Weather in Ukiyo-e

2021, June 26th-August 29th

  • [1st Term] June 26th-July 25th
  • [2nd Term] July 30th-August 29th

※Works change between two terms

Will be closed on June 28, July 5, 12, 19, 26-29, August 2, 10, 16, 23.

Various weather phenomena are depicted in ukiyo-e: clear skies, heavy rain, gentle snowfall, and rainbows after rain. Ukiyo-e artists expressed the ever-changing weather with delicate color changes or with bold deformation.
Japan’s diverse climate, which changes along with the seasons, has had a great influence on people’s lives in both the past and present. During the Edo period, heavy rains caused frequent floods, and unseasonable weather conditions sometimes led to famine.
Even today, with the advancement of science, we cannot control the weather.
Although we prepare for daily changes in the weather by relying on the weather forecast, in recent years, unpredictable abnormal weather such as heavy rain and extreme heat often hit us, and people’s concern for climate change is increasing.
In this exhibition, we focus on the weather depicted in ukiyo-e, and introduce mainly landscape prints created by such artists as Katsushika Hokusai, Utagawa Hiroshige, and Kobayashi Kiyochika. Through the unique expressions of these ukiyo-e artists, you will be able to experience not only the aesthetic sense of the Japanese people who love the changing sky, but also the activities of the people who were sometimes at the mercy of the wind and rain.

Utagawa Hiroshige “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo: Ushimachi, Takanawa” [1st Term]

Kobayashi Kiyochika “One Hundred Views of Musashi Province: Suijin Shrine Grove by the Sumida River” [2nd Term]

Capturing a Variety of Rain

From light rain to thunderstorms, there are a wide variety of ukiyo-e works on the theme of rain. Some of them remind us of the “guerrilla rainstorms” that we have heard so much about in recent years. For ukiyo-e artists, how they express the variety of rain, which is difficult to draw, is a highlight that shows their techniques, and the dramatic changes in everyday life caused by sudden rain might have been attractive as a subject of ukiyo-e.。

Kobayashi Kiyochika “Umewaka Shrine” [1st Term]
Utagawa Kunisada “Scenery of the Evening Shower” [2nd Term]

Snowy Landscapes

In the Edo period (1603-1868), the Sumida River, Mt. Atago and Kan’eiji Temple were known for their beautiful landscapes with snow, and many snow scenes in Edo were drawn in ukiyo-e. However, it seems a little strange to us because snow rarely accumulates in modern Tokyo. In fact, most of the Edo period is considered to have been a Little Ice Age, and colder than it is today. This might be one of the reasons why many ukiyo-e of snowy landscapes were created.

Katsushika Hokusai “Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji: Morning after Snow at Koishikawa” [2nd Term]

Utagawa Hiroshige “Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaidō Road: 47, Ōi” [1st Term]

Various Shapes of Clouds and Colors of the Sky

Highlighted in this exhibition are expressions of the sky that are unique to ukiyo-e and differ from reality, such as ‘spear-shaped’ haze and blue and red gradation. We introduce works that show unique and original depictions of the sky, such as Katsushika Hokusai’s Thunderstorm Beneath the Summit from Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, in which geometric patterns represent lightning, and clear weather and rain are expressed in the same illustration, as well as Utagawa’’s Plum Park in Kameido from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, whose bold color scheme features a red sky.

Katsushika Hokusai “Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji: Shower below the Summit” [1st Term]
Utagawa Hiroshige “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo: Plum Park in Kameido” [1st Term]

Abnormal Weather

In the Meiji era, ukiyo-e artists began to depict current disasters and incidents that had been prohibited to be drawn by the Edo Shogunate in the Edo period. Among them, many works that convey the flood damage to urban areas caused by heavy rain were drawn.

Hachisuka Kuniaki “Senju Great Bridge and Azuma-bashi Bridge Collapse in the Great Flood” [1st Term]
Artist Unknown “Mysterious Clouds Appeared in 1890” [2nd Term]

Highlight

Utagawa Hiroshige “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo: Sudden Shower Over Shin-Ōhashi Bridge and Atake”後期

This is one of the most famous ukiyo-e masterpieces depicting rain, which captured an evening shower that hit the Shin-Ohashi Bridge over the Sumida River (today, Chuo Ward sits on the west bank, while Koto Ward is on the east).
Among the people on the bridge, we can see a man wearing a woven-rush mat to avoid getting wet, and three men are huddling under one umbrella, which tells us that it was an unexpected rain.
The streaks of rain that cover the screen are made using two types of lines with different angles and shades carved into two woodblocks, then printed. The combination of the depiction of hazy Atake on the opposite bank and the lines of the rain skillfully emphasize the strength and depth of the rain.
Furthermore, the unsettling movement of the clouds is expressed by “atenashi-bokashi”, an irregularly shaped blur, at the top of the painting. A variety of techniques were used to recreate the scene of a violent evening shower and the panic of the people.
This piece, which is also part of Hiroshige’s late masterpiece, the One Hundred Famous Views of Edo series, is considered a gem which fully demonstrates his sensibility and strength in composition, refined as he continued to draw all kinds of weather.


