The Ukiyo-e Ōta Memorial Museum of Art (浮世絵 太田記念美術館 Ukiyo-e Ōta kinen bijutsukan) is a small museum located in Harajuku that houses the woodblock print (ukiyo-e) collection of Ōta Seizo V (1893-1977), a former president of Tōhō Insurance. He amassed over 12,000 pieces of prints that are presented on two small exhibition floors and frequently rotated.
The collection comprises iconic works, such as Hiroshige's 'One Hundred Famous Views of Edo' and the 'Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō', Hokusai's 'Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji', and the art of countless other ukiyo-e masters including Utamaro and Sharaku. The exhibitions are often arranged by seasons or topics and come with bilingual explanations. A short introduction to woodblock printing illustrates the complex step-by-step procedures conducted by several artisan teams (painters, carvers and printers).
The museum shop in the basement sells tenugui (手拭い), thin hand towels made of cotton, and other small gifts. Unfortunately, the ukiyo-e prints on sale cannot rival with the originals on display. The literature on sale is in Japanese except for a bilingual book on Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (¥3,250 at the time of our visit in September 2018, no credit cards).
It is not allowed to take photos.
- 太田記念美術館 Ota Memorial Museum of Art
- Exhibitions | 太田記念美術館 Ota Memorial Museum of Art
- artscape International
1-10-10 Jingu-mae Shibuya, Tokyo, 150-0001; phone: 03-3403-0880
Tuesday-Sunday 10:30 am - 17:30 pm, closed on Mondays. It is closed on several days in the month; please check their website for more information.
Regular exhibitions 700 JPY (500 JPY for university and high school students), 1,000 JPY incl. special exhibitions (700 JPY for students).
From JR Harajuku Station, a 5-minute walk from Omotesandoguchi exit.