Many of Taikan Yokoyama's masterpieces were created in this place.


Yokoyama Taikan Memorial Hall

Yokoyama Taikan Memorial Hall

Taikan Yokoyama (18681958) created many paintings through the Meiji, Taisho and Showa Periods as a leading authority in the Japanese painting circles, and was conferred the first freedom of Taito City. The memorial hall facing Shinobazuno Pond in Ikenohata was the former residence of Taikan Yokoyama, which has been opened to the public in accordance with Yokoyama's last wish in order to advance the Japanese art circles. It is now run by the Public Interest Incorporated Foundation, Yokoyama Taikan Memorial Hall. In 1995, the hall was listed in "Taito-ku Kumin Bunkazai Daicho," or Taito City cultural property ledger, as a historic site in Taito City. It was also designated as a national historic site, which was officially named "Yokoyama Taikan Kyutaku oyobi Teien," or former residence of Taikan Yokoyama and its garden," in February 2017 because the residence and the garden were designed by Yokoyama, his ideas and sensitivity are ubiquitously reflected on those, he created many paintings at the residence, and there are many subject matters that he depicted are kept in it. (1-4-24 Ikenohata, Taito City)

Yokoyama Taikan Memorial Hall's Website
 
Visitors are not allowed to enter the garden of Yokoyama Taikan Memorial Hall in order to preserve it.

Exhibits are changed as occasion arises.
 

Taikan Yokoyama

Yokoyama created many masterpieces, bearing Tenshin Okakura's words, "The purpose of art is to pursue eternity, and to primarily represent supreme artistic effects through sentiments" in mind. (Excerpt from "Taikan no Kotoba," or words of Taikan Yokoyama: Curtesy of Yokoyama Taikan Memorial Hall)

The former residence of Taikan Yokoyama was destroyed by bombing in 1945, and later rebuilt in 1954. A drawing room called "Shokodo" is equipped with large glass windows. The large garden visible through the windows looks like a painting. 

Shokodo is a seaside cave located near Yokoyama's house in Izura, Ibaraki Prefecture. It is said that splash sounds can be heard from the cave at full tide. Yokoyama used to think of livings in Izure with nostalgia, so he named the room "Shokodo."

  Yokoyama was born in 1868 as Hidemaro Sakai, an eldest son of Sutehiko Sakai, a member of the samurai class in Mito. Yokoyama moved to Tokyo with his father who lost his status as a clansman of the Mito clan due to the abolition of feudal clans in 1878. Yokoyama entered Tokyo Prefectural Junior High School (present-day Hibiya High School) after graduating from Yushima Elementary School. Although he took an entrance exam for the Preparatory School of the University of Tokyo in 1885, wishing to be an architect, he was disqualified due to the infringement of an internal rule of the school. Therefore, he entered Tokyo English School, and studied English. Then, he took an entrance exam for Tokyo Fine Arts School (present-day Tokyo University of the Arts) in 1888 when it was founded, and entered the school as one of the first students. About that time, he was adopted into the Yokoyama family, and became Hidemaro Yokoyama. He met Tenshin Okakura who became the second principal of Tokyo Fine Arts School at the age of 29, and looked up Okakura as his lifelong teacher. He became a part-time employee at Imperial Museum (present-day Tokyo National Museum) after graduating from the school, and then worked as a teacher at Kyoto Municipal School of Arts and Crafts (present-day Kyoto City University of Arts). He finally became an assistant professor at the Department of Design, Tokyo Fine Arts School, and took a pseudonym "Taikan."
  When Okakura was involved in an internal dispute in Tokyo Fine Arts School and resigned as the principal in 1898, Yokoyama also stepped down from his post, and helped Okakura estbalish "Nihon Bijutsuin" or the Japan Art Institute. Then Yokoyama traveled in India in 1903, and visited the United States with Okakura and held some exhibitions in 1904.
  Okakura founded an art institute (present-day Izura Institute of Art & Culture, Ibaraki University) in Izura, Otsumura, Ibaraki Prefecture (present-day Kitaibaraki City), which he called "Barbizon of the East" in 1906. He had his disciples, including Kanzan Shimomura, Shunso Hishida, Buzan Kimura and Taikan Yokoyama, come to the art institute, and aimed to create new Japanese-style paintings. It was hard to live in Izura, and since Sutehiko, Yokoyama's father, and Gaho Hashimoto, Yokoyama's teacher, died in 1907, and the house in Izura was totally destroyed by fire, Yokoyama temporarily stayed in Shichiken-cho, Ueno Ikenohata, and then set up home at Kaya-cho, Ikenohata (the site where the memorial hall stands now) in 1909. Then, Okakura also died in 1913.
  Yokoyama devoted himself to create paintings, and exhibited his paintings at the Bunten and Teiten exhibitions. His painting was also accepted for the Salon in France, and he became a member of the Salon in 1922. He participated in the Japanese Art Exhibition as a representative artist, which was held in Rome in 1930. He received the first Cultural Medal in 1937, and was designated as a person of cultural merit in 1947. He also served as a member of the Imperial Arts Academy. Yokoyama promoted the development of the Japanese art circles throughout his life, and ended his life at the age of 89 in 1958.

