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
開館日カレンダー
2020 10

休館日

5-9,12,19,26

2020 / 10

5-9,12,19,26

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
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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Masterpieces of ukiyo-e paintings from Ota Memorial Museum of Art

2020, January 11th-February 9th
 
Will be closed on January 14, 20, 27, February 3.

Ōta Memorial Museum of Art located in Harajuku specializes in ukiyo-e. The museum has a collection of about 14000 pieces that were mainly collected by Seizō ŌtaⅤ(1893~1977), who was the former president of the Toho Mutual Life Insurance Company, throughout his lifetime. Since the museum in Harajuku opened in January 1980, it has continued to be active as one of the few museums specializing in ukiyo-e in Tokyo, and celebrates its 40th anniversary this January. Commemorating this, we will exhibit selected nikuhitsu-ga (hand-painted pictures) from our wide-range of collections in this exhibition. Compared to ukiyo-e woodblock prints which are made by the combined labor of painters, carvers and printers, nikuhitsu-ga are drawn by the artist. We can see the artists’ brush strokes and understand their techniques from nikuhitsu-ga. Started from Hishikawa Moronobu, the ukiyo-e artist of the early period, we will introduce the masterpieces of famous artists such as Kitagawa Utamaro, Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige, and Kobayashi Kiyochika and Tsukioka Yoshitoshi who were artists active in the Meiji Era. We would also like to you to enjoy the competition of the genius father and daughter Katsushika Hokusai and Katsusika Ōi’s works: “Tiger in the Rain” painted by Hokusai in the year of his death at the age of 90, and “Courtesans Displaying Themselves through the Lattice in Yoshiwara” painted by Ōi, whose total number of confirmed works worldwide is only about 10 pieces.

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Hishikawa Moronobu “Courtesan Being in a Pensive Mood”

Katsukawa Shunshō “Kitten and a Woman”

Marking the 40th anniversary of Ōta Memorial Museum of Art

Late Seizō Ōta Ⅴ had learnt that ukiyo-e was highly valued overseas while traveling to Western countries, and started to collect ukiyo-e after being fascinated by the kachō-ga (flower-and-bird paintings) of Katsushika Hokusai exhibited at The Art Institute of Chicago. The size of the collection he made throughout his life reached about 12,000 works, and the Ōta Memorial Museum of Art was opened after his death by his bereaved family on January 13th, 1980. Ōta Memorial Museum of Art is one of the few museums specializing in ukiyo-e in Tokyo and has been holding exhibitions on various themes and promoting the appeal of ukiyo-e; we will mark the 40th anniversary of the opening of the museum this January, 2020. 

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Kuwagata Keisai “Cherry Blossom Viewing Party”

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi “Lady Tokiwa and Her Children Wandering in the Snow”

A fine collection of precious masterpieces by successive generations of ukiyo-e artists

The collection at Ōta Memorial Museum of Art is known as a well-balanced collection, consisting of both woodblock prints and hand-painted ukiyo-e, from various artists and periods. We carefully selected only the famous hand-painted works for this exhibition. Starting from Hishikawa Moronobu, a succession of exhibits will follow – Kaigetsudō School, Miyagawa School, Katsushika School such as Torii Kiyonaga, Kitagawa Utamaro, Katsushika Hokusai and Ōi, Utagawa School such as Utagawa Toyoharu, Toyokuni, Kuniyoshi and Hiroshige, and Kobayashi Kiyochika and Tsukioka Yoshitoshi who were active during the Meiji period. Please enjoy the fine hand-painted works by famous artists that illuminate the long history of ukiyo-e.

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Katsushika Hokusai “The Tale of Genji, Scene of Hanano-en Chapter”

Utagawa Hiroshige Kitagawa Utamaro “Courtesan Reading a Letter”

The actual brushwork of ukiyo-e artists seen in the nikuhistu-ga masterpieces

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Kobayashi Kiyochika “Ryōgoku-bashi Bridge in Civilized Tokyo”

Most ukiyo-e works are made using the woodblock print method by the skills of artists who draw the sketches, carvers and painters. Since the sketches by the artists get carved into the woodblocks by the carvers and are lost, there is no way for us to see the original brushwork of the artists. Compared to this, hand-painted ukiyo-e (nikuhitsu-ga) is the only kind of work for which the artist receives an order and draws directly on paper or silk. We are able to see the original skills of ukiyo-e artists such as the delicate curves and color gradation, and also can enjoy the beauty of the richly utilized inks.

