Collecting Stories


Nov. 14, 2020 – March 7, 2021

Museums are defined by their collections, each with a unique point of view that is carefully shaped by the mission and vision of the institution. The Morikami Museum is specifically devoted to the acquisition, research, preservation, and exhibition of the story of Sukeji “George” Morikami and the Yamato Colony specifically and broadly to the visual culture created by Japanese and Japanese Americans. The result of this effort over more than 40 years is not just a catalog of objects, rather a collection of ideas and unique stories illuminated by the objects.

Collecting Stories focuses on works drawn from the Morikami’s Permanent Collection and featured in vignettes, or mini exhibitions, representing diverse perspectives for interpreting the narrative of any object (or groups of objects). Explore how Japanese visual culture has reflected changes in society, politics, and modernization. Learn how everyday functional objects can express deep spirituality. Observe how some Japanese artists have responded to international influences over the past 400 years. Consider how the lives of Japanese Americans like George Morikami have impacted non-Japanese communities. In addition, we will highlight the positive ways in which the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is contributing to a deeper understanding of the Japanese culture through the Museum’s collecting and exhibition strategies.

Sake Bottle and Cup
By Hamada Shōji (1894-1978)
Stoneware, tenmoku glaze
5.5” x 4.5”; 3” x 1.5”
Shōwa, ca. 1965
Gift of Josephine Aiko Onodera and Misha and June Rudolph
wooden mask with pigments and gesso
Zo-onna (Beautiful woman)
By Hakuzan Kubo (b. 1940)
Gesso and pigments on wood
8.375”h x 5.5”w
Heisei period, ca. 1999-2001
Gift of the Artist
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