Ken Domon Museum of Photography
Creates eloquent realism photographs by completely eliminating dramatization
Ken Domon is a leading photographer of the postwar period born in Sakata City, Yamagata Prefecture in 1909. He took many news photographs and portraits of both ordinary and well-known people, both of which were absolutely un-dramatized based on social realism. He also pointed a camera at people at the bottom of society such as waifs and disabled veterans. His photographs that emphasized his individuality, although un-dramatized, still attract people. He is known as an artist with words. He left the following words about photography: "A real photograph is a photograph that is more real than the actual thing even if there is the actual thing and even if we have seen the actual thing many times and shows us more than what we have seen many times. A photograph surpasses the naked eye."
He also had a passion for traditional Japanese culture such as temples, Buddha statues and Bunraku puppet plays, and he kept on taking photos of the beauty created by Japanese.
In 1983, Ken Domon Museum of Photography was opened as Japan's first museum specialized in photographs and also as the only photography museum in the world devoted to one photographer. The museum houses most of photographs by Ken Domon, about 70,000 pieces and preserves and exhibits those photographs.
The plaque engraved with the museum name, which is at the front of the entrance, the posters and the tickets were designed by Mr. Yusaku Kamekura, a graphic designer and a friend of Ken Domon. Other things that were donated as a token of friendship are: the sculpture and the bench by Mr. Isamu Noguchi, a sculptor; and the garden and the object by Mr. Hiroshi Teshigawara, the grand master of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana. They enhance the atmosphere of the museum.
�Looking up at the golden pavilion from Yoroi Slope, Muro-ji Temple (spring), 1978
Photo: Ken Domon
*Please refer to the official website for more information.
Address: 2-13, Iimoriyama, Sakata-city, Yamagata, Yamagata
Hours open to visitors: 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Admission Fee: 420 yen
From Tokyo:[Air]About 1 hour from Haneda Airport to Shonai Airport, about 20-min by Taxi from Shonai Airport[Rail]About 2 hours by JR Joetsu Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Niigata Station, about 2 hours 15 min by Uetsu Main Line from Niigata Station to Sakata Station, about 16 min by Bus from Sakata Station to Ken Domon Kinenkan