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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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2nd floor "Highlights of Japanese Art"

The Dawn of Japanese Art: Jomon, Yayoi and Kofun periods
Room 1  May 31, 2016 (Tue) - December 11, 2016 (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:
Dancing People, Haniwa (Terracotta Tomb Figurine), Excavated from Nohara Tumulus, Miyawaki, Nohara, Kumagaya-shi, Saitama, Kofun period, 6th century
Haniwa (Terracotta tomb figurine), Woman in full dress, Excavated from Yokotsuka, Toyoshiro-cho, Isezaki-shi, Gunma, Kofun period, 6th century (Important Cultural Property)
Dogu (Clay figurine), With goggle-shaped eyes, Excavated from Rokugoishinadate, Misato-cho, Akita, Jomon period, 1000 - 400BC,
Jar, Excavated from Takakura-cho, Atsuta-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi, Yayoi period, 1st-3rd century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada)
Footed Long-necked Jar, Sue ware, Excavated from Kaniana Tumulus, Toshi-cho, Toba-shi, Mie, Kofun (Asuka) period, 7th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Kawahara Shozo)

The Rise of Buddhism: Asuka - Nara period
Room 1  August 9, 2016 (Tue) - September 19, 2016 (Mon)

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
Tomoku bosatsu kyo Sutra, Vol. 2, Votive sutra of Kibi no Yuri,
Nara period, dated 766 (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Sorimachi Eisaku)
Ritual Objects Used to Consecrate Site of Kohfukuji Temple,
Excavated from under altar of Main Hall at Kohfukuji, Nara, Nara period, 8th century (National Treasure)
Excavated from former Mishima Temple site at Oda, Ibaraki-shi, Osaka, Nara period, 8th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Ota Jisaburo and Mr. Hirano Sutejiro)
Sarira (Container for Buddhist relics),
Excavated from former Mishima Temple site at Oda, Ibaraki-shi, Osaka, Nara period, 8th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Ota Jisaburo and Mr. Hirano Sutejiro)

Room 2  August 23, 2016 (Tue) - September 19, 2016 (Mon)

This set of the Lotus Sutra has been preserved at Kunoji temple (now Tesshuji) in Shizuoka, and is known as the Kunoji version. Originally the set consisted of 30 scrolls: the main text of the Lotus Sutra in 28 scrolls together with the opening and closing sutras. Each of the scrolls was transcribed by a different person, together wishing for rebirth in the Buddhist paradise, or Pure Land. The names of the calligraphers, written at the end of each scroll, indicate that the production of this decorative sutra was connected with the cloistered emperor Toba (1103–56), his empress, Taikenmonin Shoshi (1101–45), and one of his concubines, Bifukumonin Tokushi (1117–60). Furthermore, since many of the calligraphers were associated with Taikenmonin, it is highly possible that the work was completed in the second month of 1142 (Eiji 2), when she became a Buddhist nun.
The sutra text of the “Hiyu hon” chapter was written by Fujiwara no Sadanobu (1088–after 1154), the head of a lineage of prominent calligraphers, the Sesonji family. His handwriting style, with characteristic strokes that proceeded upward and to the right, gained much popularity in later times.
The papers are dyed in different colors, embellished with scattered pieces of gold and silver leaf, and also painted with patterns in gold and silver pigment. Delicate textiles such as ra silk gauze are used for the front cover, and the frontispieces are also extravagantly decorated, some with paintings portraying the Heian aristocrats. People believed that the more extravagant the decoration, the closer they came to their wishes being fulfilled.
We hope visitors will savor the elaborate beauty of decorated sutras through this masterpiece of the late Heian period.

