Life as Bunjin – The Art World of Urakami Gyokudo and His Sons, Shunkin and Shukin

Chiba City Museum of Art


Gyokudo Urakami, Shunkin Urakami, Shukin Urakami
The celebrated bunjin (literati painter) Gyokudo Urakami (1745–1820) was born into an elite samurai family in Okayama, but at the age of 50 rejected this life in exchange for his freedom, traveling across several countries while practicing painting and the seven-stringed koto (a zither-like musical instrument). Accompanying him were his sons Shunkin (then age 16) and Shukin (age 10). Shunkin became a popular Kansai-style painter and lived with Gyokudo during his late years in Kyoto. At age 11 Shunkin became a court musician for the Aizu government, distinguishing himself with his musical abilities. Father and sons each practiced the arts in their own ways while continuing a proud legacy as men of culture.

New works by Gyokudo Urakami have been discovered in the ten years since his last retrospective in 2006. Spotlighting the overlooked accomplishments of Shunkin, this exhibition presents Gyokudo’s masterpieces on an unprecedented scale while tracing the journey this father and his sons around Japan. Some 270 works including National Treasures, Important Cultural Properties, and newly discovered and exhibited pieces are on display.

[Related Event]
Seven-string Koto Concert
Date: Nov. 3 (Sat) 14:00
Admission: Free
Please see the official website for details and information on more related events.


Nov 10 (Thu) 2016-Dec 18 (Sun) 2016 

Opening Hours Information

Closes at 20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays.
Closed on the 1st Monday of each month.
(Open on a public holiday Monday but closed on the following day. )
Closed during the New Year holidays.
Closed on November 21st, November 28th, December 5th.
FeeAdults ¥1200, Seniors 65 & Over residing in Chiba City ¥960, University Students ¥700, High School Students and Under, Persons with Disability Certificates + 1 Companion Free.
VenueChiba City Museum of Art
Location3-10-8 Chuo, Chuo-ku, Chiba-shi, Chiba 260-0013
Access7 minute walk from Yoshikawakoen Station on the Chiba Urban Monorail, 10 minute walk from the East exit of Chibachuo Station on the Keisei line, 15 minute walk from the East exit of JR Chiba Station.
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