Scheduled Exhibit: Kawamura Kiyo

Kiyo Kawamura "Sparrow and sword beans"

Exhibit Period

First Half: July 6, 2017 – August 6, 2017, Second Half: August 10, 2017 – September 10, 2017

Exhibit Times

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

Museum closed

Admission Fee

Adults: 500 (450) yen High School, College Students: 300 (270) yen * Fees in parentheses are group rates for 20 or more visitors * Free admission for visitors elementary and junior high school students, and preschoolers * Half price for visitors with a physical disability certificate, and half price for one accompanying caregiver


Kawamura Kiyoo (1852-1934) was active from the Meiji to the Showa eras, producing Western-style art . He was the first son born to father Kigen, and mother Tama. His father later became an oniwaban, one of the Shogun's secret detectives, but at the time of Kiyoo's birth he was an okachigashira (commander of foot soldiers). From his early childhood Kiyoo studied drawing at one of the Shogunate's places of study. In 1871, following the collapse of the Shogunate in which he had been serving, he travelled across to America, where he studied politics as an international student privately financed by the Tokugawa family. However, perhaps because of his artistic talent Kiyoo came to study the painting, which he had been interested in to begin with. Afterwards, he crossed to France and Italy, so that the period of time he spent in Europe ended up totaling a decade. Upon his return to Japan, with the help of Katsu Kaishu's references and support, he did portraits of the Shogun's family and drew up naval battle maps among other work, and began to draw pictures which made use of the elements of traditional Japanese beauty which he had come to see in a new light during his time as an international student. By depicting cherry blossoms, porcelain dolls and other Japanese motifs, using metal and lacquer printing blocks, and thereby going beyond the bounds of traditional Western-style oil painting, Kiyoo developed his own distinctive paintings in oil. In the Aoki Collection which is the foundation of our museum's collection, we have many of Kiyoo's paintings, picture postcards and calligraphy. In this exhibit we will introduce works and reference materials through which you can come to understand how Kiyoo developed his unique method of oil painting which put heavy emphasis on Japan's traditional beauty.

Museum Talk

A guided tour of the exhibit in Japanese (requires payment of the admission fee)

Saturday, May 28, 2016, beginning at 1:30 p.m.

Presented by our museum curator