Admission
Adult800 yen
University and High school students600 yen
Junior High School Students and belowFree
Calendar

close

2021 06

休館日

7,14,21-25,28

2021 / 06

7,14,21-25,28

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
2021 07

休館日

5,12,19,26-29

2021 / 07

5,12,19,26-29

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
2021 08

休館日

2,10,16,23,30,31

2021 / 08

2,10,16,23,30,31

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT

Kaburaki Kiyokata and Hirezaki Eiho – Illustrations bringing color to modern literature

2021, May 21st-June 20th  

Will be closed on May 24, 31, June 7, 14.

The Unknown Rivalry –Kaburaki Kiyokata and Hirezaki Eihō

With the rediscovery of “Tsukiji Akashi-chō” in 2019, Kaburaki Kiyokata (1878-1972) gathered attention. Although he is known as a painter of Japanese art, he was also active in the genre called kuchi-e (illustrations for magazines and novels) from 1903 to 1916. At the time, Hirezaki Eihō (1881-1968) was popular alongside Kiyokata. Kiyotaka and Eihō both succeeded Yoshitoshi Tsukioka, and they were friends who belonged to the same art association. We will introduce the masterpieces of kuchi-e prints of beautiful women by Kiyokata and Eihō from the Meiji Era.

Kaburaki Kiyokata “Illustration for “Yuriko” (Vol. 3) by Kikuchi Yūhō” 1913
ⒸAkio Nemoto

Kaburaki Kiyokata “Illustration for “Koyuki” (Vol. 2) by Kikuchi Yūhō” 1913 ⒸAkio Nemoto

Hirezaki Eihō “Illustration for “Chikai” (Vol. 1) by Yanagawa Shunyō” 1915
Hirezaki Eihō “Illustration for “Chikai” (Vol. 2) by Yanagawa Shunyō” 1917

The Unknown Woodblock Prints with Excellent Techniques

From the late 20s of Meiji Era to the early Taishō Era, kuchi-e prints made with woodblocks were used in the opening pages of the magazines and novels. Kuchi-e which brilliantly illustrated stories, did not simply inherit the mastery of ukiyo-e from the Edo period, but largely surpassed its techniques with delicate carving and painting. However, as they are rarely studied by current ukiyo-e researchers, they had been a forgotten genre. We have chosen 110 pieces from the collection by a kuchi-e collector, Asahi Tomoo to highlight the beauty of kuchi-e prints.

Kaburaki Kiyokata “Illustration for “Nise Murasaki” (Vol. 2) by Izumi Kyōka” 1905
ⒸAkio Nemoto

Hirezaki Eihō “Illustration for “Fukagawa-zome” (Vol. 1) by Izumi Shatei and Izumi Kyōka” 1907

Unknown Illustrators –Keishū, Eisen, Toshikata and Hanko

Kuchi-e prints used in the opening pages of magazines and novels were produced by more than 100 artists since the late 20s of the Meiji period. Popular artists before Kiyokata and Eihō, were Takeuchi Keishū (1861-1943), Tomioka Eisen (1864-1905), Mizuno Toshikata (1866-1908) and Kajita Hanko (1870-1917). Among them, Mizuno Toshikata, the master of Kaburaki Kiyokata, is an essential artist to study in order to understand the artworks of Kiyokata. We will introduce these four illustrators along with Kiyokata and Eihō.

Takeuchi Keishū “Beautiful Woman Catching Fireflies (Illustration for “Bungei-kurabu” Vol. 3, No. 10)” 1897
Tomioka Eisen “Illustration for “Kareno no Makuzu” by Mizutani Futō” 1897
Kajita Hanko “Fragrance of Chrysanthemum (Illustration for “Bungei-kurabu” Vol. 11, No. 13) 1905

Mizuno Toshikata “Illustration for “Tōsei Gonin Otoko no Uchi Kurahashi Kōzō” (Vol. 3) by Murakami Namiroku”

Highlight of this exhibition

Hirezaki Eihō “Illustration for “Zoku Fūryūsen” by Izumi Kyōka” 1905

This is the kuchi-e printed on the opening page of a novel by Izumi Kyōka. Depicted is the scene where a man rescues a woman who fell into the lake from a boat capsized by a tornado. The running water fills the scene, and the characters are only vaguely seen. Excellent printing technique and an innovative composition are both incorporated in this piece. Although it is not as widely known as the relationship with Kaburaki Kiyokata, Hirezaki Eihō also had a deep connection with Izumi Kyōka. Not only had he worked on numerous illustrations for novels by Kyōka, but also had a close friendship with her.

