知識が広がる!凧の博物館の魅力とは?

凧の博物館は、東京都内、日本橋1丁目にある有名な老舗洋食レストラン「たいめいけん」5階にあります。

日本国内の凧は勿論、古今東西、世界各国のあらゆる凧のコレクションが3000点以上、展示されているのです。

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古くから世界に存在し、親しまれた凧の歴史

最初に凧を作ったのは古代中国、春秋時代の伝説的な工匠魯班(ろはん)とも言われています。

魯班の凧は軍事目的に作られた鳥形で、3日間、落ちることなく飛び続けたとされています。

凧の起源は明らかではなく、紀元前400年という説もあり、中国をはじめとするアジア各国、アメリカ、欧州、世界じゅうに古くから存在していました。

凧を飛ばす目的は、占い、宗教、戦の道具などさまざまで、国によって個性豊かな形の凧があります。

凧は実験道具としても活用され、避雷針を作ったアメリカ人、ベンジャミン・フランクリンが雷が鳴る嵐の中で濡れた凧糸に金属の鍵をぶら下げて凧を上げ、雷が電気をもっていることを証明した逸話が知られています。

日本で初めて凧が記述されたのは、平安時代の「和名抄」です。

江戸時代前までは、凧は貴族や一部の身分が高い武士の遊びで、一般庶民が遊ぶことはありませんでした。

江戸時代に入ると身分に関係なく大流行し、江戸時代に活躍した絵師、葛飾北斎の富嶽三十六景にも江戸の町に揚がる凧が描かれています。

人々の生活に浸透した凧は、江戸時代後期には正月の風物詩として定着したのです。

日本各地でも独特の進化を遂げた凧ですが、明治期に入り電柱や電線が増えると安全に凧上げできる場所が少なくなり、凧上げを楽しむ人も減ってしまいました。

それでも凧の魅力にとりつかれた愛好家は多く、現代でも各地で凧上げ大会が催されています。

たいめいけん創業者、茂出木心護氏の膨大な凧コレクション

多くの人が行き交う、都内の日本橋1丁目、名物のタンポポオムライスでも知られるたいめいけん5階に、秘密基地のように存在する凧の博物館。

展示されている膨大な凧のコレクションは、たいめいけんの創業者、茂出木心護氏が世界中から収集したコレクション。

料理人として有名な心護氏ですが、「日本凧の会」を組織し、初代会長を務めたほどの凧愛好家なのです。

凧は日本独自のものと思っていた心護氏は、世界各国にさまざまな凧文化があることを知り、収集を始めました。

凧を愛し、凧の楽しさ、面白さを凧を知らない現代の子どもたちにも伝えたいと、江戸凧絵師として知られる橋本禎三氏の協力を得て、凧の博物館を開館したのです。

それほど広くない館内には大小様々、古いものから新しいものまで、ありとあらゆる凧が展示ケースの中はもちろん、壁から天井までぎっしりと、あますところなく展示されています。

勇壮な武者絵や色鮮やかな美人画の伝統的な江戸凧、日本各地、それぞれに発達した形状や図案の伝統凧、鳥や動物、昆虫の形を模した凧など、アートやデザインとしても楽しむことができます。

昭和レトロ感たっぷりの昔懐かしいデザインや、近年のキャラクターが描かれた凧もあり、古いものから新しいものまで、カルチャーとしての凧の側面を見ることもできます。

心護氏が精力的に集めた、日本国内では滅多に見る機会が無い、ヨーロッパやアジア各国のユニークな形態の凧のコレクション。

手の平にのせられるコインサイズの小さな凧、競技用の凧、実験に使用される凧など、まさに見たこともない奇妙な凧が展示されています。

日本の伝統的な凧から世界の凧まで、凧の魅力が詰め込まれた凧の博物館は、日本文化に興味がある海外からの観光客にも、都内の隠れ家的な博物館として人気なのです。

凧の全てが楽しめる、凧の博物館

伝統的な日本の凧の絵柄や形には、それぞれに意味があります。

空に高く舞い上がる凧には、商売繁盛や福を招くなど、さまざまな願いも込められていました。

だるま凧は縁起かつぎ、奴凧(やっこだこ)は、身分の低い奴を空に高く上げることで、庶民が鼻持ちならない武家を見下ろしてストレス解消したと言われています。

六角凧は、男の子が生まれたときのお祝いに揚げられました。

子どもの生存率が低かった江戸時代、子どもが健康に育ち、家が繁栄するように願いを込めて凧を揚げたのです。

武者絵には、出世の願いも込められました。

凧の博物館は凧の展示だけではなく、凧の糸や使用される和紙を紹介するコーナーや、絵付けに使われる絵の具を紹介するコーナーがあり、凧の仕組みを深く知ることができます。

また江戸凧絵師、橋本禎三氏が凧を製作している作業風景を再現しているコーナーもあり、工程や道具が展示されています。

アートとしても美しい凧の図案、凧に描かれた浮世絵を展示したコーナーは浮世絵ファンの方も必見です。

館内のショップでは、実際に飛ばせる和凧や、凧作成用キットなどの道具が購入できるので、自分だけのオリジナル凧を作成することもできるのです。

最後に

子どもの頃に、糸をあやつることで風を受けて青い空へと駆け上がっていく、凧の行方を捜したことがある方は、古き良き時代を懐かしく思い出し、凧遊びをしたことが無い方も、個性あふれる圧倒的な凧のコレクションは知的好奇心を刺激してくれるでしょう。

館内には茂出木心護氏のブロンズ像が設置されていて、自らが集めた凧のコレクションと来館者を静かに見守っているのです。

凧の博物館

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