The Striking Red Takes Your Heart Away: Welcome to the World of Genso Okuda!

Miyoshi city is located in the northern part of Hiroshima prefecture. In this sightseeing area with wineries and athletic parks, I visited the art museum of a local artist.

The Okuda Genso Sayume Art Museum

Genso Okuda (1912-2003) was a Japanese painter originally from Miyoshi city, Hiroshima prefecture. Still working as a Japanese doll artist, Sayume, his wife, is also from Miyoshi city.

In 2001, the couple donated some of their artwork to Miyoshi city, and 5 years after that, this art museum was opened.

Well then, let’s head to the exhibition room.

 

Red, red, red. Red is used in all the works. This color, also called “Genso red” is the artist’s unique pigment that he worked with in the latter half of his life as a painter.

 

By the way, as he was good friends with Kaii Higashiyama, a painter from the same period, “Genso red” and “Kaii blue” are often exhibited together.

This is “Akane”, one of Okuda’s masterpieces.

 

With a height of 2.3m and a length of 5.82m, this enormous canvas depicts a deep red arbor and mountains. Facing the painting in the dim lighting feels as if you really are in the mountains.

The Moon appears in the top left corner of the painting, a recurring theme in Okada’s work. It’s also an important aspect of the Okuda Genso Sayume Art Museum… I will write about that in more detail a little later.

 

This is Sayume Okuda’s work, “Tsuki no Wakare”. The doll’s hands spread out like those of the thousand-armed Kannon.

“Two hands are not enough to support Genso”, is apparently the reason the doll has 6 arms. After understanding the deep thought put into the work, I’m speechless.

As I exit the exhibition hall with that moving account still lingering in my head, I see this painting-like view from the lobby’s large window.

Apparently illustrating scenery from Miyoshi, the inspiration for the design using a large pond came from Genso Okuda’s work “Machizuki”. The front faces east, the direction in which the Moon rises.

This notice board in the lobby indicates the date of the next Full Moon.

 

 

Full Moon Evenings

 

In order for visitors to experience the magical view, on Full Moon evenings the art museum’s opening hours are extended to 9pm.

How about enjoying a quiet moonlit evening in the company of Genso and Sayume Okuda’s works?

 

The Okuda Genso Sayume Art Museum

Address: 435-6 Higashisakeyamachi, Miyoshi city, Hiroshima prefecture
Regularly open: 9:30-17:00 (Last entrance 16:30.) Full Moon: 9:30-21:00
Closed: Every 2nd Wednesday of the month / New Year’s holidays. The museum may be closed temporarily on other dates.
Tel: 0824-65-0010
HP: http://www.genso-sayume.jp/ (Japanese)

Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Izumi Furukawa

 

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Izumi Furukawa

Izumi Furukawa

Izumi Furukawa Hello. My name is Izumi Furukawa and I was born in Kagawa Prefecture. Before getting married in 2012, I wrote for various magazine companies and Internet based media organizations in Tokyo. After marrying, I moved to Hiroshima and am now raising my child as well as writing stories about my fascination with this area through Setouchi Finder. Most of the articles I write are about places I visit on weekends with my family. My favorite driving course is Route 375 from Saijyo to the Miyoshi Area, and my favorite food from the Hiroshima area is Anagomeshi (from Miyajima)!!

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