※This is the same exhibition as that held in March 2020 which was suspended to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection.


Admission
Adult1000 yen
University and High school students700 yen
Junior High School Students and belowFree
Calendar

Closed

2021 05

休館日

6,10,17-20,24,31

2021 / 05

6,10,17-20,24,31

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
2021 06

休館日

7,14,21-25,28

2021 / 06

7,14,21-25,28

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT

Losers in Ukiyo-e

2021, April 15th-May 16th  

temporarily closed

Minamoto no Yoshitsune, Akechi Mitsuhide, Saigō Takamori… Losers in History Gather Here

When there are battles or competitions, there will always be winners and losers. And the ones who attract our hearts and leave us impressed in stories such as novels and kabuki plays as well as among historical figures of Japan, could be the losers rather than the winners. These days, there are movements becoming active which try to find new points of view by reviewing history from the losers’ perspectives. Furthermore, it seems that kabuki plays and novels depicting the fleeting nature and sorrow of warriors such as Minamoto no Yoshitsune and Akechi Mitsuhide, who lost battles and fell to ruin, attracted deep sympathy from the people in Edo. This exhibition will focus on the various losers drawn in ukiyo-e who attracted popularity in the Edo period.

Utagawa Kunitsuna Ⅱ(Kuniteru Ⅱ) “Takeda Katsuyori Dying in the Battle of Tenmokuzan”

Losers Who Attract the Hearts of the Japanese

There is a phrase known as “hougan biiki”.
Minamotono Yoshitsune kept winning the battles between the Taira and Minamoto clans, but was expelled for being a nuisance and subverted by his brother Yoritomo. “Hougan biiki” means “sympathy for a tragic hero” like him, and describes the feeling of taking their side.
For a long time, Japanese people have been telling history and stories with empathy for those who lose and die in such battles. There are so many similar cases, such as of the Taira clan, Yoshitsune, Kusunoki Masashige, Akechi Mitsuhide, and Saigō Takamori. Moreover, as it is obvious from the case of Yoshitsune, we can say that only a fine line exists between winners and losers. Why don’t we think over what it means to win and to lose while viewing various characters drawn in ukiyo-e?

Utagawa Yoshitora / Utagawa Shigekiyo “Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō Road with Calligraphy: Ise, Cherry Blossoms in Ishiyakushi”

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi “Battle of Sekigahara”

Utagawa Hiroshige “Night Attack of the 47 Loyal Retainers”

Face-Off! What Happens in a One-on-One Battle?

People sometimes confront each other one-on-one to prove their power and justice. In history, novels, and kabuki plays, such battles and competitions are often the highlight of the story. This section introduces famous scenes of confrontations depicted in ukiyo-e, such as the duel between Benkei and Ushiwakamaru and the contest of strength between Soga Gorō and Asahina.

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi “Gojō Bridge in the Chronicles of Yoshitsune”
Ōmori Yoshikiyo “Gorō Tokimune and Asahina from the Tale of Soga Brothers”

Villains in Kabuki Plays—People Who Were Destined to Los

Stories in which the hero defeats powerful enemies are called “kanzen chōaku”, and are still popular today. In kabuki and novels of the Edo period, kanzen chōaku was one of the most popular plots. People in Edo cheered when villains with overwhelming power appeared and the hero defeated them. The villains can be said to be destined to lose.

Utagawa Toyokuni “Kabuki Play “Sugawaradenju Tenarai Kagami” Kuruma-biki”

Highlight of this exhibition

Utagawa Toyonobu “Scene from the Story about Toyotomi Hideyoshi “Shinsen Taikō-ki”: Oda Nobunaga Beating Akechi Mitsuhide with the Iron-ribbed Fan”

In Japanese history, Akechi Mitsuhide has a strong image as a rebel or a loser who lost his ruling power in only a few days. However, a recent TV drama which depicted Mitsuhide’s life introduced a new interpretation in which the reason why he betrayed his lord was for justice, because the lord had become out of control and more of a tyrant year by year. In fact, images of Mitsuhide as a tragic hero are not new. For people in the Edo period, Mitsuhide was a villain as a murderer, but at the same time, in kabuki plays and novels, he was depicted as a weak person who was insulted by the tyrant lord and had a grudge. This picture depicts a famous scene from the novel Taikōki, in which his lord Nobunaga hits Mitsuhide with an iron fan because Mitsuhide had admonished Nobunaga’s attack on the Erin-ji Temple with fire. Various episodes, not only about Mitsuhide but also his vassals, who are not known these days, are introduced in this book, and also many ukiyo-e depicting them were published. We can understand his popularity in the Edo period.


