Tokyobling's Blog

Rokuzan Ogiwara Museum – Nagano

Posted in Places by tokyobling on July 20, 2014

As Japan modernized and aligned with the rest of the world during the Meiji period of Japan (1868-1912), not only science, politics, religion and technology changed, but also art. Japanese artists were eager to understand and to master the new modern art styles of Europe and wealthy patrons sent out scores of promising artists to study abroad. One of these was a young man from Nagano prefecture, Rokuzan Ogiwara (1879-1910) who studied modern sculpture in both the US and France where he received instruction from the famous Rodin himself. Rokuzan was also a christian convert from an early age and a member of the temperance movement. His rather short life was ended by tuberculosis.

Almost as interesting as the man and his work themselves are the museum put up in his name in Hotaka, Azumino City. The main structure is built like a church and was funded by donations from local school children and teachers who also took part in the construction itself, which took many decades to finish in 1958. There is another completely modern concrete construction as well, and an almost ancient looking logg house construction put up completely by local students and teachers. Junior high school kids were pretty crafty back then! Everything in the garden and tiny museum grounds is designed, from the concrete tables to the hidden spouts of the rain gutter. It is easy to tell that a lot of people put a lot of effort in this place.

You can read more about the museum here on their official website.



7 Responses

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  1. Sarah said, on July 20, 2014 at 10:10 am

    I’d love to visit this pretty museum. Thank you for sharing. 🙂


    • tokyobling said, on July 22, 2014 at 3:06 am

      Thank you for the kind comment Sarah! I hope you get the chance to visit soon!


      • Sarah said, on July 22, 2014 at 7:44 am

        I’d like my Japanese to be better first. Going to Japan is probably going to be a once-in-a-lifetime thing for me so I want to make the most of it. 🙂


        • tokyobling said, on July 22, 2014 at 9:18 am

          I have been here for decades, and I am still not good enough. Just go! While you are young enough to manage the heat and all the walking that is far more necessary to enjoy Japan than the language! (^-^)


          • Sarah said, on July 22, 2014 at 9:25 am

            Thanks. I’m really just chicken*! 😀



          • tokyobling said, on July 22, 2014 at 3:48 pm

            We can always blame our personal economy! Traveling is tremendously expensive. (^-^;)


          • Sarah said, on July 22, 2014 at 3:52 pm

            Well, there’s that too. 🙂 Hence the “once-in-a-lifetime” thing. I guess I could do what you did and just stay. 🙂


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