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Azumino Chihiro Art Museum

The museum of children’s illustrated books

While staying in Nagano, I visited a very interesting museum that I’d like to share. The art of Chihiro is really charming! I enjoyed the museum and the place very much, also learnt some history.

The Chihiro Art Museum Tokyo was established in 1977 to commemorate Chihiro Iwasaki (1918-1974), a Japanese artist renowned for her charming paintings and illustrations of flowers and children, which appeared not only in picture books, but also in magazines, textbooks, novels, calendars, and elsewhere beginning in the late 1950s.

In 1956 Chihiro Iwasaki created her first picture book “Hitori de Dekiru yo” (I Can Do it All by Myself). Iwasaki Chihiro won many prizes, such as: Graphic Prize Fiera di Bologna for the book “Kotori no Kuru Hi” (The Pretty Bird) in 1971, and Bronze Medal of the Leipzig International Book Fair for “Senka no Naka no Kodomo-tachi” (Children in the Flames of War) in 1974. Chihiro died in 1974 at the age of fifty-five.

The Museum, financed through donations and royalties from Chihiro's artwork, was built on the site where Chihiro used to live and work from 1952 until her death. It was created in response to the strong wish of Chihiro's many devoted fans for a place dedicated to the permanent display of her art.

In the spring of 1997, in commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of the Chihiro Art Museum Tokyo, the Chihiro Art Museum Azumino was opened in Nagano Prefecture. As Chihiro's parents were both from Nagano, she was very familiar with the region and held it as her spiritual home. The Chihiro Art Museum Azumino, surrounded by a 35,000-square-meter park, is located in Matsukawa Village, where Chihiro's parents settled after the end of World War. In addition to displays of artwork by Chihiro Iwasaki, there is the display on the history of picture book illustrations and changing exhibitions of International illustrators.

The building of the Chihiro Art Museum Azumino was designed as a place to relax and feel at home. The museum provides a library, a play room, a café with a terrace, and a museum shop with original goods and books. In the Museum's park, visitors can see Chihiro's restored studio. The surrounding view features seasonal flowers and a majestic view of the Japanese Alps.

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Sleiman Azizi 4 years ago
There is a lot of depth to her work. It really is quite full of character.
Elena Lisina Author 4 years ago
At the same time they're simple and understandable for children!
Kim 4 years ago
I really like the illustration style!
Elena Lisina Author 4 years ago
Me too! It's really nice and live!
Anonymous 6 years ago
I'm interested in this.
Elena Lisina Author 6 years ago
Yes, it is very interesting! The illustrations by Chihiro are wonderful.

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