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Yokoyama Taikan ―The Elite of the Tokyo Art World

Yokoyama Taikan ―The Elite of the Tokyo Art World

In a nutshell
This exhibition showcases the work of Yokoyama Taikan, who is known for nihonga, or Japanese-style (as opposed to Western-style) painting using specific materials. (You can read more about nihonga here.) The museum’s founder, Yamazaki Taneji, had a close relationship with the artist and the museum’s entire collection of Taikan’s work is on display, including several depictions of Mount Fuji and other scenes from the natural world.

The venue
The Yamatane Museum of Art is dedicated to nihonga and has the requisite dimmed lighting to help protect the delicate works. Don’t miss the room off to the side of the gift shop. 

Insider tip
The museum café offers custom-made Japanese sweets, wagashi, inspired by works in the exhibition, which are marked with a flower on the title card. 

English? (labels/audio guides/handouts)
The amount of English at the museum is improving. The introduction and chapter information and the title cards are in English.The audio guide is only in Japanese but the List of Works handout has detailed information in English about 13 pieces. There are extended captions right next to several works in English as well.

The feels
Taikan’s use of rich materials (ground malachite, azurite and shells; gold and silver leaf; silk), negative space and national symbolism provide a great entrée to Japan through its art.

A must for anyone who wants to learn more about Japanese art.

How far out?
A good 10 minute walk from the Ebisu metro station. 

How much time? 
About 30 minutes. 

How much money?
¥1,000 for general admission.

Until when?
February 25, 2018

Rating: make a special trip, see it if you’re in the area or have some free time, see it only if you like this specific type of art
Worth a special trip, especially if you’re interested in learning more about nihonga.


Flore d’Odilon Redon

Flore d’Odilon Redon

Decoration never dies, anyway

Decoration never dies, anyway