Curator Profile

Sakuo Miyahara has been the curator of the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum since 2011.

Sakuo Miyahara, Curator of the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum

In 1978, aged 25, Miyahara visited Itchiku’s second personal exhibition at Ginza (Mikimito Hall). The impression the kimono left on him was so strong, Miyahara resolved to leave everything behind to learn about the mysteries of “Itchiku Tsujigahana”, and he became Kubota’s main apprentice.

Between 1979 and 1981, Miyahara learnt how to reproduce “Itchiku Tsujigahana”, and used it for his first kimono, Rakyuo Goten-saku, and for the 40 pieces of the following “Kokyo” series. 
From this moment, Miyahara established himself as a professional in the field of dyeing, even helping his mentor, Itchiku Kubota. He opened a Dyeing Institute in Uenohara in 1982, followed by a workshop in Okinawa three years later and two more in 1997 and 2000.

Close up on one of Sakuo Miyahara's own creations, following the Itchiku Tsujigahana technique.

Miyahara was with Itchiku Kubota when in 1989, on the way back from Hakone, they discovered what Itchiku Kubota described since as the most impressive “Red Fuji” they had ever seen. This sunset striking Mount Fuji and painting it red would change both Itchiku Kubota and his apprentice’s lives, leading to the inauguration of the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum in 1994, attended by Prince Mikasanomiya.

On April 26, 2003 Itchiku Kubota passed away, leaving his Symphony of Light incomplete. After assisting Kubota for the blockbuster Smithsonian exhibition in 1996, and as homage to him, Miyahara carried on the task and completed some additional kimono of the series.

Since being appointed Director of the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, Sakuo Miyahara has been organising displays of the museum collection in Japan and transmittimg both his and Itchiku Kubota’s passion and technical knowledge.

Red Fuji (Aka Fuji), 1989, as experienced and reproduced by Itchiku Kubota in collaboration with Sakuo Miyahara.