Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 4
September 4, 2012 (Tue) - November 25, 2012 (Sun)
Mr. Hirota Matsushige was born in the town of Yatsuo (present-day Toyama city), Toyama prefecture, in 1897. He entered the world of antique art dealers at the age of 12, and was active as one of the pioneers of viewing ceramics as objects of admiration, most notably Chinese ceramics. In 1949, when he retired, he took the pseudonym Fukkosai.
In 1947, 1967, and 1972, the year before he passed away, Mr. Hirota donated 496 objects, which was almost all of his collection, to the Tokyo National Museum. The museum galleries, mainly the Asian galleries of the Toyokan building, were significantly enriched by this donation.
While Chinese ceramics as subjects of admiration form the core of the Hirota Matsushige Collection, many masterworks of tea ceremony utensils, such as tea bowls and vases, are included as well, since Mr. Hirota became enthusiastic about the world of tea in his later years. His collection is indispensable for exhibitions related to the tea ceremony, one of the representative aspects of traditional Japanese culture.
The Hirota Matsushige Collection, underpinned by the connoisseurship and experiences of an art dealer, is unique. It includes bold selections, such as a Qing-dynasty bowl from the Jingdezhen kilns, until then an object of admiration, reinterpreted as a water jar for use in the tea ceremony. Other significant features of this collection are the various intriguing small pieces it includes, as well as its many masterpieces.