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Utagawa Hiroshige “Kegon Falls in Nikkō” “Kirifuri Falls in Nikkō” “Urami Falls in Nikkō”

Featured work
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Katsushika Hokusai “Tiger in the Rain”

Katsushika Hokusai “Tiger in the Rain”

Katsushika Ōi “Courtesans Displaying Themselves through the Lattice in Yoshiwara”

Father and the daughter – Competition of two genius artists

In this exhibition, two of the most famous works at Ōta Memorial Museum of Art, “Tiger in the Rain” by Katsushika Hokusai and “Courtesans Displaying Themselves through the Lattice in Yoshiwara” by Katsushika Ōi will be on display together. “Tiger in the Rain” by Katsushika Hokusai is a masterpiece drawn in 1849, the year of Hokusai’s death. The powerful vitality of the tiger staring up at the sky in the rain, seems to symbolize the unflagging soul of Hokusai as an artist at the age of 90. It is also known as the masterpiece that in 2005 was found to be paired up with “Dragon” housed at Guimet Museum in France. Also, the work by the daughter of Hokusai, Katsushika Ōi. “Courtesans Displaying Themselves through the Lattice in Yoshiwara”, which will be on display for the first time in two years, is known as one of the representative pieces of the rare works by Ōi. It dramatically depicts the pleasure quarters of Edo and the night in Yoshiwara by the bold depiction of the light and shadows, and the figures of people emerging in the dark give it a dreamy atmosphere. There is a story that Hokusai said he was no match for Ōi at drawing pictures of beautiful women, and her extraordinary talent is clearly shown in this picture.

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Katsushika Ōi “Courtesans Displaying Themselves through the Lattice in Yoshiwara”

Admission
Adult 700 yen
University and High school students 500 yen
Junior High School Students and below Free
Calendar
Closed

Last Ukiyoe -inheritors of ukiyo-e

2019, November 2nd-December 22nd
[1st Term] November 2nd-24th
[2nd Term] November 29th- December 22nd
※Works change between two terms
 
Will be closed on November 5, 11, 18, 25-28, December 2, 9, 16.

Discovering the ukiyo-e of the Meiji period lost in history

Many people understand ukiyo-e as a culture of the Edo period. However, ukiyo-e was continuously produced until the end of the Meiji period, in the beginning of the 20th century. Since their artistic value are disregarded, they are rarely introduced in museums today. This exhibition will discover 220 pieces of ukiyo-e from the Meiji period lost in history, from the collection of a painter and ukiyo-e collector, Isao Toshihiko.
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Migita Toshihide “Genroku-style Dance at Shinbashi” (second term)

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Nakazawa Toshiaki “Snow, the Moon and Flowers: Moon at Gojo Bridge” (first term)

Exploring the talent of 37 last ukiyo-e artists

Artists in the Meiji period such as Tsukioka Yoshitoshi and Kobayashi Kiyochika are often referred to as the last ukiyo-e artists. However, there were many artists after them in the following generation, striving to establish a new style during changing times. We will introduce the “Last Ukiyo-e” drawn by 37 artists such as Utagawa YoshimuneⅡ, Migita Toshihide, Mizuno Toshikata, Yōshū Chikanobu, Ogata Gekkō, Yamamoto Shōun and Miyagawa Shuntei, whose works were rarely presented until now.
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Ogata Gekkō “Picture of Sanada Yukimura Hiding Himself in the Reeds” (second term)

Miyagawa Shuntei “Various Aspects of Children: Zoo” (second term)

Yamamoto Shōun “Contemporary Figures: Shamisen (Japanese instrument)” (first term)