Admission
Adult 1000 yen
University and High school students 700 yen
Junior High School Students and below Free
Calendar

close

2021 04

休館日

1-14, 19,25-30

2021 / 04

1-14, 19,25-30

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
2021 05

休館日

1-14,17-20,24,31

2021 / 05

1-14,17-20,24,31

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT

Kasamatsu Shiro -the Last Shin-hanga Prints Artist

2021, February 2nd-March 28th

  • [1st Term] February 2nd-25th
  • [2nd Term] March 2nd-28th

※Works change between two terms

Will be closed on February 8, 15, 22, 26-March 1, 8, 15, 22.

Kasamatsu Shirō –the last Shin-hanga print artist

Kasamatsu Shirō (1898-1991) is an ukiyo-e artist who was active during the Taishō Era to the Shōwa Era. He became a pupil of Kaburaki Kiyokata to learn Japanese paintings, and published Shin-hanga prints from the publisher Watanabe Shōzaburō in 1919. He produced Shin-hanga prints portraying modern cityscapes of Tokyo and sceneries of hot spring areas using pale colors. After the war, he left the publisher Watanabe and published his works from Unsōdō Woodblock Print in 1952-1959. Shirō can be considered the last authentic Shin-hanga print artist, as he produced Shin-hanga from its early period and was dedicated to the genre even after the war.

Belfry of Gokokuji Temple (Clear Sky after Snow)【2nd term】
Ritual at Zōshigaya【1st term】

Spring Night at Ginza【1st term】
Shirahone Hot Spring, Shinshū【1st term】

Shin-hanga prints in the spotlight

Shin-hanga print refers to woodblock prints produced between the Taishō and Shōwa Era as collaborative works of artists, carvers and painters. The genre was established by a publisher Watanabe Shōzaburō, and artists of various specialties invented techniques that further developed it. Today, Shin-hanga prints are more popular than ever. Kawase Hasui, known for his landscapes has always maintained it popularity, and Ohara Koson, who painted adorable birds suddenly started to attract attention from about 2 years ago. There will be a large-scale exhibition featuring Yoshida Hiroshi to commemorate the 70th anniversary of his death at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum in Ueno, around the same time as this exhibition.

Town in Shimoda 【2nd term】
Harvesting 【2nd term】

Engaku-ji Temple, Kamakura【1st term】
Iizaka, Fukushima【1st term】

Discovering the Shin-hanga prints of Kasamatsu Shirō

Kasamatsu Shirō’s was hardly recognized in the past, as his painting style was considered to be similar to that of Kawase Hasui. However, the landscapes painted with pale colors have unique charm. It is the 30th anniversary of his death this year. In celebration, this exhibition will present the entirety of Shirō’s Shin-hanga prints. There will be about 130 paintings including Shin-hanga prints from the Taishō Era and the beginning of Shōwa Era as well as woodblock prints from after the war produced by the publisher Watanabe Kinjirō and Unsōdō.

Tokyo Station【2nd term】

Tokyo Tower【1st term】

Highlight of this exhibition

Cirrocumuli (Mackerel Sky) 【2nd term】

A farmer with a sickle in his hand is looking up at the sky with floating clouds. The expanse of the sky painted with a gradation of pale colors is impressive. This is one of the Shin-hanga prints published by the publisher Watanabe Shōzaburō during its earliest period. Kasamatsu Shirō was only 21 years old and has just began his career as a full-fledged artist at the time in 1919. Watanabe had just started publishing Shin-hanga prints by Kawase Hasui the year before in 1918. Shirō’s young talent was discovered at the early stage of the development of the genre by Watanabe who was in search of a direction of Shin-hanga prints.


Admission
Adult1000 yen
University and High school students700 yen
Junior High School Students and belowFree

Calendar

close

2021 02

休館日

1,8,15,22,26-28

2021 / 02

1,8,15,22,26-28

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
2021 03

休館日

1,8,15,22

2021 / 03

1,8,15,22

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT

Men in Japanese Kimono -Stylish and Charming in the Edo Period

2021, January 6th-20th

Will be closed on January 12, 18, 25.

Introduction

Young men with gorgeous attire, gentlemen dressed in refined patterns, and hipsters enjoying extravagant costumes. We encounter many fashionable men in ukiyo-e. In the Edo period, men enjoyed fashion just as much as they do today. Kabuki actors were the most popular fashion icons of the time. In their daily lives, men expressed their taste not only through the kimono they wore, but also through items such as hoods, cigarette cases and hair styles. Their elegant look in kimono, is one of the unique charms of the men of the Edo period. Tracing the history of male figures in ukiyo-e, young men with fringes were preferred as models in the early to mid Edo period, while gallant men were more commonly depicted in the late Edo period. This exhibition on men in kimono, presents the rich costume culture of Edo, the charm of men in kimono, and how the idea of an attractive man has evolved over time.

