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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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2nd floor "Highlights of Japanese Art"

  
The Dawn of Japanese Art: Jomon, Yayoi and Kofun periods
Room 1  January 2, 2017 (Mon) - July 16, 2017 (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, From Ubayama Shell Mound, Kashiwai-machi, Ichikawa-shi, Chiba, Jomon period, 3000-2000 BC (Gift of Mr. Sugihara Sosuke)
Haniwa
(Terracotta tomb figure), Warrior in Armor, From Kamishiba Tumulus, Misato-machi, Takasaki-shi, Gunma, Kofun period, 6th century
Haniwa
(Terracotta tomb figure), Monkey, Attributed provenance: Dainichizuka Tumulus, Okinosu, Namegata-shi, Ibaraki, Kofun period, 6th century (Important Cultural Property)
Jar,
From Kugahara, Ota-ku, Tokyo, Yayoi period, 1st-3rd century (Important Cultural Property, Private collection)
Mirror, Deity and horse carriage design,
From Samitatakarazuka Tumulus, Kawai-cho, Nara, Kofun period, 4th-5th century (Originally made in China, 2nd-3rd century) (Important Cultural Property)
Ridge-end Tile,
From former Fuchidaka Temple site, Fuchidaka-cho, Aisai-shi, Aichi, Nara period, 8th century

  
The Rise of Buddhism: Asuka - Nara period
Room 1  January 2, 2017 (Mon) - February 5, 2017 (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)
Daichido kyo
SutraFrom the Ishiyamadera issai kyo sutra compilation, Vol. 75, Nara period, dated 734 (Lent by Enpukuji, Chiba)
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)
Bowl,
Nara period, 8th century (Important Cultural Property)

  
Chinese Landscape
Room 2  January 17, 2017 (Tue) - February 12, 2017 (Sun)

Before the Meiji era (1868–1912), the Japanese regarded China as the most advanced country with a profound culture. Poets and painters of the Edo period (1603–1868) could only imagine this mysterious land based on paintings and illustrations in imported printed books or classical books of Chinese poetry. 
The landscapes on these screens are the fruits of the remarkable power of imagination. The right screen portrays the Yueyang Pavilion overlooking Dongting Lake, which is associated with the Tang-dynasty poets Meng Haoran and Li Bai, and the sight of its water flowing into the Changjiang River. The left screen depicts the Zuiweng Pavilion, which the Northern-Song-dynasty poet Ouyang Xiu built on Mount Langya. It is thought that the painter referred to the text in Record of the Yueyang Pavilion and An Account of the Zuiweng Pavilion, and that the scenes were based on two works in Shao Zhenxian’s small album of paintings, which compiles works featuring scenic spots in China.
Attention should be paid to the painter’s techniques of expanding the originally small-scale works to this scale, and his bold attempt to use the medium of ink, gold leaf, and vivid color. Viewers can imagine the movements of the painter’s brush from the rolling waves, and marvel at the sparkling gold undercoat, which radiates from behind the varied shades of ink. These features, along with the vivacious expressions of the figures depicted here and there, create the impression that this painting is “alive.”
Born in Kyoto and active in the 18th century, after a long period in which Song- and Yuan-dynasty painting was emulated in Japan, Ike no Taiga perfected Japanese literati painting based on the new styles of painting from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Completed in his early forties, during which the “Taiga style” was completed, this masterpiece is indeed the greatest work by Taiga.

On Exhibit:
Chinese Landscape, By Ikeno Taiga, Edo period, 18th century (National Treasure, Gift of Mr. Dan Ino)

  
Buddhist Art: Heian - Muromachi period
Room 3  January 2, 2017 (Mon) - February 5, 2017 (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:
Standing Bishamon Ten (Vaisravana), Formerly kept at Jibutsudo Hall of Jurin'in, in former Nakagawadera, Nara, Heian period, ca. 1162 (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Kawabata Ryushi)
Amitabha Descending to Welcome Dying Believer into Paradise,
Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Hasedera, Nara)
Ichiji Kinrin (Ekaksara Usnisacakra)
(Important Cultural Property, Lent by the OKURA MUSEUM OF ART, Tokyo)
Fudo Myo'o (Acalanatha) and Eight Attendants,
Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Onjoji, Shiga)
Illustrated Biography of Priest Ippen (Illustrated legends of itinerant priest),
Kamakura period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kondaiji, Nagano)
Bishamonten (Vaisravana), Objects found inside the statue of Bishamon Ten,
Formerly kept at Jibutsudo Hall of Jurin'in, in former Nakagawadera, Nara, Heian period, ca. 1162 (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Kawabata Ryushi)
Stamp Prints of Bishamon Ten (Vaisravana), Objects found inside the statue of Bishamon Ten,
Formerly kept at Jibutsudo Hall of Jurin'in, in former Nakagawadera, Nara, Heian period, ca. 1162 (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Kawabata Ryushi)
Passed down at Ishiyamadera, formerly owned by Mr. Nakada Norio
, Heian period, 9th century (Private collection)
Lotus Sutra, Vol. 5, Known as "Sensoji kyo"
, Heian period, 11th century (National Treasure, Lent by Sensoji, Tokyo)
Flower Basket, Hosoge floral arabesque design in openwork, Heian period, 12th century (National Treasure, Lent by Jinshoji, Shiga)
Flower Basket, Hosoge floral arabesque design in openwork, Nanbokucho period, 14th century (National Treasure, Lent by Jinshoji, Shiga)

