See Famous Artwork Missing for Over a Century at New Hokusai Museum

It was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima.

Great Wave off Kanazawa (1830-1833). Courtesy Wikimedia commons.

The Sumida Hokusai Museum, dedicated solely to the work of Japanese woodcut artist Katsushika Hokusai, opened yesterday, November 22, in the Tokyo neighborhood of Sumida—the very area in which Hokusai was born and resided in for the remainder of his life some two centuries ago.

The museum will feature Hokusai’s woodblock prints in both its permanent collection as well as changing exhibitions, including his best-known work, The Great Wave off Kanazawa, from the “36 Views of Mount Fuji” series.

Also notably on view is the 23-foot-long work Sumidagawa Ryogan Keshiki Zukan (which translates to “Landscape Scroll of Scenery at Both Banks of the Sumida River”), having been recovered after it was missing for over a century.

Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima, the museum is a sleek five-story building that resembles blocks leaning against one another for support, and its reflective surface gently mirrors the surrounding neighborhood.

In addition to the galleries, it also is home to a library concentrating on Hokusai’s work, a lecture room, and museum shop.

Furthermore, the museum includes a life-size model of Hokusai’s studio—even going so far as to include “robots depicting Hokusai and his daughter Oei at work,” according to the Associated Press.

The collection of the late Peter Morse, a champion of Hokusai’s work, contributed largely to works now in the museum’s care. His son, Daniel, who attended the opening of the museum, warmly praised it as “a beautiful home for my father’s collection.”


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