Suzuki Harunobu “Young Lovers Playing a Single Shamisen”

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi “One Hundred Views of the Moon: “The full moon coming with a challenge to flaunt its beautiful brow ” -Poem by Fukami Jikyū”

Passion for fashion

There are many courageous men depicted in ukiyo-e -chivalrous men, reprobates, firemen and artisans. Ukiyo-e of these figures were especially popular after the 19th century. Chivalrous men often dressed in eccentric costumes and gallant men wore accessories such as hand towels and short coats over kimono, showing off their dashing charms.

Utagawa Toyohiro “Cherry Blossom Viewing Party”

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi “One Hundred Views of the Moon: Moon through Conflagration”

Men in kimono in stories

This chapter introduce various heroes that appear in stories, legends and kabuki plays. They put on costumes that express the personality of each character. They were often as eccentric as those of today’s manga and anime. Please enjoy the ingenious kimono styles of the fictional world.

Utagawa Kuniyoshi “Kabuki Actor Sawamura Sōjūrō Ⅴ as Shirae Jūemon and Bandō ShūkaⅠ as Komurasaki”

Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni Ⅲ) “Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō Road: Miya, Taira no Kagekiyo”

Kabuki actors as fashionable style icons

In the Edo period, when there was not much entertainment, kabuki actors collected particular popularity comparable to that of today’s entertainers and YouTubers. When it comes to the star actors, their influence was extraordinary. The way they dressed and the color and patterns such as Edomurasaki purple and Kamawanu pattern they wore on stage came into trend. In this section, we present works depicting fashion trends that originated from kabuki actors.

Okumura Masanobu “Kabuki Actor Sanogawa Ichimatsu Operating a Puppet”

Toyohara Kunichika “Thirty-six Selected Flowers and Plants: Windmill Grass, Ichikawa Kodanji as Gosho no Gorozō ”

Highlight of the Exhibition

Katsukawa Shunchō “Young Women Encountering a Young Man on a Bridge”

“Look! He is so handsome!” Perhaps the women are talking like this. The man who seems to be at joy to feel the attention, is wearing a black striped kimono with a purple striped over-garment, with the red color of the obi belt and thongs as an accent. Wearing a black hood around the neck, as well as wearing plain designs such as stripes was fashionable back then. This man shows his refined sense of fashion by layering elegant patterns.
The ornament on the men’s head is an amulet which is a protection from lightning given by Myōgisha in Kameido Tenjin on a particular day of the new year’s holiday. We can understand from this work that people in the Edo period also went out for special events with their favorite clothes just as we do today.


Admission
Adult800 yen
University and High school students600 yen
Junior High School Students and belowFree

Calendar

Closed

2021 01

休館日

1,2,3,4,5,12,18,25,29, 30, 31

2021 / 01

1,2,3,4,5,12,18,25,29, 30, 31

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT

Japan in Ukiyo-e

2020, November 14th-December 13th

Will be closed on November 16, 24, 30, December 7.

Rediscovering Japan through Ukuyo-e

At the moment, it is difficult to travel overseas due to COVID-19. We have the opportunity to reflect on our daily lives now more than ever. Ukiyo-e depicting the lives of the people during the Edo and Meiji period, shows us the traditional Japanese way of living. It gives us the opportunity to reconnect with our artistic sensibilities through Japanese aesthetics.

Utagawa Hiroshige “Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji: Sea off Satta in Suruga Province”

Utagawa Hiroshige “Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji: Suijin Shrine and Massaki on the Sumida River”

Keisai Eisen “Eight Views of Edo: Clear Weather at Nihonbashi”

A Collection of the Images of Japan – Representative images from Mt. Fuji, cherry blossoms, traditional cuisine, to Sumō wrestlers

Ukiyo-e depicts various subjects that are uniquely Japanese. These include nature such as Mt. Fuji and cherry blossoms, which have had a significant presence in the appreciation of nature in Japan throughout history. There are also paintings of traditional cuisine such as soba noodles, tempura and sushi, as well as various occupations including courtesans, geishas and sumō wrestlers. This exhibition aims to rediscover Japan through such collection of representative images. We have collected about 70 pieces, which will all be on display throughout the exhibition period.

Ochiai Yoshiiku and Utagawa Hiroshige III “Cherry-Blossom Viewing at the Sumida River”
Utagawa Kuniyoshi “Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaidō Road: Moriyama, Monk Dharma”
Toyohara Kunichika “Twenty-four Hours of a Day: 6 p.m.”
Utagawa Kunisada “Kashiwado and Shirayama”

Highlight of the exhibition

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi “Thirty-two Aspects of Women: Looking Tasty, the Appearance of a Prostitute during the Kaei Era”

Among the various traditional cuisines, soba noodles, tempura, unagi (eel) and sushi were especially popular in Edo. This piece depicts a woman on the 2nd floor of the restaurant, just about to eat her tempura of shrimp (or fish). She is skillfully picking up the tempura with a toothpick. The title of this piece is “Delicious-looking”. In ukiyo-e, we find origins of Washoku (Japanese food) that is still popular today.


