Friday 9 August. It is strange, but ALL the major art galleries in Osaka are closed. The National Museum of Art is closed until 27 August; the Nakanoshima Kosetsu Museum of Art is closed until October 12; and the Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts has been closed for a month (but opened again on the 10 August). WTF?
I mention this because we had been looking, of course, but I happened to end up at the Museum of Fine Arts simply because I was on way way to somewhere else. It’s in Tennoji Park which is right next door to my intended destination, Shin-Sekai.
There was an exhibition running in the basement, which seemed to be work derived from schools and/or colleges. I say “seemed” because I’m not sure: even though I have the guide here in my hands there’s nary a word of English (which is fair enough). But there seem to be a lot of education-oriented adverts on it, and the exhibition itself was packed with teenagers.
There was lots and lots of work—about six huge rooms worth—but even so you could see there were definite themes and recurring motifs which suggested curriculum-guided topics: dinosaurs, lanterns, technology, portraits. Lots of bright colours, mild psychedelia, strong anthropomorphism, hundreds of moody women doing magic or having magic swirling around them. A strong Manga influence. Pungently Japanese:
After that I strolled into Shin-Sekai: peak Osaka according to the guide book. A strange mixture of hyper-Japanese frontage for the tourists, but then immediately off the beaten track it all gets quite sad and run-down: the old market in particular is almost entirely shuttered up:
Onward, ever onward, towards Daikokuchō metro station. On the way: Imamiya Ebisu Shrine. Said to have been founded in 600AD it is host to a Shinto festival in January when (allegedly) around a million people visit. There was one other person there when I was, praying. I had a quiet word with myself before heading back to the hotel: