EISEI BUNKO MUSEUM

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Exhibitions Schedule 2022

*Exhibition lineup and period are subject to change under the Covid-19 circumstances.
*No advance reservation is required. However, we may ask guests to wait at the entrance depending on the crowd condition inside the museum.
*Entry requirements may be subject to change due to the COVID situation.

Spring Exhibition 2022

The Hosokawa Lords and the Matsui Family
-Samurai lords and their senior vassals

Period
Saturday, March 12-Sunday, May 8, 2022
Closed
Mondays except March 21, 2022
Closed on March 22, 2022
Opening hours
10:00am to 4:30pm (last entry 4:00pm)
Organized by
Eisei Bunko Museum
With the special assistance of
General Incorporated Foundation Matsui Bunko
Yatsushiro Municipal Museum
Kumamoto Prefectural Museum of Art
Kumamoto University Library
Kumamoto University Eisei Bunko Research Center
Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

The Hosokawa family had boasted a long history as influential feudal lord until the end of the Edo period since the first head, Fujitaka, served Oda Nobunaga. While many feudal families were doomed to ruin, the Hosokawa family survived the turbulent period even the political leadership rapidly changed from Oda, Toyotomi to Tokugawa. One factor for the Hosokawa family’s prosperity was the contribution of the Matsui, the senior vassal family that served the Hosokawa.

The first head, Matsui Yasuyuki (1550-1612), was an excellent strategist who helped the Hosokawa lords to achieve distinguished success in the battles. Toyotomi Hideyoshi highly evaluated Yasuyuki, and desired to employ him, but his loyalty towards the Hosokawa family did not allow him to accept Hideyoshi’s proposal. The second head, Okinaga (1582-1661), supported the Hosokawa family for fifty years through honest and sincere advices and opinions. The cultural legacies of the Matsui family were handed down to the present and are stored in Matsui Bunko in Yatsushiro City, Kumamoto Prefecture.

Matsui Bunko also houses documents and works of Sen no Rikyu, Furuta Oribe, and the great swordsman Miyamoto Musashi, who had close connections with the family. These include worthy objects such as Sen no Rikyu’s letter asking Yasuyuki to express his gratitude to the second head, Hosokawa Tadaoki, and Furuta Oribe for having come to see him off when Rikyu incurred the anger of Hideyoshi and was expelled from Kyoto, and ink paintings by Miyamoto Musashi, who was invited to the Hosokawa clan of Kumamoto as a guest through the introduction of Okinaga.

This exhibition sheds light on the relationship between the families of samurai lords and their senior vassals by assembling heirlooms from Eisei Bunko Museum and Matsui Bunko collections in one place for the first time in Tokyo. We hope the visitors enjoy the masterpieces of Rikyu and Musashi, and establish the image of the Matsui family as the most influential vassal at the time through the remarkable activities of Yasuyuki and Okinaga shown in the historical materials.

Artwork
Portrait of Matsui Okinaga with inscription by Reiso Genjo
1663 (Kanbun 3)
Matsui Bunko
Artwork
Important Cultural Property
Cormorant
by Miyamoto Musashi

17th century, Edo period
Eisei Bunko Museum (Entrusted to Kumamoto Prefectural Museum of Art)
Artwork
Conical Helmet applied with silver foil
16th century, Momoyama period
Matsui Bunko

List of Works

Early Summer Exhibition 2022

World of Sengai
– Humorous and amiable Zen paintings by Sengai-san

Period
Saturday, May 21-Monday, July 18, 2022
Closed
Mondays except July 18, 2022
Opening hours
10:00am to 4:30pm (last entry 4:00pm)

Sengai Gibon (1750-1837) was a well-known Zen priest in the late Edo period, who preached Zen teachings through his humorous paintings and calligraphies. Eisei Bunko Museum houses more than one hundred works of Sengai collected by Hosokawa Moritatsu (1883-1970), the founder of the museum, and Sengai’s works, together with the works of another Zen priest Hakuin Ekaku, who was active during the middle of the Edo period, form the basis of the Zen art collection of Eisei Bunko Museum. In the autumn 2016, we held the first comprehensive exhibition of Sengai, which gathered wide-spread public attention.