Admission
Adult800 yen
University and High school students600 yen
Junior High School Students and belowFree
Calendar

Close

2020 11

休館日

2,9-13,16,24,30

2020 / 11

2,9-13,16,24,30

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
2020 12

休館日

7,14-31

2020 / 12

7,14-31

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT

Civil Engineering in Edo

2020, October 10th-November 8th

Will be closed on October 12, 19, 26, November 2.

Civil Engineering of Edo through ukiyo-e

In recent years, large-scale redevelopment in the main areas have called attention in Tokyo. At the same time, civil engineering itself has become a popular genre to be studied as a hobby. There are increasing number of books and magazine articles featuring bridges, dams, rivers, and topology. However, looking back in history, this is not a recent trend. In fact, Tokyo has developed through various civil engineering projects since the Edo period. In this exhibition, you can deepen your understanding of various civil engineering of Edo through the works of the ukiyo-e artists such as Utagawa Hiroshige and Katsushika Hokusai.

Utagawa Hiroshige “Famous Places in Edo: Cooling off at Ryōgoku-bashi Bridge”

Civil engineering that created Edo, the megacity

100 years after the opening of the Tokugawa Shogunate by Tokugawa Ieyasu, Edo had become a megacity inhabited by more than one million people. What supported the extraordinary development of the city was the construction of urban areas and infrastructure using advanced civil engineering technology. The most notable are the Edo Castle and its outer and inner moats, landfill of Hibiya, Tsukiji, and Fukagawa, canals and water supply, bridges of Ryōgoku and Nihonbashi, as well as the huge temples such as Kan’ei-ji and Zōjō-ji.

Katsushika Hokusai “Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji: Nihonbashi in Edo”

Shōtei Hokuju “View of Ochanomizu in Edo”
Keisai Eisen “Eight Views of Edo: Vesper Bell at Ueno”

Katsushika Hokusai “Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji: In the Mountains of Tōtoumi Province”
Utagawa Hiroshige “Teppōzu and Tsukiji Monzeki (Entertaining Supplements to the One Hundred Famous Views of Edo)”
Utagawa Hiroshige “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo: Fukagawa Lumberyards”

Culture of redevelopment has its origin in the Edo period?

Large-scale constructions of shopping malls such as Shibuya Stream and Tokyo Midtown Hibiya are often considered as a recent trend. However, looking back in history, large-scale redevelopments were carried out frequently since the Edo period. Notable projects include the re-installment of the pleasure quarter from Yoshiwara to Shin-yoshiwara, and the redevelopment of Saruwaka Theater District. The Nakazu amusement quarter which only existed for about ten years before being demolished can be considered one of the first redevelopment projects of Tokyo as well.

Utagawa Hiroshige “Famous Places in Edo: Panoramic View of Gochōmachi in Shin-Yoshiwara in Cherry Blossom Season”
Utagawa Toyoharu “Perspective Picture of Famous Places in Japan: Cooling off at Nakasu-shinchi”
Utagawa Hiroshige “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo: Night View of Saruwaka-machi”

Highlight of the Exhibition

Artist Unknown “Pagoda Finial Bent by the Ansei Great Earthquakes” /Utagawa Hiroshige “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo: Kinryūzan Temple, Asakusa”

Artist Unknown “Pagoda Finial Bent by the Ansei Great Earthquakes”
Utagawa Hiroshige “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo: Kinryūzan Temple, Asakusa”

Disasters and recovery –The Ansei Earthquake

There are continuous effort to recover from the Great East Japan. Edo was also frequently affected by fires and earthquakes. Each time, the people of Edo recovered from the destruction by conducting large-scale reconstructions all over the city. The Great Ansei Earthquake (1855) at the end of the Edo period is one of the severest disasters of Edo. The city suffered serious damage from this earthquake. Although the famous Sensōji Temple was not entirely destroyed, the nine-wheeled tower at the top of the Five-storied Pagoda was bent. The painting on the left depicts the pagoda after the earthquake. The work on the right is one of the “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo” by Utagawa Hiroshige published a year after the earthquake. In this painting, the nine-wheeled tower is no longer bent. Since this picture was published shortly after May 9th when the restoration of the tower was completed, it is considered to be a commemoration of the restoration project.

Admission
Adult800 yen
University and High school students600 yen
Junior High School Students and belowFree
Calendar
2020 10

休館日

5-9,12,19,26

2020 / 10

5-9,12,19,26

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2020 11

休館日

2,9-13,16,24,30

2020 / 11

2,9-13,16,24,30

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT

Collection from Ota Memorial Museum of Art

2020, July 1st-26th
 
Will be closed on July 6, 13, 20.

