The Harmony of Nature, People and Art: The Museum Where You Can See the Most Beautiful Moon.
Okuda Genso Sayume Art Museum
Address: 10453-6 Higashisakeyamachi, Miyoshi, Hiroshima
Okuda Genso Sayume Art Museum opened in April 2006 with a couple’s hope and a strong push from the city of Miyoshi. Paintings of nature in nihonga (Japanese-style painting) by Genso and the gorgeous ningyo (Traditional Japanese artform) dolls crafted by Sayume are works sure to attract visitors. Yokonaga, a staff member of the museum, became absorbed by the world, too. She explained about the charm and power art has and how she feels about the museum.
”Plane” and ”Solid” interlaced. Crystal forms from such a couple.
The building is another highlight of the museum.
The painter Okuda Genso and the doll maker Okuda Sayume (maiden name Kawai) were both born and raised in Kisacho, Miyoshi. They always knew they wanted to make a museum together so they retained many of their pieces with great care. Eventually they donated their collection to Miyoshi who used it to open the museum bearing the names of the couple unique in all of Japan. The flat “Plane” of Nihonga interlacing with the three-dimensional “Solid” of ningyo dolls creates a combination of art-styles that serve as the primary attraction. Just as the two art-styles are in harmony, so is the building with nature.The concept of the museum is “the museum where you can see the most beautiful moon” which is associated with Genso’s masterpiece, Taigetsu. The lobby has glass walls through which you are able to see the breathtaking view of the moon in the night sky and the moonlight bouncing off the pond. A concert is held in the lobby once a month during the full moon. The pleasant music provided by a live musician accompanied by the fantastic moonlit scene makes for a soothing evening. A tea room was built at the same time as the rest of the museum which blended with the quiet and calm atmosphere. On full moons a tea ceremony is performed by different tea schools such as Omotesenke, Urasenke, Uedasokoryu and Shoenryu. The event and tea room were featured in a women’s magazine which placed a photo on the cover and remarked how nice it was. Genso also uses a specific shade of deep red frequently in his works which became known as “Genso Red”, a lot of people associate the color with his works. The museum uses that same red for fixtures and furnishings such as the chairs in the lobby, paneling on the walls, and the tree symbol. The design of the building is another highlight of the museum that received a lot of care and attention.
The power of art and the charm of works;
Learned from being around them everyday.
Yokonaga Ritsuko has been working here as a staff member for 14 years. She was introduced to this job through someone else. “It’s embarrassing to say but when I started I wasn’t familiar with art or even interested in it. But working here everyday, seeing the pieces everyday, it became mesmerizing.” Especially a painting called Sansonzu (Mountain Village) was especially touching for her. “It’s really similar to my mother’s hometown, Kimitacho in Miyoshi, it took my breath away. It’s not the most gorgeous piece but it has a warmth and nostalgia that sunk deep into my mind. That is when I started making a conscious effort to study art myself.”
The Entrance fee is 800 yen for adults, 400 yen for college students, and free for highschool students and below. Since the museum was formed from a couple, they also have a “Couple’s ticket” (1,500 yen, only for adults). *Special Exhibition tickets prices are not included here. (Special Exhibition tickets also include access to the permanent exhibition.)
Genso painted in nature. His works bore the love he had for his hometown and Sayume’s ningyo exuded an elegant and serene sheen. Yokonaga said that the more she thought about those feelings, the more she came to like art. “The items in the permanent exhibition are changed 4 times a year, and the items in special exhibition are changed 6 times a year. We’d like to exhibit many pieces from various genres. The recent Kinashi Noritake “Timing-Light of the Moment-” exhibition drew in a lot of customers.” The exhibition became very popular and toured to 8 different sites across Japan. Kinashi used the exhibitions to raise funds which he donated for the sake of the torrential rains that damaged Western Japan. The museum received a lot of praise such as, “Kinashi’s works brighten me up.” and “They made me smile.” Yokonaga says “Art is amazing. I felt like I discovered the power of art with my own eyes.”
The items in the permanent exhibition are changed every season, 4 times a year. The special exhibitions are used to exhibit various genres of art and discover and display local artists.
The museum is able to blend into people’s daily routines while allowing everyone else to forget their own routines when they arrive.
The power of art supports people’s minds and encourages them. The museum has many services for kids so that they can become familiar with the power of art. “For the last 7 years we held a stamp rally with Miyoshi Fudoki No Oka, an outdoor museum, on summer break sponsored by the Miyoshi Chamber of commerce and Industry. It gives kids a chance to go to places that they don’t usually visit to collect stamps and get coupons and prizes. High School students and younger can all visit the permanent exhibition for free and during the special summer exhibition an adult can bring a kid to the tea room for free.” There is also a sports facility and playground called “Miyoshi Undo Koen Asobino Okoku” out in front of the museum which local children are encouraged to use. “Since they tend to visit here a lot, they also developed good manners. You can hear them telling their friends things like “We should talk quietly.” and “We shouldn’t run.” it makes me feel like we’re having a positive impact.” Lots of museums give you the feeling that the cost or status requirement is too high, but because of the location and the inclusive services, Okuda Genso Sayume Art Museum is able to blend into everybody’s daily life, Yokonaga says. “It’s possible for everyone to use the museum this way because of the volunteer staff. There are about 200 volunteers working for the museum who watch the exhibits which is very helpful. The museum is able to blend into daily life because of our volunteers’ generous participation.” The museum has been a source of vitality with quality art pieces, as a familiar place for local residents, and also a place you can forget your daily life for people who are visiting from out of town.
In the museum there is a restaurant, ”Yoshoku Kobo”, and a gift shop.
|スポット名||Okuda Genso Sayume Art Museum|
|所在地||10453-6 Higashisakeyamachi, Miyoshi, Hiroshima 728-0023|
|営業時間||9:30 am - 5 pm (Closes at 9 pm on Full Moons)|
|お休み||Wednesdays and New year holidays (When the Wednesday falls on a holiday or full moon it's open, will be closed on the following day.)|