Romance and Tragedy of Old Imari Porcelains
Machiko Soshin Hoshina, ROIP Project Founder
I totally lost my words when I first knew about the tragic story of the broken porcelain collection at Loosdorf Castle. There are over ten-thousand numbers of shards exhibited in the Room of Porcelain. I could even find vases and plates with bullet holes. The exhibit let me stop and think quietly not only about the romantic story of Eastern porcelain in European castle, but motivated my deep sympathy with war and peace.
From this experience, I understood that art piece can drag every kind of emotion of human beings, such as joy, romance, authority or hatred. For more than seventy years from WW2, these shards were veiled but shining as symbolic message for peace.
Loosdorf Castle is located at about 60 kilometers north of Vienna. Driving through beautiful landscapes on the way is like wandering into the sceneries of a medieval painting. Welcomed by sweet aroma of fennel field and historic wine region, we all can feel at home.
Loosdorf Castle was built about a thousand years ago as a fortress of the region. Imagine how these porcelains traveled all the way from Japan to Europe three hundred years ago. Who collected them and how they treasured? The story is spectacular just like reading a novel.
What ROIP Aims
We have a long history of manufacturing ceramics and porcelains in Japan, which was typically appreciated at Tea Ceremonies. The culture of restoration has also been highly valued with its spiritual aspect.
Since I received very strong emotion and inspiration from the Loosdorf Castle’s broken porcelain collection, I decided to take an action first in Tokyo to find any chance to revive its story. It opened the gate when I received academic back-up from Professor Masaaki Arakawa of Gakushuin University, who is one of the leading researcher in studies of Japanese porcelain.
I also reached to Saga, the hometown of Imari porcelain, to seek for further collaboration. Mrs. Verena Piatti, spouse of the Lord of Loosdorf Castle, takes hands together with me and we gained great supports from people who were touched with the story of the broken porcelains.
ROIP Project - Reviving Old Imari Porcelains at Loosdorf Castle, Austria, was launched in 2018, to conduct academic studies, restorations and exhibitions. The academic research took place twice at Loosdorf Castle during 2018 and unveiled historical value of the porcelain collection.
The news was broadcasted on NHK News and several medias including articles by Asahi, Nikkei and Neue Kronen Zeitung. The exhibition is planned at Okura Museum of Art, Tokyo, in 2020 to 2021 which is one of our main goal.
ROIP actions are underpinned by prayer for peace and building international friendship. As a commemorative project of Japan - Austria 150th Year of Friendship, supported by Austrian Embassy in Tokyo, we aim to make our footprints as a new history for better future.
We thank you for taking part in our action by donation, sharing this website or tell people about us. Please visit our exhibition at Okura Museum of Art in 2020. May us receive as many heartfelt supports to achieve the goal of the ROIP project!!
Machiko Soshin Hoshina:
Founder of ROIP Project. Chado, Japanese Tea Ceremony instructor. International Chado Culture Foundation member. Born to Daimyo - Lord of Japanese samurai family line. A blood relative of Tokugawa Shogun Family and the former House of Imperial Prince Kitashirakawa.