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Honkan

The original Main Gallery (designed by the British architect Josiah Conder) was severely damaged in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. In contrast to western style of the original structure, the design of the present Honkan by Watanabe Jin is the more eastern "Emperor's Crown Style." Construction began in 1932, and the building was opened in 1938.
24 exhibition rooms on two floors provide a thorough introduction into Japanese art: "Highlights of Japanese Art" on the second floor introduces the development of Japanese art from Jomon through to the Edo period in a chronological manner, and genre galleries presenting specific rooms displaying ceramics, swords, lacquerwares, sculptures, modern decorative arts as well as the material culture of Ainu and Ryukyu are located on the first floor.

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Finding Cherry Blossom in the Japanese Gallery (Honkan)

  
 March 17, 2015 (Tue) - April 12, 2015 (Sun)

To coincide with the spring opening of the Museum Garden (Saturday, March 17 - Sunday, April 19, 2015), many artworks featuring cherry blossom are on display in each room of the Honkan. Come and enjoy the various expressions of cherry blossom depicted in ancient and modern masterpieces.

2nd floor "Highlights of Japanese Art"

  
The Dawn of Japanese Art: Jomon, Yayoi and Kofun periods
Room 1  December 9, 2014 (Tue) - May 10, 2015 (Sun)

The Jomon culture began around 12,000 years ago. Earthenware vessels of this age with various motifs and styles are the starting point of "Highlights of Japanese Art." In the Yayoi period (450 B.C.- A.D. 250), pottery with a simplistic yet refined beauty and dotaku bell-shaped bronzes were prominent. Typical objects from the Kofun period (A.D. 250-600), such as haji, sue wares and haniwa figurines, as well as mirrors, arms and armor, saddlery, and accessory, which expresses the essence of metal and glass craftsmanship, are also featured.

Current exhibit includes:
Deep Bowl with Flame-like Ornamentation, Attributed provenance: Umataka, Nagaoka-shi, Niigata, Jomon period, 3000 - 2000 BC
Dancing People, Haniwa (Terracotta Tomb Figurine), From Nohara Tumulus, Miyawaki, Nohara, Kumagaya-shi, Saitama, Kofun period, 6th century
Dogu (Clay figurine) with Goggle-shaped Eyes, From Kamegaoka, Kizukuri, Tsugaru-shi, Aomori, Jomon period, 1000 - 400 BC (Important Cultural Property)
Dotaku (Bell-shaped bronze), From Kashio Yubune, Iga-shi, Mie, Yayoi period, 1st - 3rd century
Glass Bowl, Attributed provenance: Tomb of the Emperor Ankan, Habikino-shi, Osaka, Kofun period, 6th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Club Kansai)
Mirror, Human figure design,  Passed down at Suda Hachiman Jinja, Hashimoto-shi, Wakayama, Kofun period, 5th - 6th century (National Treasure)
Gilt Bronze Horse Bit, Excavated from Kenzaki Otsuka, Takasaki-shi, Gunma, Kofun period, 6th century (Gift of Provisional Water Supply Department, Takasaki City)
Footed Stand with VesselsSue stoneware, From Hosojinzuka Tumulus, Miyagawa, Chino-shi, Nagano, Kofun period, 6th century (Important Art Object, Gift of Mr. Gomi Kenzo)

  
The Rise of Buddhism: Asuka - Nara period
Room 1  February 24, 2015 (Tue) - April 5, 2015 (Sun)

In the mid-6th century, Buddhism was officially introduced into Japan from the kingdom of Baekje on the southeastern coast of the Korean peninsula. Japanese culture made a remarkable progress with the adoption of Buddhism. This gallery features early Buddhist statues, sutras, reliquaries, and ritual implements from the Asuka and Nara periods.

