Saturday, November 6, 2010

Japan Folk Crafts Museum - Tokyo

The Japan Folk Çrafts Museum (Nihon Mingeikan) has been on my' to do in Tokyo' list for a couple of years. The Museum was founded in 1936 by Yanagi Soetsu who was a major figure in the national "Nihon Mingei" (folkcraft) movement in Japan. At the Museum I discovered an artist's works I liked so much that my daughter and I changed our plans for our yearly getaway from Tokyo trip and went in search of more of his works.

Across the street from the Museum is the handsome home of its founder Yanagi Soetsu. The house was moved to Tokyo and was open to the public the day I visited.

A closer view of the house which is overlooked by a building on the University of Tokyo, Komaba Campus. This building and several buildings on the campus are in the Brutalist style of architecture which I like.

Entrance to the Japan Folk Crafts Museum.

Shoes at the entrance to the Museum. Many smaller Museums and most temples I've been to in Japan require one leave ones shoes near the entrance and wear the provided slippers. Notice the slippers the man in blue jeans wears which I describe as "grandpa, fall on your butt" slippers as they're stretched out from so many different people wearing them and tend to slide on the beautifully polished wooden floors and stairs. I was not the only visitor who clutched the railing going up and down the Museum stairs.

Photographs were not allowed in the Museum. The above photo is from the Museum's website. The stairs are in front of you as you enter the Museum and I was immediately captivated by the arts works displayed there that day.

One in the series of woodblock prints I saw at the top of the stairs as I entered the Museum. Shiko Munakata : In Praise of Kanjiro Kawai's kiln 'Shokei', 'Japanese Cherry Tree', 1945. Thank goodness for the postcards sold in the Museum's Gift Shop.

As I walked through the rooms of the Museum I found myself drawn to works done by the same artist, Shiko Munakata. Above is his The Pantheon of the Gandavyuha-sutra, 'Wind God', 1936.

Outside the Museum. I consider this a lucky day as I was introduced to a new artist and then spent a couple of hours photographing the Brutalist style buildings across the street from the Museum.


Glenn, kenixfan said...

Very lovely. Thanks.

YTSL said...

Another set of great Japan photos, sbk. Proof that you don't rush around when you visit a place and so get to appreciate lots of details and less obvious spaces. :)

sbk said...

Hi Glenn

Thank you, I'm glad you liked my photos.

Hi ytsl,

Thanks. This vacation I decided to spend more time when taking photos and if something caught my eye I'd pursue it further as who knows when/if I'll get back to the place. The upshot is that I took about 4 times as many digital photos as I did last year. I took many of the same place/thing from different angles.