This is the second exhibition of Zen painting collection featuring not only the best works of Sengai but also the works of the artists around him such as his fellow disciple, Seisetsu Shucho, which have not been open to the public before. We set up booths explaining the themes of Zen teachings and hold a popularity contest of the displayed objects hoping that the visitors find interest in Zen art and become familiar with the world of Sengai.

Artwork
Dragon and Tiger
by Sengai Gibon

19th century, late Edo period
Eisei Bunko Museum
Artwork
Tiger
by Sengai Gibon

19th century, late Edo period
Eisei Bunko Museum

List of Works

Summer Exhibition 2022

Eisei Bunko Museum Exhibition for Children & Families

Period
Saturday, July 30-Sunday, September 25, 2022
Closed
Mondays except September 19, 2022
Closed on September 20, 2022
Opening hours
10:00am to 4:30pm (last entry 4:00pm)

The Hosokawa family was the lord family of the Higo-Kumamoto clan holding a fief of 540,000 koku in the Edo period, 300 years ago. What was life like for children of the Hosokawa family in those days?

Eisei Bunko Museum houses the art collection of the successive Hosokawa lords, which includes objects relating to the life of children such as portraits, calligraphic works, small kimonos, noh costumes, and photographs. This exhibition is the first attempt to introduce such objects and illustrate the daily life of a lord family

The exhibit brochure is available to young visitors so that they can enjoy the exhibition with their family and make use of their learning experience in their school assignments.

Artwork
Portrait of Hosokawa Ko
by Kano Ikei Hironobu

19th century, Edo period
Eisei Bunko Museum
Artwork
Portrait of Hosokawa Yu
by Hosokawa Narishige

19th century, Edo period
Eisei Bunko Museum

Autumn Exhibition 2022

Lacquer Art Collection of Eisei Bunko Museum
–Exquisite masterpieces from the collection

Period
Saturday, October 8-Sunday, December 11, 2022
Closed
Mondays except October 10, 2022
Closed on October 11, 2022
Opening hours
10:00am to 4:30pm (last entry 4:00pm)

People have been familiar with lacquerware since ancient times. Wide range of objects have been decorated with various lacquer techniques. Techniques such as raden (mother-of-pearl inlay), tsuishu (layers of red lacquer carved in designs), and zonsei (design painted in colored lacquer and contoured with line engraving) were developed in China, while unique method of makie (design applied by sprinkling gold, silver or colored lacquer powder) emerged and matured in Japan.

One feature of the lacquerware collection of Eisei Bunko Museum is that it holds the objects with various countries of origin. It includes items produced in Japan such as treasures of the daimyo family, horse equipments, musical instruments, and tea ceremony utensils, and also lacquerwares from China, Korea, Ryukyu, and countries in Southeast Asia. In this exhibition “Saddle with reed-script poem design in mother-of-pearl inlay” (National Treasure) is displayed in the Eisei Bunko Museum for the first time in sixteen years together with other finest works from the collection and their latest research results.

We are also pleased to present the painting, “Kannon, monkey and crane”, the first object to have been repaired under the “Restoration Project of Cultural Properties” which was launched at Eisei Bunko Museum recently. “Kannon, monkey and crane” is a noteworthy joint work painted by Yokoyama Taikan, Shimomura Kanzan, and Takeuchi Seiho, who were most distinguished painters of their time.

