Yamatane Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan

The Yamatane Museum (山種美術館) is a museum in Japan specializing in the nihonga style of Japanese watercolour painting. It is run by the Yamatane art foundation. Yamatane Museumfeaturing a rotating collection of contemporary Japanese paintings & Nihonga watercolors.

The Yamatane museum was opened in 1966 by the Yamatane art foundation, an organization based on the personal collection of Yamazaki Taneji and the corporate collection of Yamatane securities (now SMBC Friend Securities). There is a long-term exhibition of lesser works, with periodic displays organized. The foundation organizes moving exhibitions of works in their possession. The museum owns famous nihonga paintings including some with “object of national cultural significance” status. The quality of their collection is very high.

Yamatane Museum of Art was founded in 1966 by Taneji Yamazaki who has donated his numerous collection of Japanese art. The ex-chairman of the Yamatane Art Foundation, Tomiji Yamazaki collected 105 works of Hayami Gyoshu known as one of the most respected Japanese artists among scholars and collectors.

Under the philosophy of “Yamato Art Museum’s” would like to contribute to society, especially culture, through art, we opened as the first museum specializing in Japanese painting nationwide. Since then, we have been working on collection, research, publication and dissemination around modern and contemporary Japanese paintings for about half a century until today.

Japanese painting is an art using natural materials such as rock paint and Japanese paper. In the subject and expression, the beauty of nature and the feeling of the season are valued, reflecting the traditional aesthetic sense of Japan cultivated in living with nature. The Yamato Art Museum hopes to convey the appeal of Japanese paintings polished over a long time in the unique nature and climate of Japan to as many people as possible regardless of age, gender, or nationality thinking about. In addition, we would like to develop various activities so that we can take over Japanese painting to the future.

In the 21st century, the society and the environment surrounding us are undergoing drastic changes, such as globalization, information technology, and innovation rapidly progressing. Under such circumstances, the importance of cultures and arts that enrich people’s minds is reviewed, and the role played by museums that play a part of that is questioned once more. Through all kinds of activities including exhibitions and educational dissemination, the hotel aims to be an art museum where people can convey excitement, discoveries, joy and peace to people by communicating the splendor of Japanese painting and Japanese culture.

The philosophy of the Yamato Art Museum’s “would like to contribute greatly to society, especially culture, through arts” as the core, clearly expresses the spirit and common values that have been handed down and established the basic philosophy of the Yamaguchi Museum of Art. Also, I wanted to disseminate the wonderfulness of Japanese painting widely, and added a new symbol mark (design: Taku Sato) to the traditional logo. In addition, we carried out the “Seed Mountain Art Museum Nippon Painting Award 2016”, which was once used and restarted the “Yamami Art Museum Award” in a form suitable for a new era. This award is planned to be held continuously and we hope to help bring Japanese painting to the future and tell the world.

“It is my wishes that if you can taste the goodness of the Japanese painting widely also for those who love art, or those who have not had much contact with you, it is actually my wish.” In addition to inheriting the thought of this founder, we aim to disseminate Japanese paintings in the 21st century, and we are doing various initiatives from exhibitions and educational promotion activities to information dissemination utilizing the Internet.

Culture and art can enrich people’s mind. In the 21st century, as globalization progresses, we think that we will continue to engage in even more meaningful activities in the international community by widely disseminating the charm of Japanese painting, which is a property inherent in Japan, both in Japan and abroad. We hope to continue to promote and develop Japanese culture and academic through various activities, from exhibitions with friendly themes to steady research.

Based on the collection collected individually by Yamazaki Seiji (1893-1983 • Yamaguchi Securities [present SMBC Nikko Securities] founder), Yamami Art Museum was established in July 1966, Tokyo • Nihonbashi Kabutocho It opened as Japan ‘s first Japanese – style painting special art museum.

Based on the belief that “picture is a personality”, seed 2 has direct contact with painter who was active at that time including Yokoyama Taisyu (1868-1958), Uemura Matsuen (1875-1949), Kawai Tamado (1873-1957) While collecting the work while deepening, I also supported a painter who believed that it is not very popular but also promising like Okumura beef (1889-1990). And, based on the words of Yokoyama Taiki, “What if you do something that will benefit the world?”, We will create an art museum.

After that, together with the second generation director • Tamiyama Yamazaki (1925-2014), we purchased all the works of Hayami Miyu (1894-1935) of the former Azane Collection * and asked Higashiyama Kaii (1908-1999) to produce works etc. , We tried to further enhance the collection. On the other hand, we established “Yamagata Art Museum Award” to support young Japanese painters (carried out every two years from 1971 to 1997), we have also tried to find new talents and purchase award-winning works. The works thus collected count about 1,800 works.

In 1998 (Heisei 10), along with the aging of facilities, temporary relocation to Chiyoda-ku Sanbancho, which is close to Chikatagaki, a sight of cherry blossoms, and cherry blossom season, along with works depicting cherry blossoms, many customers I enjoyed it. And, on October 1, 2009, I moved to Hiroo Shibuya Ward, opened a new museum, and held exhibitions with various themes. In 2016, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the opening ceremony, in order to convey the charm of Japanese painting, which is a property inherent in Japan, to the globalized world of the 21st century, In order to make people familiar with various people, I made a new symbol mark. In addition, we held a public exhibition “Seed Yamaguchi Art Museum Nippon Painting Award 2016” aiming to discover and nurture a new generation of Japanese painters who flapped to the world.
We will continue to inherit the philosophy of the founder’s “Contribute to society, especially culture, through art,” and continue to disseminate the charm of Japanese painting through the creation of an ideal environment and high-quality exhibitions.

