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The Japan Ukiyo-e Museum

Nagano

Ukiyo-e collection which is admired around the world for its overwhelming quality and quantity

Ukiyo-e is a genre of Japanese traditional painting which was established in the Edo period (1603 ~ 1868). “Ukiyo" has the opposite meaning of the afterworld and means “this world, mundaneness and the world of everyday life." “Ukiyo-e" refers to the paintings which depict the manners of that time. Most of ukiyo-e were woodblock prints and were affordable as they could be mass-produced. Thus, they were widely loved by ordinary people. On the other hand, as all ukiyo-e that were painted by hand were one of a kind, such works by famous ukiyo-e artists were highly valuable.

The Japan Ukiyo-e Museum now houses 100,000 pieces of ukiyo-e centered on the pieces that the Sakai family, once was a wealthy merchant, had collected from generation to generation for 200 years since the late 18th century. Yoshitaka, who started collecting ukiyo-e, was a man of culture and loved calligraphic works, paintings and antiques. It is said he had a friendly association with Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige, the well-known ukiyo-e artists of that time. Later on, the works by Hokusai and Hiroshige had a great influence on the impressionists of late 19th century and the Art Nouveau artists..
It is one of the greatest ukiyo-e collections in Japan in terms of both quality and quantity. The museum started to hold exhibitions abroad in the 20th century. It contributed to the international cultural exchange. From that time, the museum started to focus on the activities of buying back ukiyo-e works that flowed out widely to the West as materials to learn about the world of everyday life in Japan. The museum houses a huge collection which reaches to 100,000 covering works from ukiyo-e pieces of an early date to modern block prints including hand painted ukiyo-e works and ukiyo-e prints.
Now, exhibitions are held in regions and countries such as Europe, Middle and Near East, South America and the United States. It has gained the great admiration from the experts, scholars and ukiyo-e lovers around the world.

Information

Address: 2206-1, Koshiba, Shimadachi, Matsumoto-shi, Nagano
Phone: 0263-47-4440
Hours open to visitors: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Admission Fee: 1050 yen
Closed: Monday, New Year Holidays

From Tokyo:[Rail]About 1 hour 50 min by JR Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Nagano Station, about 1 hour by JR limited express from Nagano Station to Matsumoto Station, 6 min by Matsumoto Dentetsu Kamikochi Line from Matsumoto Station to Oniwa Station, about 15 min walk from Oniwa Station

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