Ota Memorial Museum of Art is a small museum located in the Shibuya district of Tokyo that houses a collection of ukiyo-e woodblock prints. The museum was founded in 1980 by Ota Seizo, a prominent businessman and collector of ukiyo-e art. The museum’s collection features work by renowned artists such as Hokusai, Hiroshige, and Utamaro, as well as pieces by lesser-known artists.
The museum’s permanent collection is supplemented by temporary exhibitions that showcase specific themes or artists. One of the museum’s most popular exhibitions was “Hokusai and Hiroshige: Great Masters of the Ukiyo-e,” which featured works by two of the most famous ukiyo-e artists. The museum also offers educational programs, including lectures and workshops, to help visitors learn more about ukiyo-e and Japanese art.
The Ukiyo-e Ōta Memorial Museum of Art was founded in January 1980 in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. The museum was established after the death of Seizo Ota V, an industrialist and collector, to showcase his vast collection of ukiyo-e prints to the public. Seizo Ota V was the former president of Tōhō Insurance Company and had collected over 12,000 pieces of ukiyo-e prints throughout his life.
The museum was opened to the public three years after Seizo Ota V’s death at the age of 83. The founders of the museum believed that exhibiting the works in Harajuku, a place known for being on the cutting edge of modern trends, was important to attract a younger audience to appreciate the art form.
Since its opening, the museum has presented rotating exhibitions of ukiyo-e prints from Seizo Ota V’s collection. The museum’s collection has grown to over 14,000 works, including not only ukiyo-e prints but also paintings, calligraphy, and ceramics. The museum’s mission is to preserve and promote the beauty and cultural significance of ukiyo-e prints, which were popular during the Edo period in Japan.
The Museum is home to an extensive collection of ukiyo-e works, which is considered one of the best in the world. The collection consists of over 14,000 pieces, including about 12,000 works collected by the late Seizō Ota V, who was a renowned collector of ukiyo-e art.
The collection covers a wide range of themes, styles, and periods, from the early Edo period to the late Meiji period. Visitors can explore the collection and discover the evolution of ukiyo-e art over the centuries. The museum also has a rotating exhibition that showcases a selection of works from the collection, with a different theme each month.
The collection includes works by some of the most famous ukiyo-e artists, such as Katsushika Hokusai, Utagawa Hiroshige, Kitagawa Utamaro, and Toshusai Sharaku. Visitors can admire their masterpieces up close and appreciate the intricate details and techniques that went into creating them.
In addition to the traditional ukiyo-e works, the collection also includes some rare and unique pieces, such as hand-colored prints, surimono (privately commissioned prints), and illustrated books. These works offer a glimpse into the private lives and interests of the people of the Edo period and provide valuable insights into the culture and society of the time.
There is no permanent exhibition room in the museum, and works are changed monthly depending on the theme of the exhibition.
The museum hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions drawn from its 12,000-strong collection. These exhibitions often include works by popular masters like Hiroshige and Hokusai.
Upcoming exhibitions include “Cats in Ukiyo-e,” which is scheduled to run from April 5th to May 28th, 2023.
Admission to the museum varies depending on the exhibition. For planned exhibitions, admission for adults is 700 yen, while for special exhibitions, it is 1000 yen.
The museum is open from 10:30 AM to 5:30 PM, with the last entry at 5:00 PM. It is closed on Mondays or the following Tuesday when Monday is a national holiday. Admission fees vary depending on the exhibition:
|Type of Exhibition
Visitors are advised to check the museum’s website for information on upcoming exhibitions and admission fees.
There is no restaurant or cafe inside the museum, but there are several dining options in the surrounding area. Visitors can explore the nearby Harajuku and Omotesando neighborhoods, which offer a variety of cafes, restaurants, and shops.
The museum is wheelchair accessible, with a wheelchair available for loan upon request. Audio guides are also available in English and Japanese for an additional fee of 500 yen.
The museum is easily accessible by public transportation. The nearest station is Meiji-jingumae Station, which is served by the Chiyoda Line and Fukutoshin Line. From the station, it is a 5-minute walk to the museum.