Reiho Hikaku (1953), reproduced from a postcard published by Yokoyama Taikan Memorial Hall

  Yokoyama's style is different from that of the traditional Japanese-style paintings which emphasize line drawings. Yokoyama was instructed by Okakura who had a profound knowledge of the Western and Eastern arts, and developed his own style, a kind of graded coloring, which was influenced by John Constable in England and Barbizon and Impressionist school artists in France, including Gustave Courbet and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, who were so-called "pleinairist." Critics at that time called Yokoyama's style "Moro-tai," or hazy style. The style became Yokoyama's characteristic, and brought innovation to Japanese-style paintings. Changes of Yokoyama's style can be seen in those paintings created in his youth and in the Showa Period.


 

"Seisei Ruten" submitted to the 10th Inten exhibition (1923, study)
 

A study of his masterpiece "Seisei Ruten" (1923) (owned by the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo) was exhibited when we visited the memorial hall. Seisei Ruten, measuring 40 meters wide, is a large monochrome painting, and depicts a drop produced from the atmosphere turns into a river that flows into the ocean, and that finally transforms into a rising dragon, representing that everything is constantly changing.

Yokoyama Taikan Memorial Hall

 Taikan Yokoyama (18681958) created many paintings through the Meiji, Taisho and Showa Periods as a leading authority in the Japanese painting circles, and was conferred the first freedom of Taito City. The memorial hall facing Shinobazuno Pond in Ikenohata was the former residence of Taikan Yokoyama, which has been opened to the public in accordance with Yokoyama's last wish in order to advance the Japanese art circles. It is now run by the Public Interest Incorporated Foundation, Yokoyama Taikan Memorial Hall. In 1995, the hall was listed in "Taito-ku Kumin Bunkazai Daicho," or Taito City cultural property ledger, as a historic site in Taito City. It was also designated as a national historic site, which was officially named "Yokoyama Taikan Kyutaku oyobi Teien," or former residence of Taikan Yokoyama and its garden," in February 2017 because the residence and the garden were designed by Yokoyama, his ideas and sensitivity are ubiquitously reflected on those, he created many paintings at the residence, and there are many subject matters that he depicted are kept in it. (1-4-24 Ikenohata, Taito City)
 


Taikan Yokoyama

 

Yokoyama Taikan Memorial Hall's Website
 
Visitors are not allowed to enter the garden of Yokoyama Taikan Memorial Hall in order to preserve it.

Exhibits are changed as occasion arises.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Yokoyama created many masterpieces, bearing Tenshin Okakura's words, "The purpose of art is to pursue eternity, and to primarily represent supreme artistic effects through sentiments" in mind. (Excerpt from "Taikan no Kotoba," or words of Taikan Yokoyama: Curtesy of Yokoyama Taikan Memorial Hall)