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角屋もてなしの文化美術館 Sumiya Motenashi Cultural and Art Museum

  • Art museums / Galleries
  • Kyoto Station Area
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  • ClosedMonday(The next day the case of a public holiday)

Show Information and Map

Maps are rarely carried out with accessing from mainland China.

Kyoto Station Area
32, Nishishinyashikiageyacho, Shimogyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 600-8828, Japan
  • Art museums / Galleries
Opening Hours
Monday(The next day the case of a public holiday)
Date of post:2015/04/23

A restaurant in the Edo period as a cultural salon

  • Entertainment

Sumiya is situated at the west end of Shimabara, the first licensed entertainment district in Japan. Just like Gion and other places, Shimabara has prospered in the Edo period (1603 - 1868). Gion remained as an entertainment district, but Shimabara didn’t. The building of Sumiya stands in a calm residential area.

Sumiya was one of “ageyas” where banquets and dinner parties were held with geisha (traditional Japanese female entertainers) and a tayu, the premier Geisha. Among the customers, there were many men of culture, Yosa Buson (1716 -1784) for example. He formed a group of his “haiku” (short form of Japanese poetry) school and left the famous picture of red and white Japanese apricot (called "ume") on folding screens here. This restaurant played a role of a cultural salon of those days and has many works of painters and poets.

As a building of ageya, Sumiya has large rooms, a wide garden with tea-ceremony houses and a large-scale kitchen. These facilities are well preserved and represent the living style of the Edo period. You can feel the traditional atmosphere in every part of the building.

The restaurant also played another important role in the Japanese history. This place became a stage of the Meiji Restoration (“Meiji ishin” in Japanese). Heroes of the revolution invited rich merchants here and raised funds to restore power of the Emperor. The “shinsengumi” (a special police force organized by military government), who were opponents of the restoration practice, also visited here to have a good time. There was no assault of the Shinsengumi here. But Kamo SERIZAWA, a member of the Shinsengumi, did violence in a restaurant and left a sword cut on a wooden pillar. Because of that and other reasons, the Shinsengumi was secretly ordered to kill SERIZAWA. He was a master of sword battle art and it was very difficult to kill him. So the Shinsengumi held a banquet at Sumiya to make him drunk. After returning to the station, he was assassinated.

Sumiya is a witness of the Japanese history and tells stories with many materials left here.

  • * The information above is from the date of the review. Please be aware that some of the content may vary from the most recent information.
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