Assistant Professor HAMASUMI Mayu

Affiliations :

My ties with China and Tohoku University

Since my graduate years, I have been studying and researching art history. My inquiries have focused on Ike no Taiga, an 18th -century painter who excelled in bunjinga (文人画, a school of Japanese painting directly inspired by the Southern School of Chinese painting). I am particularly interested in tracing Taiga’s Chinese influences, including his rendering of the shan shui style of traditional Chinese painting. In fact, Taiga and I may share a fascination with Chinese culture.
During my second year at university, I traveled to Beijing as an exchange student enrolled in a short-term Chinese language program. Around the middle of my stay, something terrible happened.
Our class went to see Tiantan Park surrounding the Temple of Heaven. We were to return to the dormitory on our own, but I had been feeling increasingly ill since lunchtime. By the time we reached Qianmen Street, I had become too weak to walk. A roommate tried to take me to the dormitory by bus, but I was too sick to stay on board. It was too far to the suburb where our dormitory was located. Giving up, I went to the house of a Chinese couple I knew. I reached their place late at night and stayed there for several days, burning with fever, unable to eat anything. As I lay in bed, staring listlessly at the overcast sky, I wept for fear that I would never return to Japan.
My appetite would not return for several more days. I remember nibbling at a Danish pastry, an International Women's Day present from my host. I can still recall its faint sweetness. The couple gave their all to bring me back to health, and in the end, their effort bore fruit. I recovered, went back to my classes, and participated in the long-awaited study trip. So I was able to witness firsthand the immense, overwhelming greatness of Chinese culture embodied in the Yungang Grottoes (Datong), the Longmen Grottoes (Luoyang), and the Terracotta Army (Xian).
Meanwhile, in Japan, the professor in charge of our program spent days and nights praying for our safe return. That professor and I remained good friends till he passed away several years ago. A scholar in Chinese literature and an ardent admirer of the writer and poet Lu Xun, he was rather pleased when I moved to Sendai because Lu Xun had once studied at Tohoku University. To this day, I see his warm smile every time I recount my exchange trip.

  • Research, History
  • Books, papers, etc.
  • Personal History
    Graduated from the Department of Japanese Literature, Faculty of humanities, Jissen Women’s University
    Received an M.A. in Art History at the Graduate School of Humanities, Jissen Women’s University
    Finished the doctoral program in Cultural Representation at the Department of Art History (Japanese and Asian Art History), Graduate School of Letters, Osaka University

    Research Assistant, Qualification Program in Museology, Jissen Women’s University
    Research Assistant, Department of Aesthetics and Art History, Faculty of Humanities, Jissen Women’s University
    Assistant Professor, Department of Art History (Japanese and Asian Art History), Graduate School of Letters, Osaka University
    Adjunct Researcher, Graduate School of Letters, Osaka University
    Lecturer, NHK Culture Center, Sendai branch
    Ph.D. (Literature)
    Art History of the Edo Period
    Research Subject
    Japanese literati paintings with a focus on Ike Taiga
    Ike Taiga; literati paintings; bunjinga/nanga; Chinese landscape painting
    The Japan Art History Society
  • Academic Papers
    Hamasumi, Mayu “Study on Ike Taiga: Focusing on works in Yamagata Prefecture” Kajimabijutsukenkyū nenpō 38 bessatsu, 2022, pp.304-314.
    Hamasumi, Mayu “A Reexamination of Ike Taiga’s Wondrous Scenery of Mutsu” Yamatobunka 136, 2019, pp.19-34.
    Hamasumi, Mayu “Ike Taiga, Boys Under a Willow Tree: Its fascinating points and a possible explication” Merrymaking under Blossoms of Japanese Art (2): Articles Dedicated to Professor Okudaira Shunroku, 2018, pp.335-357.
    Hamasumi, Mayu “The Reception of Chinese Painting in Edo Period Japan: Ike Taiga’s Use of the Term Shai in Inscriptions” Machikaneyamaronsō 44(Arts), 2010, pp.1-26.
    Hamasumi, Mayu “One Aspect of the Reception of Chinese Landscape Painting in Japan” (Focusing on Ike Taiga’s White Clouds and Scarlet Trees). Bijutsushi 156, 2004, pp.394-412.
    The 3rd Outstanding Paper Prize, the Japan Art History Society, 2005