About the Taiwa Matsuoka Virtual Museum Project

It was in around 1975 that I first saw a painting by Taiwa Matsuoka. I was still a college student, yet I remember my first impression of his painting as “a painting with a strong presence of self-expression.” I didn’t know the painting was Urushi artwork, but the vivid impression has stayed with me to the present. (Beach with a Female Diver)


Taiwa Matsuoka is a relative of my wife, but I never had a chance to meet him in person.  Yet, it must be fate that I decided to start a website project to launch the Taiwa Matsuoka Virtual Museum, so that the general public could have an opportunity to enjoy his artworks.  The energy of Taiwa is felt constantly around me.


Taiwa’s wife Aya’s dedication to the establishment of the Taiwa Matsuoka Museum and the course of her life, in which she supported Taiwa in his career, have struck a chord within my soul. The fact that Aya seldom sold his artworks but instead kept most of his lifetime artworks in Uda, Nara–the birthplace of Taiwa–is symbolic of her life’s devotion.


The energies poured into the lifelong artworks of an artist are enormous, and such strength is vividly experienced in the book of Taiwa’s art collection. As an artist myself, it is my great pleasure to introduce the visions of Mr. and Mrs. Matsuoka through this website.


“Fine art was born to be seen.” It is my great honor, and the honor of Mr. and Mrs. Matsuoka, to allow as many viewers as possible to take advantage of this website and therein discover a wonderful world of Urushi-e through Taiwa’s artworks and sketches.



I wish to express my sincere appreciation to those who assisted in this project.
In particular, Ms. Yaeko Yoshizawa did a remarkable job in copywriting and editing. She was an energetic force in developing the project from its research stage through to copywriting. Also, my heartfelt thanks go to Yukio Takayoshi, a photographer who lent his assistance with full support; Kalika, a web designer at Citrus Design who generously accommodated my requests; and the many others I met through this project, all of whom fell in love with the artworks of Taiwa Matsuoka. It was a precious experience to have met these wonderful people.


It is my great pleasure to introduce the Taiwa Matsuoka Museum for the global audience, and to welcome the world to enjoy the Urushi artworks of Taiwa Matsuoka.


Thank you for visiting our website.


Nao Magami
November 2006
Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.



With sincere appreciation the following are people who assisted in the website development:  (title omitted, in random order)


Yaeko Yoshizama / Copywriting, editing, research
Yasunori Murai / Coordination
Noriaki Kosuge / Photographer
Yukio Takayoshi / Twinkle Photo Studio
Osamu Nagai / Assistant photographer
Yasuhiro Matsunami / Coordination
Michie Sasaki / Coordination
Sumiko Horio / Artwork lending
Yasutaka Matsuoka / Artwork lending
Mariko Magami / Proofreading
Janet LeBlanc / Proofreading
Takashi Maruyama / Executive Director of Japan Urushi Craft Association Inc., advisor
Junko Inui / Owner of Gallery Copaind’Art, friend
Kazuo Niuda / Artist residing in France, restoration of paintings
Hideyuki Higashimori, Tadashi Nakao, Yoshio Yoshioka / Uda City Hall, Nara Prefecture (formerly Haibara Town Hall)
Kalika Nacion Yap / Citrus Design, in charge of Web design
ISS Translators, Inc. / Text translation
Horiuchi Color / Photo scanning
Okamura Printing / Photo lending



The wife of Taiwa Matsuoka, Aya passed away on November 8, 2006.
She had battled her illness for a long time, and it was truly regrettable that she left us before the completion of this website.
I am certain that both Taiwa and Aya Matsuoka would be delighted to have as many visitors as possible to this site, so that they can encounter Taiwa’s Urushi fine arts.
I sincerely hope that I can keep their mission and be of assistance, such as by lending Taiwa’s artworks.