Current exhibit includes:
Standing Nyorai (Buddha), Horyuji Treasures, Asuka period, 7th century
Shosan jodo butsu shoju kyo (Sutra on Pure Land and Salvation through the Grace of Buddha), Nara period, 8th century
Eight Nested Bowls, Horyuji Treasures, Nara period, 8th century (Important Cultural Property)

  
Room 2  March 17, 2015 (Tue) - April 12, 2015 (Sun)

This room is specially designed for the comfortable viewing of masterpieces in a tranquil setting. With each rotation, one exceptional work of painting or calligraphy designated as National Treasure will be presented. The selections come from the Museum's collection or works that are on loan to the Museum.
On Exhibit:
Merrymaking Under Blossom Trees, By Kano Naganobu, Edo period, 17th century (National Treasure)

  
Poems of Bai Juyi Upcoming
Room 2  February 16, 2016 (Tue) - March 13, 2016 (Sun)

This room is specially designed for the comfortable viewing of masterpieces in a tranquil setting. With each rotation, one exceptional work of painting or calligraphy designated as National Treasure will be presented. The selections come from the Museum's collection or works that are on loan to the Museum.

On Exhibit:
Poems of Bai Juyi, By Fujiwara no Kozei, Heian period, dated 1018 (National Treasure)

  
Buddhist Art: Heian - Muromachi period
Room 3  February 24, 2015 (Tue) - April 5, 2015 (Sun)

Buddhist art is one of the major genres that define Japanese art. Many masterworks date from the late Heian period, a time characterized as classical in Japanese art history. After the Kamakura period, Buddhist art further developed in its materials, methods, and styles as Zen schools and other new Buddhist schools emerged, together with the influence from the Chinese arts. This exhibit features artworks from the Heian to Kamakura periods, when Buddhist art most flourished, adding siginificant objects from the Nanbokucho and Muromachi periods.

Current exhibit includes:
Eight Patriarchs of Shingon Buddhism, Nagarjuna, the third patriarch, Kamakura period, dated 1314
Tengu zoshi (Stories about conceited monks), Toji and Daigoji Version, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)
Muryogi kyo (Sutra of Immeasurable Meanings), Transcribed under the auspices of Taira no Motochika, Heian period, dated 1178
Pendent Plaque with Image of Sansho Gongen, Kamakura period, dated 1249 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Gandenji, Nagano)

  
Courtly Art: Heian - Muromachi period
Room 3  February 24, 2015 (Tue) - April 5, 2015 (Sun)

The courtiers were strongly involved in the arts through the Heian and Muromachi periods, their aesthetic tastes playing a great role in Japanese art history. Literature works such as waka poems and other calligraphy written by courtiers, and e-maki narrative picture scrolls are displayed in this room with decorative art objects.

Current exhibit includes:
Parody of Aging as a walk on Oinosaka Slope, Artist unkown, Kamakura period, 14th century
Festival at Chikubushima, Muromachi period, 16th century
Record of Poem Contest Held in Emperor's Palace in 960, Attributed to Fujiwara no Tadaie, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Tanaka Shinbi)
Record of poem contests held by Tsunehira no Daini, Attributed to Fujiwara no Toshitada, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property)

  
Zen and Ink Painting: Kamakura - Muromachi period
Room 3  February 24, 2015 (Tue) - April 5, 2015 (Sun)

This gallery features works by famous artists of the landscape-painting genre, along with famous works of bokuseki (calligraphy by Zen priests).

Current exhibit includes:
Geju (Buddhist verse), By Ikkyu Sojun, Muromachi period, 15th century
Flowers and Birds of the Four Seasons, Attributed to Sesshu Toyo, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property)

  
The Art of Tea Ceremony
Room 4  January 27, 2015 (Tue) - April 19, 2015 (Sun)

This gallery highlights the way of tea through its various art works such as paintings and calligraphy, vases, vessels for kaiseki meals, kettles, tea caddies, and tea bowls.

