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About the Museum


Taneji Kakimoto has three children, two boys and a girl.  The youngest was the only girl, Yayoi, who was my wife.


I have seen Taneji, my father-in-law, keep his life busy operating a car sales company, taking care of the Mereyon Comrades Association, and devoting himself to his paintings. 


As his collection paintings have become considerable numbers, I often dreamed of building a museum to exhibit his paintings.  I am sure that Taneji himself has dreamed it more than I did.


In this year, 2020, COVD-19 became prevalent all over the world, and movement of people was restricted.  In this situation, I came up to an idea of constructing a museum on Internet. When I told my idea to Taneji’s wife Kiyoko, his elder son Jun, and second son Shuji, they all agreed with my plan.  Shuji himself is also an artist and exhibited his characteristics in web-designing of the museum.  My small idea became real with all the support from them.  Unfortunately, his daughter Yayoi was not able to take part in this process, for she passed away of disease in October 2018.  


About Tanej’s Paintings


Because Taneji continued studying painting, holding private exhibitions, publishing art books and picture cards, he was known as an artist among his acquaintance for long time.  From 2000, when he was 82 years old, he began to paint works based on his wartime experiences in the Mereyon Islands.  His paintings about war collected in his third art book drew people’s attention, and accepted interviews from Hokkaido Shinbun newspaper company, and NHK Hokkaido (Japan Broadcasting Corporation, Hokkaido branch).  In 2020, he was picked up on nationwide broadcast in NHK news. 


The most suitable name for Taneji is, I think, is an artist of soul.  It is written in Van Gogh’s biography that Gogh criticized paintings of his colleagues or those exhibited in museums that there is no soul in those paintings.  Taneji states that his greatest experience in his life was the fight against starvation in Mereyon Islands.  The thoughts for his comrades who had to die in starvation were carved strongly in his soul.


Not only Van Gogh would agree that a good painting is the one where there is painter’s soul is in the work.  It is my honor that you would appreciate the works of Taneji Kakimoto, where you will find his soul in each of his painting.


In constructing this web-museum, we had generous support from many people.  Jun, Shuji, and I would like to express heartfelt thanks for i-word publishing company, Hokkyokusei lim. co. who helped us in Web authoring, and also for Taneji’s granddaughters.


Taneji Kakimoto died of pneumonia on October 21, 2022, at a hospital in Sapporo. He was 101 years and 10 months old.  He continued painting for more than 90 years, but his lifework finally ended.  He has never been tired of painting for his life.  Amongst his artworks, paintings about war are invaluable, which only Taneji was able to create.  What impelled Taneji to take up his paintbrush in such a strong manner?  I think it was his sorrow and regret for those soldiers who could not come back home from the Mereyon island.  I hope this museum will be loved by many people, even after the artist’ death.


Director’s Profile


Keiichi Tanaka

Born in 1949.

Graduated from the University of Tokyo, Faculty of Law, after graduating Nada Junior High and High School. 

Completed the doctoral program without a doctoral degree from the above university.

Lecturer and assistant professor at University of Yamanashi.

April 1988: After voluntarily retiring University of Yamanashi, entered University of Tsukuba, School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

1993: Married to Yayoi Kakimoto. Had a daughter next year.

April 1994: Passed national examination for medical practitioners.

Fine arts is always a subject of interest since I studied Japanese and World history, and touched with it in my school days.  Although I do not paint or draw by myself, I often visit museums and prefer to appreciate or read art books and artists biographies. 

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