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An Introduction

The Mithila Museum is housed in a converted schoolhouse in Tokamachi, Niigata Prefecture, situated in Japan's snow country. Here approximately 850 Mithila paintings, more than 300 paintings that the Mithila artists created in Japan, Warli paintings by an aboriginal group in India, and Indian teracotta statues and figurines, are exhibited on a permanent basis.

The core of the teracotta collection is the 109-piece donation made in 1989 by the Government of India. The Mithila art collection, which was created to contain the diaspora of this art form, is recognized by the Government of India for its breadth and quality.

The Museum focuses its activities on the acquisition, research, and publicity of Mithila paintings, a free school using the surrounding natural forest as a backdrop, and provision of a forum for international understanding. All its cultural activities are based on a cosmic outlook on time and space.

Since 1988, when the world renowned Mithila artist Ganga Devi came to Japan, the Mithila Museum has invited various painters of Mithila art to Japan, and have asked the painters to practice their art form using traditional methods on a new material the Museum has developed. This material we call "pseudo wall." These paintings, using traditional bamboo stencils and natural pigments, synthesizes the naive and quiet magnitude of the traditional wall paintings with the contemporary, thus creating a totally independent and unique world of its own -- a world which we describe as "the cosmology of prayer."

Unlike in the native environment where these paintings are drawn, in Japan the Mithila and Indian aboriginal group artists create their art in an environment where a higher degree of refinement and creativity is possible. The Museum continues to add to its collection these new paintings created in Japan, giving each artist an opportunity for artistic growth.


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Recruitment of Volunteers

The Mithila Museum has openings for short term and long term volunteers. Participants in the Museum's activities will have a first hand chance to learn from the unique artists creating the Warli and Dokra Indian aboriginal artists, and Mithila artists, who regularly come to Japan to exhibit and create their artwork.

We have the following openings:

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Notice on Operating Hours and Admission Charges

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How to Get There

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Mithila Museum

Ooike, Tokamachi-shi, Niigata Pref. 948, Japan

Phone +81 (0)257-52-2396/Fax+81 (0)257-52-6076

E-mail: info@mithila-museum.com

(c) Copyright 1996/2005 Mithila Museum.All rights reserved.