It is impossible to describe Takehisa Yumeji in one single word. Vagabond artist, rebellious painter, poet, yukata graphic designer, children magazine illustrator, trailblazer, prominent figure of the Taisho-romanticism artistic style, Yumeji is still today a worldwide acclaimed artist, especially known for the paintings of his famous ‘beauties’.
He was born in the late 19th century in Oku (present-day Setouchi city) in a family of sake brewers and farmers. The traditional thatched-roof home, in which he lived until the age of 16 years old and where it is believed he drew his first inspirations, is now a lovely museum in which you can leisurely have a look in the home in which he grew up as well as many of his masterpieces.
Visiting Yumeji’s childhood house allows you to not only understand and imagine how the famous painter spent the first sixteen years of his life, but also to feel how life must have been like back in 19th century rural Japan for a family of farmers and sake brewers.
Only a few meters away stands Yumeji’s reconstructed workplace which was originally built in Tokyo but was abandoned and consequently demolished after his death. The mansion was designed by Yumeji himself and is a mix of Japanese and Western architecture making it one of Yumeji’s chef-d’oeuvres. Inside, many pictures of Yumeji’s life are hung on the walls, from his early childhood, his bohemian-like lifestyle as a vagabond artist, his marriage and his muses, to his final days.
Be sure to go have a look in their newly built cafe where you can admire not only more of Yumeji’s master pieces but also the beautiful Japanese style tea corner. You can either try your hand at whisking your own matcha tea or have one of the staff kindly make one for you. In any case, you’ll be sure to be treated to artistically and deliciously made wagashi (Japanese sweet)! Yumeji’s childhood house truly invites you to peacefully enjoy your visit at your own pace.
Yumeji’s childhood home is also linked to the Yumeji art museum located in Okayama city. So if you want a complete experience and to see more paintings of Yumeji, take the time to stop by the art museum as well. Click here for more info!