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Inaugural Exhibition

Our City-Portrait of Osaka

2022-08-06 – 2022-10-02



The Nakanoshima Museum of Art, Osaka opened in February 2022, four decades after the concept for the museum was announced and three decades after the museum’s Planning Office was established.

In celebration of this long-awaited opening, the exhibition Our City—Portrait of Osaka focuses on the city of Osaka, the museum's home.

Osaka has experienced a lot of changes between the start of the Meiji Period in the 1860s and the present day, following the path of modernization and enduring the ravages of war. Two new centuries have arrived, and Osaka City is now a metropolis, but it has retained its distinctive character and continues to be "our city," a city for everyone.

This exhibition is an in-depth exploration of the charm and appeal of Osaka, drawing mainly from the Nakanoshima Museum of Art, Osaka’s diverse collection including paintings, photos, and posters, augmented by pieces from museums, art museums, companies, and other organizations in Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture, and elsewhere.

It evokes nostalgia for Osaka’s past, and may be an opportunity to discover aspects of Osaka you did not know about in places you see every day. The exhibition invites you on a trip through time into Osaka’s past, presenting many sides to Osaka that have been a part of its history over the last century and a half.

Information about the Exhibition

DatesPart 1: April 9 – July 3, 2022
Closed on Mondays (except May 2)
* Some exhibits will be rotated on May 17.

Part 2: August 6 - October 2 2022
Closed on Mondays (except September 19)
Opening hours10:00–17:00 (last entry 16:30)
VenuePart 1: Nakanoshima Museum of Art, Osaka 4F Galleries
Part 2: Nakanoshima Museum of Art, Osaka 5F Galleries
OrganizerPart 1: Nakanoshima Museum of Art, Osaka and The Yomiuri Shimbun
Part 2: Nakanoshima Museum of Art, Osaka and NHK Osaka Broadcasting Station
Special cooperationPart 2: Sekisui House, Ltd.
Admission feeAdults: 1,200 yen
University/High school students: 800 yen
Junior high school/Elementary students: Free admission
* The museum may close without notice in the event of disasters or other circumstances beyond our control.
* Prices include tax.

* Set of tickets for both Part 1 and 2 is also available. (Adults: 2,000 yen; University/High school students: 1,200 yen. Available until the end of Part 1.)
* A discount is available for Inaugural Special Exhibition Amedeo Modigliani ticketholders.
(Present your Our City—Portrait of Osaka exhibition admission ticket (or ticket stub) or e-ticket at the museum's reception counter to receive the following discounted prices on adult or university/high school student tickets for the Amedeo Modigliani exhibition: Adults: 1,800 yen → 1,500 yen; University/High school students: 1,500 yen → 1,200 yen)
- Valid for one person per applicable ticket.
- Discounts cannot be given after a ticket has been purchased.
- Cannot be used together with other discounts.
List of WorksList of Works

Part 1: Signposts to the city—Meiji, Taisho, and prewar Showa (April 9–July 3)

Starting in Nakanoshima, where this museum is located, Part 1 presents Osaka as it transformed into a modern city after the Meiji Restoration in 1868. During the Taisho Period (from 1912 to the beginning of the Showa Period in 1926), when Osaka grew so much that it became the city with the largest population in Japan, gaining the nickname “Great Osaka” (Dai Osaka), art also developed in distinctive ways. Artists were drawn to things such as Osaka’s flourishing economy, its developing railway network, and the emergence of department stores and centers of entertainment and recreation, and the development of modern art was stimulated by various industries, including the pharmaceutical industry, which took off owing to the traditional concentration of pharmaceutical wholesalers in the area during the Edo Period (pre-1968), and the publishing industry, which flourished in early-modern and modern times. This lively era is presented through some 270 paintings, photos, posters, and other works and materials. (Some works will be rotated for the second half of Part 1 on May 17.)

Part 1: Three highlights

1. Masterpieces depicting Nakanoshima and other parts of Aqua Metropolis Osaka Presenting Nakanoshima as painted by Saeki Yuzo, and other landscapes.

2. Prewar retro posters Focusing on characteristic typefaces unique to the times, such as Yamada Shinkichi’s kinema moji.

3. The many talents of famous painters Leading Osaka Nihonga painter Kitano Tsunetomi created many of the original paintings that became posters.


