Modern Japanese Painting Collection: Exchange Between the Patron in Mobara and Painters

Hakuho Mori, “Pigeon,” detail,
Mobara City Museum of Art & Local History


 Allow us to introduce the collection of Japanese paintings of a wealthy individual who mingled with people in political, business, and arts circles during the Taisho and Showa periods. The collector Zenyū Kataoka (1885-1970) was born into a landowning family in Hayano, Mobara City, Chiba, studied at a middle school in Tokyo, worked for the politician Shinpei Gotō for a while, and became a local celebrity who devoted himself to farmland reforms after returning home. At the same time, Kataoka had a profound understanding of artistic culture and supported painters in Tokyo art circles, including Masami Iwata, Shūjin Kawachi, and Hakuho Mori. Letters left behind together with the artworks tell us that Kataoka frequently went to Tokyo to meet with painters, look at works at exhibitions, and supported them both mentally and materially throughout the harsh times of the wartime and postwar periods. He would sometimes also invite painters to his vast residence with its Western-style mansion.

 This collection that developed from these interactions consists of illustrated albums and shikishi collections from various painters, centering on hanging scrolls that belong in a tokonoma display. Please enjoy this rich collection of works that were preciously cared for and loved by a local patron.

Masami Iwata, “Oracle Reported to the Emperor,”

Masami Iwata,
“Oracle Reported to the Emperor,”
private collection

Shūjin Kawachi, “Dolls’ Festival,”

Shūjin Kawachi, “Dolls’ Festival,”
Mobara City Museum of Art & Local History

Sen'yō Ogawa, “Increase in Production,”

Sen'yō Ogawa, “Increase in Production,”
Mobara City Museum of Art & Local History


Slide Talk
10/8 sat. 14:00 – 14:30
Admission: Free
Venue: Orientation Room (Library, 1F)


Sundays and Mondays
300 yen (free for high school students and under)

By train: take either the JR Sotobo Line to Oami Station or the JR Sobu Main Line to Naruto Station; change trains and take the JR Togane Line; get off at Gumyo Station; 5 minute walk to the university.
By car: take either the Keiyo Highway or the Tateyama Expressway to the Chiba-higashi Junction; from there, enter the Togane Toll Road; exit at Togane and take National Highway (Route) 126 in the direction of Naruto for about 20 minutes; at the signal at Josai International University Mae, turn right.
*The school parking lot is available


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Mizuta Museum of Art, Josai International University
1 Gumyō, Tōgane-shi, Chiba 283-8555, Japan
Tel. 0475-53-2562

Web design by Miku Sakamoto, junior in the Faculty of Media Studies