The Thirty-Six Immortal Poets: Elegant Arts of the Classical Japanese Court
October 12-November 24, 2019

General Information

Exhibition Title Special Exhibition
The Thirty-Six Immortal Poets: Elegant Arts of the Classical Japanese Court
Period October 12-November 24, 2019
Some artworks may be rotated during the exhibition period.
Venue Kyoto National Museum, Heisei Chishinkan Wing
Transportation JR, Kintetsu Railway, Keihan Railway, Hankyu Railway, City Bus
Closed Mondays
*The museum will be opened on Monday October 14 and Monday November 4 (national holidays) and closed on Tuesday October 15 and, Tuesday November 5, 2019.
Special Exhibition Hours 9:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. (Entrance until 5:30 p.m.)
Fridays, Saturdays 9:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m. (Entrance until 7:30 p.m.)
Special Exhibition Admission Adult 1,600 yen (1,400 yen)
Univ. Student 1,200 yen (1,000 yen)
High School Student 700 yen (500 yen)
  • Fees in parentheses are for groups of 20+
  • Admission is free for middle school students and other youths age 0–15, visitors with disabilities and one caretaker. Please show I.D.
Organized by Kyoto National Museum, Nikkei Inc., NHK Kyoto, NHK PlanNet Kinki, The Kyoto Shimbun Co., Ltd.
In conjunction with Kyoto Prefectural Board of Education, Kyoto City Board of Education, Kyoto City Tourism Association
With the support of Iwatani Corporation, Shoyeido Incense Co., Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc., Daikin Industries, Ltd., Nissha Co., Ltd., Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

Images from the Exhibit

Exactly one hundred years ago, in 1919, Japan's newspapers were abuzz with extraordinary news. A group of industrialist connoisseurs had acquired one of the country's most precious art treasures: a set of thirteenth-century handscrolls known as the Satake Version, Thirty-Six Immortal Poets. Even more surprising was the fact that these wealthy financiers were going to separate the handscrolls into individual fragments to be divided amongst themselves and remounted as hanging scrolls for private use in their own tearooms.

Thereafter, to possess one of these Satake fragments came to be seen as the ultimate Japanese status symbol, defining its owner as an undisputed member of the country's cultural elite. Over the course of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, the paintings moved from private collection to private collection, their whereabouts often unknown even to specialists.

This exhibition re-unites these paintings in the most comprehensive assemblage ever held since their dispersal a century ago. In addition to the legendary fragments themselves, the show features an array of exquisite artworks related to the Thirty-Six Immortal Poets and the elegant literary court culture from which they developed.

A Message to Museum Visitors

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