One hundred and fifty years after his first journey to China and Japan, Schliemann's spirit recently returned to Japan on the occasion of two exhibits: a large one titled A Journey to the Land of the Immortals: Treasures of Ancient Greece, co-organized by the Greek Ministry of Culture and the Tokyo National Museum, and a smaller one titled Father of Archaeology, Heinrich Schliemann: The First Exhibition of Tiryns Original Paintings, organized by the Yokohama Museum of EurAsian Cultures on the occasion of the 90th anniversity of the foundation of Tenri University. Naturally, the organizers of both exhibits requested copies of Schliemann's diaries, as well as photographs concerning his excavations in Greece and his journey to Japan in 1865 (fortunately this part of our collection has been digitized and it was easy to share copies with our Japanese colleagues). The core of the second exhibit is 30 original watercolors from Schliemann's book Tiryns. While these were bought by Shozen Nakayama, the founder of Tenri University, from a second-hand bookstore in London in the 1960s, they had never been exhibited before. Recent examination has confirmed that the watercolors once belonged to Schliemann and bear his notes.
Schliemann is no stranger to the Japanese people. In the early 1990s, during my early years as the School's Archivist, I couldn't understand why we were getting so many requests from Japanese production companies to film Schliemann's archive at the Gennadius Library. I knew of La Chine et Le Japon (Paris 1867), which Schliemann wrote in a month in the boat from Japan to California, but more than being an early western traveller to Japan, Schliemann seems to appeal to the Japanese in the same way that Lord Byron does to the Greek people. As one blogger wrote recently, trying to understand Schliemann's popularity in Japan, "the way the Museum presented Schliemann was perhaps more interesting to me than the items on display. WOW they are in love with him." We, too, love Schliemann, so anything that promotes him is welcome publicity for the ASCSA, the Gennadius Library, and the Archives.