EISEI BUNKO MUSEUM

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Exhibitions Schedule 2021

*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.

Early Summer Exhibition 2021

Ryokan (Part 2):
Poet with the heart and spirit of the Japanese

Period
Saturday, April 24 –Sunday, July 4 August 1, 2021
Closed
Mondays and June 29
Opening hours
10:00am to 4:30pm (last entry 4:00pm)

Ryokan (1758-1831) was a renowned poet and calligrapher of the late Edo period who lived as a mendicant priest. People called him “Ryokan san” with affectionate respect. Born the eldest son of the Tachibanaya family that served as village head of Izumozaki in the Echigo Province, Ryokan initially entered the family business, but became a Buddhist priest at the age of eighteen. After years of ascetic practice, he made a pilgrimage around the country subsequently returning to his home village and stayed in huts at Gogoan or Otoko Shrine on the hillside of Mount Kugami. Ryokan never ran a temple or desired fame but cherished all living beings and lived with the bare minimum. He spent his days playing with children, having conversations with friends, composing Japanese or Chinese poems, and creating calligraphic works.

Ryokan’s simple attitude to life and his calligraphic works are still highly esteemed by people of all walks of life. This second exhibition of Ryokan following the one held in the spring of 2018 introduces treasured calligraphic works from the collection of a major private collector of Ryokan works as well as the pieces recently added to the collection. We hope the visitors enjoy the charming works of Ryokan, a beloved poet with the heart and spirit of the Japanese.

Artwork
Self-portrait with Inscription ‘The Fourth Month, Early Summer’
by Ryokan

19th century, Edo period
Private collection
Artwork
Japanese Poem ‘Example Poem for Nun Teishin’
by Ryokan

1828 (Bunsei 11)
Private collection
Artwork
Chinese Poem ‘Composed at my Grass Hut on a Snowy Night’
by Ryokan

1830 (Tempo 1)
Private collection

Summer Exhibition 2021

Beautiful Equipment of Warriors:
Arms and Armor of the Hosokawa Daimyo Family

Period
Friday, July 23 Tuesday, August 17 –Monday (National Holiday), September 20, 2021
Closed
Mondays(Exceptions: open on September 20)
Opening hours
10:00am to 4:30pm (last entry 4:00pm)

During the Warring State Period, warrior lords prepared a large number of arms and armor specially made for them. They were not only eminently functional but were also decorated with elaborate designs to boost the morale of the commander and his troops. Even in the peaceful days of Edo Period, successive lords of clans made decorative arms and armor as status symbols of the family. Thus many unique arms and armor reflecting the aesthetic tastes of the lords are found among the treasures in the daimyo family collections today.

Eisei Bunko Museum houses numerous arms and armor owned by the successive generations of the Hosokawa family. This exhibition introduces the equipment ordered by the highly cultivated Hosokawa lords, such as Gusoku armor, known as “Sansai style”, that was originally designed by the 2nd head Tadaoki (1563-1645), spectacular helmet worn by the 3rd head Tadatoshi, and Jinbaori (surcoat) which shows the European influence. We hope the visitors enjoy discovering the sophisticated culture of the warriors in the turbulent times.

Artwork
Gusoku Armor with chestnut leather-wrapped lames, dark blue cord lacing and left tasse laced in red
Worn by Hosokawa Naritatsu

19th century, Edo period
Eisei Bunko Museum (Entrusted to Kumamoto Prefectural Museum of Art)
Artwork
Helmet with knotted headband design with purple lacing
Worn by Hosokawa Tadatoshi

17th century, Edo period
Eisei Bunko Museum (Entrusted to Kumamoto Prefectural Museum of Art)
Artwork
Jinbaori (Surcoat) made of light brown wool with red band
Worn by Hosokawa Tadatoshi

17th century, Edo period
Eisei Bunko Museum
Artwork
Mounting for “Nobunaga” Blade
18th century, Edo period
Eisei Bunko Museum

Autumn Exhibition 2021

Basho: “the Unchanging and the Ever-changing”
Celebrated Works from Kakimori Bunko Collection

Period
Saturday, October 2 –Sunday, December 5, 2021
Closed
Mondays and November 2
Opening hours
10:00am to 4:30pm (last entry 4:00pm)

Kakimori Bunko (Itami City, Hyogo Prefecture) was founded in 1982 with a view to store and preserve the collection of haiku poetry amassed by Okada Rihei (1892-1982), the 22nd head of the Okada family. The Okadas have been engaged in sake brewery for generations, and the successive heads of the family used pseudonyms containing the character “柿kaki (persimmon)” after the great old persimmon tree in their garden.

"Kakimori" is the pseudonym of Rihei, which means “the guardian of persimmon tree” in Japanese. Besides running his family business, Rihei served in important positions as the mayor of Itami Town (later Itami City). After he became acquainted with the haiku poems by the local poet, Ueshima Onitsura, Rihei was deeply involved in studying poetry and expanded his interest in the works by Matsuo Basho and other haiku poets. His rich collection of the original works and documents is regarded as one of the three major collections of haiku poetry in Japan.

This exhibition explores Basho’s theory of “fueki ryuko (the Unchanging and the Ever-changing)” by presenting Basho’s best works from the collection. Important works of Onitsura are also on display indicating how the poet contributed to the transition from renga to haiku.

Artwork
Cultural Property designated by Itami City
Furu-ike-ya Verse’ on Tanzaku Paper
by Matsuo Basho

Early Edo period
Kakimori Bunko
Artwork
Tabiji no Gakan (Travel Scenes)
by Matsuo Basho

Early Edo period
Kakimori Bunko
Artwork
Cultural Property designated by Itami City
One-line Poem ‘Nyopporito
by Ueshima Onitsura

Early Edo period
Kakimori Bunko
Artwork
Persimmon Tree
by Takahashi Sohei

Late Edo period
Kakimori Bunko

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