About the Kakimori Bunko
Close to Kyoto and Osaka and known for its sake brewing, Itami boasted both an advanced economy and culture during the Edo period. It was also a dynamic part of the haiku world, home to many renowned writers and artists. The Kakimori Bunko is a product of this rich cultural heritage, thanks to the well-organized collection amassed by Professor Rihei Okada.
The name Kakimori means “guardian of the persimmon tree”. The name was derived from a persimmon loved by the men of letters who would visit Itami during the Edo period in search of its delicious sake.
In October 1829, Rai San'yo, a renowned scholar and composer of Chinese poems, stopped by Itami for a visit during a trip to Mino to view the autumn leaves. With him were fellow scholar Shinozaki Shochiku and the painters Tanomura Chikuden and Takahashi Sohei. A banquet was held at the house of Sakanoue no Toin, the Kenbishi sake brewer who was known at the time for his famous sake made in Itami. At the banquet, the host offered a spectacular persimmon (known as daigaki, or “pedestal persimmons” because the area around the stem lifted up in a circular pattern) to his guests. San’yo and his friends were so struck by the delicious taste of the fruit. They also heard that the persimmons were available only in the garden of the Okada family and began to write about them, each man capturing his delight in poetry and paintings. Later, the Okada family heads used the character for persimmon in their pen names (such as Shien and Shiin). The twenty-second head of the family, Rihei Okada, took the name Kakimori.
Kakimori was born in Itami in 1892 and continued his family’s sake-brewing business while also holding important posts as the mayor of the town and later city of Itami. He was eventually named one of its most distinguished citizens. He was also a devoted scholar of haiku, particularly the poets Matsuo Basho and Ueshima Onitsura, who was from Itami. In the process, he collected a number of precious documents for his research.
Kakimori eventually passed away in June 1982 at the ripe old age of ninety, having enjoyed a rich and full life. His collection was set up as a foundation, and the museum opened its doors in November 1984. It was reorganized as a public interest incorporated foundation in November 2011.
The persimmon tree that gives the museum its name is now in its second and third generation, still growing heavy with magnificent fruit each autumn.
About the founder
Professor Rihei Okada, who went by the name Shinzo as a child, came from a sake-brewing family in Itami and graduated from the Department of Japanese Literature in the School of Letters at Kyoto Imperial University. He taught at the Baika Girls' School, University of the Sacred Heart, and other institutions while also serving as the mayor of Itami.
Professor Okada began his collection with works from the local poet Ueshima Onitsura, gradually expanding it to include general haikai history along with any original works or haiku publications he needed for his research. His collection now lives on as the Kakimori Bunko museum.
In addition to authoring works like Onitsura Zenshu (The Complete Works of Onitsura) and Haiga no Bi (The Beauty of Haiku Paintings), Professor Okada is also renowned for having laid the foundations of Basho graphology studies with his work Basho no Hisseki (The Calligraphy of Basho).
・Hours: 10 AM –6 PM (last entry at 5:30 PM)
・Closed Mondays (or the following day if Monday is a holiday) and during the New Year holidays (December 29–January 3).
May be closed temporarily during exhibit changeover periods.
- General admission: ¥200
- University and high school students: ¥100
- Elementary and junior high school students ¥50
- General admission: ¥500
- University and high school students: ¥250
- Elementary and junior high school students ¥100
Special exhibitions require an additional fee.
Discounts available for groups of 20 or more.
Information on discounts
Free admission is available to elementary and junior high school students who are residents of Hyogo Prefecture and present their Hyogokko Kokoron Card (distributed to all elementary and junior high school students who live in the prefecture and/or attend a Hyogo school). Half-price admission available for seniors age 60 and up (65 and up on weekends and holidays) who are residents of Itami, Kawanishi, Sanda, Takarazuka, or Inagawa with proof of age and address. City residents with disabilities can get half-price admission for themselves and one caregiver by presenting their physical disability certificate, rehabilitation certificate, mental health services certificate, or similar document.
Note: Discounts cannot be combined. The greatest discount will be applied in each case.
- Smoking and photography are prohibited except in designated areas.
- Do not touch the exhibits.
- Coin lockers are available in the library.
- Please remain quiet to avoid disturbing other visitors.
Enter the fascinating world of haikai and haiku by becoming a Kakimori Bunko member. The Kakimori Bunko has unique haikai collection even within Japan, preserving some 10,000 priceless works penned by Basho and other poets both ancient and modern, putting them on public display so that as many people as possible can enjoy them. The museum also engages in activities to further haiku literature research. The museum is proud to offer Kakimori Bunko Tomonokai memberships that grant even more convenient access privileges.
- Free admission for you and a guest to Kakimori Bunko special exhibitions and all other parts of the museum, plus group discount rates for all other accompanying guests.
- Free admission for you and a guest to Kakimori Bunko small exhibitions, plus group discount rates for all other accompanying guests.
- Group discount rates for regular exhibitions at the Itami City Museum of Art.
- Discounts on admission to various lectures held at Kakimori Bunko (get access to specialist course lectures normally priced at ¥1500 for ¥500, for example).
- Get a museum-published exhibition guidebook for free, plus occasional discounts on other distributed publications.
- Get free access to original haikai and haiku documents for approved special research purposes.
- Get discounts on facility usage fees for approved poetry group, research conference, and other events.
- Get priority access to various lectures and other events sponsored by the museum, including the Haikai wo Tazuneru Tabi (“a trip through haikai”) event.
- Receive the Tomonokai newsletter and other museum information.
- Corporate membership (includes various groups): ¥30,000 and up
- Individual membership: ¥10,000 and up
Account number (for direct deposits): 01160-5-8557
Account name: Kakimori Bunko Foundation
Membership requests and inquiries
Please inquire directly with Kakimori Bunko