  • Chapter 1: A walk through Osaka’s past—Starting in Nakanoshima
  • Chapter 2: The landscape stirs
  • Chapter 3: The forcefield of public attention
  • Chapter 4: Modernism in a mercantile city
  • Chapter 5: Looming clouds of war
Main artists and materials exhibited
Akamatsu Rinsaku, Amano Ryuichi, Aoki Koho, Asai Chu, Fumon Gyo, Hirai Terushichi, Ikeda Yoson, Imatake Shichiro, Kataoka Toshiro, Kawasaki Kametaro, Kono Tetsu, Koide Narashige, Koishi Kiyoshi, Koiso Ryohei, Kunieda Kinzo, Maeda Toshiro, Moriwaki Takayuki, Nabei Katsuyuki, Nakamura Shin, Oda Kazuma, Saeki Yuzo, Shibata Kazuma, Shiihara Osamu, Shimizu Masashi, Sugai Kumi, Tanahashi Shisui, Tanaka Kenzo, Ueda Bizan, Umesaka Ori, Yamanouchi Gusen, Yasui Nakaji, Yoshihara Jiro, Shochikuza News, Kaikan Geijutsu, and others (Artists are listed alphabetically.)
  • Koide NarashigeCityscape

  • Oda KazumaDotonbori
    * Exhibited in the first half of Part 1 (until May 15)

  • Kawase HasuiMorning in Dotonbori, Osaka
    * Exhibited in the second half of Part 1 (starting May 17)

  • Maeda ToshiroDecoration in the Department Store
    * Exhibited in the second half of Part 1 (starting May 17)

  • Kitano TsunetomiTakashimaya kimono fabric shop poster (Yanone Goro)
    Takashimaya Archives collection
    * Exhibited in the first half of Part 1 (until May 15)

  • Yamada ShinkichiForbidden Paradise, Shochikuza Theatre, The Captain's Daughter
    Kyoto Institute of Technology Museum and Archives collection
    * Exhibited in the second half of Part 1 (starting May 17)

  • Koishi KiyoshiClub Soap

  • Kataoka ToshiroAkadama Port Wine
    Suntory Poster Collection (deposited with Nakanoshima Museum of Art, Osaka)
    * Exhibited in the first half of Part 1 (until May 15)

Related events

Lecture: Great Osaka rendered in art—Modern landscapes and their painters

DatesApril 23, 2022 14:00 – 15:30
講師Hashizume Setsuya (professor, Osaka University)
参加費Free (Exhibition admission ticket required.)

Gallery talk by curator

DatesApril 16 , May 18, June 11, June 22, 10:30 – 11:30
VenueNakanoshima Museum of Art, Osaka 4F Gallery

Part 2: Resonance with celebration—Postwar Showa Period, Heisei Period, and Reiwa (August 6–October 2)

This chapter presents the city and art of Osaka from the end of World War II to the present day. Yearning for the new and buffeted by the unexpected, Osaka saw extreme ups and downs, from the postwar recovery when people rose resiliently from among burned-out ruins to the World Expo in 1970, and on to today.

Some of the things we now take for granted, such as household appliances and industrially-produced homes, were then ideals that represented a new lifestyle. They are also a part of the times that shaped our current lifestyles and behavior. There was an explosion of material abundance, and at the same time, artistic activity gained further momentum. Advertising became a world of colorful competition, with designers battling it out through their art, honing their talents in the process.

After the Japan World Exposition 1970, which drew people into one of the most exiting spots in the world, and on into the twenty-first century, Osaka continued to be a great metropolis. This chapter traces our city's development and transformation through some 300 works and materials, including paintings, posters, household appliances, and a full-scale industrially-produced home. (More details about Part 2 are scheduled to be announced in May 2022.)

  • Hayakawa YoshioDai 11 Kai no Shusaikai (11th Kimono Show at Kintetsu Department Store)

  • Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
    National SAGA television TC-96G
    Panasonic Museum collection

  • Full-scale 1970s industrially-produced home (conceptual drawing)
    Sekisui House, Ltd.

Exhibition main visuals by the Expo 2025 logo creator

The main visuals for Our City-Portrait of Osaka were created by Shimada Tamotsu (Shimada Design Inc.), the head of Team Inari, which created the winning entry for the 2025 Osaka Kansai Expo logo.

Concept for main visuals

Osaka—From Toyono in the north to Senshu in the south, from the foot of Mount Ikoma in the east to the coast of Osaka Bay in the west, life in Osaka is surprisingly rich with diverse culture and different environments, interacting every day with people outside the prefecture and throughout the world. In order to express this distinctiveness, I created two versions reflecting the unique form of the map of Osaka Prefecture, and assigned the images, each of which extend outwards, to Part 1 and 2. By making the keynote color black, the visuals link this extension to the Nakanoshima Museum of Art, Osaka.  

From left: Flyers announcing Parts 1 and 2 of Our City—Portrait of Osaka