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The town of Azuchi conducts the first coordinated research effort into the screens at the Vatican, but no new information is found.



Paola Cavaliere is assigned as the Coordinator for International Relations to Azuchi. She launches an inter-cultural program based on the history of the local community that centers on researching the Azuchi Screens.

Cavaliere sends letters to each city where the Tenshō Embassy (Quattro Ragazzi) visited asking for information on the Azuchi Screens, however, no information is forthcoming provided. Cities include: Macao, Goa, Coimbra, Evola, Villa-Vicosa, Guadalupe. Toledo, Escorial, Madrid, Belmonte, Mursia, Alicante, Alcudia (Majorca Island, Livorno, Pisa, Firenze, Siena, Assisi, Loreto, Imora, Bologna, Ferrara, Chioggia, Venezia, Vicenza, Mantova, Milano, Genova. 

Cavaliere further contacts the institutions in Italy and in the Vatican asking for cooperation with this project. The connection is established with the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (BAV), Archivio Segreto Vaticano, Floreria Vaticana, Vatican Museum, Ethnographic Museum, Castel Sant'Angelo, ARSI, Plazzo del Quirinale, among others others


2007 Jan 11 – Feb 10  

Midori Wakakuwa conducts a research trip to Italy/Vatican commissioned by the town of Azuchi. Cavaliere and Shinbo Kiyono join her.

2008 Feb 4 - 21

Paola Cavaliere holds a research session in Florence and Rome. During these two research sessions, the following facts are confirmed.                         

  • The Azuchi Screens were placed in a gallery of Vatican before March 30 1585

  • On July 13, 1592, Philipps van Winghe made few drawings copying the Azuchi Screen, which means the screens existed in the gallery until that date. 

  • The screens were moved somewhere else between 1592 and 1750.

  • There is no record of the Azuchi screens at Floreria Vaticana. 

  • There were major renovations of the gallery between 1592 and 1596, 1630 and 1637. 

  • At the property of the Boncompagni-Ludovici, descendant of Gregorius XIII, portraits of Mancio Ito and Mecheto were found.


Sugimoto Hiroshi encounters the painting of the four Japanese youths who presented the screens at the Teatro Olimpico in Venice, then begins a series of artwork, Quatro Ragazzi, inspired by the Tenshō Embassy. 


Sugimoto revives the research effort to rediscover the Azuchi Screens and the Azuchi Screens Research Network is born. 

2017 May 17

Alessandro Valignano's book on the Tenshō Embassy, Dialogue on the mission of the Japanese ambassadors to Rome, and the things observed in Europe throughout the journey is published in Italian. Tomoko Ota and Gen Aihara attend the reception to celebrate the publication in Chieti where Alessandro Valignano was born.


2017 Jun 26 - 30: Records of Barberini family

Tomoko Ota conducted a research session at the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (BAV) checking the inventory of Barberini's assets and found a description of "screens consist of four panels depicting cityscape on one side, and a map on the other", which roughly matches the profile of the Azuchi screens. 

2018 Feb 20 – Mar 15: Records belongs to the Vatican

Éliane Roux and Tomoko Ota hold a research session. This session focused on reviewing all aspects of previous research and determining paths for future research. In re-visiting previous materials, the strong possibility is discovered that the Azuchi screens were first placed in the Gallery of Cosmography (Galleria della Cosmografia), while past researches had focused exclusively on the Gallery of Maps, (Galleria delle Carte Geografiche).

2018 Winter: Network of the intellectual circles and the Sketchbook of Van Winghe

Éliane Roux visits multiple cities to investigate Philips Van Winghe’s sketches of the Azuchi screens, known as the only illustrative trace of both the screens and Azuchi Castle. Roux’s report traces the pedigree of these images in depth. 

2019 May 20 – 31: Papal families  

Tomoko Ota holds a research session in Rome focusing on the decoration of the Gallery of Cosmography, tracing the moving of Azuchi screens, as well as records relating to gifts from the Vatican to the Borghese family, specifically the property record of Francesco Barberini. 

2019 Summer: The intellectual circle of Rome, Padua, and Tomai.

Éliane Roux visits Milan and Rome to research the intellectual community in Padua, Rome, Tourna, and Aix-Provance. This research offers further insights into the web of the communications between intellectuals in 16th-17th-century Europe and points to several new research areas as well as uncovered new information on the character and reception of the Azuchi screens.

2021 Oct - Dec: Galleria della Cosmografia

The report of the research is to be generated soon. 

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