The Japan Society

Upcoming Events

ARCHIVED ONLINE LECTURE - British Collecting of Tea Ceramics from Meiji Japan, with Ai Fukunaga

Saturday 26 March 2022 / 12:00pm
ONLINE LECTURE - British Collecting of Tea Ceramics from Meiji Japan, with Ai Fukunaga

Saturday 26 March 2022
12.00 noon (GMT)
9.00 pm (JST) / 8.00 am (EDT) 
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Booking Details
Online Lecture
Free – Donations Welcome
Registration essential

Book online here

The activities of the Japan Society are made possible thanks to the support of its members. This event is free of charge and open to all. We realise that this is a difficult time for many people. However, if you are planning to attend and do not have a membership subscription as an individual or through your employer, please consider making a donation. You can find details of membership and how to join the Japan Society community here.

Museum collections of Japanese ceramics in Britain include numerous utensils for whipped tea (matcha) and steeped tea (sencha) gatherings along with diverse vessels for daily and special occasions collected from Meiji Japan. Who collected them and why, and how did these objects obtain value in Britain around the turn of the twentieth century?

Tracing the collecting networks of the Sir Augustus W. Franks (1826–1897) collection at the British Museum, London and the Hon. Henry Marsham (1845–1908) collection at Maidstone Museum, Kent, this lecture will explore the value making process for objects used for two types of tea in the 1860s–80s and the 1880s–1900s, respectively. It will also look at how the Japan Society of London, founded in 1891, functioned as a new venue to discuss and present the subject.

This lecture is based on her doctoral thesis British Collecting of Ceramics for Tea Gatherings from Meiji Japan: British Museum and Maidstone Museum Collections (2021).

Ai Fukunaga is Curatorial Research Associate for Japanese Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 2021, she was awarded PhD in History of Art and Archaeology from SOAS, University of London. She was an Assistant Curator of the Okada Museum of Art, Hakone for three years and was responsible for the East Asian ceramic collection until 2014. Her research interests include the transnational cultural exchange in creating, using, and collecting ceramics in the pre-modern to modern periods.

* Image: Wooden shelf with crests of hollyhock and chrysanthemum containing Iwakurasan wares, circa 1907, Maidstone Museum, Kent.© Maidstone Museum

If you have any questions, please call the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996 or email

Booking Info

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