Announcing the Marubeni Gallery Opening Exhibition IV:
Textile Designs and the Akane-kai—Spinning the Passion of the Past into the Present

Apr. 17, 2023
Marubeni Corporation


Marubeni Corporation (“Marubeni”) is pleased to announce that the Marubeni Gallery Opening Exhibition IV: “Textile Designs and the Akane-kai—Spinning the Passion of the Past into the Present” will be held from May 16 to July 31, 2023 (excluding the exhibition artwork rotation period of June 18 to July 2). This exhibition focuses on textile design*, one of the three pillars of the Marubeni Collection, and will feature 48 distinctive and imaginative works (with 24 on display during Part I of the exhibition and the remaining 24 on display during Part II).


Marubeni’s deep connections with textiles go back to its very foundation in 1858 as a traveling Omi (also written Ohmi) linen sales business. As business expanded into various other textile products, Marubeni established a textile design study group, called the Akane-kai, in the early 1920s to develop new designs that incorporated the best of Japan’s traditions with the art and sensibilities of the wider, modern world. Akane-kai participants included some 70 leading Japanese artists from a variety of fields, such as Japanese-style painter Takeuchi Seiho, Western-style painter Fujishima Takeji, and sculptor Asakura Fumio, who contributed to the creation of over 600 innovative designs that remain in the collection to this day. The exhibition will feature not only a selection of these original and unique works of textile design, but also the actual kimono and obi (sashes) created from them. Through this exhibition, the Marubeni Gallery looks forward to providing visitors with an opportunity to learn more about and appreciate the fascinating world of textile design, which is rarely shown to the public, and the beautiful textiles they directly inspired.

*Note: The textile design collection is currently owned by Kyoto Marubeni Co., Ltd. 

Exhibition Details:
Dates: Tuesday, May 16 to Monday, July 31, 2023
Part I: Tuesday, May 16 to Saturday, June 17
Part II: Monday, July 3 to Monday, July 31
Closed for exhibition artwork rotation period: Sunday, June 18 to Sunday, July 2
Hours: 10 am to 5 pm (Last admission: 4:30 pm)
Closed: Sundays and public holidays
Note: Also closed whenever the Marubeni Building is closed.
Please check the Marubeni Gallery website for details.
Admission: General admission: 500 yen
All proceeds from general admission sales will be donated to the Marubeni Foundation.
Note: Admission is free for the following groups.
・ Children under 18 and 18/19-year-old senior high school students (with student ID)
・ Visitors with an official disability certificate, plus one accompanying caregiver
・ Visitors wearing a kimono, yukata, or other traditional Japanese attire

About the Marubeni Gallery:
Designed under the concept of “a space where the aesthetics of the East and West in ancient and modern times resonate with each other,” the Marubeni Gallery is a facility where Marubeni’s art collection is on display to the public. Marubeni’s art collection consists of the three main categories: textiles, designs for textiles, and paintings. Since its founding in 1858, Marubeni has pursued the aesthetic beauty of Japan through its textile business. This resulted in the collection and preservation of ancient textile products (such as kimono, obi, and silk gift-wrapping cloth) and designs primarily from the 17th to mid-19th centuries—the first and second pillars of the collection. Gaining contacts in the art world through this pursuit of textile designs, Marubeni also acquired modern Japanese paintings through art dealers or from the artists themselves. Later, in the 1960s and 70s, Marubeni expanded into the international art business, acquiring Western paintings as well. Together, these Japanese and Western paintings form the third pillar of the collection. Today, the Marubeni Gallery features rotating exhibitions to share this collection, the history of Marubeni, and the aesthetic beauty of both East and West with the public.

Official Website: https://www.marubeni.com/gallery/en/
Official Instagram: https://instagram.com/marubeni_gallery_official

Future Exhibits (Tentative Titles/Details):
1. Hamano Toshihiro: Harmonizing Tradition and Modernity through Depicting the Legendary Regent of Japan Shotoku Taishi throughout the Four Seasons on Folding Screens and Other New Works (September 12 to October 14, 2023)  
2. The Beauty of Heian Era Women’s Attire: Recreating the Dress of The Tale of Genji’s Lady Akashi (December 1 to 28, 2023) 
3. Recapturing the Techniques of the Late Warring States (Momoyama) Era: Examining Ink and Cloth Fragments to Reproduce Famous Kosode (Shorter-Sleeved Kimono) of the Sixteenth Century (Late January to late February, 2024)