#3792

The Birthplace of Yumeji

Do you know Yumeji Takehisa? Even if you don’t know the name you are probably familiar with the work of this artist from the early 20th century. Sometimes referred to as Japan’s Toulouse Lautrec, Yumeji was active during the Belle Epoque of the Taisho era during which the nation lived in relative peace and stability. He travelled abroad extensively in Europe and the United States years before it was fashionable or even possible for most people.

Given all this, the most fascinating thing about Yumeji is that he was from the rural community of Oku Town, in what is now Setouchi City, Okayama Prefecture. His birthplace has been perfectly preserved and is open to the public, providing a glimpse into the life of the artist who gave us the magnificent paintings of beautiful Japanese women sitting on park benches wearing kimono that draped elegantly over their body. In those paintings, Yumeji literally put the viewer in the picture by having the subject gaze out at us as if we were the object of longing.

The coolest thing about his birthplace is that he lived there and it is rare to have the chance to walk in the footsteps of someone who has made such an impact on the art world. Besides his art, Yumeji’s life and humanity are on display. He studied, travelled, painted, had a wife and children and ultimately died. We can see this from the photos on the walls. Despite the superiority of his art, he was after all, a human being trying to have a positive effect on society.

Yumeji was interested in the accurate portrayal of life in Japan and achieved it through his impressionist style which was on par with any of his European contemporaries. To begin the journey of understanding Yumeji, start at his birthplace. The spirit of his art will be your greatest souvenir.

Kenji image

Kenji

Japan

Kenji's other advice

Ushimado Olive Garden images

Ushimado Olive Garden

When you think of Japan olives might not be the first thing that comes to mind but in fact they are widely produced in the south western part of the country. The Olive Garden in Ushimado, Setouchi Ci…

Bizen Osafune Sword Museum images

Bizen Osafune Sword Museum

Japan is synonymous with master sword-making. This status has been cultivated through popular culture with the myriad of samurai and ninja movies that have been made over the years. While Hollywood o…

A Car License the Old-fashioned Way images

A Car License the Old-fashioned Way

After being in Japan a while you might feel the need to drive, especially if you live outside a big city. Getting a car license if you are from abroad can be a daunting task for some people but there…

Getting your Motorcycle License images

Getting your Motorcycle License

There are a few ways to get a motorcycle license in Japan. If you have a license from your home country you can go through the process of having it transferred to a Japanese one. This process differs…

The Saga of the 50cc license (2007) images

The Saga of the 50cc license (2007)

I've been struggling to get a 50cc motorbike license since May. You would think it would be easy but the thing is that I was determined to take the test in Japanese like all the other Japanese people…

Olive Garden Market images

Olive Garden Market

Nippon Olive’s Olive Garden Market offers one more reason to visit Ushimado. Held one Sunday a month from 10 am to 4 pm, the market has continued to gain momentum since its creation at the beginning …

You might also like

What to do at a Japanese Funeral | Funeral Etiquette images

What to do at a Japanese Funeral | Funeral Etiquette

Attending a Japanese funeral can be stressful, even shocking, if you don't know what to do. The more you know beforehand the better, as you'll be able to comfort and support mutual friends and their …

Former Deep Japan Writer image

Former Deep Japan Writer

The Top 8 Places to Beat Summer Heat in Japan images

The Top 8 Places to Beat Summer Heat in Japan

Where do Japanese love to visit to avoid summer heat in Japan? I searched the top 8 summer resorts loved by Japanese including Furano in Hokkaido, Okinawa, Karuizawa and Hakone, which are famous amon…

Alexlovetravel image

Alexlovetravel

Enjoy bath, Japanese style images

Enjoy bath, Japanese style

Enjoy taking bath with Babu(Bub), a popular Japanese bath tablet to Relax after Exploring Japan on Foot.All travelers know how sight seeing can be exhausting. Especially walking around on foot, t…

mimichan image

mimichan

Japanese Massage Etiquette to Enjoy a Relaxing, Stress Relieving Moment images

Japanese Massage Etiquette to Enjoy a Relaxing, Stress Relieving Moment

Just last week, I’ve experienced another massage establishment called “Minnanotemomi”. Minnanotemomi mean’s roughly everyone’s massage and the massage they did for me was excellent caliber, yet one o…

AustinA image

AustinA

Ride The Tokyo Metro Like A Boss With These Apps images

Ride The Tokyo Metro Like A Boss With These Apps

To people new to Japan, the Tokyo subway system, stylishly called "Tokyo Metro" is a confusing labyrinth of lines going every which way. Orderly thought and planning, it would appear, seem to be the…

jdlawrence image

jdlawrence

Why Do Japanese People Call Mt. Fuji, Mr. Fuji? images

Why Do Japanese People Call Mt. Fuji, Mr. Fuji?

If you wondered why Japanese people refer to Mt. Fuji as Mr. Fuji, you are not alone.When I first came to Japan, and actually until about two years ago, well okay, actually it still happens a lot…

 image