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

Chiba City Museum of Art

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

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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.


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from November 10, 2016 to December 18, 2016
Closed on November 21st, November 28th, December 5th.



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