Ota Memorial Art Museum

Ota Memorial Art Museum at a glance

The Ota Memorial Art Museum is in Tokyo‘s Shibuya Ward, near Meiji Shrine. The museum houses the 12,000-piece collection of ukiyo-e paintings and prints from the late Ota Seizo, founder of the Toho Life Insurance Company.

When Japan opened its door to the West in the second half of the 19th century, many of the country’s best ukito-e paintings started making their way to Western homes and museums. At one point, some people said you had to go abroad to see hanga prints and original Japanese artwork.

Ota took it upon himself to promote traditional Japanese art in Japan and spent 50 years collecting over 12,000 pieces. After Ota’s death, his family began exhibiting artworks never seen by the public before, from the beginning of the ukiyo-e period to its height in popularity.

This is a top-notch museum and its displays include works by many of Japan’s most famous artists, including Hiroshige, Hokusai, and Utamaro – a must see for fans of traditional Japanese art.