Fumio Asakura (1883-1964) is called the founder of modern Japanese sculpture. He worked and lived in Yanaka. The Asakura Museum of Sculpture (Asakura Choso Museum) is the artist's former residence and studio.
Asakura designed the buildings and gardens himself to use as his home and atelier. The residence is a traditional Japanese house with courtyard and rooftop gardens. In contrast, the atelier is a modern Western style building.
Asakura Choso Museum
Open 9:30-16:30 (last admission 16:00)
Closed Mondays and Thursdays
7-18-10 Yanaka, Taito-ku, 110-0001 Tokyo
“The ASAKURA Museum of Sculpture’s Cats” exhibition will be open until Sunday, December 24, 2017. Admission is 500 yen for adults, 250 yen for children.
Fumio Asakura loved cats. He kept up to 10 at a time as pets and depicted them in many poses in his sculptures. The sculptor had planned an exhibition of his cat sculptures to be shown during the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, but he fell sick and passed away before. The exhibition this year features all of his cat sculptures held by the museum as well as works showing cats by other artists that he collected.
The Yanaka area
Yanaka is a quiet part of Tokyo that is best explored on foot. The neighborhood is also known for its cats. Many of the shops located near Yanaka Ginza are decorated with cats or sell goods with cat designs. There is also a shop in Yanaka especially for lucky cats. These cats are called “manekineko” and are for good luck – finding love, making more money, or attracting new customers to your business.
Walk through the small streets Yanaka that are lined with older buildings. Yanaka is a residential area as well as the home of many local businesses, among them galleries and shops selling art supplies, Japanese paper, and crafts. Yanaka Ginza is the place to fill up on savory and sweet snacks like steamed sweet "manju" cakes. Take your time for a leisurely walk through Yanaka.