The world’s first publicly-run Bonsai Museum was opened here in Saitama City in 2010.
The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, Saitama, which lies adjacent to the renowned Omiya Bonsai Village, aims, through its activities, to promote the culture of bonsai -designated as a traditional industry of Saitama City- both locally and internationally. This is achieved through the display of masterpieces and outstanding works with the collection of the former Takagi Bonsai Museum of Art forming the nucleus, as well as bonsai pots, stones of appreciation generally referred to as Suiseki and paintings including Ukiyoe wood block paintings depicting bonsai. The museum’s activities also entail the systematic collection and publishing of documents related to the history and folklore of bonsai.
The following are the major three among the pillars of the museum’s activities.
First of all, the museum conducts investigations and research into the history and significance of various bonsai and bonsai-related traditional arts from multiple perspectives including art history, craft history and the history of horticulture. The high-level results are then made public in an easily understandable way through exhibitions and publications. Not only does the museum hold exhibitions, it also actively develops awareness projects, including the development of courses and lectures, with a view to providing opportunities for constant interaction with bonsai culture throughout the year. Furthermore, the museum strives for the establishment of interdisciplinary research on bonsai.
Secondly, as a new attraction on par with the Railway Museum, the Bonsai Museum seeks to become a sightseeing hub where not only local citizens, but also visitors from throughout Japan and abroad can readily experience how magnificent and interesting bonsai is.
Thirdly, the museum navigates visitors through its exhibits and also our city’s bonsai gardens in and around the Bonsai Village with the hopes that by experiencing the profoundness of bonsai, they will become, strong supporters of the bonsai industry as a traditional industry.
The museum therefore presses forward with the integration of these three roles; that of a bonsai research center, a new sightseeing hub for Saitama City and a contributor to the revitalizing of the bonsai industry, which together forms the pillar of its work.
The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, Saitama