British Museum
Thu 4 May 2023
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Online: The story of a Japanese festival float model image

Discover in the online talk, the story of an intricately carved boat whose history was lost until collaborative investigations with Japanese scholars revealed it to be a model of a Japanese festival float.
Festivals have been central to Japanese culture for many centuries and elaborately carved large wooden floats created by specialist artists feature in many of the country’s local summer festivals. This model sheds light on the radically changing practice of crafts in the late 19th century during Japan’s period of rapid modernisation. Donated to the British Museum in 1908 to mark the Olympic Games in London, it illustrates both the ritual and social function of floats in Japanese history and Japan’s relationship with the world.
Find out more about this unique object with curator Dr Rosina Buckland as its story emerges for the first time.