>> Exhibitions
 >> 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.

Floor Map
Museum Shop

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  September 21, 2016 (Wed) - October 30, 2016 (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:
Seated Bosatsu (Bodhisattva) with One Leg Pendent, Excavated from Mount Nachi, Nachikatsu'ura-cho, Wakayama, Asuka period, 7th century (Gift of Mr. Kitamata Tomeshiro and others)
Mondakatsuo kyo
Sutra, Nara period, dated 740
Gigaku Mask, Suiko-ju type,
Nara period, 8th century (Gift of Mr. Mitsui Takahiro)
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  September 21, 2016 (Wed) - October 16, 2016 (Sun)

Arhat is a Sanskrit word for “one who completed his training and is worthy of reverence.” The Sixteen Arhats were disciples of the Buddha Sakyamuni, and they were entrusted by their master to live long and pass on his teachings, as well as to bring salvation to the people.
A Buddhist text, Fazhuji (Skt. Nandimitravadana), translated into Chinese by Xuanzang (602–664), mentions the names of the Sixteen Arhats and where they lived. In this text, however, their hairstyles and the situations they were involved in were not specified. Therefore, depictions of the Arhats varied significantly, but most of them emphasized the Arhat’s superhuman traits.
The works on exhibit are from the oldest extant set of paintings of the Sixteen Arhats. Originally preserved at Shojuraigoji temple, Shiga, the arrangement of figures is reminiscent of a gentle, ancient style. The Second Arhat, for example, seated in a cave on a pedestal and surrounded by monk-like figures, calls to mind the composition of Buddhist sculptures in niches at the Dunhuang Caves in Central Asia. Thus we see in this work elements suggesting origins in continental Asia.
Importance was placed on beautiful coloring in Japanese Buddhist paintings in the 11th century. Methods such as applying pigments onto the reverse side of the silk ground to obtain a subdued color filtered through the layer of silk, as well as elaborate details in whitish and soft, light colors, are characteristics of Buddhist paintings of the time. The sectioned parts in the top left, signifying poem cards, are decorated with patterns of butterflies, birds, and flora on a white ground. The names and residences of the arhats, as defined in the Fazhuji, are described on the squares in a handwriting similar to the writings, also written in poem-card squares, on the door paintings at the Phoenix Hall of Byodoin temple, Kyoto.
We hope visitors savor these paintings, filled with aesthetics of 11th-century Heian period nobles, and yet retaining an atmosphere of continental Buddhist art.

Buddhist Art: Heian - Muromachi period
Room 3  September 21, 2016 (Wed) - October 30, 2016 (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:
Seated Priest Yuiken, By Chokei, Nanbokucho period, dated 1372 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Hokaiji, Kanagawa)
Shaka (Sakyamuni) Triad,
Nanbokucho period, 14th century
Sixteen Arhats: Fourth Arhat,
Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Tenshinji, 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 Biography of Priest Honen,
Kamakura period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property, Private collection)
Address at the ritural of sarira worship,
By Daikyu Shonen, Kamakura period, dated 1278 (Important Cultural Property)
Hoke kyo
(Lotus Sutra), By Fujiwara no Sadanobu, Heian period, 12th century (Private collection)

Courtly Art: Heian - Muromachi period
Room 3  September 21, 2016 (Wed) - October 30, 2016 (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:
Takekurabe soshi (Story about a poetry contest), Muromachi period, 15th century
Okikaze shu
Poetry Anthology Segment, Known as ”Meika kashu gire”, Attributed to Ki no Tsurayuki, Heian period, 11th century (Gift of Mrs. Morita Chikka)
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  September 21, 2016 (Wed) - October 30, 2016 (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:
Writing Giving Clue to Zen Enlightenment, By Sekishitsu Zenkyu, Nanbokucho period, dated 1363 (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Matsunaga Yasuzaemon)
by Monk Yongming Yanshou, By Shokai Reiken, Nanbokucho period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Taiko'an, Kyoto)
Zhu Maichen,
Attributed to Kano Motonobu Formerly sliding door paintings at Daisen'in, Daitokuji, Kyoto, Muromachi period, 16th century (Important Cultural Property)

