Shizuoka is famous for its woodcrafts and other traditional crafts, and has a historical reason for the presence of so many traditional crafts in the area: Many famous artisans — carpenters, sculptors, lacquer ware makers, as well as the craftsmen who made architectural fittings — were brought here to help construct Sumpu Castle, where the feudal Lord Tokugawa Ieyasu retired. Come here to see original works of art that are centuries old. And you can take a little of Japan home with you in the form of affordable and unique handicrafts.
MOA Art Museum
MOA Museum of Art (MOA Bijutsukan) was established in 1982 by the Mokichi Okada Association (MOA) to house the art collection of their founder, multimillionaire and religious leader Mokichi Okada (1882–1955). The founder of this museum devoted his life to collecting works of art believing that “great art purifies people’s souls, elevating them to a state of happiness.” And he felt that great art should not be privately owned but available to the public.
This collection, which features priceless Japanese and foreign works of art, was founded with the dual purpose of introducing Japan’s citizens to fine works of art from abroad, while introducing foreigners to the great works of art of Japan. The collection includes about 3,500 works of art, 60 important cultural properties, and three national treasures including Ogata Korin’s famous screen “Red and White Plum Trees.”
The main collection are the Asian paintings, calligraphy, and arts and crafts. The collection of Western painting and sculpture has increased in recent years and the museum is proud to have in exhibit Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies” and Henry Moore’s sculpture “King and Queen.” The museum is also the home of the Museum Cultural Foundation, which promotes a wide range of cultural activities. It is surely worth a visit to this fine museum for a full appreciation of Japanese art and art history.
Address and Contact – MOA Museum of Art (MOA Bijutsukan) 26-2 Momoyama-cho, Atami City (Atami-shi), Shizuoka-prefecture 413-8511 Tel: 0557-84-2511 Fax: 0557-84-2570 Hours: 9:30 – 16:30 (last entry at 16:00), Closed on Thursdays (except National Holidays), January 4-14, December 25-31. Pre-purchased tickets for MOA Museum of Art: Adult – 1,300 yen, High-school/University student – 500 yen, Over 65 years old with valid ID – 1,200 yen.
Shizuoka Prefectural Museum – The Rodin Wing
The Bridge Gallery of the Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art leads you to the wing highlighting the work of famed French sculptor Auguste Rodin. Standing in the center of the hall, one is bathed in diffused light emanating from the museum’s skylit glass ceiling. There are 28 bronze statues by Rodin here, including the famous “Citizens of Calais” ‘the Head of Balzac,” and, of course, “The Thinker.” Visitors can view the sculpture casting process in Room No. 1. More Details: Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art, Shizuoka City
Serizawa Keisuke Museum
This museum is located on the grounds of the reconstructed Toro Ruins. The museum preserves the ever-changing display of the work and collection of the late Serizawa Keisuke. Serizawa, an honorary citizen of Shizuoka (he lived here during a period of his life) is one of the rare artists to be designated as a Living National Treasure during his lifetime.
Serizawa, a founding member of the Mingei (folk craft) movement, used bold patterns and the rich coloration of Kataezome stencil dyeing, a technique he perfected, to create his own unique art, and is internationally acknowledged as a master textile designer. Also housed in this museum is Serizawa’s extensive collection of folk crafts from all over the world.
Shizuoka City Serizawa Keisuke Art Museum exhibits works from the late Keisuke Serizawa, an internationally renowned textile artist. Here you can sec items such as is kimono, screens, and store curtains made with the traditional Japanese katazome stencil-dyeing technique.
Address and Contact – Shizuoka City Serizawa Keisuke Art Museum 5-10-5 Toro, Suruga Ward (Suruga-ku), Shizuoka City (Shizuoka-shi), Shizuoka Prefecture 422-8033 Japan Hours: 9:00 – 16:30 Admission: Adult – ¥410, High-school/University student – ¥250, Over 65 years old with valid ID – Free. Tel: 054-282-5522 Fax: 054-282-5510
This shop operated by Shizuoka City, is located in Shizuoka Station. The shop exhibits and introduces the local crafts and products of the prefecture and all items are for sale. It was also established as a meeting place for citizens, craftsmen and industrial artists with the hope that these encounters would lead to the lively exchange of ideas.
Here you can see both traditional handmade crafts and well as the latest advanced techniques employed for new designs. Special exhibitions are held in the gallery throughout the year. Whether you are looking for a present that you feel is truly representative of traditional Japanese arts and crafts, or a simple souvenir, you are sure to find it here.
Address and Contact – Sunpu Rakuichi 47 Kuroganecho, Aoi Ward (Aoi-ku), Shizuoka City (Shizuoka-shi), Shizuoka Prefecture (Shizuoka-ken) 422-8067, Japan Tel: 054-251-1147 Fax: 054-285-1093
Suruga Bamboo latticeware
Shizuoka city has an especially fine quality of bamboo and there is evidence people here have fashioned tools and utilitarian items from bamboo since prehistoric times.
