EISEI BUNKO MUSEUM

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Exhibitions Schedule

The 70th anniversary exhibition of the Eisei Bunko Foundation

Early Spring Exhibition 2020

“Ancient Chinese and Oriental Art”
with Hosokawa Mirror on display for a limited period

Period
Saturday, February 15–Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Closed
Mondays except February 24, 2020
Closed on February 25, 2020

Hosokawa Moritatsu (16th Head, 1883-1970), the founder of Eisei Bunko, became acquainted with Chinese classical literature in his childhood and had strong passion for Chinese culture. During his eighteen months’ travel around Europe, Moritatsu purchased ceramics and metalwork such as “Bronze Dish with bird, animal, and cloud design”, which later was designated as a National Treasure. He was actively involved in collecting Chinese art after he returned and expanded his interest into Oriental art such as Islamic ceramic wares and tiles. Moritatsu formed his collection through his interactions with scholars such as Umehara Sueji (1893-1983). These artworks in the collection provided subjects of study for them as well as source material and inspiration for modern Japanese painters, for example, Umehara Ryuzaburo (1888-1986).

This exhibition features various Chinese and Oriental artworks in the Hosokawa collection. The exhibit includes ancient Chinese artworks such as “Bronze Mirror with design of hunting scene”, known as “Hosokawa Mirror”, modern Japanese paintings depicting Chinese scenes, and Oriental artworks that have not been much in the public eye. We also introduce Korean tea bowls that have been handed down through generations in the Hosokawa family. We hope the visitors enjoy exotic artworks from different regions of the world.

Artwork
National Treasure
Bronze Mirror with design of hunting scene in gold and silver inlay

China, Warring States era, 4th-3rd century B.C.
Eisei Bunko Museum
On display from Saturday, February 15 to Sunday, March 15
Artwork
Dish with figures in overglaze enamel
White glaze

Iran, 12th-13th century
Eisei Bunko Museum
Artwork
Lamasery in Chengde
By Yasui Sotaro

1937
Eisei Bunko Museum

Spring Exhibition 2020

The Unknown Akechi Mitsuhide
―The Hosokawa and the Akechi, warrior lords that supported Nobunaga

Period
Saturday, April 25–Sunday, June 21, 2020
Closed
Mondays except May 4, 2020
Closed on May 7, 2020
Organizer
Eisei Bunko Museum, Kumamoto University Eisei Bunko Research Center,
Kumamoto Prefectural Museum of Art

Akechi Mitsuhide served the Ashikaga Shogun family and was later given an important position by Oda Nobunaga. Working under the same master, Mitsuhide had a friendly association with Hosokawa Fujitaka, the first head of the Hosokawa family. Thus the Hosokawa collection in Eisei Bunko Museum includes numerous historical records such as Nobunaga’s letters addressed to Mitsuhide and Fujitaka that describe Mitsuhide’s situation and his movements. These letters indicate that Mitsuhide always acted in cooperation with Fujitaka in significant historical events, for instance, in fighting against Ikko Ikki (an uprising of Ikko sect followers), in executing Araki Murashige for betraying Nobunaga, and in conquering Tango Province.

This exhibition is based on the knowledge newly acquired by accessing historical documents about Mitsuhide’s activities in his early years, his military achievements under Nobunaga, collaborative relationship with his ally Fujitaka, and historical significance of the incident at Honnoji temple. We are excited to present Akechi Mitsuhide as a resourceful leader with advanced ideas, which overturns the stereotype of him as a traitor. The exhibition also introduces the turbulent life of Mitsuhide’s daughter, Tama (Gracia), who was married to Hosokawa Tadaoki by displaying related documents.

Artwork
Transcription of “Shinyakuho (Notes of medical treatment)” by Komeda Sadayoshi (Motomasa)
16th century, Muromachi period
Private collection (Entrusted to Kumamoto Prefectural Museum of Art)
Artwork
Important Cultural Property
Letter with Black Seal of Oda Nobunaga

1577 (Tensho 5), the 3rd month, 15th day
Eisei Bunko Museum (Entrusted to Kumamoto University Library)
Artwork
Important Cultural Property
Memorandum by Akechi Mitsuhide

1582 (Tensho10), the 6th month, 9th day
Eisei Bunko Museum
On display from Saturday, April 25 to Thursday, May 14

Summer Exhibition 2020

Okina (TBC)

Period
Saturday, July 4–Sunday, August 30, 2020
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.)
Organizer
TBD

The art of Noh completed by Kannami and his son Zeami in the Muromachi period has come to be highly appreciated abroad as a traditional performing art of Japan. Since Hosokawa Fujitaka and successive heads of the Hosokawa family were devoted to Noh and performed Noh plays themselves, an extensive collection of nearly 700 objects used in Noh performances, such as masks, Noh costumes, musical instruments and props were handed down through generations at the Kumamoto and Tokyo residence of the family.

“Okina” is thought to be the most ancient and special Noh play. The god is believed to descend into the performer when he puts the mask on, and he dances praying for peace in the world and an abundant harvest. This exhibition introduces various god characters in Noh plays by displaying costumes and masks mainly in the program of “Okina” as well as precious documents which suggest the Hosokawa’s intimate acquaintance with Noh culture.

* Displays will be changed.

Artwork
Important Art Object
Noh Mask, Okina type

15th century, Muromachi period
Eisei Bunko Museum
Artwork
Noh Costume, Karaori Robe with design of butterflies and pinks on gold ground
19th century, Edo period
Eisei Bunko Museum
Artwork
”Tango-Hosokawa-Nohbangumi (Record of Noh ceremonies held by Hosokawa Tadaoki in Tango)”
Compiled in 16th century, Momoyama period, Transcribed in 1722 (Kyoho 7)
Eisei Bunko Museum (Entrusted to Kumamoto University Library)

Autumn Exhibition 2020

Highlights of the Hosokawa Collection
―the 50th anniversary in memory of the “Art Lord”, Hosokawa Moritatsu

Period
Saturday, September 12–Sunday, November 8, 2020
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. )

The year 2020 marks the fiftieth anniversary in memory of Hosokawa Moritatsu (1883-1970). Moritatsu was known as an unrivaled collector who began to amass swords and Zen paintings by Hakuin and Sengai in his teens and later extended his interest in modern paintings and Oriental art. The artworks collected by Moritatsu form the core of the Hosokawa collection and characterize it.

This exhibition traces the history of the Hosokawa collection by presenting finest pieces in Moritatsu’s collection together with precious historical documents. In addition to swords and Zen paintings, “Black Cat” and “Fallen Leaves” by Hishida Shunso are on display eight years since they were last exhibited. “Portrait of Hosokawa Sumimoto” (Important Cultural Property) will also be exhibited for the first time after the completion of a two-year restoration.

* Displays will be changed.

Artwork
Important Cultural Property
Fallen Leaves
by Hishida Shunso

1909
Eisei Bunko Museum
Artwork
Important Cultural Property
Black Cat
by Hishida Shunso

1910
Eisei Bunko Museum
Artwork
Hosokawa Moritatsu
(1883-1970)

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