Ruskinians in Japan
Companions and centres of Ruskinian study and activity
There is a very rich history of Ruskin studies in Japan, and his work has had a significant impact on many strands of Japanese thought over the last two centuries. We are delighted to have a number of Guild Companions from Japan, and over the course of 2023 and 2024, we plan to present a number of online discussion events that explore matters of interest to Companions and Ruskinians in Japan and beyond. Below you can find information about some of the people and places working with Ruskin's ideas in the 21st century.
The Tokyo Ruskin Association
The original Tokyo Ruskin Association was founded in 1949 by Ryuzo Mikimoto, the son of Kokichi Mikimoto, founder of Mikimoto Pearl Co.
The present Tokyo Ruskin Association was re-founded in 1984 by Yoshitaka Mikimoto and after his death the chairmanship was taken on by his widow, Sumiko. Hirohiko Mikimoto, the son of Sumiko took on the chairmanship in 2023. The Association does not have a website, but we post news of events when we have them.
Impact Hub, Studio L and the Ruskin Study Center in Kyoto
You can read more about the Impact Hub HERE, and about Studio L HERE. They are currently working to create a new Ruskin Study Center in Kyoto, with the aim of introducing Ruskin's philosophy to new generations.
The Osaka Ruskin-Morris Center
The Ruskin and Morris Center of Osaka is situated in Nose-Cho, a beautiful town in the northern districts of Japan’s Osaka Prefecture. Visitors are welcome to examine the valuable materials and documents, collected from all over the world, representing the thoughts and work of both John Ruskin and one of the Victorians most affected by his work, William Morris, designer, poet, architect, landscape conservationist, and, perhaps most importantly, founder of the Arts and Crafts Movement in the UK. This influential movement was devoted to the practical realization of Ruskin’s ideals, which centred on the connection between workers, their creativity, and the work they produced. The Center is dedicated to helping people find creative ways to sustain beautiful homes, towns, cities, and regions. In addition, the Center has a significant number of Ruskin’s letters (most unpublished) which can be easily made available for scholarly research. Find out more HERE
These photographs were taken in May 2023, during a tour of the Osaka Ruskin Morris Centre with the participation of Atsushi Ikegami, professor emeritus of Kyoto University, Chiaki Yokoyama, professor of Keio University (companion), Keisuke Takayasu, professor of Osaka University, Toshiko Asai, representative of Impact HUB Kyoto (companion), Shokan Nishikawa of the Kyoto UNESCO Association (companion), and the staff members of studio L.
News from Japan
BUILDING THE FUTURE: JOHN RUSKIN AND THE NEW ROLE OF DESIGN IN JAPAN
On 7th October 2023, a range of distinguished Japanese Companions and Ruskinians gathered online for a special event showcasing the range and importance of Ruskinian thought and action in Japan today, particularly focused on the role of Design. All the contributions were in English (with brief translations of essential messages in Japanese).
NEWS FROM COMPANION SHOKAN NISHIKAWA, MAY 2023
On 14th May, Ruskin Study (tour) took place at the Osaka Ruskin Morris Centre with the participants of Atsushi Ikegami, professor emeritus of Kyoto University, Chiaki Yokoyama, professor of Keio University (companion), Keisuke Takayasu, professor of Osaka University, Toshiko Asai, representative of Impact HUB Kyoto (companion), Shokan Nishikawa of the Kyoto UNESCO Association (companion), and the staff members of studio L. There were 17 participants in total.
On the day of the event, Director Norio Tsuyuki (companion), who is the owner of the centre, gave us an explanation of the valuable collections. The centre was incorporated three years ago, and under the guidance of Ryo Yamazaki, professor of Kwansei Gakuin University (companion), the renovation of the building is still in progress, so is the unorganised collections.
On 27th May, The Tokyo Ruskin Association (chairman Mr. Hirohiko Mikimoto) had a Ruskin seminar lectured by Prof. Mishi Masatoshi of the Cho University, Tokyo at the Tokyo Foreign Press Centre.
RUSKIN FESTIVAL BOOK
Studio L, led by Guild Companion Ryo Yamazaki, have produced this beautiful book titled Ruskin Festival which is the compilation of the six events presented in Japan as part of Ruskin 200.
The book is available via Shokan Nishikawa who can be contacted at email@example.com - it costs 2,500 yen + postage.