The Art Exhibition -MAHORA- by Japanese Artists

Dedicated to the 400th Anniversary of Passing-Away of Lord Tokugawa Ieyasu,
The First Shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate
At Nikko Toshogu Shrine

0集合写真.jpgTaken on Saturday, October 31, 2015, in front of Nikko Toshogu Shrine. The group photo was taken with the participants of the opening ceremony, including Mr. Hisao Inaba (centre), Chief Priest of Nikko Toshogu Shrine, Mr. Nobutoshi Akao (to the left), Senior Advisor of WAC, and Mr. Hakuju Kuiseko (to the right), member of the Japan Fine Arts Exhibition (Nitten), honorary advisor of the Japan Calligraphic Art Society and advisor of Yomiuri Shohokai.

Overview of the Exhibition

“The Art Exhibition” – MAHORA – by Japanese Artists was held over six days between Saturday, 31 October and Thursday, 5 November, 2015 in the  Nikko Toshogu East and West Corridors (national treasures) and Kyakuden (Reception Hall) (designed by Kenzo Tange). 303 pieces of art, including paintings, calligraphies, sculptures and craftworks by notable artists of the Japanese art world, and artists who are at the frontlines of art in Japan and are engaged in international exchange, were exhibited. 

The exhibition was co-hosted by the shrine with the World Art and Culture Exchange (hereafter referred to as WAC) as a special event to be dedicated to the 400th anniversary of passing-away of Lord Tokugawa Ieyasu, and the event gained popularity as it attracted 56,398 visitors (according to Nikko Toshogu Shrine) to the East and West Corridors, and Kyakuden.

Opening Ceremony
October 31, 2015, at 11:00

The opening ceremony of “The Art Exhibition – MAHORA – by Japanese Artists”, an event to be dedicated to the 400th anniversary of passing-away of Lord Tokugawa Ieyasu, was held.

On the day, calligrapher Hakuju Kuiseko, to dedicate to the 400th anniversary of passing-away of Lord Tokugawa Ieyasu and also to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War,  wrote words with a brush, in prayer for world peace, in tune with a performance of Japanese drums by Wadaiko Kids Yurikago (hereafter referred to as Yurikago), a group consisting of a select number of children from Tochigi Prefecture. 

The two large characters the calligrapher wrote on a 90 by 181-centimeter paper were “Taihei” (peace). Mr. Kuiseko remarked that the characters had come from his heart in earnest prayer for world peace, and he gave words of encouragement to the children of Yurikago. 

After the calligraphy performance, Mr. Hisao Inaba, Chief Priest of Nikko Toshogu Shrine and the co-host, gave a speech to open the event, followed by the presentation of the catalogue of the dedicated artworks from the representative director of WAC to Chief Priest Inaba. 






1 稲葉久雄宮司 補正.jpg   1 赤尾最高顧問 補正.jpg  
Mr. Hisao Inaba
Chief Priest of Nikko Toshogu Shrine     
  Mr. Nobutoshi Akao
Senior Advisor of WAC                         
 1 奥谷博 補正.jpg    1 日光市長 補正.jpg   1 下野新聞社専務 補正.jpg    
Mr. Hiroshi Okutani
(Member of the Dokuritsu Fine Art Association) 
  Mr. Fumio Saito
Mayor of Nikko City
  Mr. Kazuo Kurouchi
Excutive Director of SHIMOTSUKE (Newspaper company)



All of the artists who submitted works to the exhibition were regarded as artists who made artistic offerings to the 400th anniversary celebration, and those who attended the opening ceremony were offered prayers at the “Shogun Chakuza-no-ma” of the main shrine of Nikko Toshogu.

Prayers were performed by priest Ichiro Yuzawa (hereafter referred to as Priest Yuzawa) of the said shrine, and he prayed for the success of the exhibition and the growth of the artists. 




Reception – evening on the day of the event

The reception for the exhibition was held at Kinugawa in Nikko City, attended by Priest Yuzawa of Nikko Toshogu Shrine, where he made a speech about the deep relationship between Nikko Toshogu Shrine and art.

The reception began with a speech and toast by Mr. Nobutoshi Akao, Senior Advisor of WAC, and unlike the sombre opening ceremony in the morning, the gathering was an informal and cheerful affair.




Art Session
November 1st, 2015, at 11:00

Children’s Fureai Art Session was held in front of the Kyakuden at Nikko Toshogu Shrine.

At the art session, about five 2-meter square sheets of vellum paper were placed on the ground, and each sheet was worked on by a group of ten, consisting of artists and children, to create a piece of art.

As a representative of the artists participating in the art session, Japanese painter Ms. Shinsen Hashimoto gave an opening speech, and told the participants that the theme of the painting was “the sun”.

The theme came about as the piece submitted to the Art Exhibition by Ms. Hashimoto was “The Sun”, but the artist also mentioned that she was also conscious of life, as it is referred to in the lyrics to “Teno-hira-wo Taiyo-ni”.

As with the art session ”Sakura” (Bloom of Smile 咲笑) – Art Exhibition for Recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake (April 2013), which was held in the same venue, the event was participated by the children of KILALA Art School in Tochigi Prefecture. Works by the children were also exhibited in the Kyakuden lobby. 

The art session was the final human event of the exhibition, but the participants must have felt that the inclusion of children’s energy had added great power to the exhibition that was held for world peace.













Period: 31st October-5th November 2015
Venue: Nikko Toshogu East and West Corridors, Kyakuden(Reception Hall)
Co-hosts: Nikko Tosyogu / General Incorporated Association World Art and Culture exchange(WAC)
Supporting Organizations : Tochigi Prefecture / Nikko City / Nikko City Tourist Association
Cooperation: THE THAI RED CROSS / Art Schools for Children in Tochigi Prefecture