Visiting an exhibition of Ukiyo-e

Visiting an exhibition of Ukiyo-e

This is my friend, Bangly’s posting.

[May, 2013] A lot of people in Italy know the artist Katsushika Hokusai and his works, for example “the wave” or “36 views of mount Fuji”.

They are on posters, postcards and notebooks.

The artistic trend that he is part of has the name of Ukiyo-e.

Because I like the Japanese art of the late Edo period (1603-1868) very much, I went to see an exhibition at the Ota Memorial Museum of Art near Harajuku station.

There were some works of Hokusai, but also works of an artist less know in Italy called Kawanabe Kyosai.

His subjects (skeleton, animals in human forms, occult things) moved me a lot.

The exhibition was structured to compare their works, hinting that contemporary Manga has been inspired by these.

The collection of the founder of the museum counts 12000 of works and every month they change the exhibition.

In the museum, one shocking thing happened to me.

When I was taking note on my notebook, a staff came up to me with a pencil in her hand and she said to me “Use this one.

Here in this museum, you are not allowed to use any ink”.

When I was in Kyoto, I read a notice saying that you cannot take any note in a museum and when I asked why to a friend of mine, he told me that it was to make people move faster.

This time too I asked him why it is not allowed to use the ink, and he answered me “This is Japan”.