Asakura Museum of Sculpture
Before it was a museum, the Asakura Museum of Sculpture in Taito City, Tokyo was the home and studio of sculptor Fumio Asakura.
Before it was a museum, the Asakura Museum of Sculpture was the home and studio of sculptor Fumio Asakura, who moved to the Yanaka area after graduating from the Tokyo School of Fine Arts in 1907. He expanded the property over the years, completing a renovation in 1935 in order to open a sculpture school.
The current sprawling building was dedicated as a museum in 1967, three years after Asakura’s death. It mixes Western styles—like the reinforced concrete, lofty ceilings and skylights of his studio—with the more traditional Japanese wooden structure where he lived with his family, like an enclosed garden and pond in the open-air centre of the building. The living area, preserved with original furniture, offers an intimate look into the daily life of the artist.
Asakura’s work, termed “objective realism,” often reflected the character of the Yanaka neighbourhood. His most famous work, Hakamori, or The Grave Keeper, was modelled on a man who worked nearby. The sculptor was also a cat lover and frequently kept more than ten cats at a time. Sculptures of his pets can be seen lounging and mincing around the museum and are concentrated in the Orchid Room, a former hothouse.