Exhibits

The information about exhibits, provided in this calendar, is intended to introduce Japan-related events in the Greater Boston, and New England area.

For all non-JSB-organized exhibits please check directly with the organization producing it to confirm all times, dates and event details. The Japan Society of Boston is not responsible for any changes or inaccuracies in information about events not sponsored by the JSB.

For information about special events, check out our All Events page.

Upcoming events

    • 30 Sep 2017
    • 03 Jun 2018
    • Museum of Fine Arts, Japanese Print Gallery (Gallery 278A), Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115


    Black and White:
    Japanese Modern Art

    September 30, 2017 – June 3, 2018

    Museum of Fine Arts, Japanese Print Gallery (Gallery 278A), Avenue of the Arts,
    465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

    Centered around a newly acquired, large-scale calligraphy by Inoue Yūichi (1916–85), this exhibition showcases a selection of avant-garde works in the monochrome aesthetic shared widely in Japan and beyond during the postwar period. This sensibility is rooted in Zen Buddhism, which values simplicity and austerity, and remains influential today. The works in the exhibition are the results of transnational exchanges between Japanese artists like Inoue and their American Expressionist contemporaries, including Franz Kline and Jackson Pollock, who drew inspiration from Asian calligraphy for their gestural paintings. Among the nine works on view are prints, ceramics and sculpture, primarily drawn from the MFA’s collection.

    • 18 Oct 2017
    • 01 Apr 2018
    • Museum of Fine Arts, Ann and Graham Gund Gallery (Gallery LG31), Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

    Takashi Murakami:
    Lineage of Eccentrics

    A Collaboration with Nobuo Tsuji and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

    October 18, 2017–April 1, 2018

    Museum of Fine Arts, Ann and Graham Gund Gallery (Gallery LG31), Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

    Contemporary works by Takashi Murakami, one of the most imaginative and important artists working today, are juxtaposed with treasures from the MFA’s renowned collection of Japanese art. The exhibition reveals how Murakami’s contemporary vision is richly inflected by a dynamic conversation with the historical past, framed by a creative dialogue with the great Japanese art historian, Professor Nobuo Tsuji. Together, Murakami and Professor Tsuji have chosen the objects on view in the exhibition, including paintings and sculpture created by the artist in direct response to Japanese masterpieces from the MFA’s collection, such as Soga Shōhaku’s 36-foot-long Dragon and Clouds (1763), and the Heiji Scroll (second half of the 13th century)—one of the most famous Japanese works of art outside of Japan.

    • 23 Jan 2018
    • 23 Mar 2018
    • Malden Public Library, 36 Salem St., Malden, MA 02148


    Lasting Impressions of Japan: Hokusai & Hiroshige and Beyond

    January 23 – March 23, 2018

    Exhibition Hours: Mondays 6:00-8:00PM, Wednesdays 2:00-4:00PM, Saturdays 2:00-4:00PM

    Malden Public Library
    36 Salem St., Malden, MA 02148

    This will be the first exhibition of these historic ukiyo-e prints by Hiroshige, Hokusai, Kunisada and Kuniyoshi, purchased by the library in 1912, in over one-hundred years.  The exhibition also includes stunning examples of Japanese traditional dress and ceramic art, including formal, semi-formal, and casual kimono, haori jackets from the collections of the Malden Historical Society. 

    The woodblock ukiyo-e prints show images of everyday Japan and were mass-produced for popular consumption in the Edo period (1615-1868).  Brought to Europe and America, these prints influenced many Western artists, including Monet and Van Gogh; as well as the creators of our popular manga and anime series.  Among the treasured prints exhibited are works by Katsushika Hokusai, best known for his work “Great Wave off the Coast of Kanagawa” or “The Great Wave” from his series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji.

    The exhibition is a collaboration between the Malden Public Library and the Malden Historical Society.

    For more information or group tours call 781-324-0218.

    • 01 Feb 2018
    • 28 Feb 2018
    • Museum of Fine Arts, Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

    The Boston Festival of Films from Japan

    February 1 – February 28, 2018

    Museum of Fine Arts, Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

    MFA Film is thrilled to present a vibrant new annual festival showcasing the very best recent films produced in Japan. This year’s lineup includes the live-action manga adaptation Blade of the Immortal, the 100th feature film from provocative and prolific director Takashi Miike, and the Boston premiere of the timely documentary Resistance at Tule Lake (2017), which chronicles a 1943 uprising at a Japanese concentration camp in California.

