Kyoto Seishu Netsuke Art Museum Summer 2013 Exhibition: The Work of Toun Shishido

As preparations for Kyoto’s Gion Festival get under way, Kyoto Seishu Netsuke Art Museum is offering visitors to the old capital the opportunity to admire one of Japan’s most intriguing art forms.

Kyoto Seishu Netsuke Art Museum Toun Shishido Summer Exhibition 2013

Toun Shishido Summer Exhibition Poster 2013

Netsuke miniature sculpture originated in the Edo period, an age of flourishing arts and culture. They were used as a fastener to suspend items like money or medicine cases and tobacco pipes to the obi sash, which was tied around the waist. Far from merely functional items, these tiny statues, intricately detailed and crafted from a variety of precious materials, became coveted accessories and remain highly prized among collectors today.

Kyoto Seishu Netsuke Art Museum Toun Shishido Summer Exhibition 2013

Waiting for the Wave by Toun Shishido

Kyoto Seishu Netsuke Art Museum is Japan’s foremost museum dedicated to netsuke sculpture. Located in one of Kyoto’s last remaining samurai residences, it houses an impressive collection of some 3,000 antique and contemporary pieces. The museum now opens to the public for special exhibitions five times a year with an focus on contemporary artists. There are currently 150 or so netsuke carvers in Japan today.

This July, the museum presents the colorful works of Toun Shishido. Toun, a former jewelry maker who began devoting himself to the art of netsuke in 1997, was enticed by the 360° quality of the art form. As Kyoto enters its most important festival season, Toun has dared to stretch the conventions of netsuke carving to create mini replicas of hokogashira: the impressive, long-handled swords standing upon the giant floats that parade through the streets.

The Summer Exhibition of Toun Shishido

Kyoto Seishu Netsuke Art Museum Toun Shishido Summer Exhibition 2013

Kyoto Seishu Netsuke Art Museum Garden


Opening times: July 1-31, 2013 10:00-17:00 (last admission 16:30)
Address: 46-1 Mibukagyogosho-cho, Nakayagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8811, Japan
Entry: Adults ¥1000, Junior high/ high school students ¥500.
Please note that children of elementary school age and below are not permitted inside the museum.
No photography is allowed inside the museum.
Website: http://netsukekan.jp/en/

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