Pictures of beautiful women and the warriors with new painting styles

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Utagawa Yoshimune Ⅱ “Sketches by Yoshimune: Abalone Gathering” (second term)

The themes depicted in the ukiyo-e paintings of the Meiji period, are those common in the Edo period such as beautiful women, famous places, children and warriors. However, found in them are new styles completely different from the Edo period, such as the pale and vivid color and dynamic composition. You will encounter paintings which will transform your conception of ukiyo-e.
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Ogata Gekkō “Bitter Melons and a Dragon-fly” (first term)

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Yamamoto Shōun “Fox’s Wedding” (second term)

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Yōsai Nobukazu “Nitta Shirō Watching the God of Mt. Fuji” (first term)

Developing a deep understanding of the history of ukiyo-e “Autumn fest of the Utagawa School”

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Tukioka Yoshitoshi “One Hundred Views of the Moon: Moon on Hazy-night: Jade Rabbit and Sun Wukong” (second term)

At Ota Memorial Museum of Art, we will hold an exhibition of Utagawa Toyokuni in September, and an exhibition of Utagawa Kuniyoshi in October. Subsequent to these, this exhibition will introduce many paintings by the ukiyo-e artists in the Meiji period who continued the genealogy of the Utagawa School. Through the three exhibitions, you can trace the genealogy of the Utagawa School from Edo to Meiji period. Ota Memorial Museum of Art, having its expertise in ukiyo-e, will bring this sequence of exhibitions to you for a deeper understanding of the history of ukiyo-e.
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Mizuno Toshikata “Arhat, Nakasaina-sonja” (first term)

Highlight of the exhibition

Migita Toshihide “Sketches by Toshihide: Hagoromo” (first term)

                         
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Represented is a work by Migita Toshihide (1863-1925), a pupil of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, produced around 1921. This is a climax scene from the famous folktale called “The Legend of Hagoromo”, where the tennyo (a spiritual being similar to an angel) receives her stolen robe back from the fisherman and returns up to heaven. Her colorful outfit in green and orange and the facial expression which reminds us of Buddhist paintings are expressions of a new era, completely different from those of ukiyo-e in the Edo period.
Admission
Adult 1000 yen
University and High school students 700 yen
Junior High School Students and below Free
Calendar
Closed

Utagawa Kuniyoshi -And his daughters

2019, October 4th-27th
 
Will be closed on October 7, 15, 21.

Not just another Utagawa Kuniyoshi exhibition

Ukiyo-e artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi is rapidly gaining popularity for his vibrant pictures of samurai warriors and humorous parody pictures. Today, exhibitions of his works are held all over Japan. However, this exhibition hosted by Ota Memorial Museum of Art, which specializes in ukiyo-e, goes above and beyond. Introduced in addition to the great number of Kuniyoshi’s representative works are the works by Kuniyoshi’s two daughters, which received little attention until today.

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Utagawa Kuniyoshi “Takiyasha-hime Summoning a Skeleton at the Haunted Old Palace at Sōma”

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Utagawa Kuniyoshi “Chinzei Hachirō Tametomo Rescued by Bird Long-nosed Goblins”

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Utagawa Kuniyoshi “One Hundred and Eight Heroes from Tales of the Water Margin: Rōrihakuchō Chōjun”

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Utagawa Kuniyoshi “Scribbles on a Storehouse Wall”

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Utagawa Kuniyoshi “View of Mitsumata in Edo”

Kuniyoshi’s daughters were also ukiyo-e artists!

Katsushika Hokusai’s daughter Katsushika Ōi is well known when we speak of the daughter of an ukiyo-e artist. However, Ōi is not the only painter as the daughter of an ukiyo-e artist. Utagawa Kuniyoshi had two daughters and both of them had worked as ukiyo-e artists. His first daughter Tori worked as “Yoshitori” and his second daughter Yoshi worked as “Yoshijyo”. Most of their works were adding small drawings on Kuniyoshi’s work. Since each of them has only one painting known to be entirely their own, it is hard to say that they were full-fledged painters. They worked on ukiyo-e prints mainly in their teens. We can imagine them striving to paint ukiyo-e prints and help their father.

