Frequent Asked Questions

Our Museum


The Kamakura Bunkakan Tsurugaoka Museum was inherited from the Kamakura Hall of the Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura. The building was designed by architect Junzo Sakakura (1901-1969).

In 1949, not long after the end of World War II, Iwataro Uchiyama, the Kanagawa prefectural governor at that time, received requests for an art museum from artists and critics. Artists, critics and scholars established the “Kanagawaken Bijutsuka Konwakai,” a committee of artists living in Kanagawa Prefecture; and Kamakura Hall was opened in 1951 as the first public modern art museum in Japan. During the 65 years since its opening, Kamakura Hall has held 525 exhibitions. When the lease agreement expired on January 31, 2016, the exhibition events in “Kyukan” (old hall) ended and the museum was closed on March 31. The building was designated as an important cultural property of the prefecture in the category of structures on November 22, and the prefectural government donated it to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine at the same time as the return of the land on December 22. In order to strengthen, restore and improve its functionality while maintaining the design of its historical architecture, renovations began in 2017 using innovative techniques. The building was opened as “the Kamakura Bunkakan Tsurugaoka Museum” in June 2019.

Junzo Sakakura/Architect

Sakakura was born in Gifu Prefecture in 1901. After studying art at Tokyo Imperial University (currently University of Tokyo), he moved to France in 1929. He studied architecture under Le Corbusier, one of the greatest architects of the 20th century. He won the Grand Prix with his design for the Japanese Pavilion at the Paris Exposition in 1937. His works were highly valued worldwide.

For more details, click here to visit the website of Sakakura Associates Architects and Engineers. (External Link)

Our Philosophy

With its main focus on the history of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, our museum aims to become a new center of culture in Kamakura by holding seasonal exhibitions to showcase the charm of Kamakura and other specially themed exhibitions.

Click here to see details regarding Seasonal Exhibitions


1949.8The Kanagawaken Bijutsuka Konwakai (a committee of 33 artists living in Kanagawa Prefecture) was established, and includes the artists Ikuma Arishima, Sotaro Yasui, Seiji Chokai, Kiyokata Kaburagi, Seison Maeda and Shinsui Ito, Seiichiro Takahashi, Yukio Yashiro and Itsuji Yoshikawa.
1951.11.17The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura opened.
1966.6The “Shinkan” (new building) and “Betto” (separate building) were added.
1968.11Repair work on the roof of the “Kyukan” (old building) and the exterior was performed.
1969The Curator’s Office was added to the Annex.
1991Large-scale repair work was conducted on The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura.
1999The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura (“Kyukan” and “Shinkan”) was selected as one of the 20 Best Modern Japanese Buildings by DOCOMOMO Japan.
2007.9Public admissions to the “Shinkan” were stopped due to seismic safety issues.
2014.8Investigations for seismic resistance and reinforcement of Kamakura Hall were conducted.
2016.1.31The final exhibition in Kamakura Hall ended.
2016.3.31Kamakura Hall was closed.
2016.7.25Demolition work on the “Shinkan” building and the curator’s office building was performed.
2016.11.8The museum was designated as an important cultural property of Kanagawa Prefecture.
2016.12.22Kamakura Hall was donated to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine.
2017.9.9Seismic resistance modifications and repair work on the main building of the museum began.
2019.3.28The construction of the Kamakura Bunkakan Tsurugaoka Museum was completed.
2019.4.20-5.6The “The Start of a New Era” was held before the opening of the museum.
2019.6.8The Kamakura Bunkakan Tsurugaoka Museum was officially opened.