The Japanese surname Shirakura is made from the Chinese character 白 meaning 'white' and the character 倉 meaning 'treasure house.' Such traditional storehouses, with their thick white plastered walls, are often seen in and around Buddhist temple grounds, attached to large traditional estates, or dotting the countryside where they were used for everything from storing seasonal harvests to protecting the finest of artworks and priceless family heirlooms. Thus, the name Shirakura conjures up images of not only a place where prized artworks and material possessions are stored, but also of a place where sentimental and spiritual artifacts may find refuge.
True to our name, we bring together a collection of inspired artworks from Japanese creators ranging from the Muromachi period (1336 - 1573) to current day budding talent. Because we are located in the old capital of Kyoto—long known as the cultural heart of Japan—we focus heavily on Kyoto artists and have access to the finest works by well-known masters throughout the ages. Please take your time and enjoy our gallery filled with carefully selected examples of Zen art, tea ceremony implements, rare paintings, as well as modern prints and photographs.