三井記念美術館

美術館概要

コレクション

展覧会情報開催中の展覧会次回の展覧会展覧会のスケジュール過去の展覧会一覧

教育普及

刊行書籍

イベント情報土曜講座ワークショップ・鑑賞会

館内のご案内フロアマップミュージアムショップミュージアムカフェ

ご利用案内開館時間・入館料・休館日アクセスマップ

Mitsui Memorial Museum

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Introduction

Today, the ubiquitous mascot figures, known in Japanese as Yuru-chara, have won widespread acceptance throughout the country. The word, ‘Yuru-chara’ is an abbreviation of a mixture of Japanese and English words: ‘yurui’ [naïve] and ‘character’. They were originally made by local authorities so their quality tended to be rather poor (hence the ‘naïve’), but they attracted a lot of attention and soon became popular.

However, if we look at art history, we realize that this love of ‘naïvity’ is not something that was appeared recently. In Japan, paintings in a variety of styles but all sharing the same element of ‘naïvity’ and possessing a relaxed atmosphere, have been produced and treasured throughout history. They are works that cannot be simply classified as being ‘good’ or ‘bad’, they possess a strange quality that captivates the viewer.

In this exhibition, we refer to paintings that express this kind of ‘unsophisticated’, humorous taste as ‘soboku-e’ (Innocent Paintings). This being said, they differ from the ‘Naïve Art’ of the West, and include the nuance of being ‘works that transcend the objective of achieving realism through artificial approaches or mere aim for realism while transcending artificiality and mere technique.’

Soboku-e appeared on a variety of media in daily life—illustrated scrolls, prints, hanging scrolls, folding screens, etc.; in some cases they were loved as luxury items and sometimes they substituted for expert works that were out of reach of the common person. They appeared on the items used in various seasonal events, and even took the form of Buddhist paintings to be venerated. There are also soboku-e that were created by famous artists such as Hakuin Ekaku or Sengai Gibon.

From this background, it can be seen that they were not restricted to use by the literati or affluent classes, but were also created by the common people during every period of history and can be said to represent the remaining art of the masses.

In this exhibition we hope that by introducing these soboku-e, works dating from various periods and taking various different forms that have never been featured in this way before, to present a new way of enjoying art that differs from the skilled works of famous artists or those whose names have become engraved on history.

In closing, we would like to offer our sincerest gratitude to all the people who graciously lent their valuable works and everybody else who contributed to making this exhibition possible.

The Organizers 2019

Floor plan

■Hours: 10am to 5pm, entrance until 4:30pm
Friday during 7/6 - 9/1: 10am to 7pm, entrance until 6:30pm

■Holidays: Mondays(except 7/15, 8/12), 7/16
museum guide

■Address: Mitsui Main Building, 7th Floor, Nihonbashi Muromachi 2-1-1, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0022

■For inquiries: 03-5777-8600

■Transportation:
Tokyo Metro Subway Ginza Line: Exit A7, 1 min walk from Mitsukoshimae Station
Tokyo Metro Subway Hanzomon Line: Exit A7, 3 min walk from Mitsukoshimae Station
Tokyo Metro Subway Ginza-Tozai Lines: 4 min walk from Nihombashi station,Exit B9
Toei Subway Asakusa Line: 6 min walk from Nihombashi station,Exit B9
JR Tokyo Station: 7 min walk from Nihonbashiguchi exit
JR Kanda Station: 6 min walk
JR Sobu Line Rapid Service: 4 min walk from Shin-nihombashi Station
Metro Link Nihonbashi (Free bus service): Mitsui Memorial Museum bus stop

Access

ticket※Bring this coupon and you will get 100yen discount.(1 coupon per person)


Mitsui Memorial Museum

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The Mitsui Memorial Museum opened in October 2005 in Nihonbashi, a site closely related to the Mitsui Group. The collections from the Mitsui Bunko Museum in Nakano ward, with many treasures of Japanese and Asian art, will move to the new museum. Members of the Mitsui families have assembled the art works in the collection over the past three centuries and their preservation as a collection make these art works a preeminent element of Japanese cultural heritage.

The Mitsui Memorial Museum is located in the Mitsui Main Building. This important western-style structure created in the early Showa era has been designated an Important Cultural Property by the Japanese government. The entrance to the new museum is located in the neighboring super skyscraper the Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower Atrium.

The exhibition galleries will include a detailed reconstruction of the interior of the Joan tea ceremony room, a National Treasure tea ceremony room long related to the Mitsui family. Display of the "beauty of functionality" in the selection of tea ceremony utensils will be contrasted with the display of Japanese and Asian art works in a western architectural setting. These galleries will allow visitors to rediscover the "beauty of form." Viewers will be encouraged to explore the true meaning of art and culture.

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