Have you heard of the Japanese watercolorist from Chiba Prefecture who became a popular artist? His name is Goto Sumio and he became renowned for his use of natural materials in making his brilliant masterpieces. He put up a museum under his name in order to house over 130 of his visionary work of art particularly centered on the beauty of northern Hokkaido.
Goto Sumio’s younger years were spent studying art under the supervision of Kyujin Yamamoto. The following years, he was appointed several high positions by the Japan Art Institute, an artistic organization dedicated to Japanese-style paintings. In 1988, he became a professor at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, the only national university aimed at training the artists. Goto was actually hesitant of traveling overseas when he was young due to his fear of airplanes. His father pushed him to travel to China where he produced some of his famous works. He was able to observe and capture so many beautiful ruins in the area. He also traveled across Japan where he also captured some of his own country’s scenic beauty with his paintbrush.
Goto Sumio Museum is located in Kamifurano, a quiet yet beautiful town in Hokkaido. Sumio was so moved by the vastness of the place that he started setting up his own studio on a hill in 1987. It was later turned into a museum in 1997 where he displayed many of his works including those from his younger years. He also used gold and platinum in depicting the settings of his picture which is quite rare in Japan. Featured in his paintings are the different seasons captured in places like Hokkaido, Kyoto, Nara, China, and Europe such as the gorgeous cherry blossom trees during spring or the brilliant foliage of leaves in autumn.
Apart from the exhibition area, the museum also has a restaurant where you can enjoy your lunch or have a cup of coffee while looking over the fabulous scenery from the window. The place is open daily from 9:00 to 16:00 from November to March, and from 9:00 to 17:00 other months of the year. It is only closed from December 28 to January 1. Appreciate Japanese art and visit this museum when you get the chance!