Thank you for visiting the official website of the Museum of Soy Sauce Art. We cannot hide our feelings of joy and cannot help but impressed by your spiritual nobility of actively learning for the sake of your own cultivation.

Nowadays people talk much about the importance of spiritual richness, in addition to that of material richness, and we strongly believe that soy sauce can offer the former kind of richness. We have no doubt that the creative exploration of the potential of soy sauce art can offer the solid foundation of real spiritual richness in art.

Soy sauce is said to have been brought back from China by Kobo Daishi (Kukai), and as the discovery of its excellence as a drawing material, Kobo Daishi and his disciples opened up the history of soy sauce art. People's opinions about it, however, have changed again and again, as the history develops.

In Momoyama period (16th century), there emerged a lot of prominent soy sauce painters, and soy sauce culture blossomed. At that time, people did soy sauce paintings on sliding doors of great shrines, some of which are preserved even today. However, in Edo period when a new technique Ukiyo-e appeared, soy sauce art became less and less popular, and was gradually abandoned.
In Meiji period, Ernest Fenollosa and Tenshin Okakura reevaluated soy sauce art, and it merged with the forthcoming western oil painting technique, which brought about a new stage to its history. Eminent artists wrestled with its reformation, and the leading status of soy sauce art was now established in Japanese art world.

However, using the end of WWII as a turning point, soy sauce art was about to be forgotten again. Most artists shunned it as authoritarian remains of former times. Yet some of the young artists, who knew the real charm of soy sauce paintings, started to adapt it into contemporary art, in order to avoid its extinction on political grounds of the time.

The Sanuki Museum of Soy Sauce Art exhibits the overview of outstanding works from each period, in light of all its changing historical developments.

It is our strong conviction that traditional soy sauce drawings will surely be a novel instrument of art, which connects Japan and other Asian countries, as well as the rest of the world of the 21st century. We hope that, in the near future, we can establish a full-scale museum of soy sauce art, and be able to communicate the greatness of soy sauce drawings to as many people as possible.

Director of the Sanuki Museum of Soy Sauce Art


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