On The Radar: Sumida Hokusai Museum, Tokyo

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A museum dedicated C.18th ukiyo-e master Katsushika Hokusai’s wondrous woodblock prints.


Sumida-ku, Tokyo


Think you’ve ticked off Tokyo’s top sights? Well add another to the list: the spankin’ new Sumida Hokusai Museum, dedicated to the life and work of renowned Edo-era ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai. Aptly situ’d in the ward where Hokusai spent most of his 90 years, the angular, mirrored monolith, designed by femme starchitect Kazuyo Sejima, wows with its sheer size, sheen and subtle reflection of its surrounds (a clever nod to Hokusai’s preoccupation with Japanese landscapes).

Inside, white-walled minimalism allows the iconic Great Wave off Kanagawa and other pieces from Hokusai’s acclaimed Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji series to shine. These instantly recognisable pieces are displayed alongside paintings, sketches and the seven-metre-long ‘Landscape Scroll’, recently discovered after it went missing for the better part of a century.

Other exhibits explore Hokusai’s influences and aspects of C.18th Edo life, while a life-sized recreation of his studio details how he crafted his creations – albeit with a quirksome robotic rendition of Hokusai and his daughter at work. Standout architecture and art come together in this astonishing new addition to Tokyo; it’s a must-visit.

2-7-2 Kamezawa, Sumida-ku, Tokyo. +81 3 5608 6115. hokusai-museum.jp

- Published 12 December 2016.

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Eleani Purcell

Having spent the better part of her 'study years' flitting from Sri Lanka and South Africa to Iceland and Italy, Eleani joined LUXE fresh from freelancing for TimeOut Melbourne and Fairfax media. 

  • Eleani LOVES... Books by Jon Krakauer, orca documentaries, forecasting jaunts to Japan, Java, Cuba and Zanzibar

  • Eleani LOATHES... Aeroplane headphones, haggling

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