Part I: Seiji Fujishiro is my best friend. He just doesn’t know it yet.

Last weekend we took a day trip to Nasu, a resort town about an hour and a half away from Tamura. The week before was a bit stressful and emotionally draining, so to have a day to relax with the team was something I was definitely looking forward to.

Because I have a lot to say (and I’ve noticed people have short attention spans), I’ll split our outing into two posts.

We started the day by visiting the Seiji Fujishiro art museum. If you’ve never heard of Seiji Fujishiro, look him up right now. It’s okay if you’re too lazy to Google his name, just click this link that’s all in Japanese. You’re welcome. If you didn’t click the link I provided, Fujishiro is a Japanese Kiri-e artist (Japanese cut-out art), who also happens to be a Christian.

To get to the museum, we had to walk through what turned out to be the most magical campground I’ve ever seen.

The welcome sign looked like this:

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 As we continued to walk along the path, there were small cabins with owls in front of each one.

At the end of the long row of cabins was the entrance to the museum. To get to the actual building, you walked through yet another path that was surrounded by beautiful trees, and iconic Fujishiro figures made out of what I think was metal (don’t quote me on that). There was even a pond, and a chapel with stained glass windows created by Seiji Fujishiro himself.

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Finally, the front of the museum.

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Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures inside of the museum, but let me assure you, it was one of the best art museums I’ve ever been to. Not only is his artwork completely whimsical, but he also incorporates Christian themes into many of his pieces. The stained glass in the chapel had images of Noah’s ark and beautiful images of the crucifixion, and inside the museum, there was a scene depicting the Garden of Eden. His love for nature and the animal world, especially cats, was also very evident.

It’s also very evident that him and I would be best friends. I mean, just look at this:

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Photo found here.

Fujishiro creates his pieces with tissue and construction paper, and a lot of his art was back-lit, which made it even more stunning. Some of his bigger artwork utilized water and mirrors, which created the illusion that the scene went on for miles and miles. There were also a few self-portrait paintings with different animals (an owl, a cat, and a tiny elf). I don’t think I could write enough about how intricate each piece was, so here are a few of my favorite ones:

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We bought a copy of this print at the museum & plan to hang it up in our living room.
夕日の中の愛の奇跡大_cmyk
Mermaids and Cats: two of my favorite things.
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This was my favorite one. I love the way he shows the reflection of the cellist in the water.
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Magical

While each one is beautiful on the screen, they really can’t compare to what was in the museum itself.

Along with his art, there was also a second level that showed pictures of what his studio looks like as well as an old work desk and chair. One of the pictures showed him working on a huge piece of paper, and right beside him was a cat. We’re kindred spirits, him and I.

If you ever find yourself in Nasu, I would definitely recommend visiting this museum. While it’s small and kind of off the beaten path, I left feeling encouraged and inspired in my faith. I wanted to go back home and draw, paint, and create something new. His artwork is like none other, and anyone who appreciates whimsicality will be able to appreciate Fujishiro’s creations.

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