Current exhibit includes:
Tea Bowl, Known as "Hashihime" (bridge maiden), Mino ware, Shino type, Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period, 16th - 17th century (Gift of Mr. Matsunaga Yasuzaemon)
Tea Caddy, Known as "Odaimyo", Mino ware, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mrs. Shiobara Chiyo)
Poems, By Emperor Goyozei, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 17th century (Important Art Object, Gift of Mrs. Ota Matsuko)
Tea Bowl in Shape of Shoe, Known as "Kakutaro", Mino ware, Kuro-oribe type, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Matsunaga Yasuzaemon)

  
Attire of the Military Elite: Heian - Edo period
Room 5 & 6  February 24, 2015 (Tue) - May 17, 2015 (Sun)

Beginning with the sword which is the most important possession of a samurai, this gallery focuses on arms and armor, saddlery, attire of the warriors as well as their portraits and hand-writings.

Current exhibit includes:
Domaru Type Armor, With black leather lacing in katatsumadori style, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property)
Hyogogusari-no-tachi Style Sword Mounting, Peony design, fuchigashira (cap and collar of sword hilt) cover with lion design, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Niutsuhime Jinja, Wakayama)
Haramaki Type Armor, With black leather lacing in katasusodori style, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property)

  
Folding Screens and Sliding Door Paintings: Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period
Room 7  March 10, 2015 (Tue) - April 19, 2015 (Sun)

This gallery is dedicated to the genre of shohei-ga, which includes mural paintings, fusuma paintings and byobu paintings. The room is especially designed for an effective display of grand-scale paintings.

Current exhibit includes:
Cherry Trees and Kerria Plants, By Tawaraya Sotatsu, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Tazawa Fusataro)

  
The Arts of Daily Life: Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period
Room 8  February 24, 2015 (Tue) - April 19, 2015 (Sun)

The maturing of Japanese culture supported by the military and commoner classes continued throughout the Azuchi-Momoyama and Edo periods. This gallery introduces the craft of interior furnishings and daily utensils that adorned the life of the people during these periods.

Current exhibit includes:
Raised Dining Tray, Drooping cherry design in lacquer painting, Edo period, 18th century
Junihitoe (Formal garment of high-ranking court lady) For naishi no suke rank, Edo period, 19th century
Kakeshita-Obi Sash, Wave and anchor design on light blue satin ground, Reportedly worn by Teikyo'in (Tanehime Satoko), wife of Harutomi, the 10th head of Kishu-Tokugawa clan, Edo period, 19th century
Sake Ewer in Shape of Gourd, By Funada Ikkin, Edo period, dated 1843
Large Dish, Cherry blossom and eagle design in overglaze enamel, Imari ware, Edo period, 18th century (Gift of Mr. Kase Reiji)
Dish, Flower and raft design in overglaze enamel, Nabeshima ware, Edo period, 18th century

  
Developments in Painting and Calligraphy: Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period
Room 8  March 10, 2015 (Tue) - April 19, 2015 (Sun)

This gallery introduces the dynamic and multi-faceted world of paintings and calligraphy from the Azuchi-Momoyama to the Edo period.

Current exhibit includes:
Cherry Tree and Spring Plants, By Ogata Kenzan (1663-1743), Edo period, 18th century, (Gift of Mrs. Yamamoto Tomiko and Mr. Yamamoto Kenji)
Poems on the Twelve Months with Illustrations Vol.1,
By Tosa Mitsuoki (1617-91), Edo period, 17th century
Waka Poems,
By Konoe Nobutada (1565-1614), Azuchi-Momoyama period, 17th century
Waka Poem,
By Emperor Reigen (1654-1732), Edo period, 17th century, (Important Art Object, Private collection)
Poem,
By Emperor Sakuramachi (1720-50), Edo period, 18th century, (Important Art Object, Private collection)

  
Noh and Kabuki: Costumes of the Kabuki Theater
Room 9  March 17, 2015 (Tue) - May 17, 2015 (Sun)

Kabuki theater was one of the major entertainments enjoyed by common people of the Edo period (1603-1868). Women of the day admired kabuki actors and even copied their fashions.

