Nagare Studio (Masayuki Nagare Museum), Takamatsu, Kagawa: 130 Works by Sculptor Masayuki Nagare on Permanent Display 


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  • Nagare Studio (Masayuki Nagare Museum), Takamatsu, Kagawa: 130 Works by Sculptor Masayuki Nagare on Permanent Display 

Even people who may not recognize the name Masayuki Nagare have likely seen his sculpture The God of Cinema at the Japan Academy Film Prize ceremony.

Nagare's works are found all over the world, including Nagarebachi at the Takamatsu Art Museum, Cloud Fortress which once stood in front of the World Trade Center in New York, and Receiving in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.
His works are deeply rooted in a desire for peace.

Nagare Studio (Masayuki Nagare Museum), in Aji, Takamatsu

Along the Aji Peninsula seaside road stands a sturdy brick wall.

This is the entrance to the Nagare Studio (Masayuki Nagare Museum).


Masayuki Nagare was born in Nagasaki Prefecture in 1923. After serving as a Zero fighter pilot at the end of World War II, he then roamed the world, teaching himself and establishing a unique style in his sculpture, gardening, pottery and furniture design.

His first encounter with Kagawa Prefecture was for an architectural feature in a magazine. Initially finding the land desolate, Nagare grew fond of the warmth of the local people in Kagawa, settling there in 1966 in a studio and residence that faced the rising sun in the east.

The building opened to the public as a museum in 2019.The fortress-like brick structure is a part of the museum's art collection.

It was constructed using bricks that were imperfectly fired, sourced from a brickmaker in the neighboring town of Shido. The irregular shapes of the bricks contribute to its unique charm. Just like a living creature, the structure has evolved through a process of construction, demolition and reconstruction.

Of the 380 pieces in the museum's collection, 130 are always on display. There is a one-hour guided tour that provides detailed explanations and stories about the art works.

Many of his works are made of black granite. Nagare's hands have transformed the hard, cold stone into soft and warm pieces of art.

Many of his works are unnamed, leaving their interpretation to the imagination of the beholder.

The mirror-finished surface of the stone, polished tens of thousands of times by the stonemason's hands, reveals a luster that belies the passage of decades.

It reflects one's face as if it were a mirror.

Visitors are free to touch the outdoor works. Some works are supported by a single core rod, allowing for 360-degree rotation.

A work of art crafted with the finest grade Aji Stone, Komame.

An iron piece with beautiful patterns created by rain and wind.

Sakimori at the edge of the garden.

Sakimori, a coast guard, is one of the humanoid sculptures traditionally created in the West. Nagare spent a long time searching for his own style of human-shaped sculpture. His Sakimori is the result of this search. In his interpretation, it is not only a guardian of the nation but also of everyday life, embodying both masculinity and femininity. The hollow of the sculpture is filled with the feelings of the people viewing it.

According to Nagare, "bird droppings on the sculpture are proof that the work has naturally blended into its surroundings." Surprisingly, birds tend to gather above Sakimori.

The underlying theme in Nagare's works is a deep desire for peace, originating from his wish to soothe the spirits of the people who perished in war.

A propeller from a Zero fighter plane which had been submerged in the sea for 60 years reached Nagare through a curious twist of fate.

This propeller now rests in the garden, emanating a special aura and embodying Nagare's pursuit of enduring peace.

The museum also exhibits a prototype of his masterpiece, Cloud Fortress. The work, which once stood in front of the World Trade Center in New York, was a 10-meter, 250-ton masterpiece that took seven and a half years from conception to installation. It miraculously survived the September 11 attack in 2001 but was removed to facilitate rescue operations.
Nagare had hoped to recreate Cloud Fortress at the same size one day, but his dream remained unfulfilled as he passed away in 2018.

The museum still retains the atmosphere of his daily life.

Note: Photography is not allowed inside the building.

Public Art by Masayuki Nagare in Takamatsu City

At JR Takamatsu Station:DAITEMMAI

At Sunport Takamatsu:MATAKITENO

At Kagawa Prefecture International Exchange Association:AMAGOI SHISHI (Rainmaking Lion)

At Kagawa Prefectural Cultural Hall,Kagawa Urushi Lacquerware Institute:OIDEMASE (Welcome)

At Takamatsu Art Museum:Nagarebachi ("Nagare drumstick")

At Hyakujushi Bank, Ltd.Head office:Sohekiga (Grass Mural)

At SHIKOKUMURA MUSEUM:Somegataki Waterfall Nagare-Zaka Plaza

At City of Sakaide Osakiyama Enchi:Matakimai

Other Must-Visit Spots in Aji

Stone Culture Park Museum
The Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum Japan
Fusazaki Park
Michi-no-Eki Genpei-no-Sato Mure Roadside Station
Aji Ryuozan Park
Shirobana Park
Aji Tourism Exchange Plaza, Home of the Sacred Love
Cape Takei(Takei Kannon Temple)
Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage 85th Sacred Spot, Yakuriji Temple


Nagare Studio (Masayuki Nagare Museum)

3183-1 Ajicho, Takamatsu, Kagawa
Business hours
Twice a day: 10:30 and 13:00. (about one hour, limited seating)*Reservation required.
Regular holidays
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Sundays

Gathering date:2024.1.29 / Nagare Studio (Masayuki Nagare Museum)


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