Artwork
National Treasure
Saddle with reed-script poem design in mother-of-pearl inlay

14th century, Kamakura-Nanbokucho period
Eisei Bunko Museum
Artwork
Food Container with pavilion and figure design in mother-of-pearl inlay
China, 13th century, Southern Song-Yuan Dynasty
Eisei Bunko Museum

Early Spring Exhibition 2023

Superb Swords of the Hosokawa Family
– the National Treasures on display

Period
Saturday, January 14-Sunday, May 7, 2023
Closed
Mondays
Opening hours
10:00am to 4:30pm (last entry 4:00pm)

Hosokawa Moritatsu (1883-1970), the founder of Eisei Bunko Museum, was an eminent connoisseur of Zen art, modern paintings, Oriental art, and swords. He actively began to collect swords while he was still in his teens. While Moritatsu was taking a long absence from Gakushuin Junior High School due to pleurisy, he studied swords and cultivated his aesthetic sense by carrying out extensive researches with Nishigaki Shirosaku, a descendent of a metalworking family in Higo, who took care of the swords in the Hosokawa family collection as “Okatanagakari”, and sword connoisseurs who were working for the family as administrative staff.

This exhibition features all the four National Treasure swords from the Hosokawa collection for the first time in eight years. Other fine swords collected by Moritatsu such as “Long Sword Signed ‘By Kanesada of Seki, Mino Province’” (Kasen Kanesada) and their historical episodes will be on display together with elaborate works of sword fittings such as sword guards produced in Higo.

Artwork
National Treasure
Long Sword Signed “By Yukihira of Bungo Province”

12th -13th century, Heian-Kamakura period
Eisei Bunko Museum
Artwork
Long Sword Signed “By Kanesada of Seki, Mino Province” (Kasen Kanesada)
16th century, Muromachi period
Eisei Bunko Museum

About Eisei Bunko Museum

museum appearance

Eisei Bunko Museum and the Hosokawa Family

Eisei Bunko Museum is located in a verdant area of Mejirodai in Bunkyo-ku, where visitors can enjoy the traditional landscape of Musashino. The museum building stands on the property where the Hosokawa family lived from the Edo period to the end of World War Ⅱ.

The Hosokawa was one of the three elite warrior families whose head served as kanrei (deputy shogun) to the Muromachi Bakufu. The new line of the Hosokawa family was started during the warring states period by Hosokawa Fujitaka (Yusai). For distinguished war service, the Hosokawa family was given the fief of Higo (present Kumamoto prefecture) valued at 540,000 koku in the time of the third head, Tadatoshi, which made the family tozama daimyo (non-hereditary feudal lord) with unrivaled power and prosper until the end of the Edo period.

Eisei Bunko Museum houses and researches into the cultural properties handed down through the family for generations such as historical documents and artworks, and displays them in the exhibitions. It was established in 1950 by the 16th head, Moritatsu. He named the foundation “Eisei Bunko” taking the “Ei” part from Eigen-an temple, the family temple for eight generations after its founder, Hosokawa Yoriari, and the “Sei” part from Shoryuji castle, the resident of the first head, Fujitaka.

Eisei Bunko Museum was registered as museum under the Museum Law in 1973, a year after the Hosokawa Collection was first opened to the public in 1972. The current museum building was constructed in the early Showa period as kaseijo (administrative office) of the Hosokawa’s residence. The artworks in the museum’s collection were donated by Moritatsu and the 17th head, Morisada, and they are displayed in the exhibition regularly held at Eisei Bunko Museum.

The Collection of Daimyo Lord Hosokawa Family

Artwork
Important Cultural Property
Letter of Commendation
Written by Oda Nobunaga; addressed to Yoichiro (Tadaoki)

1577
Eisei Bunko Museum
Artwork
Bell
with nine-planet crest

17th century
Eisei Bunko Museum

The Hosokawa Family Collection can be broadly divided into the collection which was formed by the daimyo (feudal lords) before the Edo period and the modern/contemporary collection formed mainly by the 16th head, Moritatsu (1883-1970).

