The Manggha Centre of Japanese Art and Technology was created due to the passion of Krystyna Zachwatowicz and Andrzej Wajda. In 1987, Wajda donated his Kyoto Prize, awarded for his lifetime achievements, to support the creation of the centre. After many years of effort, and backed by many private individuals (public fund raising was organised among the Japanese railway men), all the necessary funds were collected for the construction of the Centre of Japanese Culture in Kraków. The museum was built according to Arata lsozaki’s design and in partnership with Ingarden&Ewy studio based in Kraków. The centre finally opened on 30 November 1994.
Currently, among the collections at the centre you can find various woodcuttings, collections of contemporary Japanese and Polish posters, photographs, Andrzej Wajda’s drawings, fans, Noh Theatre masks, sculptures, ceramic utensils and kimonos. It also exhibits art objects from the Far East, which come from Feliks “Manggha” Jasieński’s collection and are stored there on behalf of the National Museum in Kraków.
The Museum focuses not only on displaying art pieces, but also on the promotion of Japan in general and other countries of the Far East. This promotion encompasses various forms: from stage performances in a form of the traditional Noh theatre to the Butoh dance, which combines tradition and modernity and also gatherings with ceremonies of brewing tea, readings of Japanese fairy tales, calligraphy and origami workshops, the organisation of concerts, symposiums, and learning the Japanese language.
Manggha is an exceptional meeting place whose architecture, inspired by one of the most recognisable woodcuttings by Hokusai showing fishermen in a boat drifting on a huge wave, fits nicely into the area of one of the most popular walking routes along the Vistula River.
Close to the building a stone garden with a pond can be found. We can also discover a tea house or relax, for a few moments in the surroundings of... a bamboo grove, which actually serves a practical purpose as it helps to enrich the diet of a red panda from the Kraków zoo.
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Photograph by Rafał Sosin, © all rights reserved
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