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Special Exhibition

Tomoto Shisuko’s Paradise ― I Can’t Help But Paint: A Picture Diary of My Life

Period July 9 (Sat.) - September 4 (Sun.) 2022





塔本シスコ《 古里の家、ザボンの木》1995年/竹筒、油彩/個人蔵

塔本シスコ《ツバキ 花》2000年/木箱、油彩、貝/個人蔵






Tomoto Shisuko was born in what is now Yatsushiro, Kumamoto Prefecture in 1913. Tomoto was adopted not long after her birth, and her adoptive father was inspired by his dream of someday moving to SanFrancisco to name her“ Shisuko.”
In 1922, the family business fell into decline, and Sisuko, a fourthgrader at the time, left school to help with farm work and babysitting. Tomoto later worked for several employees, and in 1933 at the age of 20, she married a cook named Tomoto Suezo.
In 1943, during the Pacific War, the couple had a son followed in 1946, after the war had ended, by a daughter. However, in 1959, Tomoto Suezo was killed in an accident that occurred at a dam construction.
Sisuko was griefstricken at the sudden loss of her husband, and after falling into a mental and physical slump, she suffered a light cerebral hemorrhage. After losing her husband, Sisuko struggled with her health while she watched her son paint. This seems to have gradually led her to develop a desire to express herself. And she started her career at the age of 53.
The subject matter of her artwork extends to familiar plants, flowers and animals, as well as to childhood memories, freely transcending time and place.
The world of her paintings is filled with the joys and dreams that dwell in her heart.
Sisuko, who maintained a sense of purity, and her own joys and dreams were the source of her work throughout her life, said “I will keep painting until I die”, and never put down her brush until just before her death at the age of 91 in 2005.
This exhibition is the largest retrospective of Sisuko’s exhibition, introducing more than 200 works, that until now have had little opportunity to be widely introduced.
The exhibition has toured to the Setagaya Art Museum, the Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto and the Museum of Fine Art, Gifu, and at the Shiga Museum of Art, its final stop, five additional works, including “Sunflowers and Tree Frogs “(1971), which were not shown at the other venues, will be on display. We invite you to visit “Sisuko’s Paradise”, where her works are interwoven with the things she loves and full of memories.


July 9 (Sat.) – September 4 (Sun.) 2022



Opening Hours

9:30-17:00 (Last admission at 16:30)


Shiga Museum of Art, Gallery 3


dults ‒ 1,200JPY (1,000JPY)
University & High School Students ‒ 800JPY(600JPY)
Junior high school & Elementary students‒ 600JPY(450JPY)   
Under Elementary School Students: Free
Holders of a ID of physical disability, mental disability, or intellectual disability: Free
*Addmission Fees in ( ) are group rates for groups of 20 or more.
*Tickets for this exhibition can also be used to visit the museum’s collection exhibition.

Organized by

Executive Committee of “Tomoto Shisuko’s Paradise ― I Can’t Help But Paint: A Picture Diary of My Life”