Seiho Takeuchi’s “Tabby Cat” and an Animal Paradise

Yamatane Museum of Art

poster for Seiho Takeuchi’s “Tabby Cat” and an Animal Paradise
[Image: Seiho Takeuchi "Tabby Cat" (Important Cultural Property) Yamatane Museum of Art]

Ends in 23 days

Animals’ lovable gestures and graceful forms melt our hearts and, at times, heal them. Animals of all sorts have been depicted, and enjoyed, in Japanese paintings ancient and modern. Continuing that tradition, the Yamatane Museum of Art is pleased to present an exhibition of fascinating paintings of animals by Seiho Takeuchi (1864-1942) and other modern and contemporary nihonga artists.

A leader in the modern Kyoto art world, Takeuchi produced many paintings of animals throughout his career. His superb descriptive powers earned him great respect as a master of animal paintings. “Tabby Cat” (Important Cultural Property), which he produced in 1924, is both that artist’s signature work and a masterpiece among modern nihonga animal paintings. He happened to encounter, and be captivated by, a cat in Numazu City, Shizuoka Prefecture. He carefully observed the feline, sketched it, and brought this masterwork to completion. “Tabby Cat,” with the cat’s graceful motion, sharp eyes, and soft fur rendered in skillful brushwork, is one of the most popular works in the museum’s collection.

This exhibition presents “Tabby Cat” for the first time in about four years along with sixteen other paintings depicting animals by Takeuchi. It also exhibits superb, and highly individual, works by other painters who excelled in depicting animals. Those artists include Goun Nishimura, Suisho Nishiyama, and Kansetsu Hashimoto Kansetsu. Adorable dogs and cats, heroic horses and oxen, humorous frogs: as you observe this cornucopia of works in which we can sense the warmth of their creators’ feelings toward animals, enjoy the animal paradise nihonga have engendered.

This exhibition is joined by the display of “Prototype for Illustrated Scrolls of the Arrival of Christianity” by Moriya Tadashi (1912-2003), a leading artist in the history painting genre who was active in the Showa and Heisei periods. This work will be donated to the Vatican to commemorate the Pope’s November, 2019, visit to Japan.

*All works mentioned are from the Yamatane Museum of Art collection.



from September 19, 2020 to November 15, 2020
Exhibition Hours 11:00-16:00


Adults ¥1300, University and High School Students ¥1000, Junior High School Students and under free, Persons with Disability Certificates + 1 Companion ¥1100.

Venue Hours

From 10:00 To 17:00
Closed on Mondays
Note:Open on public holiday Monday but closed on the following day. Closed during the New Year holidays and in between exhibitions.


Address: 3-12-36 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0012
Phone: 03-5777-8600

12 minute walk from exit 2 at Ebisu Station on the Hibiya line. 13 minute walk from the West exit of Ebisu Station on the JR Yamanote, Saikyo and Shonan Shinjuku lines.

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