Art Curator Japan

A Guide to Nara Museums

Nara National Museum

(奈良国立博物館)

Location: Nara

Web: www.narahaku.go.jp/english/index_e.html

The museum is noted for its collection of Buddhist art, including images, sculpture, and altar articles. The museum houses and displays works of art belonging to temples and shrines in the Nara area. Properties kept in the Shōsōin repository are exhibited each year in the autumn. In the museum's collection is the 12th-century Hell Scroll (Nara National Museum) (地獄草紙), 11th or 12th-century mandala Jōdo mandara-zu, and the 9th-century sculpture of the seated Buddha Yakushi.

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Irie Taikichi Memorial Museum of Photography Nara City

(入江泰吉記念奈良市写真美術館)

Location: Nara

Web: irietaikichi.jp

The collection includes the complete oeuvre of Irie Taikichi (1905 – 1992), some 80,000 works; a set of 1,025 Meiji and Taishō glass plates by Kudō Risaburō that are a Registered Tangible Cultural Property; and photographs by Tsuda Yōho.

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The Museum Yamato Bunkakan

(大和文華館)

Location: Nara

Web: www.kintetsu-g-hd.co.jp/culture/yamato/foreign/english.html

The core of the Museum Yamato Bunkakan’s collection features over 2,000 artworks from Japan, China, and Korea, and includes painting, calligraphy, sculpture, ceramics, lacquer, metalwork, textiles, and glass.  Examples are the Scroll of the Nezame Monogatari, Illuminated scroll of Hokekyō sutra, Screens of women engaged in various amusements (the Matsuura screens), and Li Di’s Leading a buffalo homewards in the snow,all of which are designated National Treasures.

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Shohaku Art Museum

(松柏美術館)

Location: Nara

Web: www.kintetsu-g-hd.co.jp/culture/shohaku/

The collection comprises paintings and sketches by Uemura Shōen, Uemura Shōkō (上村松篁), and Uemura Atsushi (上村淳之), and special exhibitions are staged to help promote the appreciation of Nihonga. 

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