  
Courtly Art: Heian - Muromachi period
Room 3  January 2, 2017 (Mon) - February 5, 2017 (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:
Fan-shaped Album of the Lotus Sutra, Heian period, 12th century (National Treasure, On exhibit through January 15, 2017)
Fan Paintings,
Artist unknown, Muromachi period, 15th - 16th century
Kokin waka shu
Poetry Anthology, Gen’ei Version, Muromachi period, 15th - 16th century (National Treasure, Gift of Mr. Mitsui Takahiro, On exhibit through January 15, 2017)
Segment of Man'yo shu Poetry Anthology, Ranshi Version, By Fujiwara no Korefusa, Heian period, 11th century
Hanging Lantern, Plum and bamboo design in openwork,
Excavated at Sen'yoji Temple Site, Chibadera-machi, Chuo-ku, Chiba-shi, Muromachi period, dated 1550 (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Hatano Yujiro)

  
Zen and Ink Painting: Kamakura - Muromachi period
Room 3  January 2, 2017 (Mon) - February 5, 2017 (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:
Calligraphy in One Line, By Ikkyu Sojun, Muromachi period, 15th century
Landscape, Seal of "Shuho",
Muromachi period, 16th century

  
The Art of Tea Ceremony
Room 4  January 2, 2017 (Mon) - March 20, 2017 (Mon)

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:
Flower Vase in Shape of Bronze Zun (Ritual wine vessel), Celadon glaze, Longquan ware, China, Formerly owned by the Mouri family, Southern Song-Yuan dynasty, 13th century
Tea Caddy with Lugs, Known as “Odaimyo”,
Mino ware, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mrs. Shiobara Chiyo)
Tea Bowl, Kyogenbakama type; known as “Naniwazutsu”,
Purportedly owned by Sen no Rikyu; formerly owned by the Konoike family, Korea, Joseon dynasty, 17th century
Poem on Shikishi Paper, Known as "Ogura Shikishi", By Fujiwara no Teika, Kamakura period, 13th century (Private collection)
Tea Bowl, Known as "Hashihime",
Mino ware, Shino type, Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period, 16th - 17th century (Gift of Mr. Matsunaga Yasuzaemon)

  
Attire of the Military Elite: Heian - Edo period
Room 5 & 6  January 2, 2017 (Mon) - March 12, 2017 (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:
Gusoku Type Armor, Two-piece cuirass with black lacing, Formerly used by Sakakibara Yasumasa, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Hirumaki-no-tachi
Style Sword Mounting, With scabbard decorated with spiral bands of silver-plated copper, Heian period, 12th century (National Treasure, Lent by Niutsuhime jinja, Wakayama)
Hoshi kabuto
Style Helmet, With red lacing, Nanbokucho period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by the Agency for Cultural Affairs)

  
Folding Screens and Sliding Door Paintings: Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period
Room 7  January 2, 2017 (Mon) - February 5, 2017 (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:
West Lake in Spring, High Tide at Qiantang, By Ikeno Taiga, Edo period, 18th century (Important Cultural Property)

  
The Arts of Daily Life: Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period
Room 8  October 25, 2016 (Tue) - January 29, 2017 (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:
Writing Box, Flock of cranes design in maki-e lacquer, Edo period, 18th century (Gift of Mr. Matsunaga Yasuzaemon)
Kosode (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
Yogi Bedspread, Mandarin orange and plum design on green crepe, Edo period, 19th century
Tea Kettle, Pine, bamboo, and plum design, Ashiya ware, Shinnari type, Azuchi - Momoyama - Edo period, 16th - 17th century (Lent by the Sato Artcraft Research and Scholarship Foundation)
Large Dish, Partial celadon glaze, treasure design in underglaze blue, Nabeshima ware, Edo period, 17th - 18th century (Lent by the OKURA MUSEUM OF ART, Tokyo)
Large Bowl, Snow-covered bamboo design in iron pigment, By Nin'nami Dohachi, Edo period, 19th century
Large Incense Burner, Juro (god of longevity) design, Sangama ware, By Nin'ami Dohachi, Edo period, dated 1843 (Gift of Mr. Ogura Yasuyuki)