The building newly built in 2009 (Weimatsu Hiroo) was designed with the concept of “building with grace and richness” “universal value not swayed by the times”, “cozy space feels comfortable” It was. The appearance seems to be like an art museum, and it seems to melt in the surroundings, and it is configured so that only the lobby of the first floor can be seen in the overlap of continuous stones in a strip shape. Porcelain mural painting of Kayama Osamu (1927-2004) “Thousand paper cranes” is permanently set up on the wall side of the stairway leading from the lobby full of openness to the exhibition room on the basement floor (front of the entrance of the lobby), and everyone is served as a face of the museum I will pick you up.

The exhibition room located in the basement, together with the planning exhibition room and the mountain season collection room, was about 650 m², designed to allow you to appreciate art until the very beginning. The exhibition room is a wall exhibition case with a ceiling height of 3.8 m and a total length of 40.5 m, and folding screen works are also exhibited relaxedly, and large-sized works can be displayed freely at the exhibition wall surface of 92.5 m in total length (when the movable wall is used longest) It was. These exhibitions introduce collections through exhibitions five to six times a year.
In addition, we focused particularly on the development of the latest luminaires such as LEDs, and realized a unique lighting system that does not disturb the appreciation of the light source. In a natural light environment like gently wrapping the work, you can see the Japanese painting to your heart’s content.

The museum’s collection of over 1,800 works is centered on modern and contemporary nihonga from the Meiji period on. It also includes classic calligraphy, early modern paintings, ukiyo-e, and Western-style paintings. Works that have been designated Important Cultural Properties, six in total, are Court Ladies Enjoying Wayside Chrysanthemums by Iwasa Matabei (1578-1650), View of Mt. Kunō, by Tsubaki Chinzan (1801-1854), Tabby Cat, by Takeuchi Seihō (1864-1942), Nude, by Murakami Kagaku (1888-1939), Dancing in the Flames and Camellia Petals Scattering by Hayami Gyoshū (1894-1934). They are joined by Important Art Objects such as Autumn Plants and Quails by Sakai Hōitsu (1761-1828). In addition to 120 paintings by Hayami Gyoshū and seventy by Kawai Gyokudō (1873-1957), the Yamatane collection is also known for its 135 works by Okumura Togyū (1889-1990), including the majority of the paintings he showed in the postwar Inten (Japan Art Institute Exhibition), such as Maelstroms at Naruto and Cherry Blossoms at Daigo-ji Temple. The collection also numbers works by artists who must be included in any discussion of modern nihonga, including Sakuemon’s House and Divine Spirit: Mt. Fuji, by Yokoyama Taikan (1868-1958), Ancient Pine Tree and White Wisterias, by Shimomura Kanzan (1873-1930), Scene from the Noh Play Kinuta, by Uemura Shōen (1875-1949), Agalloch Pillow, by Kaburaki Kiyokata (1878-1972), Scenes from the Legend of Kiyohime, a set of eight paintings by Kobayashi Kokei (1883-1957), Oda Nobunaga Dancing before His Departure for the Front, by Yasuda Yukihiko (1884-1978), Yoshida Shōin in Rendai-ji Temple near Shimoda, by Maeda Seison (1885-1977), Maelstroms at Naruto, by Kawabata Ryūshi (1885-1966), and End of the Year, by Higashiyama Kaii (1908-1999).

The Museum’s collection including four Important Cultural Properties which is very rare for modern Japanese paintings. They include Hayami Gyoshu’s “Dancing in the Flames”, “Falling Camellias”, Takeuchi Seiho’s “Tabby Cat” and Tsubaki Chinzan’s “View of Mt. Kuno”, and 18 Important Art Objects such as Iwasa Matabei’s “Court Lady Enjoying Wayside Chrisanthemums” and Sakai Houitsu’s “Autumn Plants and Quails”, which are special works of Edo Period and other masterpieces.

The museum’s collection is also well known for the number of works by Okumura Togyu, such as “Maelsroms in Naruto” and “Cherry Blossoms at Daigoji Temple”, Yokoyama Taikan’s “Sakuemon’s House”, Kobayashi Kokei’s “Scenes from the Tale of Kiyohime”, Uemura Shōen’s “Scene from a Noh Play Kinuta” and Murakami Kagaku’s “Woman in the Nude”.

Old Ansei Collection: A collection centered on Toyo pottery and Hayami Goyu work, collected by Anzai Industry, then one of the 10 largest general trading companies in Japan. In 1976, due to the bankruptcy of the housing industry, the Yamato Art Museum purchased all of the Goya work inside the Anzai collection. In addition, Toyo pottery is in Osaka municipal oriental ceramics museum.

The Museum displays 6 to 7 exhibitions throughout the year by selecting paintings according to the respective topics. The collection mainly focuses on Kindai Nihonga (Modern Japanese paintings after Meiji era). The Museum also has collections of oil paintings, Ukiyoe, and Ancient Japanese Calligraphy. The wide variety and the level of the collection has a very high reputation among experts in Japan.

In the special exhibition commemorating the 40th anniversary in 2007, we displayed works of the Japanese-painting masters such as Yokoyama Taikan, Kobayashi Kokei, Hayami Gyoshu, Murakami Kagaku, Uemura Shōen, Okumura Togyu, Higashiyama Kaii, Kayama Matazo etc. The collection has many splendid paintings and a few of them has been designated as Important Cultural Properties which happens to be very rare for modern Japanese paintings.

The Museum does not exhibit the collection on permanent basis, due to the weak nature of Nihonga being easily affected by the environment. Paintings are replaced about 6-7 times a year based on respective topics to allow visitors to see as many collections as possible each year.

Please visit our museum and make your first step into the magnificent world of Nihonga.