Hagi Uragami Museum (Yamaguchi Kenritsu Hagi Bijutsukan・Uragami Kinenkan)


Asian pottery, porcelain and Ukiyo-e masterpieces can be seen

The Hagi Uragami Museum was founded by Hagi-born entrepreneur Uragami Toshiro (1926– ) to preserve and share his extensive collection of ukiyo-e prints and East Asian ceramics with the public. The museum comprises two buildings: the original museum built in 1996, and the new Pottery Annex built in 2010. The main building was designed by Kenzo Tange (1913–2005), an internationally famous Japanese architect known for designing the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Olympic arenas for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. The Pottery Annex was built to provide a space devoted to ceramic art from Hagi and the surrounding area.

【 Ukiyo-e at the Hagi Uragami Museum 】  

Ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world,” is a genre of Japanese painting and woodblock printing that began in the mid-seventeenth century and remained prominent until the early twentieth century. Originally ukiyo was a Buddhist term that referred to the transient here and now, but during the Edo period (1603–1867) the word’s meaning grew to describe the entertainment quarters. By the middle of the seventeenth century ukiyo-e prints had begun to portray the daily life of commoners, especially those who lived in and around Edo (modern Tokyo).


Ukiyo-e depict many different things, but many of the prints are either bijin-ga (images of beautiful women) or yakusha-e (portraits of kabuki actors). These prints, which were mass-produced and could be bought relatively cheaply, reflect the interests and values of the common people who purchased them. Prints that depicted figures like sumo wrestlers and warriors, landscapes, and nature scenes were also popular. Prints of caricatures, fantastical scenes, and erotic content were common as well. Creating these prints required great skill, and each print was usually made by a team of people: one to create the painting, one to carve the boards, and one to apply the ink to the prints. Ukiyo-e prints have sharp, rich colors in order to catch the eyes of potential customers.


The Hagi Uragami Museum holds a collection of approximately 5,500 ukiyo-e prints, and each month around thirty of these are selected and displayed around a single theme. Included in the collection are prints from famous artists such as Hokusai, Utamaro, Sharaku, and Hiroshige. The collection spans the history of the artform and is a valuable resource for researchers and enthusiasts alike.

(This English-language text was created by the Japan Tourism Agency. )

Basic info

Price Call the facility.
Phone 0838-24-2400
Address 586-1 Hiyako, Hagi
Open 9am-5pm (last entry 4:30 pm)
Holiday Mondays (next weekday if a public holiday falls on a Monday) and year-end/new year days