Edoardo Chiossone

Edoardo Chiossone (Arenzano 1833 - Tōkyō 1898), professor of drawing and engraving. Graduate of the Ligustica Academy of Fine Arts in Genoa, moved to Japan in 1875 at the invitation of the Japanese Imperial Government, to work at the print workshop of the Ministry Finance as a special instructor and head of the engraving division. Here he designed and engraved the first Japanese banknotes and stamps. He lived in Japan during the most fervent and fruitful period of the Meiji Imperial Restoration (1868-1912), Chiossone was one of the foreign architects of Japanese modernization and contributed to the country’s  internationalization. The Genoese engraver was awarded two Imperial Orders of Merit, the Rising Sun (fourth class Kyokujitsushō in 1880) and the Sacred Treasure (third class Zuihōshō in 1891). During his 23 year stay in Japan, Chiossone acquired an extraordinary collection of Japanese and Chinese art, in which all sectors of the figurative and decorative arts find expression. At the time of his death he left his collection to the Ligustica Academy of Fine Arts in Genoa, the place of his youthful artistic and cultural training, to be put on display and made accessible to the public. Chiossone’s was the first collection of oriental art in Italy to be made available to the public.