Naoshima (直島町 Naoshima-chō) is an island town administratively part of Kagawa District, Kagawa Prefecture, Japan located in the Seto Inland Sea.

As of April 2017, the town has an estimated population of 3,117 and a density of 220 persons per km². The total area is 14.22 km².

The island is known for its many contemporary art museums. For example, the Chichu Art Museum(literally, “in the earth”) houses a number of site-specific installations by James Turrell, Walter De Maria, and paintings by Claude Monet. Designed by Tadao Ando, it is located on one of the highest points of the island, and various exhibits and facets of the museum’s architecture take advantage of its commanding view. Another contemporary museum (and hotel) is Benesse House, also by Ando. Another is the Naoshima Fukutake Art Museum, with an outdoor sculpture garden, and a third is the James Bondmuseum, inspired by the island’s use as one of the settings for the 2002 Bond novel The Man with the Red Tattoo by Raymond Benson.

The museums and beauty of the island draw many tourists, whose visits help support the local economy. However, it is Mitsubishi Materials, loosely affiliated with other Japanese companies of the Mitsubishi name, that dominates industry on the island, as Naoshima has been the site of massive refining by Mitsubishi since 1917.

Leave a Reply