Current exhibit includes:
Furisode (Garment with long sleeves), Weeping cherry tree design on light blue satin ground, Formerly worn by Bando Mitsue, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Ms. Takagi Kiyo)
Furisode (Garment with long sleeves), Cherry blossom and stream design on red chirimen crepe ground, Formerly worn by Bando Mitsue, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Ms. Takagi Kiyo)

  
Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Ukiyo-e
Room 10  March 17, 2015 (Tue) - April 12, 2015 (Sun)

Various ukiyo-e prints and paintings depicting cherry blossoms will be displayed. The focus will be on famous cherry-blossom-viewing sites in Edo (now Tokyo) such as Ueno, Gotenyama, Yoshiwara, Asukayama, and the Sumida River. Works that take Dojoji Temple (also famous for its blossoms) as their theme as well as "bird and flower" and "beautiful women of the day" prints featuring cherry blossoms will also be exhibited.

Current exhibit includes:
Beauties Smoking under Cherry Tree, By Kubo Shunman, Edo period, 18th century (Important Art Object)
One Hundred Famous Places of Edo: Suijin Shrine and Massaki by Sumida River, By Utagawa Hiroshige, Edo period, dated 1856
Asukayama, By Kuwagata Keisai, Edo period, 19th century

  
Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Fashion
Room 10  March 17, 2015 (Tue) - May 17, 2015 (Sun)

Introduces the fashion of the Edo period townspeople. Enjoy comparing with the ukiyo-e works exhibited in the same room.

Current exhibit includes:
Kosode (Garment with small wrist openings), Scoop net design on white figured satin ground, Edo period, 17th century
Kosode (Garment with small wrist openings), Snowflake and yellow rose design on particolored figured twill, Edo period, 18th century
Inro (Medicine case), Wave and sparrow design in maki-e lacquer, Edo period, 19th century

2nd floor

  
Netsuke: The Prince Takamado Collection
Netsuke: The Prince Takamado Collection  February 24, 2015 (Tue) - May 10, 2015 (Sun)

Including:
Daruma, Hosen Miyazawa, 1998
Kappa, By Kenji Abe, 1986
Angel's Tears, [ojime] Cheese, By Kozan Fukuyama, 2001
Winter Sparrow, By Shizuka Kimura, 1998
Belling the Cat, By Susan Wraight, 2001

1st floor Special Exhibition

  
Room T5  January 14, 2015 (Wed) - April 5, 2015 (Sun)

The northeastern area of Japan, called the Michinoku region, is home to many attractive Buddhist statues. Their faces are filled with a powerful yet gentle human kindness, rather than expressions of enlightened, transcendent beings. This exhibition features representative examples of Buddhist sculpture from Northern Japan.

1st floor

  
Japanese Sculpture
Room 11  February 24, 2015 (Tue) - May 10, 2015 (Sun)

This gallery introduces the history of sculptural art in Japan through prototypical wood-sculptures featuring examples dating from the Heian and Kamakura periods, the zenith of Japanese sculpture.

Current exhibit includes:
Standing Juichimen Kannon Bosatsu (Ekadasamukha), Heian period, 9th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Akishinodera, Nara)
Standing Sho Kannon Bosatsu (Arya Avalokitesvara), Heian period, 9th - 10th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kanshinji, Osaka)
Standing Fudo Myo'o (Acalanatha), Heian period, 11th century (Important Cultural Property)
Standing Komoku Ten (Virupaksa), Heian period, 9th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Shojoji, Fukushima)

  
Lacquerware
Room 12  February 10, 2015 (Tue) - May 6, 2015 (Wed)

Features maki-e works from Heian to Edo period. The exhibit shows the history and beauty of maki-e, a unique lacquerwork method that developed in Japan.