Buddhist Art: Heian - Muromachi period
Room 3  August 9, 2016 (Tue) - September 19, 2016 (Mon)

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:
Seated Amida Nyorai (Amitabha), Kamakura period, 12th-13th century (Lent by Ganshoji, Shizuoka)
Jizo Bosatsu (Ksitigarbha) and Enma (Yama),
Kamakura period, 14th century (Private collection)
Iwashimizu Hachiman Shrine Mandala,
Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by the OKURA MUSEUM OF ART, Tokyo)
Plaque with Hairline Engraving of Zao Gongen,
Excavated from Kinpusen, Tenkawa-mura, Yoshino-gun, Nara, Heian period, dated 1001 (National Treasure, Lent by Nishiarai daishi Soujiji, Tokyo)
Illustrated Scroll of Legends about Jizo Bosatsu (Ksitigarbha),
Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Myogi Jinja, Gunma)
Sanbo ekotoba (Illustrated tales of the three Buddhist jewels), Vol. 1,
Kamakura period, dated 1273 (National Treasure)
Hoke kyo (Lotus Sutra), Kunoji Version, Kanji bon chapter,
Heian period, 12th century (National Treasure, Lent by Tesshuji, Shizuoka)
Set of Five Ritual Bells,
Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Son'eiji, Shizuoka)

Courtly Art: Heian - Muromachi period
Room 3  August 9, 2016 (Tue) - September 19, 2016 (Mon)

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:
Narrative Picture Scroll of Gosannen Civil War, By Hidanokami Korehisa, Nanbokucho period, dated 1347 (Important Cultural Property)
Poem, Known as "Sunshoan shikishi",
Attributed to Ki no Tsurayuki, Heian period, 11th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Asano Nagatake)
Water Dropper in Shape of Teapot, Clam design,
Muromachi period, 15th century (Gift of Mr. Watanabe Toyotaro and Mr. Watanabe Masayuki)

Zen and Ink Painting: Kamakura - Muromachi period
Room 3  August 9, 2016 (Tue) - September 19, 2016 (Mon)

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:
Portrait of Priest Butsuo Zenji (Taihei Myojun), Inscription by Daiki Hokin, Nanbokucho period, dated 1363 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Unganji, Tochigi)

The Art of Tea Ceremony
Room 4  June 7, 2016 (Tue) - September 11, 2016 (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:
Water Jar with Straight Lip, Known as “Shiba no Iori”, Shigaraki ware, Hitoeguchi type, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century, Important Cultural Property (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)
Tea Caddy, Bunrin ("apple") type; known as "Uji",
Southern Song-Yuan dynasty, 13th century (Gift of Mr. Matsunaga Yasuzaemon)
Segment of Nyoi ho shu Poetry Anthology,
Attributed to Prince Munetaka, Heian period, 11th century
Tea Bowl, Horimishima type; known as "Kimura",
Joseon dynasty, 16th-17th century (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)

Attire of the Military Elite: Heian - Edo period
Room 5 & 6  June 14, 2016 (Tue) - September 4, 2016 (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:
Yoroi Type Armor, With white lacing, Kamakura period, 14th century (National Treasure, Lent by Hinomisaki Jinja, Shimane)
Tanto Sword, By Yukimitsu, Kamakura period, 14th century (National Treasure, On exhibit from June 21, 2016)
Aikuchi Style Sword Mounting (For tanto sword by Yukimitsu), Auspicious cloud design in maki-e lacquer, Edo period, 19th century (On exhibit from June 21, 2016)


Folding Screens and Sliding Door Paintings: Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period
Room 7  August 9, 2016 (Tue) - September 19, 2016 (Mon)

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:
Waves, By Maruyama Okyo, Edo period, dated 1788 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kongoji, Kyoto)
By Goshun, Edo period, 18th century

The Arts of Daily Life: Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period
Room 8  August 2, 2016 (Tue) - October 23, 2016 (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:
Box for Paper, Maple leaf design in maki-e lacquer, By Hara Yoyusai, Edo period, 19th century
Hitoe (Summer garment)Wisteria, hollyhock, and carriage wheel design on red silk crepe ground, Edo period, 19th century
(Unlined summer garment), Boat, straw hat and raincoat, fishing net, and landscape design on purple [ro] gauze ground, Edo period, 19th century
(Garment with small wrist openings), Stream, flowering plant, house, and insect cage design on purple and yellowish-green tussah silk chirimen crepe ground, Edo period, 19th century
Water Dropper, Persimmon design, Edo period, 18th-19th century (Gift of Mr. Watanabe Toyotaro and Mr. Watanabe Masayuki)
Set of Fan-shaped Mukozuke Vessels, Mino ware, Oribe type, Edo period, 17th century
Bowl, Cherry blossom and maple design in overglaze enamel; with a trumpet-shell seal, By Nin'nami Dohachi, Edo period, ca. mid-19th century (Important Art Object, Private collection)

