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Key to the ethos of Japan Art Expo is the promotion of Japanese culture and understanding. For this reason, education makes up a large component of the Expo which provides an opportunity for experts and novices alike to deepen their knowledge of Japanese arts and antiques.

educational lectures about japanese antiques at japan art expo

The Expo features educational lectures provided by scholars and experts from around the world, helping to historically contextualize many of the pieces on display. Alongside these lectures, live performances and demonstrations are utilized to further understanding at a more practical level.

Educational agenda for Japan Art Expo 2023


Day 1

11.00 -11.15 Introduction to the event and programme (Eddy Wertheim)


11.15-12.00  Introduction to Japanese swords and the Gokaden (Dieter Kraft)

An overview of the unique manufacturing techniques used in the forging of a Japanese sword and also offer a brief introduction in to the Gokaden (the five traditions of the Koto sword period)


12:00-12.45   A regional approach of the different armor schools (Luc Taelman)


12.45-13.30  Lunch


13.30 -14.00 Introduction to kantei (Michael Spasov & Dieter Kraft)

An introduction explaining the origins of kantei and its importance as a learning tool.  This will be followed by a practical kantei session with 3-5 swords


14.00-14.45    Sword kantei by attendees

14.45-15.00    Break


15.00-15.30    Sword kantei answers and discussion


15.30-16.00 Japanese armour (Luc Taelman)


Day 2


10.00-10.15       Introduction (Eddy Wertheim)

10.15-11.00       Japanese polearms (Jussi Ekholm)

Naginata of Kamakura & Nanbokuchō periods

Synopsis: Brief introduction about naginata polearms, overall history throughout the ages up to modern day, some terminology, naginata use in history etc. Review of surviving original naginata from Kamakura & Nanbokuchō periods, focusing on the reference examples in the presentation.

11.00-11.15  Break 

11.15-12.00    Sword polishing presentation (Massimo Rossi)

The process and intricacies involved in polishing Japanese swords. This is not a ‘do it yourself guide’ but a clear demonstration of why polishing should only be carried out by a qualified artisan. Accompanied by video examples of the process.



12.15-13.15 Lunch



13.15-14.00  Lacquer presentation (Dave van Gompel)

The 'other' lacquer coatings: how kawanuri defined the aesthetics of the warrior class and beyond


14.00-14.45   A Kyoto tsuba master and his workshop –Kariganeya Hikobei (Eckhard Kremers)

Overview of the tsuba works of an unknown Kyoto master and his workshop dating to c. the mid-Muromachi period to Momoyama period. Subsequent workshop developments into the early Edo period.


14:45-15.00 Break



15.00-15.30    Japanese prints (ukiyo-e) presentation (Eddy Wertheim)


Notes relating to the educational programme:

  1. Due to unforeseen circumstances it may be necessary to change the educational programme or offer alternative presentations to those listed. If this should occur the organisers will aim to retain the same balance of subject within the overall programme.

  2. All of people presenting a paper at the educational event are doing so independently, not as representatives of a Society or organisation. Information, ideas and opinions expressed are those of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the organisers. 

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