Welcome to Go See Art Tokyo.

Useful information with a point of view.

Admiration for Sengai

Admiration for Sengai

In a nutshell

Sengai was a Zen priest known for his ink drawings. He lived to be 88 years old and completed most of his drawings after his retirement at age 60. He saw long life as a gift and desired to pass along guidance toward enlightenment. The drawings depict famous places from his travels, landscapes, animals and flowers. English speakers miss out as none of the writing/calligraphy on the drawings is translated into English.

The venue

The Idemitsu Museum of Arts is located on the 9th floor of the Imperial Theater building (the Teigeki Building) in Marunouchi. The exhibition space is in three main rooms.

Insider tip

There is a lobby with chairs with a view of the Imperial Palace for resting and enjoying a free cup of tea.

English? (labels/audio guides/handouts)

The introduction, chapter information and title cards are in English. None of the extended captions, including the poetry and calligraphy, are in English. The list of works is only in Japanese.


No photos allowed in the exhibition.

The feels

These humorous and charming drawings are simple but masterful. With just a few strokes, Sengai conveys completely recognizable scenes and figures.


Anyone who appreciates ink drawings and calligraphy.

How far out?

Five minutes from the Kokusai Forum Exit of JR Yūrakuchō Station or a three minute walk from B3 Exit of Yūrakuchō or Hibiya subway stations.

How much time?

Only around 30 minutes if you can’t read Japanese.

How much money?

¥1,000 for general admission.

Until when?

October 28, 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

See it if you really like ink drawings or have some free time while you’re in Marunouchi.



Challengers in Nihonga - Taikan, Shunsō, Kokei, and Gyoshū

Challengers in Nihonga - Taikan, Shunsō, Kokei, and Gyoshū

Utagawa Hiroshige

Utagawa Hiroshige