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Kyoto UKIYOE* Museum vol.1

I visited Kyoto UKIYOE Museum to see its collections. The museum is newly opened and located near the intersection of Shijo st. and Teramachi st., on the 2nd floor of a building close to FUJII DAIMARU department store. It’s a small museum but has a huge number of treasures.

Today, I’d like to introduce the UKIYOEs exhibited there!

Talking about UKIYOE, what kind of art, or which piece do you imagine?

For me, it’s “KANAGAWA OKI NAMIURA (The Great Wave off Kanagawa) by HOKUSAI KATSUSHIKA (1760-1849).

It’s the most famous piece from HOKUSAI’S “FUGAKU 36 KEI” series. In addition, two other pieces from the series are also exhibited. One is “SAIKA HAKU U” known as “KUROFUJI (black Mt. FUji)”,

and the other one is “GAIFU KAISEI” known as “AKAFUJI (red Mt. Fuji).

It’s totally a rare chance to see these three pieces at a time. Please do not miss it!

In the Edo period, UKIYOE was nothing precious but just another common things, such as newspapers or advertising flyers to us. People at that time never had any ideas of preserving and treasuring UKIYOE since there must have been 100 to 1000 copies run off as per one piece. A vast number of pieces must have been dumped or used merely as wrapping papers for potteries.

UKIYOE gained its value and became extremely appreciated after late 19th century. Many fervent collectors looked for remaining pieces, however, a great number of pieces were already exported to overseas. Thus, Kyoto UKIYOE Museum is truly amazing because of its collection with such extremely famous pieces included. Nowadays, you can see wood prints or variety of products of UKIYOE everywhere. Indeed UKIYOE shows you the cultures, sceneries and everyday life of some hundreds years ago. It’s viivid colors and funny figures still keep attracting us, maybe indefinitely!

By the way, how can you tell the real from the fake ones of UKIYOE? According to the guide, aside from the judgement by professionals of course, you basically can tell it’s the real if the wood grain can be seen over the drawings.

Aside from HOKUSAI KATSUSHIKA, there are many other pieces by variety of artists in Kyoto UKIYOE Museum. I would like to introduce those works of art some time later!


Kirihata bldg 2F, Shijo Teramachi Nishi-iru, Naramono-cho 365, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto Open:

10:30am ~6:30pm (entrance close at 6:00pm)

Admission Fee:


300yen/child (Tax included)



Japanese woodblock prints which depicts everyday life of people in the Edo period



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