Exhibits

The information about exhibits, provided in this calendar, is intended to introduce Japan-related events in the Greater Boston, and New England area.

For all non-JSB-organized exhibits please check directly with the organization producing it to confirm all times, dates and event details. The Japan Society of Boston is not responsible for any changes or inaccuracies in information about events not sponsored by the JSB.

For information about special events, check out our All Events page.

Upcoming events

    • 11 Aug 2017
    • 10 Dec 2017
    • Museum of Fine Arts, Lois B. and Michael K. Torf Gallery (Gallery 184), Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

    Showdown! Kuniyoshi vs. Kunisada

    August 11, 2017 – December 10, 2017

    Museum of Fine Arts, Lois B. and Michael K. Torf Gallery (Gallery 184),
    Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

    Rival artists Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797–1861) and Utagawa Kunisada (1786–1864) were the two best-selling designers of ukiyo-e woodblock prints in 19th-century Japan. Kunisada was the popular favorite during his lifetime, famous for realistic portraits of Kabuki theater actors, sensual images of beautiful women and the luxurious settings he imagined for historical scenes. Kuniyoshi is beloved by today’s connoisseurs and collectors for his dynamic action scenes of tattooed warriors and supernatural monsters—foreshadowing present-day manga and anime—as well as comic prints and a few especially daring works that feature forbidden political satire in disguise.

    The exhibition presents a selection of 100 outstanding works, drawn entirely from the MFA’s preeminent Japanese collection, including large, multi-sheet images in brilliant color. Viewers are invited to decide for themselves which of the two artists is their personal favorite.
    • 07 Sep 2017
    • 31 Oct 2017
    • Japan Friends of Harvard Concourse Gallery, CGIS South Bldg., 1730 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA 02138

    Irresolution: The Paintings of Yoshiaki Shimizu

    September 7, 2017 - October 31, 2017

    Japan Friends of Harvard Concourse Gallery, CGIS South Bldg., 1730 Cambridge St.,
    Cambridge, MA 02138

    Special Events September 27 (Wednesday):
    3:00 - 4:00pm Gallery Tour with Artist Yoshiaki Shimizu at the Japan Friends of Harvard Concourse Gallery
    4:00 - 5:00pm Presentation by Curator Yukio Lippit, Professor of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University, in conversation with Artist Yoshiaki Shimizu in the Tsai Auditorium S010

    • 30 Sep 2017
    • 03 Jun 2018
    • Museum of Fine Arts, Japanese Print Gallery (Gallery 278A), Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115


    Black and White:
    Japanese Modern Art

    September 30, 2017 – June 3, 2018

    Museum of Fine Arts, Japanese Print Gallery (Gallery 278A), Avenue of the Arts,
    465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

    Centered around a newly acquired, large-scale calligraphy by Inoue Yūichi (1916–85), this exhibition showcases a selection of avant-garde works in the monochrome aesthetic shared widely in Japan and beyond during the postwar period. This sensibility is rooted in Zen Buddhism, which values simplicity and austerity, and remains influential today. The works in the exhibition are the results of transnational exchanges between Japanese artists like Inoue and their American Expressionist contemporaries, including Franz Kline and Jackson Pollock, who drew inspiration from Asian calligraphy for their gestural paintings. Among the nine works on view are prints, ceramics and sculpture, primarily drawn from the MFA’s collection.

    • 01 Oct 2017
    • 31 Oct 2017
    • Boston Children's Museum, Japanese House, 308 Congress St., Boston, MA 02210

    スポーツの秋 Sports in Japan & Paper Sumo Wrestling Game! 
    OCTOBER 1 - OCTOBER 31, 2017

    Boston Children's Museum, Japanese House,
    308 Congress St., Boston, MA 02210



    Autumn, especially October, is considered the best season to play sports in Japan, and many schools and communities hold their annual sports festivals.  For schools, this is usually one of the biggest events of the year. It is also an occasion for family and community to get-together.

    Kids in Japan play many of the same sports we play in the United States, such as basketball, baseball, and soccer, but a traditional Japanese sport called sumo wrestling is still considered the national sport.

    In the Japanese House, visitors are invited to learn about what sports kids in Japan enjoy these days and create a paper Sumo wrestling game to take home. What sports do you think are most popular in Japan today? Sumo? Baseball? Soccer? Karate? 

    During the busy days, they will have the guided tours of the Japanese House to accommodate the crowds. During the busy times, they will not have the activity in the Japanese House in order to accommodate the crowds.

    Japanese House has limited hours. Please check the specific hours on the day of your visit.
    • 16 Oct 2017
    • 10:00 AM
    • 30 Nov 2017
    • 3:00 PM
    • Aryaloka Buddhist Center, 14 Heartwood Cir, Newmarket, NH 03857

    Shibui: Ink, Paper, Stone

    Aryaloka Buddhist Center
    14 Heartwood Circle, Newmarket, NH 03857
    Monday-Friday, October 16 – Nov 30, from 10 AM – 3 PM

    Rona Conti’s calligraphy series, “Collaborations,” developed from her studies in Japanese calligraphy with Kobayashi Sensei in Gunma, Japan and her ongoing explorations in the medium of pulp painting.

    While calligraphy began 4000 years ago, pulp painting is a modern development using paper pulps collaged on a base sheet while wet, then pressed and dried.

    Using fragments of calligraphy from her work and embedding them into paper pulp shapes and drawings has resulted in artwork which is a marriage of abstraction and writing text with the spirit and aesthetic of Japan pre-eminent.

    Rona Conti’s traditional calligraphy will be displayed alongside Soosen Dunholter’s prints of stacked stones.

    Closed November 8 – 14 and Thanksgiving Day.

    • 18 Oct 2017
    • 01 Apr 2018
    • Museum of Fine Arts, Ann and Graham Gund Gallery (Gallery LG31), Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

    Takashi Murakami:
    Lineage of Eccentrics

    A Collaboration with Nobuo Tsuji and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

    October 18, 2017–April 1, 2018

    Museum of Fine Arts, Ann and Graham Gund Gallery (Gallery LG31), Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

    Contemporary works by Takashi Murakami, one of the most imaginative and important artists working today, are juxtaposed with treasures from the MFA’s renowned collection of Japanese art. The exhibition reveals how Murakami’s contemporary vision is richly inflected by a dynamic conversation with the historical past, framed by a creative dialogue with the great Japanese art historian, Professor Nobuo Tsuji. Together, Murakami and Professor Tsuji have chosen the objects on view in the exhibition, including paintings and sculpture created by the artist in direct response to Japanese masterpieces from the MFA’s collection, such as Soga Shōhaku’s 36-foot-long Dragon and Clouds (1763), and the Heiji Scroll (second half of the 13th century)—one of the most famous Japanese works of art outside of Japan.

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