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Utamakura―Forgotten Poetic Vistas

June 29 to August 28, 2022

*Download the list of changes in works on display
*There will be an exhibition change during the course of exhibition.
*The period is subject to change.
*Photography permitted for only 2 works with PHOTO OK mark in this exhibition.

Waka, Japanese poetry, is a time-honored means of expressing intangible sensations and emotions, without shape or form, through tangible objects. Embedding feelings in the constantly changing natural world as well as a host of other things, the Japanese of the past expressed their emotions, their hearts, in poetry. Above all, they felt compelled to compose poetry about beautiful landscapes.
As certain places were included in poems again and again, specific images became attached to them, developing into widely shared poetic tropes. Even if one had never experienced the actual landscape, the shared image of it made it possible to express one’s feelings through an allusion to it. Those places with which specific images are associated, through waka, are what we now call utamakura, “poem pillows.” An utamakura place name is the pillow, the platform, on which a poem rests.
Utamakura, having taken shape as Japanese emotional landscapes, went on to develop a deep relationship with the visual arts. Paintings of famous places, based on the lyrical images of the utamakura, rather than the actual scenes, and craft objects decorated with utamakura-inspired designs: the utamakura has, through the cultivation of allusions across many media, enriched the content of Japanese art.
How, though, can we today, in a world in which waka and classic literature are not rooted in our daily lives, share utamakura? In this exhibition, we introduce the emotional landscapes that many Japanese persons once would have been able to call to mind, and the world of utamakura, in an attempt to share once again the poetic tropes, the wealth of emotion and visualization embedded in Japanese art.

Works from the exhibition

Period

June 29 to August 28, 2022

*Download the list of changes in works on display
*There will be an exhibition change during the course of exhibition.
*The period is subject to change.
*Photography permitted for only 2 works with PHOTO OK mark in this exhibition.

Hours

10:00-18:00 *Friday and Saturday 10:00-20:00

*Open until 20:00 on July 17 and August 10
*Last admission: 30 minutes before closing
*Hours are subject to change.

Closed

Tuesdays

*Open until 18:00 on August 23

Admission
Adult General
¥1,500
Advance
¥1,300
University and
High School Student
General
¥1,000
Advance
¥800

Online Ticket Sales

Elementary, junior high school students and under are free.
*With a certificate of disability, the admission fee of a disabled person and a care-giver will be waived.
*Advance tickets will be available on the website from April 16 to June 28.

Discount

◇100 Yen Discount
•For presenting a ticket to a thematic exhibition at the National Art Center, Tokyo, or Mori Art Museum

*Only one discount per person

Audio Guide

¥600

English audio guide available

Organized by

Suntory Museum of Art, The Asahi Shimbun

Sponsored by

Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd., Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co., Ltd., Suntory Holdings Limited

*Unauthorized reproduction or use of texts or images from this site is prohibited.

2021 January

  • Exhibition
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  • Tea Ceremony
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2021 February

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2021 March

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2021 April

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2021 May

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2021 June

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2021 July

  • Exhibition
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2021 August

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2021 September

  • Exhibition
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2021 October

  • Exhibition
  • Closed
  • Tea Ceremony
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2021 November

  • Exhibition
  • Closed
  • Tea Ceremony
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2021 December

  • Exhibition
  • Closed
  • Tea Ceremony
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2022 January

  • Exhibition
  • Closed
  • Tea Ceremony
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2022 February

  • Exhibition
  • Closed
  • Tea Ceremony
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2022 March

  • Exhibition
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  • Tea Ceremony
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2022 April

  • Exhibition
  • Closed
  • Tea Ceremony
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2022 May

  • Exhibition
  • Closed
  • Tea Ceremony
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2022 June

  • Exhibition
  • Closed
  • Tea Ceremony
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2022 July

  • Exhibition
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2022 August

  • Exhibition
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2022 September

  • Exhibition
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2022 October

  • Exhibition
  • Closed
  • Tea Ceremony
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2022 November

  • Exhibition
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2022 December

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