A delightful and contemplative space devoted to one of japan‘s greatest artists
Sesshu Toyo, a 15th-century Zen monk and artist, is credited with creating a distinctly Japanese style of ink wash painting known as sumi-e. His contributions to the art world are immeasurable, and his masterpieces have earned him a place among Japan’s National Treasures. Among his many achievements, Sesshu is known for his gardens, particularly the one he created at Ikoji Temple.
Located just over a kilometer from Masuda Station, the Sesshu Memorial Museum is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and history buffs alike. The museum is easily accessible by public transportation, with bus stops within 500 meters of the entrance. However, the most convenient way to reach the museum is by taking a taxi from either the station or the nearby Sesshu gardens.
The museum holds a special significance as it is situated right next to the place where Sesshu chose to spend his last days on Earth. When he passed away at the age of 87, he was buried nearby, adding to the historical and cultural importance of the site. Before entering the museum, visitors can explore the gardens that Sesshu created in the 15th century at Ikoji Temple and Manpukuji Temple. These serene and picturesque gardens offer a glimpse into the artistic vision and creativity of the renowned artist.
Inside the museum, visitors can get to know Sesshu on a deeper level. A lifelike bust of the artist and a collection of his personal possessions are displayed alongside his paintings, providing a more intimate understanding of his life and artistic process. While only a few of the museum’s extensive collection of Sesshu paintings are on display at any given time, one that is often showcased is his portrait of Masuda Kanetama, the Lord of Iwami who brought Sesshu to Masuda in 1478. Painted in 1479, this portrait is considered an Important Cultural Property and offers a glimpse into the artist’s skill and technique.
One of the highlights of the Sesshu Memorial Museum is the gardens that surround the building. Though created in modern times, these gardens pay homage to Sesshu’s distinctive style and serve as a continuation of his artistic legacy. As visitors explore the gardens, they will notice the unmistakable influence of Sesshu’s ink wash painting techniques, creating a harmonious and tranquil atmosphere.
In conclusion, the Sesshu Memorial Museum is a place of reverence and appreciation for the life and works of Sesshu Toyo. Through his groundbreaking contributions to sumi-e painting and his ability to capture the essence of nature through his art, Sesshu has left an indelible mark on Japanese art history. Visiting the museum provides a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the world of this great artist, gaining a deeper understanding of his artistry and the cultural significance of his works. Whether you are an art enthusiast, a history lover, or simply someone seeking a peaceful and contemplative space, the Sesshu Memorial Museum is a must-visit destination in Japan.
Address And Maps Location:
イ1149 Otoyoshi-cho, Masuda-shi, Shimane-ken