Isamu Noguchi, a prominent sculptor of the 20th century, is internationally renowned for his wide variety of works including monuments, environmental designs for parks and gardens, interior design such as furniture and lighting, as well as for stage art. A museum dedicated to his work can be found in Mure, Takamatsu city.
Noguchi visited Kagawa Prefecture for the first time in 1959, while searching for rocks to use in his design for the garden at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The town of Mure in Kagawa prefecture is a world-leading stone producing district. This quiet rural town overlooking Mt. Gokenzan and Yashima appears to have given Noguchi special inspiration. Noguchi visited Mure again in 1964. This time he decided to move there to live and to learn more, through the beauty of Japan’s four seasons, about stone, which is the origin of all living things.
In 1969, Noguchi took up residence in a studio in Mure, where he worked on large-scale stone sculptures using granite and basalt and which later became known as the masterpieces of his mature period. His residence, named “Isamu-ya”, formerly belonged to a rich merchant in Marugame-shi and was relocated and reconstructed in Mure. In 1982, a former sake-storehouse in Ehime Prefecture was relocated to in Mure as well and reconstructed into an exhibition house called “Tenji-kura.” Noguchi then designed and created the “sculpture garden”, which he carved from the earth itself, thus completing his base of activities in Kagawa. Thereafter, he travelled back and forth between New York and Mure for about 20 years.
After Noguchi passed away, the Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum in Japan was founded in 1999 at the place Noguchi used to live and work (Isamu-ya and Tenji-kura) as fulfillment of his wish that the residence serve as inspiration for future artists and scholars, as well as art lovers.
The Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum was reserved to show Noguchi’s residence and atelier as it had been at the time Noguchi had lived there. Many of more than 150 sculptures exhibited here are unfinished, conveying the atmosphere of when Noguchi had been working on them. The museum is highly praised as being an “earth sculpture" or "environmental sculpture,” consisting of not only the sculptures themselves, but also selected and relocated buildings Noguchi used as residences and exhibition houses, as well as the
sculpture garden he created during his later years. Please note that this museum is open to the public by advance reservation only and during limited dates and times. Refer to the museum's official website for details.http://www.isamunoguchi.or.jp/reservation/reservation_e.htm
INFORMATION – THE ISAMU NOGUCHI GARDEN MUSEUM
[Address] 3519 Mure, Mure-cho, Takamatsu-city, Kagawa
[Phone] 087 870 1500
[Closed] Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays Summer Holiday (generally August 13-15), Year End and New Year's Holiday
[Admission] Adults/College students: ¥2160, High School Students: ¥1080
[Official Website] http://www.noguchi.org/museum/jap
>>By train: JR: 20 Minutes from Takamatsu Station by JR Kotoku Line to JR Yashima Station. 10 Minutes by taxi from Yashima Station to the museum. Kotoden: 20 Minutes from Kawara-machi Station to Yakuri Station by Shido Line. 5 Minutes by taxi or 20 minutes’ walk from the Yakuri Station.
>>By Bus: 30 Minutes from Takamatsu Station (#7) bound for Aji to the “Inori Iwa Yoichi Koen-mae” bus stop and 7 minutes’ walk from the bus stop