The Intermediatheque has renewed part of its permanent exhibition Made in UMUT – The University of Tokyo Collection held on its third floor.
The Giichi Tanaka collection, of which this is the first feature exhibition, is a rare and multi-faceted set of historical items. The Tanaka family is affiliated to the great inventor Hisashige (Giemon) Tanaka, known for his multiple mechanisms. This collection consists of architectural documents such as photographs and plans, as well as artistic and historical documents, pertaining to three generations of this family: Giichi who participated in the design of the National Diet building, his father Fuji who was a professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Tokyo Imperial University, and his grandfather Rintaro, an engineer at the Bureau of Construction who worked as an engineer on the construction of the Togu Palace.
The present exhibition showcases diverse craftworks related to the Imperial Family, which are particularly important when retracing the history of Modern Japan. The new exhibits include items such as elegant bombonieres elaborately crafted in pure silver, and offered to a restricted number of guests on the occasion of Imperial banquets, as well as large-sized collotype photographs of the current Akasaka Palace, a national treasure, upon its completion. These photographs were taken by Kazumasa Ogawa, who was the first photographer to be named a court artist. The present exhibition is thus a unique opportunity to experience the stylishness of imperial crafts as seen in the University of Tokyo collection.