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The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura opened as the first public museum of modern art in Japan in 1951. Ever since, it has been in constant pursuit of the ideal function of an art museum and played a leading role in this country. We do our best to take a broad view of the era and the world, grasp the needs of the changing society, cherish ties with the local community to which the Museum belongs, find present-day subjects in history, and be sure that the originality and the independence of the Museum do not get lost. With such principles in mind, we have been accumulating experience and exploring further activities.
In 2003, the museum has renamed to The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura & Hayama as our third building has opened in Hayama. From April 2016, the museum's activities are integrated into two buildings known as The Museum of Modern Art, Hayama and the Kamakura Annex. Each location organizes 4 or 5 exhibitions a year. Besides organizing numerous exhibitions, we also work hard to plan a variety of activity programs for the public to enjoy the Museum in diverse ways. Our aim is to make the Museum a place for everyone to enjoy, feel comfortable, and discover something unexpected.
Greeting from the Director
A Mirror called "Modern"
The graceful sound of the wording "haru ichiban [the first spring gale]" seems to have been replaced, without our noticing it, by the alarming term "bakudan teikiatsu [bomb cyclone]." This shows that the recent freakish weather has even affected our everyday language.
The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura & Hayama currently runs two museums in Kamakura and Hayama. The Annex in Kamakura is about to undergo full-scale improvement work from this fiscal year. The "bomb cyclone" came just at that timing.
We cannot but be made to vividly feel the difference in climate between Kamakura and Hayama.
Having lived in Hayama (and that near Kazahayabashi [which literally translates as Rapid Wind Bridge]) since 2000, I often feel the enormity of the strong winds at the beginning of spring in person. The wind that has come across Sagami Bay approaches from the distance in a rumbling moan. The prodigiousness of such winds was unknown to me while I was living in the suburbs of Yokohama and working at the museum in Kamakura surrounded by low hills in the precincts of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu (except during the typhoon season).
The beginning of Kusameikyu [The Grass Labyrinth], the fine novel by IZUMI Kyoka, is so exuberantly classic in style that it tends to be interpreted as if it were a picture scroll. The sight of raging waves rushing over the great wide ocean from Chojagasaki to Akiya Beach is described with a deep sense of awe. "What shatters the drops of the tide that rolls into the roots appears to be a sharp hook that is yellow gold in the sun, silvery white in the moon, or angry, or deadly."
Hayama is admired for its scenic beauty and, in the Meiji period, Dr. Erwin Bälz certified it as a resort conducive to health. Harsh, raw nature, which might be described peninsular, is alive there. On the other hand, there is Kamakura, which, with its innumerable old temples and historic shrines, brings an unstintingly inlaid object of exhaustive craftwork to mind.
With a mirror called "modern," our Museum sheds light on these two locations each housing their own magic of time and space and by doing so, we aim for a new cultural blending.
Our activities in fiscal 2018 will be carried out mainly in Hayama, but without forgetting Kamakura, we shall continue polishing the two distinctive spaces, which are tied in.
MIZUSAWA Tsutomu, Director