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Takamatsu, a city of art facing a jewel of the world: the Seto


Takamatsu Stone Museum

2014.01.31 by Cathy Hirano
I stopped by the Takamatsu Stone Museum the other day to catch Luca Roma's latest exhibition "Thin Lines".

An Italian sculptor resident in Mure, Takamatsu, Luca Roma does amazing things with wood, metal and other materials.

Luca arrived in Japan in 2000 to work with a Japanese sculptor in Ehime. He subsequently moved to Takamatsu where in 2004 he became the first foreign resident to win the Governor's Award for sculpture.

I found "Thin Lines" warm, inviting, playful, and, at the same time, thought-provoking. As my photos can't possibly do his work justice, I encourage you to go and see for yourself. The exhibition runs until this Sunday, February 2nd. (For a little more on Luca Roma see:
http://www.yashima-artvillage.jp/english/artist/category06.html#name02 )

While at the museum (entrance fee only 200 yen, under 18 free), you can enjoy a trip into the area's history of stone quarrying, masonry and sculpture.

Although there are no English explanations, the displays provide graphic depictions of various aspects of this local industry, which has been passed down faithfully for centuries. These skills developed thanks to a rich quarry of fine granite (Aji-ishi) located not far from the museum.

You can see evidence of the quality of local masons in every stacked stone wall you see in Takamatsu. And there are many of them!

Although the displays are impressive and well worth seeing, I was skeptical as to whether the museum had many visitors. I mean, after you've seen the main exhibit once or twice, would you keep coming back?

The receptionist assured me, however, that even in winter they have an average of 100 visitors/day on weekdays and 250 on Saturdays and Sundays, while in the summer holidays they get up to 500 a day. Partly this is due to high quality temporary exhibits, events and concerts. When I visited, they were not only showing Luca's sculptures but also a great exhibit of papier mache dolls by a famous local craftswoman. And upcoming concerts and workshops were also being advertised.

An even greater draw is the park right in front. What a great place to bring the whole family for a picnic or just to play while enjoying a lovely view of Mt. Yashima! The fact that there is plenty of parking is also helpful.

If you're looking for some place close to enjoy, both indoors and out, drop into the Takamatsu Stone Museum. For information on access, hours, etc., see the website below:

For more info on Takamatsu:

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This blog's writer

Cathy Hirano

I've lived in Japan since 1978. After graduating from a Japanese university with a BA in cultural anthropology in 1983, I worked as a translator in a Japanese consulting engineering firm in Tokyo for several years. My Japanese husband and I moved to Takamatsu in 1987 to raise our two children in a slower-paced environment away from the big city pressures. We've never regretted it. I work as a freelance translator and interpreter and am involved in a lot of community work, including volunteering for Second Hand, a local NGO that supports educational and vocational training initiatives in Cambodia, and for the Takamatsu International Association. I love living in Takamatsu.

Discover Scenic Sites and Art around Takamatsu on Bicycle Aji stone and stone art appreciation 1 day course Art, Architecture, Sightseeing in 1 Day Seto Inland Sea Jewel of the World 1 Day Satisfaction Course Learn about Takamatsu  in 1 minute Seto Inland Sea,  Jewel of the World Let’s enjoy learning Bonsai skills Access to major tourist areas

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