Developments in Painting and Calligraphy: Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period
Room 8  August 9, 2016 (Tue) - September 19, 2016 (Mon)

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

Current exhibit includes:
Scene from the Sekiya Chapter of The Tale of Genji, By Tawaraya Sotatsu; inscription by Karasumaru Mitsuhiro, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Saigyo Monogatari Emaki (Narrative picture scroll of the priest-poet Saigyo),
Calligraphy by Karasumaru Mitsuhiro; painting by Tawaraya Sotatsu, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)
By Saigo Takamori, Edo period- Meiji era, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Saigo Jutok)

The Masks and Costumes of the Noh Play Yamanba
Room 9  August 9, 2016 (Tue) - October 10, 2016 (Mon)

The play entitled Yamanba, which means “mountain hag,” is often performed at the end of a formal, day-long performance of Noh plays. As recited in this play, Yamanba has “disheveled hair like the snow, glittering eyes like the stars, and a red face, grim like a demon sculpture on a roof tile.” The actor portraying her dons a mask unique to this role, a white wig, and a garment often decorated with powerful geometric patterns including diamonds and diagonal lines resembling lightning. Yamanba is thus shown as a demon, yet the elegant dance that portrays her passing across the mountains and through the four seasons is a highlight of this Noh play.

Current exhibit includes:
Noh Mask, Shakumi type, By Yamato, Edo period, 17th century
Karaori (Noh costume), Paired cranes in lozenge design on brown ground,
Edo period, 17th century

Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Ukiyo-e
Room 10  August 2, 2016 (Tue) - August 28, 2016 (Sun)

The artistic genre of ukiyo-e portrayed the common people of the Edo period (1603–1868). Most ukiyo-e artworks were made using woodblock printing, with new carving and printing techniques leading to a rich variety of expression. This exhibition will include works that were used in place of hanging scrolls, including vertically-long works and those consisting of two vertically-joined sheets of paper, as well as works with unusual formats such as Above and Beneath the Bridge, which is made from a combination of six prints. Depictions of the Bon Odori festival, scenes of people cooling off by the riverside, and works with motifs associated with the summer, such as goldfish, will also be featured.

Current exhibit includes:
Above and Beneath the Bridge, By Kitagawa Utamaro, Edo period, 18th century
Goldfish: A Hundred Terrifying Tales,
By Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Edo period, 19th century
Landscape of Kai Province Viewed Through the Cliffs under the Saruhashi Bridge,
By Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858), Edo period, 19th century (Important Art Object)
Genre Scenes,
Attributed to Hishikawa Moronobu, Edo period, 17th century (Private collection)

Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Fashion
Room 10  August 9, 2016 (Tue) - October 10, 2016 (Mon)

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

Current exhibit includes:
Furisode (Garment with long sleeves), Large chrysanthemum and small flower design on white figured satin ground, Edo period, 17th century
Kosode (Garment with small wrist openings), Fence, cherry, chrysanthemum, and flower cart design on saffron figured satin ground,
Edo period, 18th century
Inro (Medicine case), Reed and heron design in maki-e lacquer,
Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Quincy A. Shaw)

2nd floor

Netsuke: The Prince Takamado Collection
The Prince Takamado Collection Room  August 2, 2016 (Tue) - October 23, 2016 (Sun)

Columbus's Egg, By Kiho Takagi, 1995
By Kozan Fukuyama, 1998
By Ryushi Komada, 1989
Cicada on Tile,
By Senpo Kobayashi, 1989
Grazing Horse,
By Gregg Stradiotto, 1993

Room T1  August 23, 2016 (Tue) - October 2, 2016 (Sun)

Fujiwara no Kozei (972–1027) was an aristocrat in the mid-Heian period. He is recognized as one of the three most accomplished calligraphers of this period, along with Ono no Tofu (894–966) and Fujiwara no Sari (944–998). This thematic exhibition begins with the authentic handwritings of Fujiwara no Kozei. Faithful replications of Kozei’s calligraphic style, such as in Engishiki, another National Treasure, represent the great popularity of his calligraphy in the Heian period. The featured works will introduce the extraordinary popularity and respect for the calligraphic art of Fujiwara no Kozei.