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Utagawa Kuniyoshi / Utagawa Yoshitori “Thirty-six Famous Restaurants in Edo: Mukōjima, Negiuri Tomoinosuke”

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Utagawa Yoshitori “Both Faces Collection of Swords and Armors”

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Utagawa Yoshijo “Festivals at Shin-zaimoku-Chō and Shin-norimono-chō in March”

A deep understanding of the history of ukiyo-e “Autumnfest of the Utagawa School”

At Ota Memorial Museum of Art, we will hold an exhibition of Utagawa Toyokuni, the master of Kuniyoshi in September, and an exhibition of ukiyo-e artists in the Meiji period including disciples of Kuniyoshi, such as Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, in November and December. Through the three exhibitions, you can trace the genealogy of the Utagawa school, inherited from Toyokuni to Kuniyoshi, and to Yoshitoshi. Ota Memorial Museum of Art, specializing in ukiyo-e brings to you this sequence of exhibitions for deeper understanding of the history of ukiyo-e.

  • ①September 3rd-29th “Utagawa Toyokuni – A man who surpassed Sharaku”
  • ②October 4th-27th “Utagawa Kuniyoshi -And his daughters”
  • ③November 2nd- December 22nd “Last Ukiyoe -inheritors of ukiyo-e”
Highlight of the exhibition

Utagawa Kuniyoshi “Views of Edo: Eitai Bridge and Mitsumata Viewed from Nakazu”

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Represented is a scenery on New Year’s Day where children are flying kite and playing Japanese traditional badminton. Found on the kimono of one of the girls, is the signature used by the artists of the Utagawa Family and the word “tori.” From these subtle hints, the girl is considered to be Kuniyoshi’s first daughter “Tori”. Tori was about 3 or 4 years old when the picture was painted. As she was the daughter Kuniyoshi had after the age of 40, he might have drawn her secretly in his work for her cuteness.

Admission
Adult 700 yen
University and High school students 500 yen
Junior High School Students and below Free

Closed

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    Utagawa Toyokuni – A man who surpassed Sharaku

    2019, September 3rd-29th
     
    Will be closed on September 9, 17, 24.

    Utagawa Toyokuni (1769~1825) is an ukiyo-e artist who played an active part in the field of yakusha-e (portraits of kabuki actors) and bijin-ga (pictures of beautiful women). He studied under Toyoharu, the founder of the Utagawa School. Since he published his representative series “Kabuki Actors on the Stage” in 1794, he stood out in the field of yakusha-e along with Tōshūsai Sharaku and Katsukawa Shun’ei. However, Toyokuni’s clear touch gained greater popularity than the others and he became a leading artist. In the field of bijin-ga, he competed with popular artist Kitagawa Utamaro. Compared to Utamaro’s amorous women, Toyokuni’s women were healthy and elegant, and this also attracted people. Moreover, he created illustrations for books energetically enough to vie with Katsushika Hokusai. Many talented young artists rallied around Toyokuni, who was a leading artist in various genres, and the Utagawa School became the biggest school of ukiyo-e at the end on the Edo period. This year commemorates the 250th year since his birth. Although Toyokuni played an important role as the master of Kuniyoshi and Kunisada, who are more recent popular ukiyo-e artists, exhibitions showing the entirety of his work have rarely been held. This exhibition introduces various genres of Toyokuni’s works and brings out their charms.

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    Utagawa Toyokuni “Kabuki Actors on the Stage: Masatsu-ya”

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    Utagawa Toyokuni “Kabuki Actor Ichikawa Komazō Ⅲ as Sasaki Ganryū”

    Toyokuni’s yakusha-e, “Kabuki Actors on the Stage,” made him a front runner surpassing Sharaku

    Toyokuni became a star artist in the genre of yakusha-e which portrayed Kabuki actors in Edo. His representative series of yakusha-e, “Kabuki Actors on the Stage,” published in 1749 attracted people with its refreshingly honest depictions of actors. In May of the same year, Tōshūsai Sharaku debuted with 28 bust portraits of actors made luxuriously with mica and published by Tsutaya Jūzaburō. This launched the rivalry between Toyokuni, Sharaku and Shun’ei, who were already big names in this genre. However, public interest toward Sharaku did not last long and he disappeared after about 10 months. Shun’ei, too, stopped making yakusha-e within a few years. Toyokuni, who gained both popularity and ability, became the leading artist of yakusha-e and pursued his own unique expression.

