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Escape the cold this fall season and bask in the art of French Painter Jean-François Millet, local Yamanashi artists and many more.


Artwork by museum entrance


The Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art not only hosts art within its walls, but across its campus outdoor statues and other artworks shine bright. As we continue well into November, the Museum grounds look especially gorgeous bathed in vivid autumnal reds, oranges and yellows. Just yesterday, the Kofu Meteorological Agency reported on the rarity of such vibrant leaves this late into the season. Despite the bitter cold that greeted us from late September, causing many to worry there would be no autumn at all this year. However, all worries were cast away as we sauntered through the beautiful colors and to the museum entrance.

A natural adaptation of the new Lifestyle

November 2020 marks a little under 10 months since former PM Shinzo Abe declared the COVID-19 a “designated infectious disease" under the Infectious Diseases Control Law, and Japan slowly began urging its residents to pursue a new style of life. Often called the 3 C’s in English, we are reminded day in and day out to avoid Confined spaces with poor ventilation, Crowded places (with many people) and Close contact (with others) and of course, to wear a mask. But this doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy yourself.

 And the Prefectural Museum of Arts is a perfect place to do just that. Upon entering, your temperature is immediately measured and you or a representative of your household must fill out a simple form with COVID-19 related questions. Once inside you begin to notice, museums are the perfect place to enjoy your “new lifestyle”. Naturally, everyone stands far apart and talking in close quarters is extremely limited. The spaces are wide and ventilated to protect the art works and to provide for optimal viewing conditions for people like you and I. Truly without worry can we sit back and enjoy the beautiful artwork the museum has in store.

Jean-François Millet and the Barbizon School

Many years back when they were first making plans for this prefectural museum, came the issue on whose art should they use to be the primary piece to open with. After deliberation the renowned French painter Jean-François Millet was chosen. His agricultural focused work was considered the perfect fit for the prefecture.


Jean-François Millet:The Sower 


For those unfamiliar with Millet’s work, he is well known for his art featuring peasant farmers, while the art of the Barbizon school which he helped form centers greatly on farm life, and natural and beautiful sceneries. At the time of the museum's creation and even now, these are features that Yamanashi Prefecture is known for. Today’s hardworking farmers of Yamanashi that work day in and day out, pruning branches and tilling soil can step into the threshold of the Millet exhibit and see themselves.

This is the true wonder of a prefectural museum.


Julien Dupré: Hay Harvesters


Japanese Artists from Yamanashi and Beyond

It is said that artists gather here, at the foot of Japan’s greatest mountain. From ancient ukiyo-e painters such as Katsushika Hokusai, to modern geniuses such as Itchiku Kubota many men and women have picked up their brushes, pens and pencils eying the superb sights of Mt. Fuji. And because of this, Yamanashi citizens often have an appreciation for art that rivals those of many across the world. It is often that we visit museums and galleries and we ask the curator “why here, in Yamanashi?” And the response is simply, ”because we wanted it.”


Seikou Kawachi : Fly! Over Hokusai


Published on

  • February 15, 2021


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