    The festival kicks off February 1 with a free screening of Your Name (2016), an anime feature with gorgeous imagery and deep emotional resonance that quickly became one of the most popular films of all time in Japan. The 7:30 pm screening will be preceded by a celebration in the MFA’s Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art, starting at 6 pm and featuring live music by DJ Ian Condry, art-making activities and Japanese candies and confections at Taste Café. Free tickets for the event can be reserved starting at 10 am on January 30 and will grant attendees free admission to Takashi Murakami: Lineage of Eccentrics before and after the film screening.

    With the exception of the opening night screening of Your Name on February 1, tickets for BFFJ films are $9 for MFA members and $11 for nonmembers, and will be available starting January 18.

    For these stories and more, visit the MFA for the first ever Boston Festival of Films from Japan!

    • 01 Feb 2018
    • 28 Feb 2018
    • Boston Children's Museum, Japanese House, 308 Congress St., Boston, MA 02210

    節分Make an Oni Mask for Setsu-bun and Celebrate the Coming of Spring!

    February 1 - 28, 2018

    Boston Children's Museum, Japanese House,
    308 Congress St., Boston, MA 02210



    Setsu-bun is a Japanese ritual of driving out bad luck and evil spirits and welcoming in good luck and good health in preparation for spring.

    The most fun part of Setsu-bun Day, on February 3rd, is the mame-maki ceremony (bean-throwing ceremony). It is one way to drive away bad luck and illness. In the night of the Setsu-bun day, some people wear masks of Oni (a Japanese monster or demon), which symbolize negative things such as illness and bad luck. Others throw soybeans at oni, saying “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!” which means “Out with bad luck! In with good fortune!” 

    In the Japanese House this month, you can make your own oni mask, and be reminded of the importance of taking care of your health during the flu and cold season of February in Boston.

    During the busy days, they will have the guided tours of the Japanese House to accommodate the crowds. During the busy times, they will not have the activity in the Japanese House in order to accommodate the crowds.

    Japanese House has limited hours. Please check the specific hours on the day of your visit.
    • 02 Feb 2018
    • 26 Aug 2018
    • Smith College Museum of Art, 20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063

    体 Modern Images of the Body from East Asia

    Smith College Museum of Art
    20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063
    February 2 - August 26, 2018

    体 is a character and concept commonly used in East Asian languages (traditional Chinese: 體; Japanese Hiragana: からだ or たい; Korean Hangul: 체). It refers to the material existence of a person, as seen in compound words such as 身体 (human body) and 体格 (physique). In an abstract sense, it also connotes substance, form, and organizing principles, as seen in compound words such as 体系 (system) and 国体 (national polity).

    Using this character as a point of departure, this exhibition looks at the multifaceted representations of the body in East Asia from the nineteenth century to the present. In this period, the region became more enmeshed in the worldwide circulation of things and ideas, and paradoxically, the personal and the collective both found very strong expressions in society. The exhibition explores modern and contemporary portrayals of physical appearances in East Asia, and particularly how these bodily images have come to symbolize identities, reflect socio-political changes, serve as vehicles for artistic expression, and challenge preconceived notions of humankind.

    The art works, ranging widely in media and culture, are mostly drawn from the Smith College Museum of Art’s collection. The exhibition thereby has evolved around but also brings visibility to a significant section of the museum’s holdings, which corresponds to the college’s global and multidisciplinary curriculum. It opens up inquiries into issues including colonial history and Orientalism, global exchange of material and knowledge, rise of nation-states, myths and spectacles, body politics, and biological and technological evolutions.

    Museum Hours
    Tuesday–Saturday 10–4
    Thursday 10–8
    Sunday 12–4
    Second Friday 10–8

    • 10 Mar 2018
    • 22 Apr 2018
    • Pucker Gallery, 240 Newbury Street, 3rd floor, Boston, MA
    Pucker Gallery
    240 Newbury Street, 3rd Floor, Boston

    March 10 - April 22,  2018

    Hideaki Miyamura was Born in 1955 in Niigata, Japan, and traveled to the United States to study art history at Western Michigan University. After college, he returned to Japan in 1987 to pursue his interest in ceramics as an apprentice with master potter Shurei Miura in Yamanashi. Stemming from his interest in rare ancient Chinese tea bowl glazes, Miyamura seeks to create glazes that have a three-dimensional quality and convey purity and peacefulness. His vessels are pristine, disarmingly simple, contemplative objects whose finishes reflect the panoply of the natural world — geologic phenomena, star-filled nights, undulating ocean waves, and fiery sunsets. His work is included in numerous public collections, including the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

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