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

    Bijin-ga works that competed with Utamaro – from women of samurai families to the lowest-ranked courtesans

    Toyokuni was skilled at depicting not only kabuki actors but also beautiful women. Compared to Utamaro’s amorous women, Toyokuni’s women were healthy and elegant, and this also attracted people. Moreover, Toyokuni is also known for depicting women in various occupations and ranks such as women from samurai families, female farmers, high-ranked courtesans in Yoshiwara and the lowest-ranked courtesans working on boats in the illustrated book “Ehon Imayō Sugata”.

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    Utagawa Toyokuni “Summer View of Atagoyama”

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    Utagawa Toyokuni “Collection of Beautiful Women”

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    Utagawa Toyokuni “Illustrated Book “Ehon Imayō Sugata””

    Book illustrations that competed with Hokusai – amusing anecdotes of popular artist Toyokuni

    Toyokuni, who became a popular artist in the genre of yakusha-e and bijin-ga, competed with Hokusai in the various genres of illustrated books. He had many deadlines from various publishers, and was popular enough to be confined indoors working. However, he was not known as a quick worker. One story says that when Toyokuni was confined to his room in spring, he said he wanted to go see the cherry blossoms at the Sumida River and stopped drawing. The publisher brought a branch of cherry blossoms to Toyokuni’s room and he resumed drawing. There are many anecdotes that remind us of manga artists in the Showa period who were bold and openhearted.

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    Kyokutei Bakin/Utagawa Toyokuni Illustrated Book “Fukushū Kitan Wakae no Hato” (private collection)

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    Kyokutei Bakin/Utagawa Toyokuni Illustrated Book “Fukushū Kitan Wakae no Hato” (private collection)

    The roots of Kuniyoshi? Toyokuni’s caricature pictures

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    Utagawa Toyokuni “Mimicking a Cat” (private collection)

    Although Toyokuni did not create many of them, he did leave behind some interesting parody pictures. This picture depicts a man pretending to be a cat. The man is playing with decorative New Year ornaments made of rice cakes. There is something amusing about Toyokuni’s humorous depictions of cats on towels and kimono. Toyokuni’s pupil, popular uikiyo-e artist Kuniyoshi, was skilled at caricature pictures and left many works featuring farcical pictures of cats. In this way, Toyokuni’s caricature pictures can be said to be the roots of Kuniyoshi.

    Featured Work

    Utagawa Toyokuni “Kabuki Actor Sawamura Sōjūrō Ⅲon the Boat at Night”

    One of the series of pictures depicting the daily lives of popular kabuki actors with beautiful women. This picture depicts Sawamura Sōjūrō Ⅲ who is seating hunched, warming himself at a kotatsu (a small table with a heater placed underneath) on a boat. We can feel the coldness of the air from the picture. Since the woman standing on the dock looks surprised, she might have just noticed the figure of this famous kabuki actor. The gradation of black applied from the top expresses the night, and the depiction of the light from the lantern the woman is holding also makes an impact. This work is quintessential Toyokuni, showcasing his remarkable skill in both portraits of kabuki actors and pictures of beautiful women. Sawamura Sōjūrō Ⅲ was an active kabuki actor during 1789-1801 who was drawn by many ukiyo-e artists of this period such as Toyokuni, Tōshūsai Sharaku and Katsukawa Shun’ei.

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

    Closed

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          • Invitation to different worlds – Specters, the spiritual world and foreign countries

            2019, August 2nd-28th
             
            Will be closed on August 5, 13, 19, 26.

