Selected Chinese and Korean Ceramics from the Ataka Collection


2008.2.9(Sat.) - 2008.3.20(Thu.)



2008.2.9(Sat.) - 2008.3.20(Thu.)


Galleries / 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

The Ataka Collection is a compilation of approximately 1,000 pieces of Oriental ceramics collected as a business undertaking by Ataka Co., Ltd., a company once numbered among Japan’s ten largest trading firms. It was ATAKA Eiichi (1901-94) who oversaw the collecting with a keen, uncompromising eye and built a peerless ceramics collection. Eiichi served as company board chairman and later as counselor, but he is remembered primarily as an art collector and also as a patron of Western classical music in pre- and post-war Japan.

ATAKA Eiichi was born to a family of wealth and power in Kanaiwa-cho, Ishikawa-gun, Ishikawa Prefecture (present-day Kanaiwa-cho, Kanazawa City). His grandfather, Kokichi, who had built a fortune through his dealings in finance, fertilizer and clothing, was among Kaga province’s wealthiest merchants. Eiichi’s father, Yakichi, devoted his energies to the importation of general goods, thereby laying a foundation for Ataka Co., Ltd. to become a distinguished trading company. Yakichi is also known as the foremost patron of scholar SUZUKI Daisetsu and philosopher NISHIDA Kitaro.

After the dissolution of Ataka Co., Ltd., the Ataka Collection was ultimately donated to Osaka City by the twenty-one companies of the Sumitomo Group under the leadership of Sumitomo Bank, which had been Ataka Company’s main bank. Osaka City then founded The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka in 1982 in order to house the Collection. Consisting mainly of Korean ceramics of the Goryeo and Joseon Dynasties and Chinese ceramics of the Tang, Song, Yuan, and Ming Dynasties, the Collection is widely esteemed as one of the finest ceramic collections in the world.

This exhibition will present 56 gem-like works, including 2 national treasures and 11 important cultural properties, selected from the Collection under the supervision of The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka. Visitors to this homecoming exhibition of a world-class collection closely associated with Kanazawa are invited to savor the beauty and enjoyment of Oriental ceramics. (This exhibition has ended.)