May 27, 2022

Bashō & Buson & Jakuchū

The Fukuda Museum of Art and the Saga Arashiyama Museum of Arts & Culture jointly organise an exhibition to commemorate the rediscovery of Matsuo Bashō‘s valuable hand-painted scroll, “Nozarashi Kikō.”
With Yosa Buson as the key person, this exhibition traces the footsteps of Matsuo Bashō, whom Buson admired, and Itō Jakuchū, who was born in the same year as Buson.

Matsuo Bashō, known for his travelogue Oku-no-Hosomichi (The Narrow Road to the Deep North), in which he wrote such poems as ‘The ancient pond. / A frog leaps in. / The sound of the water.’, raised the literary art of haiku to the same level of literary status as waka poetry.  Around 1743, 50 years after Bashō‘s death, a movement to honour him began to flourish. Yosa Buson led this movement in Kyoto.  After studying haikai in Edo from his 20s, Buson spent about 10 years travelling around the northern Kantō and Tōhoku regions as a monk.  He settled in Kyoto from around the age of 42.  Thereafter, while studying Chinese Nanshu-ga, he painted landscapes and established a new genre of haiga (simple paintings which accompany and interact with Haiku), in which he added pictures and haiku to his paintings.

Itō Jakuchū was born the same year as Buson, the eldest son of Masuya, a greengrocery wholesaler in Nishiki-koji, Kyoto, and took over the family business at the age of 23, but retired at 40 to concentrate on painting.  He worked energetically until his death at the age of 85, producing his best-known work, the colourful paintings such as “Dōshoku-saie” (30 pictures of the colorful realm of living beings), as well as ink paintings.
It is known that Buson and Jakuchū lived very close to each other in the Shijō Dōri area, but at present there is no historical record of their interaction, and their painting styles are completely different.  However, they also had one thing in common: they both studied the paintings of the Chinese artist Shen Nanpi.

At the second venue, the Fukuda Museum of Art, Bashō’s hand-painted scroll, “Nozarashi Kikō”, a masterpiece, is on special display to the public.  This work, which has now been added to the Fukuda Collection, is extremely rare in that it is illustrated throughout the entire travelogue alongside the calligraphy, and is very valuable in that it shows Bashō’s strong interest in painting as well.

Also on display are a number of representative works by Jakuchū and Buson, such as Jakuchū’s “Rooster and Hen with Turnips” and Buson’s “Fierce Tiger and Waterfall”.  Visitors can see the efforts of these two artists, who sincerely learned the most advanced techniques of the time and tried to incorporate them into their own painting styles.

The first venue is the Saga Arashiyama Museum of Arts & Culture, which will exhibit Bashō’s haiku and paintings, as well as a number of famous Haiku poet “Bashō portrait” paintings by later painters.  The exhibition also features haiga by Buson, who was a great admirer of Bashō, and works by his disciples, including letters in Buson’s own hand showing his relationship with his patrons and pupils.

Bashō, Buson and Jakuchū.  Please enjoy to your heart’s content the artistic boundaries reached by these three great artists of the mid-Edo period, all of whom are well known to everyone, through their haikai and paintings.

List Of Works

Exhibition Introduction on YouTube (in Japanese)

Exhibition Overview

Title Bashō & Buson & Jakuchū
Dates October 22 (Sat.) 2022 to January 9 (Mon.) 2023
    1st Period: October 22 (Sat.) to November 28 (Mon.)
    2nd Period: November 30 (Wed.) to January 9 (Mon.) 2023 
Opening Hours 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (last entry 4:30 pm)
*From 12 November to 4 December, the museum will extend its closing hours by 30 minutes to 5:30pm (last entry 5:00 pm.

November 29(to exchange the paintings)
Year-end Holidays (December 30 – January 1)

Entry fee

General / University student: ¥1,300 (¥1,200)
High school student: ¥700 (¥600)
Elementary / Junior high school student: ¥400 (¥300)
Disabled person and up to one helper: ¥700 (¥600)

<Combo Tickets with Saga Arashiyama Museum of Arts & Culture>
General / University student: ¥2,000
High school student: ¥1,000
Elementary / Junior high school student: ¥550
Disabled person and up to one helper: ¥1,000

* Prices in parentheses are for groups of 20 or more.
* Free for preschool children

*If you purchase an online ticket of the Fukuda Art Museum, you will get a discount for the entry fee of the Saga Arashiyama Museum of Arts & Culture. Therefore, you can enter both museums as the same price of the combo ticket.

Organizers Fukuda Art Museum,  Saga Arashiyama Museum of Arts & Culture