            Ukiyo-e mostly depicts subjects of the pleasurable yet fleeting “ukiyo” (real world) such as popular kabuki actors and courtesans, as well as famous sites crowded with people. However, the real world is not the only subject of ukiyo-e. In some ukiyo-e paintings, landscapes of worlds which are completely different to those of the world we live in, and characters from these worlds are featured. In this exhibition, we will guide you through the various worlds depicted in ukiyo-e paintings with three themes – specters, the spiritual world and foreign countries. We hope you enjoy the encounters in the unreal worlds.

            Tsukioka Yoshitoshi “Ban Danemon Naoyuki Defeating Specters Disguised by Raccoon Dogs”

            Utagawa Yoshifusa “Yoshihira’s Ghost Destroying Namba Jirō at Nunobiki Waterfalls”

            Specters – Encounters with odd-looking creatures

            Tsukioka Yoshitoshi “One Hundred Ghost Stories of Japan and China: Insatiable Old Woman Opening a Box Filled with Specters”

            Specters attempting to scare, or attack people are often depicted in ukiyo-e. Their appearances can be tremendously horrifying at times and humorous at others. There are also ukiyo-e of people confronting these odd-looking creatures without fear and defeating them. In this section, we will introduce the various monsters that come from different worlds.

            Utagawa Yoshifuji “Monster Cutting Woman’s Hair”

            The spiritual world – Ghosts risen from the underworld

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            Utagawa Kuniyoshi “Kabuki Actor Ichikawa Kodanji Ⅳ as Ghost of Oiwa”

            Stories of people coming back to this world as ghosts after being killed by villains were often performed in kabuki plays and made into ukiyo-e portraits of the kabuki actors. There are also peculiar works which depict the judge of the afterlife and demons being defeated by a dead person raging in hell. Here, we will introduce ghosts and the world after death depicted in ukiyo-e, as well as the memorial portraits to commemorate the people who had died, called “shini-e.”

            Toyohara Kunichika “Kabuki Actors Discipline Ogres at Hell”

            Foreign countries – landscapes based on hearsay and imagination

            Utagawa Kunitora “European Ships Going into the Bay of Rhodes”

            For people in the Edo period who had never been abroad or rarely had direct interactions with foreigners, foreign countries were beyond their imagination. The sceneries of these foreign countries were depicted in ukiyo-e, referring to limited documents, pictorial information, and sometimes fanciful imaginations. In this section, we will introduce works picturing Okinawa and Hokkaidō which were not part of Japan at the time, landscapes of China and Europe far across the ocean, and the foreign technologies such as steamships, trains and hot air balloons introduced to Japan at the end of the Edo period through the Meiji period.

            Utagawa Yoshitora “View of America”

            Featured Work

            Utagawa Kuniyoshi “Pairs for the Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō Road: Kuwana, Sailor Tokuzō Looking at a Sea Goblin”

            A sailorman Kuwana Tokuzō ignores the rule that he should not set sail on New Year’s Eve and encounters a huge sea monster called “umibōzu” offshore. Umibōzu asked Tokuzō if he was scared, but contrary to the expectation of umibōzu, he answers that living in this world is much scarier. Umibōzu was awed by Tokuzō of what he said and disappeared. With umibōzu depicted with only dim eyes in a black shadow, this is an impressive work of the creepy appearance of umibōzu coming from a different world.

            Admission
            Adult 700 yen
            University and High school students 500 yen
            Junior High School Students and below Free
            Calendar

            Closed

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                  • Life with blue – Kimono, pottery and daily articles

                    2019, July 2nd-28th
                     
                    Will be closed on July 8, 16, 22.

                    The color “blue”, which reminds us of the beautiful sky and sea, fascinated the people in the Edo Period, and brought a refreshing splash of color to their lives. In particular, thanks to the abundant supply of cotton and improvements in dyeing technology, the indigo shade called “Japan blue” in the present day spread widely and came to be used for yukata (light cotton kimono), tenugui (cotton cloths) and noren (store curtains). Furthermore, blue-colored tableware and flowerpots called sometsuke became popular, and blue became a color used in various scenes of daily life. There are a surprising number of ukiyo-e prints depicting Edo people incorporating blue into their daily lives. In this exhibition, we will introduce “the culture of blue” fostered in the Edo Period through pictures which captured the daily life of Edokko (people in Edo) as well as landscape pictures by Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige.