Poems of Bai Juyi, By Fujiwara no Kozei, Heian period, dated 1018 (National Treasure)
By Fujiwara no Kozei, Heian period, dated 1020 (Important Cultural Property, Private collection)
Words of Prayer by Fujiwara no Moromichi,
Heian period, dated 1088 (Important Cultural Property, Private collection)
Engishiki (Rules and regulations concerning ceremonies and other events), Volume 36,
Heian period, 11th century (National Treasure)

Room T2  July 5, 2016 (Tue) - August 28, 2016 (Sun)

When people working at museums study artworks, they look at them in many different ways, turning them upside down and looking inside them. By doing this, they can unlock the secrets of these artworks, finding out how they were made and what they were used for. We can discover a lot about art by looking in these hidden places, so let’s get started!

Current exhibit includes:
Haniwa male figure, Excavated at Tsukahara, Shimoyokoba, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki, Late Kofun period, 6th century
Seated Buddha, Painted red inside,
Asuka period, 7th century (Important Cultural Property)
Mystic Mirror, With letters that come out under the light,
Edo period, 18th century
Okita of Naniwaya, A popular star from Edo,
By Kitagawa Utamaro, Edo period, 18th century
Engishiki (Rules and regulations concerning ceremonies and other events), Vol. 26, Written on the back of used paper,
Heian period, 11th century (National Treasure)
Sixteen Arhats: Thirteenth Arhat, Painting of a priest who was one of the great pupils of the Buddha,
Heian period, 11th century (National Treasure)

1st floor Special Exhibition

Room T5  September 13, 2016 (Tue) - December 11, 2016 (Sun)

Rakuyaji (Koka City, Shiga Prefecture), an ancient temple of the Tendai sect of Buddhism, has preserved twenty Buddhist statues from the Heian period (794–1192) designated Important Cultural Properties. This number is outstanding even in Shiga Prefecture, where a many fine Buddhist statues remain to this day. This exhibition is the first opportunity to show all twenty of these statues outside Rakuyaji Temple.

1st floor

Japanese Sculpture
Room 11  July 26, 2016 (Tue) - October 23, 2016 (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), Formerly preserved at Tonomine, Nara, Tang dynasty, 7th century (Important Cultural Property)
Standing Jizo Bosatsu (Ksitigarbha),
Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Joruriji, Kyoto)
Standing Juichimen Kannon Bosatsu (Ekadasamukha),
Heian period, 9th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kojima-dera, Nara)
Seated Amida Nyorai (Amitabha),
Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Komyoji, Nagano)
Standing Senju Kannon Bosatsu (Sahasrabhuja)No. 493,
By Injo, Kamakura period, dated 1251-59 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Myoho'in (From the Main Hall of Rengeo'in), Kyoto)

Room 12  July 20, 2016 (Wed) - October 2, 2016 (Sun)

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, Scene illustrating a poem known as "[Shio no yama]" in maki-e lacquer, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property)
Writing Box, Reed and boat design in maki-e lacquer,
Attributed to Hon'ami Koetsu (1558-1637), Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Box for Priest's Vestment, Mount Penglai (Horai) design in maki-e lacquer,
Horyuji Treasures Collection, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property)
Christian Shrine, Flower, tree, bird, and animal design in maki-e lacquer and mother of pearl inlay,
Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period, 16th-17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Writing Table and Writing Box, Ivy-bound path design in maki-e lacquer,
By Tatsuke Chobei, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)

Metalwork: Articulated Figures and Ornaments
Room 13  July 12, 2016 (Tue) - September 25, 2016 (Sun)

Metalwork techniques became highly sophisticated in the Edo period (1603-1868). Reflecting the long-lasting peace, the maturity of townspeople culture, and the development of natural history studies, various animal and plant motifs were featured in highly realistic depictions on stationery and furniture. These objects transcended their initial use or function and encouraged the appreciation of meticulous form. This exhibit introduces the rich art of Edo-period metalwork, represented by articulated figures, censers, and other ornaments.

