Scheduled Exhibition Ukiyo-e Artist of Light and Shadow: Kobayashi Kiyochika

Exhibit Period

March 17 (Thursday) – April 17 (Sunday), 2005

Exhibit Times

9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
(last admissions at 4:30 p.m.)

Museum closed

Mondays, and the day following a holiday (except when this falls on a Saturday or Sunday)

Admission Fee

Adults: 500yen High School, College Students: 300yen Elementary, Junior High School Students: 100yen (Discounts are available for groups of 20 or more, the handicapped and the elderly)


Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915) has been called "the last ukiyo-e artist." Born in Edo at the end of the Edo Period, the son of a direct retainer of the shogun, he lived through the upheavals of the Meiji Restoration and survived into the Meiji Era.
At the beginning of the Meiji Era, when the cultural enlightenment was being promoted, many works of ukiyo-e were published, drawn with a feeling of the enlightened and parched atmosphere of the landscape in Tokyo as it carried out its great transformation. Kiyochika began drawing works that paid attention to the subtle movement of the sun's rays, the dim flickering of the paper lanterns, and the warm glow of the gaslights. In this group of works called kosenga (light ray artwork) a nostalgic sentiment seems to hang in the air, looking like the works of latter Edo Period ukiyo-e artist Hiroshige. Through his own works, Kiyochika captured the lyricism of an Edo that was fading away.
At this exhibition, we mainly introduce the wide variety of works which ukiyo-e artist Kobayashi Kiyochika squeezed out as the world of ukiyo-e was facing its demise-not only the kosenga which only Kiyochika could have drawn, but also classical bijin-ga figure prints, the illustrated folk stories beloved by the common folk of Edo, and his hand painted and drawn art with its light and easy brushstrokes.

Museum Talk

Presented by one of our curators
March 19; Saturday, April 2;Saturday,April 9, 2005;
all talks begin at 1:30 p.m.