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Utagawa Yoshifuji “Birds Fighting at Yoshiwara”

Although the Museum was closed for four months to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we finally reopened from this month. We replaced our original plans with the exhibition “Collection from the Ota Memorial Museum of Art”. From the more than 14000 works in our collection, we selected the works which were made to aid recovery from illness, and works which give us a sense of relaxation. We will also exhibit the works which gained popularity when introduced on the museum’s Twitter home page with the hashtag “# ouchideukiyoe (Ukiyo-e at home)” during the temporary closure.
In order to keep social distance between visitors, the distance between the works is further than usual, and as a result, the number of exhibits has been reduced to only about 40 works. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding.

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Utagawa Yoshitora “Twelve Animal Signs of Oriental Zodiac Gathering to Form One Animal”

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Utagawa Hirokage “Comical Views of Famous Places in Edo: No. 16, Fox-fires at Ōji”

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Utagawa Kuniyoshi “Toys of Horned Owl and Horse (the amulet against smallpox)”

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Utagawa Yoshifuji “Newly Published Comic Picture of Cats: Dance Recital of Kittens”

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Utagawa Yoshitora “Shōki (the Plague-Queller) “

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Kawanabe Kyōsai “Picture Book “Kyōsai Gadan” Volume 1-1″

Admission
Adult 800 yen
University and High school students 600 yen
Junior High School Students and below Free
Calendar
Closed
        • 2020 July
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Tsukioka Yoshitoshi -Blood and the Bewitching

2020, August 1st-October 4th
[1st Term] August 1st-30th 
[2nd Term] September 4th-October 4th
※Works change between two terms
 
Will be closed on August 3, 11, 17, 24, 31, September 1-3, 7, 14, 23, 28.

“Blood,” “Bewitching” and “Darkness.” Three Themes to Bring Out the Charm of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) was an ukiyo-e artist who was active from the end of the Edo period to the early Meiji Era. Although he became very popular back then, his dynamic composition and sharp brushwork are absolutely timeless to even our eyes today. This exhibition will dig deep into the allure of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi with three ominous keywords: “blood,” “bewitching” and “darkness.” About 150 works will be on display in total, and we will swap out all the works between the first and second terms.
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Tsukioka Yoshitoshi “Thirty-two Aspects of Women: Looking in Pain, the Appearance of a Prostitute of the Kansei Era (1789-1801)”(1st term)

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Tsukioka Yoshitoshi “Twenty-eight Famous Murders with Verse: Ingakozō Rokunosuke” (2nd term)

Warning to the Viewer! Brutal Bloody Paintings

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi had worked on the genre commonly called chimidoro-e (“bloody pictures”), depicting cruel scenes of killings and dead bodies. His ominous expression of sensationally depicting splattered blood is known to have attracted literary figures such as Edogawa Ranpo and Mishima Yukio, who were active during the Taishō and Shōwa Eras. In addition to all 14 pieces of his representative work “Twenty-eight Famous Murders with Verse”, we will introduce other cruel works drawn by Yoshitoshi, such as “Tales of the Floating World” and “Yoshitoshi’s Selection of One Hundred Warriors”.
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Tsukioka Yoshitoshi “Tales of the Floating World: Mukōkizu no Yosa”(1st term)/ private collection

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Tsukioka Yoshitoshi “Twenty-eight Famous Murders with Verse: Fukuoka Mitsugi” (2nd term)

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Tsukioka Yoshitoshi “Twenty-eight Famous Murders with Verse: Inada Kyūzō Shinsuke”(1st term)/ private collection

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Tsukioka Yoshitoshi “Yoshitoshi’s Selection of One Hundred Warriors: Sakai Kyūzō” (2nd term)

Bewitching Beautiful Women and Deep Darkness

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi’s bijin-ga feature not only women who are simply beautiful in appearance, but also have inner charm with a faintly mysterious atmosphere. Furthermore, his works set at night are full of a tense air and the uncanny presence of specters and ghosts. We will introduce the eerie allure of Yoshitoshi through various works, such as his representative series of bijin-ga “Thirty-two Aspects of Women” and “One Hundred Views of the Moon”, which depict the history of and stories about the moon, as well as the “One Hundred Ghost Stories of China and Japan” and “New Forms of Thirty-six Ghosts” series based on specters.
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Tsukioka Yoshitoshi “Tales of Recent Characters: Muraoka, the Old Lady of the Konoe Family”(1st term)/ private collection

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Tsukioka Yoshitoshi “Thirty-two Aspects of Women: Looking Hot, the Appearance of a Housewife in the Bunsei Era (1818-1830)” (2nd term)

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Tsukioka Yoshitoshi “One Hundred Ghost Stories of China and Japan: Fuwa Bansaku”(1st term)

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Tsukioka Yoshitoshi “One Hundred Views of the Moon: Cry of the Fox” (2nd term)

Highlight of the Exhibition

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi “Lonely House at Adachi Moor in Ōshū” (2nd term)

The Cruelest Work in Ukiyo-e History

When it comes to the cruelest work in ukiyo-e history, this may be the one. A pregnant woman bound with rope is hung upside down from the ceiling. She is gagged and has already passed out. An old woman is thoroughly sharpening a knife with which to cut the pregnant woman’s abdomen. Although there is no blood depicted in this picture, the graphic depiction of the pregnant woman’s painful appearance makes us feel its cruelty more strongly than chimidoro-e with a lot of splattered blood.