Current exhibit includes:
Hanging Incense Burner, Flower basket shape, Edo period, 18th century
Articulated Figure, Spiny lobster,
By Myochin Munekiyo, Edo period, 18th-19th century
Articulated Figure, Dragon,
By Myochin Mune'aki, Edo period, dated 1713
Articulated Figure, Hawk,
By Myochin Kiyoharu, Edo period, 18th-19th century

Japanese Swords
Room 13  August 23, 2016 (Tue) - November 13, 2016 (Sun)

Exhibits selected swords and sword-fittings from the Heian to Edo periods, including the Katana Sword, Known as “Kikko Sadamune”, By Sadamune.

Current exhibit includes:
Tanto Sword, By Norishige, Kamakura period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by the OKURA MUSEUM OF ART, Tokyo)
Katana Sword, Known as “Kikko Sadamune”,
By Sadamune, Kamakura-Nanbokucho period, 14th century (National Treasure, Gift of Mr. Watanabe Seiichiro)

Room 13  July 12, 2016 (Tue) - October 2, 2016 (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:
Large-mouthed Jar, Yellow glaze with peony arabesque design, Seto ware, Kamakura period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property)
Ornamental Plate, Autumn grass design,
Mino ware, Nezumi Shino type, Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period, 16th-17th century (Private collection)
Water Jar, Peony design in overglaze enamel,
Studio of Ninsei, with "Ninsei" mark, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Empress Dowager Shoken)
Dishes in Shape of Poem Cards, Waka poem design in underglaze iron pigment,
Kenzan ware, Edo period, dated 1743
Lidded Vessel, Chrysanthemum and stream design in overglaze enamel,
Imari ware, Kakiemon type, Edo period, 18th century
Sake Flasks, Autumn grass design in overglaze enamel,
Imari ware, Kakiemon type, Edo period, 17th century (Private collection)

Room 14  August 2, 2016 (Tue) - September 25, 2016 (Sun)

Early examples of Japanese coins include bronze "Fuhonsen" and unmarked silver "Mumon Ginsen". Both of these types of coins were minted in the 7th century during the Asuka period. During the following 250 years, twelve types of bronze coins of the imperial court ("Kocho Junisen") were issued in Japan. Among these, "Wado Kaichin" were minted in the 8th century during the Nara period. In the late 10th century, during the Heian period, coin minting was suspended and imported Chinese bronze coins alone were circulated during the following Kamakura (1192–1333) and Muromachi (1392–1573) periods. In the 16th century, during a time of civil war, gold and silver coins were minted within the domains of various feudal lords for commercial transactions as well as to reward distinguished services in battle.
This exhibition traces the history of coins from Japan's ancient to early modern times with authentic examples of coins that many Japanese have seen in textbooks and historical dramas.

Tensho Hishi (With lozenge-shaped mark) Oban, Gold coin, Azuchi-Momoyama period, dated 1588 (Gift of Mr. Okawa Isao)
Wado Kaichin, Bronze coin, Nara period, 8th century (Imperial Household Ministry)
Hirumokin (In shape of hirumo plant), Gold coin, Muromachi period, 16th century (Gift of Mr. Okawa Isao)
Tensho Naga (Long) Oban, Gold coin, Azuchi-Momoyama period, ca. 1595-1600 (Gift of Mr. Okawa Isao)
Tenpo Oban, Gold coin, Edo period, 1838-41 (Gift of Mr. Okawa Isao)
Keicho Koban, Gold coin, Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period, dated 1601? - 95 (Gift of Mr. Okawa Isao)
Genroku Koban, Gold coin, Edo period, 1695-1710 (Gift of Mr. Okawa Isao)

Room 15  August 23, 2016 (Tue) - October 16, 2016 (Sun)

The Yushima Seido Exhibition of March 1872 marked the establishment of the present-day Tokyo National Museum. Known as the Jinshin Survey, which refers to the year it began, was carried out in response to a decree for preserving antiquities and artifacts, and is recognized as the beginning of Japan’s activities for protecting cultural properties.
This thematic exhibition introduces aspects of research and protection of cultural properties in the early days of the Tokyo National Museum, focusing on the survey report Jinshin Survey Catalogue of Valuable Objects at Temples and Shrines, and historic photographs.

