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Irresistible for ukiyo-e lovers! How to Enjoy the Sumida Hokusai Museum

Katsushika Hokusai is an Edo-era ukiyo-e artist with many devoted fans in Japan and abroad. The Sumida Hokusai Museum, which disseminates information on the works of Hokusai and his pupils, as well as on the allure of ukiyo-e, opened in the winter of 2016. This is a thorough introduction to the appeal of the Sumida Hokusai Museum.

1. What is Sumida Hokusai Museum?

Ukiyo-e is a uniquely Japanese style of painting that was established during the Edo era (1603 - 1868). The artist representative of the style, Katsushika Hokusai, is highly regarded not only in Japan but also abroad, as evidenced by his inclusion in Life Magazine's "The 100 People Who Made the Millennium". The Sumida Hokusai Museum, a museum that introduces Hokusai and his pupils' works, has opened in Hokusai's birthplace, Sumida Ward! Sumida Hokusai Museum exhibits a collection of approximately 600 works of not only ukiyo-e paintings, including his representative work, "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji - the Great Wave off Kanagawa," but also of various other styles such as hand-painting, surimono (printed) woodblocks, and block printing. With additional works representing Sumida at the time that Hokusai lived there, the museum is filled with exhibits to thoroughly enjoy Hokusai's appeal.

*The image is of "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji - the Great Wave off Kanagawa"

1. What is Sumida Hokusai Museum?

2-7-2 Kamezawa, Sumida-ku, Tokyo

2. Enjoy the Exhibition

Sumida Hokusai Museum has two types of exhibitions, a permanent exhibition and special exhibits. The permanent exhibition consists of seven areas that enable visitors to deepen their understanding of Hokusai from various viewpoints, including a model of Hokusai's art studio; a room where the process of making nishiki-e, which is the final form of ukiyo-e printing, is shown through a video; and a room where Hokusai manga (Hokusai’s sketchbooks) are introduced through a touch screen. The special exhibit is a place that focuses on the appeal of ukiyo-e that cannot be delved into through just the permanent exhibition, and includes an exhibition built on the approximately 600 works in the collection of the world renowned Hokusai collector, Peter Morse.

3. Buy Goods at the Museum Shop

The museum shop is open to the public, and anyone can enter during the museum's operating hours. In addition to catalogs, there are numerous items based on Hokusai works in the special exhibits, as well as products made in Sumida, where Hokusai was born. This is a great place to look for a gift, such as ukiyo-e goods and art design goods, that can only be purchased here.

4. Take a Trip to Sumida Hokusai Museum!

Sumida Hokusai Museum is a new art hub that opened in Sumida. It will be fun to see what special exhibits it will be showing in the future. The building was designed by Kazuyo Sejima, who has been awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, sometimes referred to as the Nobel Prize of the architectural world. Why not enjoy the architecture as well?

Hours: 9:30 am - 5:30 pm (Last entry 30 minutes before closing)
Closed: Mondays (or the next day when Monday is a holiday or observed holiday), before and after the New Year (December 29, 2016 - January 1, 2017)
*In addition to the above, the museum may close on a temporary basis.

4. Take a Trip to Sumida Hokusai Museum!

2-7-2 Kamezawa, Sumida-ku, Tokyo

Sumida Hokusai Museum is full of appeal that both people who are familiar with Hokusai and those who are not can appreciate. Please enjoy learning about one of the sources of Japanese art!

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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