Donation of Shin Seiiki ki to Zhejiang University Museum of Art and Archaeology

2015-06-17
Donation of Shin Seiiki ki to Zhejiang University Museum of Art and Archaeology

 

Exhibition at Zhejiang University Library, title of From Dunhuang to Alexandria: New Acquisitions in Art and Archaeology of the Silk Road I  from 18th May, features various foreign rare books and archaeological documents of Silk Road, one of which, namely Shin Seiiki ki (New Report of Central Asia), was donated by Director of Jinmotang Calligraphy Research Foundation, Mr. Lin Xiao. It is an honor to help support and build up the library collection of Zhejiang University.

Shin Seiiki ki was edited by Uehara Yoshitaro hensan and published by Yukosha by the year of Showa 12 (1937, 1st edition). The book were limited edition, numbered the 274, 2 volumes. It provides a complete report of the 3 journeys beyond the Tibet region  and across the Tian Shan Mountains, organised by Ohtani Kozui and his archaeologist teammates between 1902 and 1914. The second edition of the book records a large number of precious pictures and list of the achaeologist team's acquisitions then. Without the supports and travel funds from the Hongwan Ji, Ohtani Kozui decided to stop the adventures and soon his acquisitions were also sold to foreign collectors. In every sense the book provides an overview to explore the Dunhuang history in late Qing period. It is so much precious that only 5 universities in mainland China have this important document, and also one is found in Hong Kong University Library's Art Books collection shelf.

Being the abbot of Hongwan Ji a temple in Kyoto that many followers came to pay their respects─  Ohtani Kozui is known in particular for his love of Sinology and Buddhist Studies influenced by his father who was also a former abbot of Hongwan Ji. It is only when he visited the Museum in Europe, where he saw the acquisitions from Dunhuang and had meet-ups with the expects like Aurel Stein, that he intended to explore later. During his expediton, there was even a steep deterioration in relations between Japan and Russia the russo-japanese war broke out in 1904. Later, Ohtani Kozui returned to Japan and published his achaeological notes as Shin Seiiki ki. However, the book was never translated in Chinese version.

 

Rare Books Exhibition of From Dunhuang to Alexandria: New Acquisitions in Art and Archaeology of the Silk Road I

Shin Seiiki ki , Yukosha, Showa 12(1937, 1st edition)

Description of the Shin Seiiki ki  in Exhibition catalogue