Built by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1609, Nagoya Castle was passed down as the residence of the Owari Tokugawa family for 260 years. The beautiful panel paintings, executed by artists of the Kano school, were only seen by a very limited number of people prior to the Imperial Household Agency granting the castle to the City of Nagoya in 1930. A number of the Kano school artists from Edo and Kyoto who gathered in Owari to participate in the production of the panel paintings, however, remained in Owari afterward, and several of the main artists frequently visited Owari and taught Kano school techniques, spreading the school's style to Owari.
Herbalism (本草学) developed greatly in the 19th century, with herbal scholars learning the study of plant anatomy introduced from Europe, and combining the artistic techniques acquired from Kano school sketches with observations made through the use of such equipment as microscopes to produce beautiful botanical illustrations.
From its roots in the Edo-period flower and bird paintings by Kano school artists and other painters of Owari, this exhibition explores the subsequent fusion of this tradition with Western botanical art, and its connections to Japonisme and Art Nouveau. It also looks at Owari-born herbalist Ito Keisuke (1803-1901) who studied under German botanist Philipp Franz von Siebold, and of whom Siebold said, 'As I am Keisuke's teacher, Keisuke is mine.'
Enjoy the dazzling drama that unfolds in this botanical tale that begins with Nagoya Castle.
When: Until Sun. 29 Aug. (Weekdays 10:00 - 17:30; Sat., Sun. & national holidays 10:00 - 17:00; Last entry 30 minutes before closing.) Closed Mondays (open 9 Aug.).
Where: The Yamazaki Mazak Museum of Art (ヤマザキ マザック 美術館) 4F Exhibition Room, Higashi Ward (東区)
Access: Connected to Shinsakae-machi Sta. (新栄町駅, H11) Exit 1 on the Subway Higashiyama Line (地下鉄東山線).
Admission: General Admission 1,300 (1,100) Yen; Senior and Junior HS students and Elementary students 500 Yen; Pre-school aged children free. Prices in ( ) are for groups of 10 or more.
Image: Hokusai Manga, 1814
Collection of Soukaen Bunko