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Tokyo bath-house murals in danger of dying out

Date: 2011 July 07 18:24

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Tokyo bath-house murals are in danger of dying out as the number of people qualified to paint them and the numbers of people visiting bath houses diminishes.

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The Guardian has an interesting story concerning the rapidly dying art of bath-house mural painting. The art form, stretching back over a hundred years is starting to lose it's popularity as more and more Tokyo residents stay at home to bathe.

47-year veteran artist Morio Nakajima, taking on apprentice Mizuki Tanaka, states: "I refused to take her on at first. No woman had ever done this job before. It's hard work, you spend a lot of time going up and down ladders with heavy pots of paint. But now I'm glad I gave in."

At the height of their popularity, public bath houses or Sento, numbered more than 2,500. Now there are less than 1,000. Nakajima is now only one of two fully qualified sento painters.

Source: The Guardian
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