Nakagawa Kazumasa Art Museum

Nakagawa Kazumasa Art Museum

Enjoy some colourful art at this Manazuru museum

Nakagawa Kazumasa Art Museum
Peter Sidell   - 2 min read

Within day-trip distance of Tokyo, the Manazuru peninsula is a pleasant place to visit, with good seafood, a charming little fishing town to potter round, and some attractive seaside scenery at the cape. As well as all this, it's worth visiting the Nakagawa Kazumasa Art Museum, dedicated to the work of the celebrated Japanese artist for whom it's named.

Nakagawa was born in Tokyo in 1893, then built a studio in Manazuru in 1949; this is near the museum, and can be visited by arrangement with the curator on request. A completely self-taught artist, he produced oil paintings, calligraphy, illustrations, mineral pigment paintings, and ceramics, and received the Order of Culture award in 1975.

The museum displays a wide, representative range of his artworks, occasionally rotated so that the whole collection can be seen at different times. Examples of his calligraphy include classical Chinese poetry and Buddhist scrolls, one such scroll being displayed in a tea ceremony room on the first floor.

Mostly it's his paintings that are on display, and it's these that I enjoyed most. There are some paintings of local landscapes, and more of flowers, these being very colourful and vibrant: tulips, roses, camellias and sunflowers, among others, sometimes in brightly painted frames to match. The bold, heavy brushstrokes that they share with his calligraphy lend them an energy and playfulness, but there's also often the detail of the decoration on the painted flowerpots, such as the Delft porcelain pots for the tulips.

Everything is labeled in Japanese, of course, but some English titles and descriptions are given, and the museum has a very informative booklet in both English and Japanese. There's also a small selection of souvenirs for sale at the entrance.

Getting there

It's a few minutes' drive or about a thirty-minute walk from Manazuru station, on the JR Tokaido line.

The museum is open daily except Wednesday, from 9:30am to 4:30pm, with a week-long closure for the New Year holidays. If a national holiday falls on a Wednesday, the museum will open on the Wednesday and close the next day.

Admission is JPY600 for adults, with discounts for groups and students of high school age or younger, and free admission for disabled visitors; the museum is fully wheelchair accessible.

Peter Sidell

Peter Sidell @peter.sidell

I came to Japan from Manchester, England in 2003, and have travelled a lot since then, around Japan and in Asia. When I'm not working, I write satire and perform stand-up comedy in and around Tokyo. Check YouTube for a taste.