Exhibits

The information about exhibits, provided in this calendar, is intended to introduce Japan-related events in the Greater Boston, and New England area.

For all non-JSB-organized exhibits please check directly with the organization producing it to confirm all times, dates and event details. The Japan Society of Boston is not responsible for any changes or inaccuracies in information about events not sponsored by the JSB.

For information about special events, check out our All Events page.

Upcoming events

    • 10 Mar 2017
    • 30 Sep 2017
    • Boston Children's Museum, Japanese House Gallery 308 Congress St., Boston, MA 02210
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    TRAIN TRAIN

    Friday, March 10 to Saturday, September 30, 2017

    Boston Children's Museum, Japanese House Gallery,
    308 Congress St., Boston, MA 02210


    This special art show is brought to you by the members of the “ART THINKING” project team at Tohoku University of Art & Design in Japan. After the devastating earthquake and tsunami in their hometown in March 2011, they decided to use the special power of ART to make the world a better place and connect with many friends like you. So they brought this exhibition to Boston as their fourth annual international friendship making project.

    The exhibit also brings opportunities for visitors to peek into today’s youth culture and children’s experience in Japan. Visitors are encouraged to make comparisons and share their own stories. Through this cross-cultural experience we hope to engage visitors in joyful discovery of learning and foster their appreciation of the world.

    • 11 Aug 2017
    • 10 Dec 2017
    • Museum of Fine Arts, Lois B. and Michael K. Torf Gallery (Gallery 184), Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

    Showdown! Kuniyoshi vs. Kunisada

    August 11, 2017 – December 10, 2017

    Museum of Fine Arts, Lois B. and Michael K. Torf Gallery (Gallery 184),
    Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

    Rival artists Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797–1861) and Utagawa Kunisada (1786–1864) were the two best-selling designers of ukiyo-e woodblock prints in 19th-century Japan. Kunisada was the popular favorite during his lifetime, famous for realistic portraits of Kabuki theater actors, sensual images of beautiful women and the luxurious settings he imagined for historical scenes. Kuniyoshi is beloved by today’s connoisseurs and collectors for his dynamic action scenes of tattooed warriors and supernatural monsters—foreshadowing present-day manga and anime—as well as comic prints and a few especially daring works that feature forbidden political satire in disguise.

    The exhibition presents a selection of 100 outstanding works, drawn entirely from the MFA’s preeminent Japanese collection, including large, multi-sheet images in brilliant color. Viewers are invited to decide for themselves which of the two artists is their personal favorite.
    • 05 Sep 2017
    • 30 Sep 2017
    • Boston Children's Museum, Japanese House, 308 Congress St., Boston, MA 02210

    お月見と俳句 Make your own Haiku about the Big Autumn Moon!

    September 5 - September 30, 2017
    11:10AM - 1:50PM

    Boston Children's Museum, Japanese House,
    308 Congress St., Boston, MA 02210


    Haiku is one form of traditional poetry, practiced in Japan for hundreds of years. What makes a haiku? There are a total of 17 syllables (five, seven, and five syllables), and at least one word in a haiku should refer to the season.

    Sample haiku by Museum staff, inspired by the Mid-Autumn Moon:
    Big September moon
    Beautiful, bright, and orange
    Hanging low and large

    In the Japanese House, learn about the custom of Mid-Autumn Moon celebrations in Japan and Tsuki-usagi (a rabbit in the moon) and write your own haiku to appreciate the autumn season.

    During the busy days, they will have the guided tours of the Japanese House to accommodate the crowds. During the busy times, they will not have the activity in the Japanese House in order to accommodate the crowds.

    Japanese House has limited hours. Please check the specific hours on the day of your visit.
    • 07 Sep 2017
    • 31 Oct 2017
    • Japan Friends of Harvard Concourse Gallery, CGIS South Bldg., 1730 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA 02138

    Irresolution: The Paintings of Yoshiaki Shimizu

    September 7, 2017 - October 31, 2017

    Japan Friends of Harvard Concourse Gallery, CGIS South Bldg., 1730 Cambridge St.,
    Cambridge, MA 02138

    Special Events September 27 (Wednesday):
    3:00 - 4:00pm Gallery Tour with Artist Yoshiaki Shimizu at the Japan Friends of Harvard Concourse Gallery
    4:00 - 5:00pm Presentation by Curator Yukio Lippit, Professor of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University, in conversation with Artist Yoshiaki Shimizu in the Tsai Auditorium S010

    • 30 Sep 2017
    • 03 Jun 2018
    • Museum of Fine Arts, Japanese Print Gallery (Gallery 278A), Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115


    Black and White:
    Japanese Modern Art

    September 30, 2017 – June 3, 2018

    Museum of Fine Arts, Japanese Print Gallery (Gallery 278A), Avenue of the Arts,
    465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

    Centered around a newly acquired, large-scale calligraphy by Inoue Yūichi (1916–85), this exhibition showcases a selection of avant-garde works in the monochrome aesthetic shared widely in Japan and beyond during the postwar period. This sensibility is rooted in Zen Buddhism, which values simplicity and austerity, and remains influential today. The works in the exhibition are the results of transnational exchanges between Japanese artists like Inoue and their American Expressionist contemporaries, including Franz Kline and Jackson Pollock, who drew inspiration from Asian calligraphy for their gestural paintings. Among the nine works on view are prints, ceramics and sculpture, primarily drawn from the MFA’s collection.

    • 18 Oct 2017
    • 01 Apr 2018
    • Museum of Fine Arts, Ann and Graham Gund Gallery (Gallery LG31), Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115


    Takashi Murakami:
    Lineage of Eccentrics

    A Collaboration with Nobuo Tsuji and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

    October 18, 2017–April 1, 2018

    Museum of Fine Arts, Ann and Graham Gund Gallery (Gallery LG31), Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

    Contemporary works by Takashi Murakami, one of the most imaginative and important artists working today, are juxtaposed with treasures from the MFA’s renowned collection of Japanese art. The exhibition reveals how Murakami’s contemporary vision is richly inflected by a dynamic conversation with the historical past, framed by a creative dialogue with the great Japanese art historian, Professor Nobuo Tsuji. Together, Murakami and Professor Tsuji have chosen the objects on view in the exhibition, including paintings and sculpture created by the artist in direct response to Japanese masterpieces from the MFA’s collection, such as Soga Shōhaku’s 36-foot-long Dragon and Clouds (1763), and the Heiji Scroll (second half of the 13th century)—one of the most famous Japanese works of art outside of Japan.

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