In order to really appreciate Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art (MIMOCA) you have to start with an exploration of the great artist who is also its namesake. Genichiro Inokuma was a native of Kagawa Prefecture, born in Takamatsu City he moved to and attended junior high school in Marugame City.
Endowed with extraordinary artistic ability, Inokuma moved to the capital to study at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, which would later become Tokyo University of the Arts. He excelled during this period and his prize-winning work was featured in several exhibitions.
Inokuma was eventually drawn to France to live, work and study. There he connected with many of the greats of the art world, including, Matisse, Picasso and the Japanese enigma Leonard Foujita. The dawn of WWII forced Inokuma to return to Japan, where he painted vigorously and won much acclaim.
After some years had passed Inokuma felt a longing to return to France to continue what he had started before the war. As fate would have it, he had a layover in New York on his way to Paris that turned into a 20-year odyssey of art and joie de vie.
Due to poor health, Inokuma returned to Japan in 1975 and subsequently began to split his time between Tokyo and Hawaii, where he continued to produce intensely.
Inokuma was a great fan of architecture and was familiar with its concepts and vocabulary, so it was natural for him to work very closely with master architect Yoshiro Taniguchi in the design of the museum that would bear his name. Taniguchi was a brilliant choice for the project as he was already acquainted with Inokuma through the artist’s previous collaborations with his father, the nationally renowned architect, Yoshiro Taniguchi.
MIMOCA is free for children until they graduate from high school and there are regular workshops where kids can express themselves through art using materials provided by the museum. Visit our site to check the dates these workshops will be available for 2018.
MIMOCA has an art library and a superb cafe with entrances that are separate from the museum main entry point. There is even a lounge area with plush couches that is open to all. You can kill time there waiting for your train. The gift shop on the first floor has a bit of everything, but the best thing is seeing his art in real life.
The combined efforts of Taniguchi and Inokuma have culminated in a museum that could easily be considered one of the best in Japan. With a collection of over 20,000 pieces related to the artist, MIMOCA is the definitive gateway into the world of Genichiro Inokuma.
※Please note that the MIMOCA will be closed from 12/24/2018 to 3/31/2020.
Access: Take the Marine Liner from JR Okayama Station to JR Marugame Station. The museum is a 2-3 minute walk from JR Marugame Station.
About the Area
Kagawa Prefecture is often referred to as the gateway to Shikoku because it hosts one of the footholds of the Seto Ohashi Bridge in Sakaide City. The bridge, which is the longest in the world to carry both passenger cars and trains, stretches across the Seto Inland Sea like a dragon in flight before touching down in Shikoku.
The capital of the prefecture and the largest city in all of Shikoku is lovely seaside Takamatsu City. It is a castle town which is famous for its port area and long shopping arcade.
Marugame City, like neighboring Takamatsu City is a renowned for its castle. However, as Marugame Castle rests at a high elevation, it commands an impressive view of the region. From the castle, there are panoramas of the cityscape, Mt. Iino (Sanuki Fuji) and the Seto Inland Sea.
Kagawa Prefecture is a champion of the arts and plays a large role in the Setouchi Triennale Art Festival, which as its name suggests, takes place every three years. There are art installations and museums throughout the prefecture.
The beating heart of the art scene in Kagawa is on several of its islands, namely, Shodoshima and Naoshima. There you will find an intriguing world dedicated to beauty and creativity.
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