)
The Japanese ‘Dry Landscape’ Garden is a style of garden, unique to Japan, which presents a landscape of ‘mountains and waters’ (a literal translation of the Japanese for ‘landscape’) by using rocks and gravel, while excluding all organic elements such as plants. This presentation, illustrated with slides, first considers the Chinese prototypes of the landscape garden, with a special emphasis on the role of rocks. It then examines the most important philosophical ideas underlying the development of landscape gardens in East Asia, with images of some of the best known dry landscape gardens in Kyoto. It concludes with a discussion of the implications of this type of garden, and the philosophy behind it, for our attitudes and behaviour toward the natural environment.
Graham Parkes
, born and raised in Glasgow, taught Asian and comparative philosophy for thirty years at the University of Hawaii before taking up his present position at Professor of Philosophy at University College Cork, where he is also the founding director of the Irish Institute for Japanese Studies. Among his publications are: Heidegger and Asian Thought (ed., 1987), Nietzsche and Asian Thought (ed., 1991), Composing the Soul: Reaches of Nietzsche’s Psychology (1994), and translations (with commentaries) of Detlef Lauf’s Secret Doctrines of the Tibetan Books of the Dead (1974), Nishitani Keiji’s The Self-Overcoming of Nihilism (1990), Reinhard May’s Heidegger’s Hidden Sources: East-Asian Influences on His Work (1996), François Berthier’s Reading Zen in the Rocks: The Japanese Dry Landscape Garden (2000), and Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra (2005). .
This talk will be chaired by Dr Tom Hardiman.

Updated 16 April 2013