Current exhibit includes:
Collection of Rare Exhibits from Ancient and Modern Times, By Ichiyosai Kuniteru, 1872
Jinshin Survey Catalogue of Valuable Objects at Temples and Shrines, Vol. 12, Compiled by Machida Hisanari, Uchida Masao, Ninagawa Noritane, and others, Dated 1872 (Important Cultural Property)

Ainu and Ryuku: Decorative Arts of Ryukyu
Room 16  July 12, 2016 (Tue) - September 25, 2016 (Sun)

Tokyo National Museum's collection of ethnological materials from Ryukyu (present-day Okinawa) is mainly comprised of objects purchased by the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce from Okinawa prefecture in 1884. In 1882, the German Anthropological Society requested the Ministry to collect ethnological objects from Ryukyu as reference materials for their research. Materials sent back from Germany and spare copies left in Tokyo were transferred to this museum.
This display introduces chic decorative art objects from Ryukyu, including glistening metalwork objects, vivid, beautiful textiles, ceramics that have incorporated a variety of influences, lacquerware showing Chinese influence, and various jade objects thought to have been used by noro.

Current exhibit includes:
Covered Food Tray, Landscape, pavilion, and figure design in [haku-e] lacquer (gold leaf imprint), Ryukyu, Second Sho dynasty, Ryukyu kingdom, 19th century (On exhibit through August 7, 2016)
Tea Set,
Okinawa Main Island, Second Sho dynasty, Ryukyu kingdom, 19th century (On exhibit from August 9, 2016)
Hair Ornament for Noro (Female shaman),
Amami Oshima Island, Second Sho dynasty, Ryukyu kingdom, 18th century (Gift of Ms. Yamato Ryoko)
Ritual Bead Necklace,
Amami Oshima Island, Second Sho dynasty, Ryukyu kingdom, 19th century (Gift of Ms. Yamato Ryoko, On exhibit from August 9, 2016)
Liquor Bottle,
Okinawa Main Island, Tsuboya ware, Second Sho dynasty, Ryukyu kingdom, 19th century
Cinerary Urn,
Okinawa Main Island, Tsuboya ware, Second Sho Dynasty, Ryukyu Kingdom, 19th century

Conservation and Restoration
Room 17  April 15, 2014 (Tue) - April 9, 2017 (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  August 2, 2016 (Tue) - September 11, 2016 (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:
Maiko (Apprentice geisha) of Kyoto, By Hayami Gyoshu, Dated 1920
Garment as a Memento,
By Kawamura Kiyo'o, Dated 1899-1911
By Hirakushi Denchu, Dated 1917
Flower Vase, Bamboo design in overglaze enamel,
By Ito Tozan I, Meiji-Taisho era, 20th century (Gift of Mr. Ito Tozan III)

Education Center: Education Space
Room 19  April 15, 2014 (Tue) - April 9, 2017 (Sun)

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

Room 19  March 15, 2016 (Tue) - September 11, 2016 (Sun)

This display introduces a traditional decorative technique known as “kirikane” (literally, “cut gold”), where finely cut gold leaf is affixed to a surface with an adhesive known as nikawa to produce detailed designs. In Japan, the kirikane technique was often used in Buddhist paintings from the Heian and Kamakura periods. As the gold leaf reflects light, it lends the paintings a brilliant effect. Here, we introduce the technique of kirikane based on the example of the Kujaku Myo’o, a Buddhist painting in the Tokyo National Museum collection. This painting is a designated National Treasure which depicts the Buddhist divinity known in Japanese as “Kujaku Myo’o” (literally, “Peacock Deva”), and in Sanskrit as “Mahamayuri.”