Admission
Adult 800 yen
University and High school students 600 yen
Junior High School Students and below Free
Calendar
Closed
        • 2020 April
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Kaburaki Kiyokata and Hirezaki Eiho – Illustrations bringing color to modern literature

2020, February 15th-March 22nd
 
Will be closed on February 17, 25, March 2, 9, 16.

The Unknown Rivalry –Kaburaki Kiyokata and Hirezaki Eihō

With the rediscovery of “Tsukiji Akashi-chō” in 2019, Kaburaki Kiyokata (1878-1972) gathered attention. Although he is known as a painter of Japanese art, he was also active in the genre called kuchi-e (illustrations for magazines and novels) from 1903 to 1916. At the time, Hirezaki Eihō (1881-1968) was popular alongside Kiyokata. Kiyotaka and Eihō both succeeded Yoshitoshi Tsukioka, and they were friends who belonged to the same art association. We will introduce the masterpieces of kuchi-e prints of beautiful women by Kiyokata and Eihō from the Meiji Era.
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Kaburaki Kiyokata “Illustration for “Yuriko” (Vol. 3) by Kikuchi Yūhō” 1913 ⒸAkio Nemoto

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Kaburaki Kiyokata “Illustration for “Koyuki” (Vol. 2) by Kikuchi Yūhō” 1913 ⒸAkio Nemoto

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Hirezaki Eeihō “Illustration for “Chikai” (Vol. 1) by Yanagawa Shunyō” 1915

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Hirezaki Eeihō “Illustration for “Chikai” (Vol. 2) by Yanagawa Shunyō” 1917

The Unknown Woodblock Prints with Excellent Techniques

From the late 20s of Meiji Era to the early Taishō Era, kuchi-e prints made with woodblocks were used in the opening pages of the magazines and novels. Kuchi-e which brilliantly illustrated stories, did not simply inherit the mastery of ukiyo-e from the Edo period, but largely surpassed its techniques with delicate carving and painting. However, as they are rarely studied by current ukiyo-e researchers, they had been a forgotten genre. We have chosen 110 pieces from the collection by a kuchi-e collector, Asahi Tomoo to highlight the beauty of kuchi-e prints.
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Kaburaki Kiyokata “Illustration for “Nise Murasaki” (Vol. 2) by Izumi Kyōka” 1905 ⒸAkio Nemoto

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Hirezaki Eihō “Illustration for “Fukagawa-zome” (Vol. 1) by Izumi Shatei and Izumi Kyōka” 1907

Unknown Illustrators –Keishū, Eisen, Toshikata and Hanko

Kuchi-e prints used in the opening pages of magazines and novels were produced by more than 100 artists since the late 20s of the Meiji period. Popular artists before Kiyokata and Eihō, were Takeuchi Keishū (1861-1943), Tomioka Eisen (1864-1905), Mizuno Toshikata (1866-1908) and Kajita Hanko (1870-1917). Among them, Mizuno Toshikata, the master of Kaburaki Kiyokata, is an essential artist to study in order to understand the artworks of Kiyokata. We will introduce these four illustrators along with Kiyokata and Eihō.
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Takeuchi Keishū “Beautiful Woman Catching Fireflies (Illustration for “Bungei-kurabu” Vol. 3, No. 10)” 1897

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Tomioka Eisen “Illustration for “Kareno no Makuzu” by Mizutani Futō” 1897

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Kajita Hanko “Fragrance of Chrysanthemum (Illustration for “Bungei-kurabu” Vol. 11, No. 13) 1905

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Mizuno Toshikata “Illustration for “Tōsei Gonin Otoko no Uchi Kurahashi Kōzō” (Vol. 3) by Murakami Namiroku”

Featured work

Hirezaki Eihō “Illustration for “Zoku Fūryūsen” by Izumi Kyōka” 1905

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This is the kuchi-e printed on the opening page of a novel by Izumi Kyōka. Depicted is the scene where a man rescues a woman who fell into the lake from a boat capsized by a tornado. The running water fills the scene, and the characters are only vaguely seen. Excellent printing technique and an innovative composition are both incorporated in this piece. Although it is not as widely known as the relationship with Kaburaki Kiyokata, Hirezaki Eihō also had a deep connection with Izumi Kyōka. Not only had he worked on numerous illustrations for novels by Kyōka, but also had a close friendship with her.
Admission
Adult 1000 yen
University and High school students 700 yen
Junior High School Students and below Free
Calendar
Closed
        • 2020 February
          SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
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        • 2020 March
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