After World War II, high-quality Japanese works of art, ancient and contemporary, were being sold abroad. Meishu-Sama made an effort to collect them with the purpose of keeping them in the country while devoting himself to the construction of an Art Museum.

Thus, in 1952, the Hakone Art Museum located in the Hakone Sacred Grounds was dedicated. To celebrate Meishu-Sama’s Centennial, in 1982, the MOA Fine Arts Museum was dedicated in the Atami Sacred Grounds.

Hakone Art Museum

The opening of this museum, in 1952, was profoundly meaningful, since until then art objects were in the hands of high social class families and owned by a handful of aficionados. Therefore, works of art could only be appreciated by few people. Owing to the creation of the Hakone Art Museum, artworks can now be enjoyed by the general public.

With the purpose of having visitors enjoy the art pieces in a peaceful and tranquil environment, Meishu-Sama planned the museum in every detail. He chose a location with a magnificent view, designed the building, and personally inspected the construction work.

Since the creation of the MOA Fine Arts Museum, in Atami, the Hakone Art Museum houses a collection of medieval Japanese ceramics from the Jomon period (10.000 BC – 200 AD), which followed the first Japanese civilization, until the Edo period (1603 AD – 1868 AD). The Jomon ceramic pieces are some of the oldest in the world.

MOA Fine Arts Museum

After the construction of the Hakone Art Museum, Meishu-Sama expressed his wish of “building a world-class museum in Atami to introduce an excellent sense of natural beauty in Japanese culture and extend it to people all over the world.”

The MOA Fine Arts Museum, in Atami, boosts modern conservation and exhibition facilities, where the fine art pieces are displayed. Among the works of art exhibited, three pieces are considered Japan´s National Treasures, including the Plumb Blossoms Screen, and more than 50 other pieces are catalogued as Important Cultural Heritage. Additionally, another 47 are considered Important Artistic Heritage, all of them classified by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Japan.

The museum´s architecture is simple, but with bold lines. Upon entering the orbicular hall, visitors are greeted by a show of lights and sounds, which prepares them for a better appreciation of the art pieces in display.

In addition to the exhibition halls, modern lighting and cooling systems ensure the conservation of the art pieces. The MOA Museum also boasts audiovisual rooms, humidity and temperature controlled deposits, special installations for rainy days and people with disabilities, a theatre – Noh – with a seating capacity for 500 people, and a Tea Room -Ippaku-an – in the external area.

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