Founded in 2000 by Masayuki Murata, the Kiyomizu Sannenzaka Museum aims to elevate the appreciation of Japanese art from the 19th to early 20th centuries and provide a source of inspiration for contemporary artisans. The museum houses Murata’s personal collection of over 10,000 pieces, many of which were acquired abroad. Works of art from Japan’s early modern Meiji era were frequently sold to buyers overseas, in part due to fading domestic demand for traditional crafts as the country westernized.
Prominent artisans whose work is displayed at the museum include Yasuyuki Namikawa (cloisonné artisan), Natsuo Kano (master metalworker), Shosai Shirayama (lacquerware artisan), and Komei Ishikawa (sculptor). In addition to the permanent displays, special exhibitions are also held with a rotating theme that changes every three months. Detailed explanations about materials and artistic techniques posted alongside the exhibitions provide a complimentary educational value to the rich aesthetic experience of visiting the museum.