The Art of Tea Ceremony
Room 4  September 13, 2016 (Tue) - December 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:
Vase with Phoenix Handles, Celadon glaze, Longquan ware, China, Southern Song-Yuan dynasty, 13th century (Gift of Mr. Matsunaga Yasuzaemon)
Tea Caddy with Angular Shoulder, Known as "Shozan", Southern Song-Yuan dynasty, 13th century (Gift of Mr. Harada Kichizo)
Tea Bowl, Black glaze, Haikatsugi Type, Southern Song‐Yuan Dynasty, 13th‐14th century, China (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)
Letter, By Takeno Jo'o, Muromachi period, 16th century (Gift of Mrs. Yamamoto Tomiko and Mr. Yamamoto Kenji)
Tea Bowl, Aoido type, Known as "Toki-ido", Joseon dynasty, 16th century (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)

Attire of the Military Elite: Heian - Edo period
Room 5 & 6  September 6, 2016 (Tue) - December 11, 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:
Domaru Type Armor, With lacing in kashidori style, red at shoulders, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Akita Kazusue)
Tachi Sword,
By Sukezane, Kamakura period, 13th century (National Treasure, Lent by Toshogu, Tochigi)
Uchigatana Style Sword Mounting (For tachi sword by Sukezane), With black-lacquered scabbard,
Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period, 17th century (National Treasure, Lent by Toshogu, Tochigi)
Jinbaori (Coat worn over armor), Crossed scythes design on scarlet wool cloth,
Said to have been used by Kobayakawa Hideaki, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century (Important Cultural Property)

Folding Screens and Sliding Door Paintings: Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period
Room 7  September 21, 2016 (Wed) - October 30, 2016 (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:
Autumn Grasses, By Tawaraya Sosetsu, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)

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  September 21, 2016 (Wed) - October 30, 2016 (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:
Flowering Plants of Summer and Autumn, By Sakai Hoitsu, Edo period, ca. 1821 (Important Cultural Property)
Folding Screen with Chinese Characters, By Hosoi Kotaku, Edo period, dated 1727

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  September 27, 2016 (Tue) - October 23, 2016 (Sun)

The origins of ukiyo-e, which depicts common people of the Edo period (1603-1868), may be traced back to Japanese genre painting. Woodblock printing made mass production of ukiyo-e possible, while advances in carving and printing techniques allowed for the creation of multi-colored prints known as nishiki-e (brocade pictures). One major theme within ukiyo-e is female beauty, so much, in fact, that many equate ukiyo-e with depictions of beautiful women. On the other hand, in the late Edo period, landscapes were also created in large numbers, with prints by Hiroshige in particular becoming extremely popular. For this exhibition, we will display various depictions of beauties throughout the Edo period by artists such as Matsuno Chikanobu and Miyagawa Choshun, who produced only hand-painted works, as well as Kaigetsudo, Suzuki Harunobu, Kitagawa Utamaro, and Utagawa Kunisada. Landscape prints by Hiroshige will also be featured.

Current exhibit includes:
Eight Views of the Living Room: Clock Striking in the Evening, By Suzuki Harunobu, Edo period, 18th century
Woman Changing a Shamisen String,
By Utagawa Kunimasa, Edo period, 18th century
Beauty Riding a Crane,
By Miyagawa Choshun, Edo period, 18th century
Eight Scenes of Omi Province: Evening Glow at Seta,
By Utagawa Hiroshige, Edo period, 19th century

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)

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: bon’ongu
Room 13  September 27, 2016 (Tue) - December 23, 2016 (Fri)

Sound-producing implements known as bon’ongu are used to symbolically purify the premises and also to signify pauses in Buddhist rituals. They include implements that are struck, such as gongs and large bells, as well as ones that are shaken, such as small bells and metal staves with attached rings. Because these implements were used for their acoustic effects, they were created mainly from cast bronze. Their metallic sounds, both sharp and pure, heightened the religious atmosphere during ceremonies. These implements, however, are also highly decorative. We invite visitors to examine their forms, beautiful both for their functionality and decoration, and see the stylistic changes that occurred over the ages.

