In Kawaguchiko, near the lake with a breathtaking view of Mt Fuji, you can find the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum. Mr. Kubota was a textile dyeing artist who dedicated his life to reviving this traditional technique. He created many beautiful kimono, and you can see some of them displayed here in this wonderful gaudiesque museum.
Please note that the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum is currently closed until March 31, 2021.
Itchiko Kubota Museum Architecture
The museum permanently exhibits Itchiku Tsujigahana works with two main themes: one, from the trinity of ‘humans, nature and art’ and, the other, ‘the center of new culture and art’. The entire museum, including the garden, buildings, and furniture, symbolizes ‘the world of Itchiku’. The main building is a pyramid-shaped structure supported by 16 wooden beams that are over 1,000 years old, using a combination of Japanese and Western techniques.
In this building, the ‘Symphony of Light’ which is the life-long work of Itchiku consisting of a series of Mount Fuji and other works, is exhibited. At the rear of the enclosure, there is the tea room named ‘Itchiku-an’ where you can sip from an excellent infusion tea while enjoying the magnificent natural view.
There is also a new wing which is a unique architectural structure that will remind you of Gaudi’s designs. All walls are made with Ryukyu coral limestone (coral reef fossils) from Okinawa. In this wing, there are also the ‘Tombodama Art Gallery’, a shop where original items and accessories of glass beads are for sale, and an open style cafe.
Traditional Art Revival
Mr. Itchiku Kubota was 20 years old when he first saw a piece of textile treated with ‘Tsujigahana-some’. This is a form of dyeing patterns of the Muromachi era (1336 – 1573). Being fascinated by its beauty, he dedicated his life to studying the production techniques of this dyeing. Thanks to him this art has been left as a legacy in the contemporary era.
In 1990, Mr. Itchiku received the Order of Arts and Letters in the Knight degree, granted by the French Ministry of Culture. And in 1993 he received an Award from the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan. He died on April 26, 2003, at 85 years of age. His legacy was embodied for eternity in this wonderful museum, which has the seal of his beautiful and magical style.
It is recommended to visit this museum if you are in Kawaguchiko so you can enjoy the perfect combination of art, tradition, innovation, and nature.
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