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Ueno Station "Spring in 1985, Japan's Flowers at Hometowns"

Stained Glass

Stained Glass "Spring in 1985, Japan's Flowers at Hometowns" / Original Painter and Supervisor : Ikuo Hirayama / Concourse outside Central ticket gate, JR Ueno Station (relocated from Shinkansen concourse on the 3rd floor of the same station) / Installed on March, 1985 See Original Painting

Production Scene

Artist's Message

Ikuo HirayamaJapanese-style PainterWith thoughts towards "North Hometowns"

The main point of this stained glass is that both composition and motif are Japanese. Since stained glass is originally from the West, most stained glasses have Western compositions and colors. In the European architectural style and climate, the harmony between thick buildings and various colors gives the impression with exquisiteness and solemnity, but it seems a bit different even if you adopt it in Japan as it is.
So I decided to try stained glass, a Western technique, with Japanese materials and composition. Although it is rather difficult to create a Japanese-style work with familiarity, I focused on planning first to integrate the East and the West.

This blue color at the background is the color of "water". It expresses the richness of the water and the richness of green in our country. At the middle of the whole picture, I collected colors of flowers such as cherry blossoms and azaleas. On the other hand, at the top and bottom, I kept using as little milky white change as possible. This water and green flow is abstract in a sense. And the framework to reinforce the stained glass, which you can accept as folding screens or sliding screens, was incorporated in the composition.
Due to its location, when the sun hits from the east, it shines colorfully, and when the light comes in from the west, the town of Ueno participates in it. I wanted to show changes in spring, summer, fall, winter, whitening, turning green, every season. It is a Japanese idea to make good use of "between", also called a margin.
And I wrote down the names of prefectures with the characteristic Edo letters in the fan screens. I think that they are also extremely Japanese-style tools. There is no screen like this in the West. Even though there are circular or spherical shapes, there is no space like a sector.
In fact, I got a request to include something which is a symbol of the prefectures along the Tohoku and Joetsu Shinkansen lines in making the original painting of this stained glass. Since there is no coherency even if I put them in pieces, I made the center by fan shapes and put them in order from the east to the north. That is also an expression of the speed feeling of Shinkansen. Then I thought that I would draw a morning glory and Kaminarimon for Ueno and Asakusa or its representative flower for each prefecture in them.
The fans originally came from China, but Japan has completed it in such a form. There is a word of six bends for one set from ancient times, and in this stained glass, six folding screens are paired with a pillar sandwiched. A single folding screen can be an independent screen. It becomes a symbol of one prefecture. In that sense, a composition with excellent decoration can be taken. It can be said that each prefecture's name tag is expressed in a fan.

Since it is a public art, even if it is a mosaic, a stained glass or ceramic board, it is troubled if you cannot see well what is drawn on it. When leaving for your hometowns or going up to Tokyo, you will feel "Here is a home" with familiarity. It is my view that there is such a climate in Tohoku and Joetsu.
In the production, young assistants at Japanese-style painting in Tokyo University of the Arts actively helped. It is a big feature also that we all worked together. I think that this work will be a huge success if a square opens at the park entrance, various people gather in front of the stained glass, and they feel to spread a mat and eat lunches.

Message from Persons Related

Dean of Fine Art Faculty, Tokyo University of the Arts, Architect, Doctor (Engineering)
Kiyoshi Seike
"Departing signal for the 21st century"

At the beginning of Showa era, Yamanote Line of JNR was fully constructed as a circular line, and the underground stations of the subway and Keisei train were newly established, and then the new Ueno station was completed above them.
Excuse me for being personal, but I was a student of the art school in Ueno (currently Tokyo University of the Arts) at that time. Since then a half century has passed, and now Ueno station has a departure time for the 21st century as the starting station of Tohoku and Joetsu Shinkansen. I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to this keynote at Ueno station that has given me favors over the years from a corner of the trees in Ueno.
This large mural decorating this wall is a departure signal for Ueno station toward the 21st century.
As explained in another commentary, Mr. Ikuo Hirayama's painting was changed to be a stained glass in cooperation with Mr. Louis Fransen.
Mr. Hirayama is a master of contemporary Japanese-style painting as everyone knows. Mr. Fransen was a Belgian Father, and until last year he taught students how to make a stained glass as a foreign teacher at Tokyo University of the Arts.
It seems that the encounter of this traditional Japanese-style painting and this traditional European stained glass symbolizes a departure to the 2nd century of Tokyo University of the Arts, which is now at the 100th anniversary of its founding.
Please allow me to give congraturations on it as a resident representative of Ueno, since the stained glass was so good. It is because I think that is the feeling of everyone who has used Ueno station every day or for long years.

Executive Director, Japanese National Railways
Hiroshi Suda
"A symbol of the new Ueno station"

Ueno station opened in 1896, and since then it has been used by many people as a "gateway to the north".
Shinkansen will come to this Ueno station finally. It is a great pleasure for me that a large stained glass will be completed this time to celebrate that and will be a new face of Ueno station.
I think this stained glass, creation of which original painting was asked to Mr. Ikuo Hirayama, will vitalize bright topics about the hometowns as well as attract travelers, since the typical scenery and events along Tohoku and Joetsu Shinkansen lines are drawn entitled "Spring in 1985, Japan's Flowers at Hometowns". As a symbol of the new Ueno station, I will cherish it forever.
I express my sincere gratitude to Mr. Ikuo Hirayama, who is the original painter and producer, Japan Traffic Culture Association, which is the planner, Modern Mural Arts Institute, which is the manufacturer, and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., which is the sponsor, to make this stained glass.

President, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
Toshihiko Yamashita
Ueno station, which has been popular as a gateway to the northern Japan since Meiji era, has finally started a new history as a terminal station of Shinkansen.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude that the stained glass "Spring in 1985, Japan's Flowers at Hometowns" made by Mr. Ikuo Hirayama, a world-class Japanese-style painter, will be presented to celebrate this meaningful event.
This stained glass is a large panorama expressing the beauty of Japan with scenery along the railway line as the subject, I think that it is a work suitable for Ueno station to have new start.
It is becoming more important for future stations to be cultural to give peace of mind to the people who go there and to color scenery of the city as well as to be superior in terms of function.
I wish this unprecedented large stained glass with Japanese flavor will entertain your eyes as a symbol of Ueno station and be familiar with you forever.


Original Painter and SupervisorIkuo Hirayama PlannerJapan Traffic Culture Association
LocationConcourse outside Central ticket gate, JR Ueno Station (relocated from Shinkansen concourse on the 3rd floor of the same station) Map ProducerModern Mural Arts Institute (currently CREARE Studio)
Installed on March, 1985 News
TypeStained Glass
Size3.7m × 18.6m
KeywordsFan , Water , Flower


Original Painter and SupervisorIkuo Hirayama
LocationConcourse outside Central ticket gate, JR Ueno Station (relocated from Shinkansen concourse on the 3rd floor of the same station) Map
Installed on March, 1985
TypeStained Glass
Size3.7m × 18.6m
KeywordsFan , Water , Flower
PlannerJapan Traffic Culture Association
ProducerModern Mural Arts Institute (currently CREARE Studio)



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