Japanese Consul commends MIA

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Consul Hiseida presents the MIA’s Dr. Welch with a commendation and certificate of appreciation.

Image courtesy of the MIA

George Hisaeda, Consul General of Japan at Chicago, commended the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in a ceremony yesterday afternoon for its dedication to Japanese arts, and the acquisition of an important suit of armor.

Dr. Matthew Welch, Assistant Director of Collections and Chair of Asian Art at the museum was honored for his contributions to “mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and the United States of America.”

Welch spent four years in the Department of Letters at Kyoto University, and is the author of both Untamed Beauty: Tigers in Japanese Art and Netsuke: The Japanese Art of Miniature Carving.In 1998, he expanded the display of Japanese art at the museum from two to nine galleries, and in 2006 he added six more galleries-making the Japanese art display at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts one of the largest in the country.

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Image courtesy of the MIA

The suit of Japanese armor (shown above) is made from hundreds of lacquered metal and leather plates laced together with red and indigo silk cords. It includes a face-mask, forearm sleeves, thigh and shin guards, and bear-fur boots. The set may have belonged to Tokugawa Yorinobu (1602-71), the feudal lord of Kii Province.

According to the MIA’s website, “the suit’s integrity, quality, artistry, and association to one of the leading fiefdoms of pre-modern Japan make it a prime example of Japanese armor.”

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