Work commenced on the Munakata Shiko Memorial Museum of Art in September 1974, and the building was completed in August of the following year. The Museum opened its doors to the public in November 1975 to commemorate Aomori-born woodblock print artist Shiko Munakata's being awarded the Cultural Order of Merit (1970).The museum hopes to keep alive his works for future generations and at the same time make a useful contribution to the arts in Aomori. To this end prefectural and municipal authorities as well as many others were generous in their assistance.
The museum itself, located in the heart of Aomori city, is a two - storied building utilizing steel-reinforced concrete. The architecture is of the"Azekura"style, popularly adopted in the construction of temples, public treasuries and storehouses from the Nara Period until the beginning of the Heian Period. In front of the hall entrance there is an elegant garden, the beauty of which attracts visitors in every season as well as Munakata's unique world does.
Shiko Munakata is a world-renowned woodblock print artist, but he has also made significant contributions in the fields of "Yamato-ga"(drawn in India-ink and water colors), oil paintings, and calligraphy. The size of the exhibition room is fairly small due to Munakata's wish for wanting his audience to look at each work of art very carefully. However, his masterpiece "Ten Great Disciples of Buddha" and other powerful woodblock prints, the delicately expressed "Yamato-ga", and dynamic calligraphy works are displayed all year round, along with a print block and various tools for the better understanding of the artist and his art.