Sesshu Memorial Museum
Sesshu's Life and his Works Brief Guide to the Museum
 Sesshu is a Zen monk and painter in the Muromachi period.
 Ink painting gained popularity in the Muromachi Period (1392-1573) after being brought over from China during the Kamakura Period (1185-1333). It was developed hand in hand with the ideals of Zen Buddhism in mind.
 Sesshu Toyo developed the Suibokuga Art in Japan. He created his own particular style of painting based on his experience in China.
 Sesshu Memorial Museum was established in 1990 to commemorate Sesshu’s deep relationship with the town of Masuda.
 Inside the museum, you may enjoy his works. Around the building, there are relics of Sesshu’s late years.

Chronological table of Sesshu Toyo (1420-1502or1506)
1420.Age 1 Sesshu was born near Soja city in Okayama Prefecture.
1431.Age12 Sesshu Entered Shokokuji Temple in Kyoto as an acolyte under the head priest:Shunrin Shuto.
Sesshu Became a pupil of a famous painter:Tensyo Shubun,Shokokuji Temple.
Shokokuji Temple
1454.Age35 Moved from Kyoto to Yamaguchi and Stayed at Unkoku-an.

Onin Civil War broke out in Kyoto(1467-1477).
Sesshu landed at Ningpo in China as one of members of a Japanese envoy to China (Ming).

Sesshu was honored with the top position among the Priest of the Temple at Mt.Tendo during his sojourn in Ming China.
Tendoji Temple

1468.Age49 Sesshu did a wall painting in the building of the Board of Rites in Beijing.

Sesshu returned from China to Japan. But Onin Civil War still continued.
So,Sesshu started to travel through the northern part of Kyushu and settled down near Beppu in Oita Prefecture.

1478.Age59 Sesshu came to our town,Masuda,and entered Sukanji Temple and made two gardens.
They were designated as place of historic sites and scenic beauty by the government.
Ikoji Temple(Sesshu Garden)

Manpukuji Temple(Sesshu Garden)
1479.Age60 Draw a “Portrait of Masuda Kanetaka”
Inscription by Chikushin Shutei, dated November 15, 1479.
Important National Cultural Property
Collection: Sesshu Memorial Museum
Masuda Kanetaka is the 15th Feudal Lord of the Masuda Family.He devoted his life to culture and peace through his religious belief of the Zen sect.

1483.Age64 Draw a “Birds and Flowers of the Four Seasons
These pictures were painted in celebration of the 17th Lord Munekane succeeding to a house of the Masuda Family.
1486.Age67 Draw a “Landscape of the Four Seasons”
Mouri Museum,Yamaguchi
1495.Age76 Draw a “Haboku Landscape”
Tokyo National Museum
1496.Age77 Draw a “Huike Offering His Arm to Bodhidharma”
Sainenji Temple,Aichi
1502.Age83 Sesshu entered Tokoji Temple in Masuda.
Sesshu died at Tokoji Temple.
Taiki-an cottage built upon the vestigen of Tokoji Temple,the place of Sesshu's death.

Sesshu's Masterpieces         
 By Sesshu,with poem by Chikushin
 Poem dated 1479
 Sesshu Memorial Museum
 Important Cultural Property

(1) Portrait of Masuda Knaetaka
 This portrait is considered Sesshu’s greatest work.
 Sesshu painted this portrait in traditional Japanese-style painting dating back to the Heian Period (794-1185).

 The picture represents accurately a graceful figure of Masuda Kanetaka-the 15 th Feudal Lord of the Masuda Family.
 Sesshu’s elegant use of ink line shows the Lord’s high natural virtue. In fact, his line is very warm and beautiful.
 We can see seven colors used in the painting such as crimson, flesh tint, brown, blue, green, white and black.

(2)Birds and Flowers of the Four Seasons

  Sesshu painted this picture in celebration of the 17th Feudal Lord Munekane’s succession to the house of the Masuda Family.
 We can see cranes, bamboos, and a pine tree on the right-hand screen, and an old plum tree and a white snowy heron on the left-hand side. He magnificently expresses the change of the four seasons.

 The reason why he painted a pine tree, bamboos, and a plum tree in the screens is:-
 In japan, putting these three names of trees together makes the phrase ‘Shochikubai’ which is the symbolic expression of success. Especially, the pine, the symbolic tree for Japan, is often drawn in the background of Japanese-style paintings.

   this photo is a copy 
 By Sesshu
 Kyoto National Museum
 Important Cultural Property

Area of Sesshu's Landmark

Opening Houres
 9:00-17:00(Admission until 16:30)

 Every Tuesday
 New Year's holiday
 exhibition exchange period

Admission Fee
 ※( )indicate fees for those in groups of 20 or more.
 ・Special exhibitions-Admission varies by each exhibition.

 Masuda Municipal Sesshu Memorial Museum
 イ1149 Otoyoshi-cho,Masuda-shi,
 Shimane 698-0003,Japan


〒698-0003 島根県益田市乙吉町イ1149

TEL/FAX : 0856-24-0500
Ⓒ2005 Sesshu Memorial Museum