The first head, Hosokawa Fujitaka (Yusai) distinguished himself in many battles, but at the same time, he was regarded as a highly cultured person. In the world of waka (Japanese poetry), he became the only successor of “Kokin denju (the custom of inheriting the secret interpretation of the “Kokin Wakashu” and passing it on to future generations) “. His eldest son, Tadaoki (Sansai), was also a brave warrior and on displaying his bravery during his first battle, he received a kanjo (a letter commending bravery in battle), handwritten by Oda Nobunaga which has been handed down through the Hosokawa family. Since Tadaoki was an expert in tea ceremony known as one of Sen no Rikyu’s leading pupils, fine tea utensils such as tea caddy with bulging base known as “Rikyu Shirifukura” were added to the family’s collection. There are also objects relating to Tadaoki’s wife, Hosokawa Gracia (Tama), such as the bell dedicated to the Christian temple which was built to honor her. The 3rd head of the family and the first lord of the Kumamoto Clan, Tadatoshi is known to have invited Miyamoto Musashi in his late years. Many of Musashi’s ink paintings can be found in the collection. The 8th head, Shigekata, who was highly praised for his political reform of the domain administration called “Horeki Reforms”, was an intellectual person and he passed his time studying natural history which was popular at the time. Shigekata left behind a large collection of illustrated reference books with sketches of various creatures. The 10th head, Narishige, was known for his passion for paintings. He did not only collect numerous illustrated scrolls and Chinese paintings but painted many outstanding works himself which outshone the works of professional artists. Other heads of the Hosokawa family also had a deep understanding of Japanese traditional culture and they formed the excellent heirloom collection of daimyo lords’ treasures.

The Collection of Hosokawa Moritatsu

Artwork
Important Cultural Property
Fallen Leaves
By Hishida Shunso

1909
Eisei Bunko Museum

The 16th head of the Hosokawa family, Moritatsu is a well-known art collector in modern Japan. He came into contact with swords and works of Hakuin while he was fighting his illness in his middle school years, which motivated him to start art collecting. Most of the swords in the Hosokawa collection were purchased by Moritatsu, and he amassed over 400 works of Hakuin and Sengai whose brushworks he encountered while collecting Hakuin’s works.

From among Moritatsu’s collection, his nihonga (Japanese style painting) collection is renown throughout Japan. The modern nihonga collected by Moritatsu was not acquired via an agent but was bought directly from artists, and this is what characterizes his collection. Strongly attracted by the paintings by Yokoyama Taikan and Hishida Shunso when they were still undiscovered by the market, Moritatsu purchased accomplished paintings such as “Mountain Path” by Taikan and “Black Cat” and “Fallen Leaves” by Shunso. Moritatsu valued his personal relationship with the artist, and his friendship with Yokoyama Taikan continued until Taikan’s death.

Being familiar with Chinese classics from his boyhood and fascinated with Chinese culture, Moritatsu also collected Chinese Antiques energetically. When he saw “Kinginsaku Shuryomon Kyo (Bronze Mirror with design of hunting scene in gold and silver inlay)”, later known as the “Hosokawa Mirror” and designated a National Treasure, he took an instant liking to the object and immediately bought it. At the time, no similar examples could be found. Moritatsu also left a marvelous collection of Chinese ceramics with sancai glaze and stone Buddha statues.

Accessible transport

From Mejiro Station (JR)

Take 白 (shiro) 61 bus bound for Shinjuku Station West Exit to Mejirodai-Sanchome bus stop and walk for 5 minutes.

From Zoshigaya Station F10 (Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line)

Take 白 (shiro) 61 bus bound for Shinjuku Station West Exit to Mejirodai-Sanchome bus stop and walk for 5 minutes.

From Waseda Station (Toden Arakawa Line)

Walk for 10 minutes.

From Edogawabashi Station Y12 (Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line)

Walk for 15 minutes from 1a Exit.

From Waseda Station T04 (Tokyo Metro Tozai Line)

Walk for 15 minutes from 3a Exit.

Please note that there is no parking at the museum.
If you would like to come by car, please use the parking lots nearby.

General Information

Opening hours

10:00 am to 4:30 pm (last entry 4:00 pm)

Closed

Mondays
(Except when a national holiday falls on Monday.
In this case, the museum is open on the holiday and is closed the next weekday. )

Year-end and New Year holidays
In addition, the museum is closed during exhibit change.

Admission fees

Adults
1000 (900) yen
Adults 70 and over
800 (700) yen
High school and College Students
500 (400) yen

Eisei Bunko Museum

Address
1-1-1 Mejiro-dai, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-0015 Japan
Telephone
+81-(0)3-3941-0850
Fax
+81-(0)3-3943-0454

Image Service

Eisei Bunko Museum loans images for public use including TV programs and publications.

Important Notices

The following conditions apply in using the loaned images.

  1. You must clearly indicate in publication or broadcast that the owner of the materials is Eisei Bunko Museum.
  2. It is prohibited to use images for purposes other than those stated in the application.
  3. When you want to provide changes to the loaned image including trimming or partial use, we shall ascertain in advance how the images are going to be used.
  4. In principle images are provided in digital files.
  5. Drafts must be confirmed prior to publication or broadcasts.
  6. The images and their backup copies must be deleted promptly after use.
  7. If you loan positive films, they must be returned with all rights related to them after use. When the films are lost, you are responsible for the cost of the new photography and duplication of the image.
  8. If problem arises concerning copyright, the applicant bears full responsibility.
  9. The application process is subject to change without prior notification.

Application Process

  1. Please printout the application form and fill in the forms.
    Application Form (Excel)
  2. Please send an application form with your seal attached with the project proposal.
  3. If you have publications with the images you are applying for, please send a photocopy to us as a conference material.

Fees and Payment Condition

Eisei Bunko Museum charges for the use of images.
Publication: color images 18,000 yen + tax per image, monochrome images 12,000 yen + tax per image.
Broadcast: 20,000 yen + tax per image.

For more details about the fees, please contact us by Fax.
For filming requests, please contact us by Fax.

Eisei Bunko Museum

Address
1-1-1 Mejiro-dai, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-0015 Japan
Telephone
+81-(0)3-3941-0850
Fax
+81-(0)3-3943-0454

Use of Materials Entrusted to
Kumamoto University Library

For permission to use the materials in the Hosokawa collection entrusted to Kumamoto University Library,
please read the following terms and conditions and submit an application form.

User Qualification

  • A person who is accustomed to handling old materials and microfilms.
  • A person who needs to use materials for scholarly activities such as academic presentation and publication.
  • A student holding Master’s degree or higher accompanied with his/her tutor.
  • A person other than those mentioned above is requested to consult us.

Application Process

Please send an application letter including following details.

  1. You must clearly state at the beginning of the letter that it is an application for the use of materials. If you want photography of the material, you should add “Application for photography” in the letter.
  2. The application letter should be addressed to “Hosokawa Morihiro, President of the Eisei Bunko Foundation”.
  3. Name and affiliation of the applicant with his/her signature and seal.
  4. Please submit A4-size paper describing the purpose of your research and its significance in detail.
  5. The title of the material you would like to use.
  6. A letter of introduction from your instructor with his seal is requested if you are a student.

Important Notices

  1. Materials are available only in microform or printed form if they are already microfilmed or printed excluding special situations. Microfilmed materials are accessible at Kumamoto University Library. Printed materials are available in other libraries.
  2. Use of the material cannot be permitted if there is a risk of physical damage to it.
  3. You are permitted to take photographs of materials only by handheld camera unless you have requested for special permission. We do not allow copying all pages from the original material. You are permitted to take partial images you have requested in advance.
  4. You are asked to pay 5,000 yen + tax for the use of materials and 100 yen + tax per shot for photography.
  5. The application process is subject to change without prior notification.

Eisei Bunko Museum

Address
1-1-1 Mejiro-dai, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-0015 Japan
Telephone
+81-(0)3-3941-0850
Fax
+81-(0)3-3943-0454