The Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery was a more magnificent building than I had imagined

Facade of Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery
Facade of Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery
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There are quite a few places that we know exist but have never visited. Even if you live in Tokyo, there are probably many people who have never climbed Tokyo Tower or Tokyo Skytree, bought fish at Tsukiji Market, or strolled down Takeshita-dori in Harajuku. For me, such a place was the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery in Jingu Gaien.

It is an unusual museum that exhibits only paintings depicting the life of Emperor Meiji from the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate to the Meiji Era. In an era when television and photography were not common, the museum was probably designed to communicate the achievements of the Meiji Emperor to future generations. The style of the dedication is that the staff selected important historical events and had them painted by the best painters of the day, and dedicated by famous dedicatees . It is interesting to note that some of the dedications are by people who have a connection with the subject matter of the paintings.

The painting entitled "The Great Restoration" was dedicated by Yoshimitsu Tokugawa, the grandson of the last shogun, Yoshinobu Tokugawa, who was a party to the Great Restoration. There were probably many negative opinions within the Tokugawa family about Yoshinobu's decision to give up power without fighting the new government, and I wonder how his grandson's generation would have evaluated his decision. I wonder if his grandfather would have responded differently to the situation, and if he would have dedicated it to the Tokugawa family, feeling ashamed to say that the Tokugawa family was in fact superior to the Emperor's family. Or did he dedicate it with joy? The year when the painting was completed was 1931. Yoshinobu Tokugawa, who had been a party to the Imperial Restoration, had already passed away, and the Empire of Japan was prospering under the Emperor. The Great Restoration of the Meiji Restoration may have seemed like a distant event in the past.

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Jun 2022 ARCHITECTURE TOKYO

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PHOTO DATA

No

12309

Shooting Date

Apr 2022

Posted On

June 27, 2022

Place

Jingu Gaien, Tokyo

Genre

Architectural Photography

Camera

SONY ALPHA 7R II

Lens

ZEISS LOXIA 2/35

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