An interesting fact of history is that during the feudal period Samurai, famed for their fearlessness, fashioned cages and hats from bamboo to supplement their work as warriors! In 1873 Suruga (as Shizuoka was then known) bamboo latticework was exhibited at the World Exhibition in Vienna; after that, many people, attracted to the unique Oriental designs, created a market for bamboo products to be exported to Europe. As the technique to create bamboo latticework was increasingly refined, it was designated “a traditional handicraft” by the Minister of Trade and Industry.
For hundreds of years, Japanese have produced an infinite variety of artistic and useful items from this versatile plant. It is said to take 5-10 years to learn the techniques of bamboo latticework, challenging craftsmen to train apprentices who can maintain this traditional handicraft.
Skilled craftsmen split the bamboo along the grain into many fine “strings”, producing exquisite vases, trays, fruit baskets, lantern shades, lamps and bird cages which have an inimitable delicate beauty. If you would like the experience of seeing craftsmen at work at a forest studio, call Shizuoka Takekogei Kyodokumiai (Shizuoka Bamboo Crafts Co-op): Tel (054) 252-4924.
Address and Contact – Suruga Bamboo Crafts Co-operative, Shizuoka 7-1 Hachibancho, Shizuoka City (Shizuoka-shi), Aoi Ward (Aoi-ku), Shizuoka Prefecture 420-0078, Japan Hours: 9:00 ~ 17:00. Closed on weekends and holidays and New Year Tel: 054-252-4924 Fax: 054-273-2679
Shizuhatayaki (Shizuhata Ceramic Art)
Shizuhata Ceramic Art has it origins in an interesting twist of fate. In 1572, at the Battle on Mikatahara Plain (featured in the acclaimed Akira Kurosawa film ” Kagemusha “) the retreating troops of the Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu turned backed the troops of Takeda by building great bonfires at Hamamatsu Castle and shouting “Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi ! ” (Out with the devil, in with good fortune!)
To celebrate the unexpected victory, Ota Shichirouemon made cups in the shape of the devil outside and the face of a goddess on the inside and presented them to Ieyasu who became his patron. Shizuhatayaki flourished after that time with orders for the ceramic ware coming from Sunpu Castle, Kunozan Toshogu Shrine and Sengenjinja.
There was a sudden decline of Shizuhata ceramic ware around 1830 presumably caused by the great flood at the Abe River which may have washed away the kilns. During the Meiji period, Shizuoka prefecture invited Aoshima Shosuke to create the tradition ceramics as part of a drive to revive the local handicraft industry. His direct descendant, Aoshima Shuka continues today to produce this beautiful pottery — and you can visit his studio and kiln by calling him directly: Tel (054) 271-2480 9am to 4pm). 15 minutes on the Seibu Junkan bus line from Shizuoka Station to Yanagimachi.
Address and Contact – Shizuhatayaki (Shizuhata Ceramic Art) 95 Yanagicho, Shizuoka City (Shizuoka-shi), Aoi Ward (Aoi-ku), Shizuoka Prefecture 420-0007, Japan TEL: 054-271-2480 FAX: 054-271-2480
Kakegawa kuzu-fu Hand Woven Cloth
This is hand-woven cloth made from the fibers of arrowroot. The finished material has a lovely sheen and is highly water resistant. Said to date back to the Kamakura period (1185-1333) artisans produce bags, coin purses, footwear haori (half-coats), hakama (divided skirts), and floor coverings using this light and sturdy material.
Address and Contact – Kakegawa Kuzu-Fu Weaving Union Kakegawa house, Kakegawa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KAKEGAWA SYOUKOUKAIGISYO) 551-2 Kakegawa, Shizuoka Prefecture 436-0079, Japan Tel: 0537-22-5151 Fax: 0537-22-0954
Finely crafted vermilion and black-based lacquer ware that displays the wood of the zelkova tree to advantage. This ware’s special characteristic is the use of makie, exquisite designs made with gold and silver powders.
Address and Contact – Shizuoka Lacquerware Industry Cooperative 10-6 Saiwaicho, Shizuoka City, Aoi Ward, Shizuoka Prefecture 420-0067, Japan TEL: 054-253-8692 FAX: 054-253-8698
This type of dyed cloth is distinguished by its simple yet impressive beauty created by the striking contrasts between indigo, light blue and white.
This local ceramic ware is known for its warmth and simple beauty and is used for flower vases, kitchenware and tea utensils. It is famous among fans of ceramic ware for its unusual glaze that produces deep earthy reds.
Also See: Local Special Products of Shizuoka City