Current exhibit includes:
Finial of Priest's Staff, Excavated at Mount Dainichi, Toyama, Heian period, 11th century (Important Cultural Property, Private collection)
Finial of Priest's Staff,
Heian period, dated 1142 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Tesshuji, Shizuoka)
Gong, Excavated at Miyabuchi, Matsumoto-shi, Nagano, Heian period, dated 1001 (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Takahashi Tamotsu)
GongLotus pond design, Excavated at Kinpusen, Tenkawa-mura, Yoshino-gun, Nara, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property)

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  September 27, 2016 (Tue) - December 18, 2016 (Sun)

A British man arrived in Japan in the winter of 1876. His name was Christopher Dresser (1834?1904), a renowned designer who was one of the major figures of the Japonisme movement in Western art. He brought decorative art objects from Europe, collected by the South Kensington Museum (forerunner of the Victoria and Albert Museum) as gifts to Japan. The gifts were by the courtesy of the South Kensington Museum director, who heard news that the freight steamer Nil sank on its way to Japan, carrying valued items that Japan exhibited and purchased at the Vienna World Exposition of 1873. After his fruitful stay, Dresser also sent two groups of artworks from Britain to Japan.
This exhibition features ceramics and glass vessels from Europe and America, which the Tokyo National Museum acquired in the early Meiji era.

Current exhibit includes:
Flattened Jar, Multicolor glaze, applied floral arabesque design, By Minton & Co., United Kingdom, Dated 1873 (Gift of Mr. Colin Minton Campbell)
Decorative Dish, Insect and fish design in relief with overglaze polychromy,
Germany, 19th century (Gift of Londos & Co.)
Decorative Flat JarJapanese life and customs design on blue ground,
By Christopher Dresser (1834-1904) for Minton & Co., United Kingdom, 19th century (Gift of Londos Company)
Vase, Clear glass, incised frog and dragonfly design,
United Kingdom, 19th century
Bowl, Clear glass, incised floral design,
United Kingdom, 19th century
Footed Vase, Leaf design in green and brown,
By Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) for Tiffany & Co., United States, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Louis Comfort Tiffany)

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: Life of the Ainu People
Room 16  September 27, 2016 (Tue) - December 18, 2016 (Sun)

The Ainu people have long dwelled in the harsh climate of Japan’s northernmost regions, including Hokkaido and its neighboring islands, worshipping and living in harmony with nature.
This exhibition introduces the traditional Ainu way of life through an array of hunting, fishing, and weaving tools, fabrics and garments, as well as wooden dishes.

Current exhibit includes:
Model of Storage House, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Transferred from the Bureau for the Vienna World Exposition)
Mat, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Transferred from the Bureau for the Vienna World Exposition, On exhibit through November 6, 2016)
Mat, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Transferred from the Bureau for the Vienna World Exposition, On exhibit from Nobember 8, 2016)
HarpoonFor catching salmons, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Transferred from the Bureau for the Vienna World Exposition)
Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Mr.Tokugawa Yorisada, On exhibit through November 6, 2016)
Striped Robe,
Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada, On exhibit from Nobember 8, 2016)
Model of Boat,
Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of the Hokkaido Administration Office)

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  September 13, 2016 (Tue) - October 23, 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:
Mahakasyapa Smiling at the Lotus Flower, By Hishida Shunso, Dated 1897
Moon at Izura,
By Yokoyama Taikan, Dated 1935 (Gift of the artist)
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  September 13, 2016 (Tue) - April 16, 2017 (Sun)

Urazaishiki is a technique used in Eastern painting traditions, whereby natural pigments and gold leaf are applied to the reverse side of silk paintings.  This technique influences the appearance of the colors applied to the front of the painting.
Here, we showcase this method using Ichijikinrin (Ekaksara-usnisacakra), a Buddhist deity painting in the Tokyo National Museum’s collection.