NEWSWORTHY

Ike no Taiga: The 'true view' travel painter

Apr 24, 2018

Ike no Taiga: The 'true view' travel painter

by Matthew Larking

"The Genius of Ike no Taiga: Carefree Traveler, Legendary Painter," at Kyoto National Museum, is magisterial. Edo Period (1603-1868) Kyoto teemed with big name painters, but Taiga (1723-1776) was superlative. Taiga began the practice of calligraphy when a child, and was pseudo-certified in 1729 as ...

What makes a National Treasure?

Oct 31, 2017

What makes a National Treasure?

by Matthew Larking

Together, Japan's National Treasures provide a cacophonous ode to the nation and its heritage for its historical, cultural, geographical and stylistic dissonances. Yet, this is the first time in 41 years that 210 such works (or sets) have been displayed en masse. On their own, ...

Every hero has a few human flaws

Nov 1, 2016

Every hero has a few human flaws

by Matthew Larking

Ryoma Sakamoto (1835-1867), among Japan's most beloved heroes, came of age when U.S. Commodore Matthew Perry's Black Ships arrived demanding trade relations and ending the country's closed-door foreign policy. The old Japan ruled by the feudal Tokugawa shogunate was giving way to the modern ...

Sakamoto Ryoma: Japan's Favorite Hero

/ Oct 11, 2016

Sakamoto Ryoma: Japan's Favorite Hero

by Mark Jarnes

Oct. 15-Nov. 27 Sakamoto Ryoma, undoubtedly one of Japan's most influential and revered historical figures, played an essential role in the overthrow of the Edo Period (1603-1868) feudal shogunate, and helped pave the way toward the establishment of the Meiji government. A popular swordsman, politician and ...

Hakuin's picture of Zen Buddhism

May 3, 2016

Hakuin's picture of Zen Buddhism

by Matthew Larking

Zen, traced to the ancient teachings of the Buddha Shakyamuni, took root in China via India around 1,500 years ago through the first Zen patriarch, Bodhidharma. Spread there by the priest Linji Yixuan (Rinzai Gigen, died 867), it was transmitted to Japan in the ...

Kyoto's Rinpa school is moving in many ways

Nov 3, 2015

Kyoto's Rinpa school is moving in many ways

by Hana Sakuma

At this moment, the Kyoto National Museum is showcasing some extraordinarily breathtaking work. Three sets of "Wind God" and "Thunder God" screens by three major Rinpa (also known as Rimpa) artists are being displayed together in the same location for the first time in ...

Where Buddhism and Shintoism meet

Jan 22, 2015

Where Buddhism and Shintoism meet

by Matthew Larking

Works from the Tendai Buddhist Gakuenji temple in Shimane Prefecture form the feature exhibition of Kyoto National Museum's New Year's show. Tradition tells that the priest Chishun established Gakuenji around the time of the Empress Suiko (554-628) though centuries passed before it was first ...

Kyoto's top treasures, all under one roof

Oct 16, 2014

Kyoto's top treasures, all under one roof

by Sachiko Tamashige

Kyoto is at its most brilliant and beautiful in autumn, with its World Heritage scenery colored in red and golden leaves. This year, it's also a time when visitors have the rare opportunity to learn about the essence of Kyoto culture at the Kyoto ...

'Masterpieces of Kosan-ji Temple'

/ Oct 2, 2014

'Masterpieces of Kosan-ji Temple'

by Daisuke Kikuchi

The Kyoto National Museum recently opened its new Heisei Chishinkan wing with the special exhibition "Kyoto: Splendors of the Ancient Capital," and it is now continuing the celebration with "Masterpieces of Kosan-ji Temple" in its main Meiji Kotokan building. Though full of national treasures, the ...