The Guest Lecture Series, titled “The Xinhai Revolution and Antiquity in the Qing Imperial Palace: An Illustration of Naito Konan’s Feng Tian Palace Investigation” was successfully held on November 6th at the Auditorium, UM Gallery. The lecture featured Professor Yujiro Murata, Professor of the Graduate School of Global Studies at Doshida University and Professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo, as the keynote speaker. Professor Shaoyang Lin, from the Department of History at the UM, served as the moderator.
Professor Murata analyzed the transitions of modern Chinese history by starting with Naito Konan’s investigation of the Feng Tian Palace. He introduced the policies related to preserving antiquities announced by the government from the Qing Dynasty to the Republic of China. He went on to give a detailed overview of Naito Konan’s five research studies carried out at Feng Tian Palace. During these studies, Naito visited and took photographs of significant historical sites in Northeast China that are associated with the Qing Dynasty. Professor Murata provided an explanation for the failure of Naito Konan’s fifth investigation, taking into account the historical changes that had taken place in China.
While the main focus was on Naito Kanon’s investigation, Professor Murata emphasized that it also covered various political activities during the late Qing Dynasty. Commander Erxun Zhao initially supported Naito Konan in the investigation of antiquity’s photography. However, after the Qing Dynasty abdication, Zhao suddenly prohibited Naito Konan from taking photographs. Professor Murata discussed the changes in the protection of antiquities, focusing specifically on whether the antiquities of the Qing emperors were considered public or private property. The issue of cultural relic classification was not entirely settled until the founding of the Palace Museum in 1925.
The lecture provided the audience with a new perspective on late Qing Dynasty history. It drew almost 150 students and scholars who engaged both on-site and via live-streaming, resulting in spirited questioning and conversations.