At Kamakura Bunkakan Tsurugaoka Museum, we introduce the beauty of the area with four themes in our seasonal exhibitions.
When Minamoto no Yoritomo designated Kamakura as the center of samurai government about 850 years ago, he built a large shrine at this location and named it Tsurugaoka Hachimangu.
It is a major tourist site today, but it is still a place for prayer, something which has not changed in 800 years.
On the theme of “Light,” we will introduce the history of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine through the various festivals held at the shrine throughout the year and prayer images. The shrine has been the center of Kamakura since the time when the samurai government was located here and the city began to be formed around it.
During the last years before the end of the Heian Period when a code of honor and morals developed by the samurai called Bushido emerged, it was the Kamakura samurai who accepted Zen Buddhism earlier than anyone else. Under the theme of “Newness,” we will introduce the emergence of Japanese spiritual culture while looking into the Kamakura Period again through the historical roles of Minamoto no Yoritomo over a long period of great change.
The Kamakura Period was a time when people’s relationship with nature emerged as a sophisticated art style in the forms of architecture and gardens outside zen temples. Shinto and Zen Buddhism were established as philosophical belief systems. Under the theme of “Color,” we will introduce the natural world of Kamakura, which has been protected and nurtured since ancient times.
Kamakura has a long connection with literature since ancient times. For example, the famous poet Minamoto no Sanetomo once lived there.
As time went by, during the time of massive change within Japan before and after World War II, writers who came to live in Kamakura strived to express the spiritual wealth of the human mind and freedom through literature and the power of the pen. Under the theme of “Art,” we will introduce writers who contributed greatly to the development of Kamakura, and helped reaffirm the power of culture during the rough days after the war.