Current exhibition includes:
Writing Box, Mount Hira design in maki-e lacquer, By Shiomi Masanari, Edo period, 18th century (Important Cultural Property)
Writing Box, Pontoon bridge design in maki-e lacquer, By Hon'ami Koetsu, Edo period, 17th century (National Treasure)
Box for Priest's Vestment, Mount Penglai (Horai) design in maki-e lacquer, Treasures from Horyu-ji, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property)
Writing Box, Mount Hatsuse design in maki-e lacquer, Muromachi - Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century (Important Cultural Property)

  
Metalwork: Essential Items for Buddhist Monks
Room 13  February 10, 2015 (Tue) - May 6, 2015 (Wed)

There are certain items that monks were required to have for monastic life and their pursuit of the Buddhist path. In Japan, these had been prescribed by the Nara period in the 8th century as sets of six or eighteen particular objects. They consisted of implements for burning incense, dishes for food and drink, items for pilgrimages, as well as those for storage. This exhibition will focus on well-known objects including incense burners with handles, water pitchers, priest's staffs, decorated boxes used in ceremonies, and portable chests that were carried by mountain ascetics. Visitors are invited to become familiar with these objects while enjoying their varied artistic forms, which were made possible by the metalworking techniques of forging, shaping, and carving.

Current exhibit includes:
Flower Basket, Auspicious floral arabesque design in openwork, Heian period, 12th century (National Treasure, Lent by Jinshoji, Shiga)
Priest's Staff Finial , Heian period, dated 1142 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Tesshuji, Shizuoka)
Travelling Monk's Portable Chest, Muromachi period, dated 1430 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Jikomyoin, Yamagata)

  
Japanese Swords
Room 13  February 17, 2015 (Tue) - May 10, 2015 (Sun)

Exhibits selected swords and sword-fittings from the Heian to Edo periods, including the Tachi Sword by Kunimitsu.
Current exhibit includes:
Tachi Sword, By Kunimitsu, Kamakura period, dated 1327 (National Treasure)
Tachi Sword, Known as "Koryu Kagemitsu", By Kagemitsu, Kamakura period, dated 1322 (National Treasure)
Tanto Sword, By Kunihiro, Kamakura period, dated 1324 (Important Cultural Property)

  
Ceramics
Room 13  February 17, 2015 (Tue) - May 10, 2015 (Sun)

From Japan's first glazed ceramics of the Nara period to the various wares of the late Edo period, the exhibits will introduce the history of Japanese ceramics through masterworks according to time period and production sites.

Current exhibit includes:
Water Jar, Peony design in overglaze enamel, Studio of Ninsei, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Empress Dowager Shoken)
Tea Leaf Jar, Moon and plum design in overglaze enamel, Studio of Ninsei, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Bowl with Arched Handle, Cherry blossom design in overglaze enamel and openwork, Kyoto ware, Edo period, 18th century
Bowl, Cherry tree design in openwork and overglaze enamel , By Ninnami Dohachi, Edo period, 19th century (On exhibit from March 17, 2015)
Bowl, Cherry blossom and maple design in overglaze enamel, By Ninnami Dohachi, Edo period, 19th century (Important Art Object, Private collection)
Sake Bottle, Cherry blossom and stream design in overglaze enamel, Imari ware, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)
Large Dish, Cherry blossom and figure design in overglaze enamel, Imari ware, Edo period, 18th century

  
Room 14  January 14, 2015 (Wed) - April 5, 2015 (Sun)

The Sen’en Collection of 442 metal water droppers - donated in its entirety to the museum in 2013 - was accumulated by Watanabe Toyotaro (Sen’en) and his son, Masayuki. Pieces from the Edo period feature designs of various genres and include many rare examples of cloisonné.

Current exhibit includes:
Water Dropper, Long-eared hare design, Edo period, 18th - 19th century (Gift of Mr. Watanabe Toyotaro and Mr. Watanabe Masayuki)
Water Dropper in Shape of Octagonal Teapot, Yatsuhashi Bridge design, Edo period, 17th - 18th century (Gift of Mr. Watanabe Toyotaro and Mr. Watanabe Masayuki)
Water Dropper, Deer with peach design, Edo period, 18th - 19th century (Gift of Mr. Watanabe Toyotaro and Mr. Watanabe Masayuki)
Water Dropper, Blue magpie design, Edo period, 18th - 19th century (Gift of Mr. Watanabe Toyotaro and Mr. Watanabe Masayuki)
Water Dropper, Design of Jurojin (One of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune) with deer, Edo period, 18th - 19th century (Gift of Mr. Watanabe Toyotaro and Mr. Watanabe Masayuki)
Water Dropper in Shape of Double Round Teapot, Flower design in cloisonné, Edo period, 18th century (Gift of Mr. Watanabe Toyotaro and Mr. Watanabe Masayuki)

