Takamatsu Stone Museum2014.01.31 by Cathy Hirano
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:
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:
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