Every Artist or Art Collector who has visited Japan most surely knows about the Asahikawa Sculpture Museum. First used in 1902 as a social gathering spot for army officers of the 7th division (Japanese Imperial Army), the building is now a proud heritage site dedicated to in the honor of Teijiro Nakahara. The structure was designed in a western style, meant to serve soldiers in various ways as a hotel, social clubhouse and assembly area. It also served as the assemble hall for the American army after Japan lost World War II. In 1968, the restoration of the building was finally done to use it as a museum. The Asahikawa Museum of Local History was established that year. Among the various collections of art, antiques and artifacts, one of the earliest possessions dated back to the Ainu tribe in Japanese cultural history. The museum was eventually moved to the Asahikawa Taisetsu Crystal Hall in the early 1990's.

The Asahikawa Museum - Original Photo by K.Takeda

It was the only building in Asahikawa city to be designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan on May 19, 1989. Renovations again took place in 1994 to be used as the Asahikawa Museum of Sculpture in Honor of Teijiro Nakahara. For those of you who are not familiar with Teijiro Nakahara, he was an important modernist sculptor who spent his childhood in the city of Asahikawa.

The renovated museum is now the permanent home of twelve works of Teijiro Nakahara, as well as sculptures by other individuals who have won the Teijiro Nakahara award. External artists also hold periodical exhibitions at the venue as well, such was the case of Bikky Sunazawa, a sculptor who specializes in carving designs out of natural wood. The museum also holds talks and seminars for children, as well as an annual announcement for the reception of the Teijiro Nakahara award for sculpture.

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