  
Records of History
Room 15  February 24, 2015 (Tue) - April 19, 2015 (Sun)

Tokyo National Museum includes a large collection of historical objects and documents. This collection began with objects previously owned by the Edo shogunate government. From the museum's establishment in 1872 (Meiji 5) onward, the collection grew through the holding of exhibitions as well as surveys of cultural properties. This exhibition room mainly displays a wide range of historical materials. These include illustrated catalogues created for natural history research-a field of study that flourished in the Edo period (1603-1868)-old maps produced in the Edo period and Meiji era (1868-1912), as well as illustrations and documents on diverse subjects such as the practices of the imperial court and warrior families, annual events, customs, Japanese literature, and medicine. In addition, there is a vast collection of old photographs from the end of the Edo period and Meiji era onward. Some of these photographs are introduced in this exhibition room to show aspects of former times, such as exhibitions, sceneries, people and cultural properties.

Current exhibit includes:
Map of Izu Province, Edo period, 19th century
Model of Tea Room at Shinju'an, Subtemple of Daitokuji, Edo period, 19th century
Road Map, From Mito to SakuraNijuku: Tokuganji, Soneiji, Guhoji, Kokubunji; Sakurado Yawata: Hokekyoji, Funabashi Daijingu, Edo period, dated 1806 (Important Cultural Property)

  
Ainu and Ryuku: The Prayers of the Ainu People
Room 16  March 17, 2015 (Tue) - June 21, 2015 (Sun)

This exhibition features items used by the Ainu people, including ritual implements, together with clothes and tools used in everyday life, giving us an insight into the ways in which the Northern people prayed to their gods.

Current exhibit includes:
Sea Turtle Skull (To pray for successful fishing), Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century
Sash for Shrine Maiden, Sakhalin Ainu, 19th century (Gift of the Hokkaido Administration Office)
Ritual Hoe-shaped Crest, Hokkaido Ainu, From Sakurayama, Kakuta, Kuriyama-cho, Hokkaido, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Oda Katsukichi and Mr. Izumi Rintaro)
Coat, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century
Trade Ceremony between Ainu and Japanese, By Hirasawa Byozan, Dated 1871 (Private collection)
"Sending off the Bear's Spirit" Ceremony, By Hirasawa Byozan, Meiji era, dated 1871 (Private collection)

  
Conservation and Restoration
Room 17  April 15, 2014 (Tue) - April 10, 2016 (Sun)

>> detailed information
The preservation and conservation of cultural properties are essential aspects of our Museum's mission. From this point of view, this room features object research and examination, environmental maintenance of storage and exhibition rooms, and conservation procedures applied in accordance to materials and conditions of the objects.

  
Modern Art
Room 18  March 17, 2015 (Tue) - April 19, 2015 (Sun)

This gallery features paintings and sculptures from the Meiji to Taisho period. Since it first opened in 1872 as the exposition venue of the Ministry of Education, Tokyo National Museum has collected important artworks that signify the development of modern Japanese art. The exhibit consists of selected works from the collection.

Current exhibit includes:
Budding Forth, By Hayami Gyoshu, Dated 1912
Portrait of Madame H, By Wada Eisaku, Dated 1911 (Gift of Mr. Hatano Mototake)
Brahmin, By Hirakushi Denchu, Dated 1917
Large Vase, Plum tree design in underglaze iron brown under yellow glaze, By Miyagawa Kozan I, Dated 1892 (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Japan Delegate Office for World's Columbian Exposition)
Two Tigers on Rock, By Suzuki Chokichi, Dated 1900

  
Education Center: Education Space
Room 19  April 15, 2014 (Tue) - April 10, 2016 (Sun)

Designing at TNM
Exploring The TNM Collection
Making at TNM
Searching for National Treasures at TNM
Touching TNM