                    The Ota Memorial Museum of Art, specializing in ukiyo-e, and The Toguri Museum of Art, specializing in ceramic ware, have collaborated for the first time, going beyond the genre of Art. We hope you will enjoy the lifestyles of Edo filled with beautiful blue through the perspectives of ukiyo-e and ceramics.

                    Utagawa Kunisada “Thirty-two Appearances of Contemporary Women: Looking Cool “

                    Tsukioka Yoshitoshi “Thirty-two Aspects of Women: Looking as if She Wants to Purchase, Appearance of Housewives of the Kaei Period”

                    Blue in fashion

                    Utagawa Kunisada “Kinsei Suikoden: Kabuki Actor Nakamura Shikan Ⅳ as Keiriki Tomigorō”

                    The color of the uniform of the Japanese national soccer team is called “Samurai blue”, which features a deep shade of blue originating from traditional indigo. With the distribution of indigo, ukiyo-e in the late Edo Period captured the appearance of various people wearing blue as daily clothes. In this section, we will introduce various fashions using blue in Edo, especially yukata (light cotton kimono) which features beautiful contrasts between blue and white. Women wear yukata with not only cute patterns but also bold designs such as crabs and octopuses, and men present cool and chic figures with yukata. Moreover, we will introduce manly beauty at that time through the pictures depicting tattoos which gained popularity in the late Edo Period.

                    Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni Ⅲ) “Twelve Months: June, Airing Clothes”

                    Blue coloring life

                    In the late Edo Period when food, fashion and gardening cultures that continue even today started blooming, people used various pottery and daily articles such as dishes, rice bowls, flower pots and cotton towels, with many of them colored in blue. It can be said that blue colored life and was loved by people back then. Furthermore, a Greek writer, Lafcadio Hearn (Koizumi Yakumo), also wrote about the charm of Japanese scenes with copious amounts of blue used for the house roofs, clothes and store curtains that he saw when he came to Japan in 1890. From this section, you can understand that sense of how Japanese people loving blue was nurtured in the Edo Period.

                    Japan blue that fascinated the world

                    It seems that the Western people who visited Japan in the Meiji Period found the culture of blue developed in the Edo Period to be unique to Japan. Originally, the person who named the blue color ingrained in Japanese life “Japan blue” was a British chemist Robert William Atkinson who came to Japan in 1874. Furthermore, a Greek writer Lafcadio Hearn (Koizumi Yakumo) also wrote about the charm of Japanese scene with a lot of blue used for the house roofs, clothes and store curtains that he saw when he came to japan in 1890.

                    Ukiyo-e blue revolution

                    Landscape paintings with the beautiful blue sky and the ocean of Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige have fascinated many people all over the world. Behind the birth of the world-class ukiyo-e landscape paintings of Hokusai and Hiroshige was the appearance of a new blue paint called Berlin blue (Prussian blue). It made it possible to delicately express the changing sky and the subtle surface of water. We will introduce the changes of expression related to the new blue painting in ukiyo-e history by exhibiting landscape paintings from before and after its use became common.

                    Katsushika Hokusai “Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji: Hongan-ji Temple at Asakusa in Edo”

                    Utagawa Sadahide “Coutesans Viewing the Port of Nagasaki”

                    Featured Works

                    Utagawa Hiroshige “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo: Dyers’ Quarter, Kanda”

                    See Edo Castle and Mt. Fuji fluttering in the wind on fabric dyed shades of blue and brown. Kanda Kon’ya-chō was governed by Tsuchiya Gorōemon, the head dyer who was allowed to buy the indigo fabrics throughout the Kanto district. It was named after the fact that there were many dye artisans living in this area. The appearance of the fabrics being hung at the drying space must have been a common sight in this region. The fabrics dyed with various patterns such as characters, color gradations and checkerboard patterns, show how people tried to seek out various patterns and how the dyers responded to those needs.

                    Admission
                    Adult 700 yen
                    University and High school students 500 yen
                    Junior High School Students and below Free
                    Calendar

                    Closed

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