The Cortazzi collection
Sir Hugh and Lady Cortazzi are in the process of donating their collection of books, maps and prints to the Lisa Sainsbury Library at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures. Hugh Cortazzi began to study Japanese in 1943 during the Second World War and served for over 16 years in Japan in various capacities. His last diplomatic post was as British Ambassador to Japan from 1980-1984.
In his presentation he describes how he and his wife began their collection and how he came to produce various books relating to Japan including his book on antique maps of Japan. He has been particularly interested in Meiji Japan and especially the role played by Britain in the development of modern Japan.
His presentation will include examples of Japanese and European maps of Japan. This is followed by a selection of Yokohama-e concentrating on images relating to Britain in Japan. The third part of his presentation covers books relating to Japan starting with a 1670 book in his collection. He concludes with an account of the various books relating to Britain and Japan, with which he has been involved in recent years and which have been published by Global Oriental and Japan Library. Over 250 biographical portraits of personalities who have contributed to Anglo-Japanese relations over the last 150 years have now been published.