Urushi is a Japanese style of lacquerware whose origins are thought to date back as far as 4500 BC. Urushi techniques are used to make a wide range of fine and decorative arts that include paintings, sculptures, and even practical objects, such as bowls and bento (lunch) boxes. Setsuro Takahashi was one of the most prominent urushi artists of the 20th century and was notable for his intricate use of gold-leaf etchings and vivid colors set against stark lacquer backdrops.
Many of Setsuro’s original works are exhibited at the Setsuro Museum in northern Azumino. The museum features a large collection of the artist’s urushi pieces from his long and distinguished career, as well as number of watercolors that realize the beautiful Azumino landscape in which the museum is set. Visitors are also encouraged to explore the museum grounds, wherein lies a scale reproduction of Setsuro’s childhood home – a tribute to the late artist and itself, a fascinating insight into the design and function of traditional 19th century Japanese homes.
Whether already a follower of contemporary Japanese art, or as someone merely piqued by Azumino’s influence upon its people, the Setsuro Museum is a must-see highlight for anyone exploring the Art Line.
- By train: 10 minute taxi ride or 20 minute bike ride from JR Hotaka Station
25 minute walk from JR Ariake Station
By car: 15 minute drive from the Azumino Interchange
- 408-1 Kita-Hotaka
- 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
- Mondays (or the following weekday when Monday is a holiday)
Day after a holiday
Dec 28 - Jan 4