Die Eleganz der Hosokawa; Tradition einer Samurai-Familie

Weltmuseum Wien


Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation between Japan and then Austria-Hungary, Weltmuseum Wien shows a selection from the collection of the Hokosawa family. The exhibition is built up in three parts: weapons and armour (the Hosokawa family belonged to the Samurai elite), art (also by members of the family), and objects and textiles for tea ceremonies and N? theatre.

What is really good about this show is the concentration and focussedness – it is easy to lose oneself and drift about the overwhelming collections of the museum, but it is rather impossible to achieve a thorough overview. „The Elegance of Hosokawa“ offers explanations and connections, easy and straightforward, in a very clear and defined manner. The exhibition also stresses the continuity of the familiy´s own way of collecting, the translation into different eras as well as into our present time. Apart from this temopral superstructure the pieces themselves are extremely beautiful, and, at least for Western eyes, also a little bit curious, like the lunch box in the shape of a large eggplant from the 17th century. The real highlight, though, certainly are the gold plated folding screens in six panels.


Julia Maurer







Weltmuseum Wien
1010 Wien







Header: Detail von 2, Ausstellungsansicht, „Die Eleganz der Hosokawa“, 2019 © KHM-Museumsverband

1: ???????? Jagd in der Shimono-Ebene am Fuße des Berges Aso (Detail), Stellschirmpaar zu je sechs Paneelen, Japan, Edo-Periode (1600–1868), 18.–19. Jh., Tusche, Farbe und Goldfolie auf Papier, H. 178,8 cm, B. 379,8 cm (je), Eisei Bunko Museum (????), T?ky? Inv.-Nr. 4058, © Eisei Bunko Museum, T?ky?

2, 3: Ausstellungsansicht, „Die Eleganz der Hosokawa“, 2019 © KHM-Museumsverband (2: mit der Melanzani Lunch Box) links