Ōmura Art Museum

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Ōmura Art Museum was opened as a private art museum in 2007 by Professor Satoshi Ōmura and was donated to the city of Nirasaki in 2008. Born in Nirasaki in 1935, Ōmura is a prominent biochemist and joint winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the development of the anti-parasitic drugs avermectin and ivermectin. A devotee of art from a young age and, thanks to his patent money, an avid collector for much of his life, Ōmura founded the museum to ensure that his collection could be shared with as many people as possible.

The museum features a range of more than 2,000 artworks including paintings, sculptures, and ceramics, mostly by Japanese artists. There is a room on the second floor dedicated to the work of twentieth-century artist Shintaro Suzuki (1895-1989), one of Ōmura’s favorite painters. The second floor also features an indoor observation deck filled with earthenware by artists who were central to the Mingei (folk crafts) movement, including Tatsuzo Shimaoka (1919-2007), Bernard Leach (1887-1979), and Shoji Hamada (1894-1978). The room is designed for relaxing while enjoying the panoramic views of Nirasaki, the Yatsugatake Mountains, and Mount Fuji.

On the first floor is a room showcasing art by female artists including Setsuko Migishi (1905-1999), Tamako Kataoka (1905-2008), and Shoen Uemura (1875-1949). There is also a room dedicated to Ōmura’s life and scientific career. Visitors can see his childhood skiing medals, his Nobel Prize, and even a model of an avermectin molecule.

Ōmura still lives nearby and is a regular visitor to the museum, which feels like a true hidden gem. The Ōmura Art Museum also has its own hot-spring bath (onsen) and soba noodle restaurant, both located across the road from the museum. Reflecting Ōmura’s belief that art should be accessible to all, the bathhouse has rotating exhibitions for visitors to enjoy.



Venue Address

407-0043 1830-1 Kamiyamamachi Nabeyama, Nirasaki-shi

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