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Azuchi Screens Research Network
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©︎Odawara Art Foundation

The Azuchi Screens Research Network (ASRN) is an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars and artists dedicated to researching early-modern cultural and material exchange between Europe, Colonial Latin America, and East Asia, with a special focus on Italy and Japan. This includes, notably, two famous endeavors that brought Japanese people to Europe, the so-called Tenshō (1582-1590) and Keichō (1612-1620) missions. ASRN seeks to bring scholars together to explore the material culture around which these interactions revolved and shed light on the exceptional yet heretofore unexplored heritage of East Asian-made objects that crossed oceans and cultures. The network’s name is taken from a famous, and now lost, pair of folding screens by Kanō Eitoku. The group explores, however, a much larger body of paintings, documents, textiles, and lacquer objects that were exchanged as diplomatic gifts or devotional items. This includes also objects that were brought from Europe, India, China and other regions to Japan on the return trip of both missions.

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Image: Arrival of the Europeans. first quarter 17th century, pair of six-panel folding screens; ink, color, gold, and gold leaf on paper. Mary Griggs Burke Collection, Gift of the Mary and Jackson Burke Foundation, 2015. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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