  
Developments in Painting and Calligraphy: Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period
Room 8  January 2, 2017 (Mon) - February 5, 2017 (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:
Album of the New Thirty-six Immortal Poets, By Kano Tan'yu, Edo period, dated 1664
Account of a Visit to the Eastern Provinces, By Karasumaru Mitsuhiro, Edo period, 17th century (On exhibit through January 15, 2017)
Waka Poems, Handscroll with poppy design, By Hon'ami Koetsu, Edo period, dated 1633 (On exhibit from January 17, 2017)

  
Noh and Kabuki: Auspicious Patterns in Noh Theater
Room 9  January 2, 2017 (Mon) - February 26, 2017 (Sun)

These patterns may be divided into ones that were adopted from China, and ones that originated in Japan. The former include Chinese dragons and phoenixes, which were considered good omens, “treasures,” which symbolized abundance, and the peony, which was associated with wealth and high social standing, as well as being considered “the king of all flowers.” Meanwhile, unique Japanese patterns included sailing ships, which brought rare treasures from overseas, and fans, which symbolized one’s luck increasing over time because of their shapes, which spread out, becoming increasingly wider.
Nonetheless, all of these patterns reflect the original role of Noh, which was to pray for good fortune. We invite visitors to see these lively patterns brimming with auspicious meaning.

Current exhibit includes:
Karaori (Noh costume), Camellia, peony, butterfly, and treasure design on red ground, Edo period, 19th century (Lent by the Agency for Cultural Affairs)
Atsuita
(Noh costume), Thundercloud and dragon design on light green ground, Edo period, 19th century (Lent by the Agency for Cultural Affairs)

  
Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Ukiyo-e
Room 10  January 2, 2017 (Mon) - January 29, 2017 (Sun)

This exhibition consists mainly of works associated with the New Year. These include works featuring auspicious motifs such as Gods of Fortune, as well as genre scenes including battledore and shuttlecock, a manzai performance, and uprooting young pines. Furthermore, the exhibition continues to showcase works from the series Hundred Beauties at Famous Places of Edo and Sixty-nine Stations of the Kiso Kaido Highway. With this year being the Year of the Rooster, or the Year of the Bird, according to the Chinese zodiac, the lineup also includes prints that have references to birds.

Current exhibit includes:
Mitate (Allusion to) the Noh Figures Jo and Uba with an Auspicious Decoration, By Torii Kiyohiro, Edo period, 18th century
Collection of Treasures: Daikokuten,
By Chobunsai Eishi, Edo period, 18th century
One Hundred Famous Places of Edo: Nihonbashi Bridge after Snow,
By Utagawa Hiroshige, Edo period, dated 1856
Scenes along Sumida River,
By Chobunsai Eishi, Edo period, 19th century

  
Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Fashion
Room 10  January 2, 2017 (Mon) - February 26, 2017 (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), Grass, tree, crane, turtle, and geometric shape design on reddish-black figured satin, Edo period, 16th century (Important Cultural Property)
Uchikake
(Outer garment), Design of boxes for shell-game pieces on white figured satin ground, Edo period, 18th century
Furisode
(Garment with long sleeves), Bamboo blind and cypress fan design on dark blue plain-weave silk, Edo-Meiji period, 19th century (Private collection)
Inro
(Medicine case), Chicken design in maki-e lacquer, Edo period, 19th century

2nd floor

  
Netsuke: The Prince Takamado Collection
The Prince Takamado Collection Room  October 25, 2016 (Tue) - January 29, 2017 (Sun)

 Including:
Strange Things Do Happen!, By Tachihara Kangyoku, Dated 1992
Melon,
By Kinuyo Hariya, 1996
Ground Cherry,
By Seiho Azuma, 1994
Squirrel,
By Tadamine Nakagawa, 1989
Hatching Snake,
By Susan Wraight, 1993

  
Room T1 & T2  January 2, 2017 (Mon) - January 29, 2017 (Sun)

With this year being the Year of the Rooster, or the Year of the Bird, according to the Chinese zodiac, this exhibition showcases artworks featuring birds under the two themes of “Birds of Dawn” and “Birds of Celebration.”
The first theme, “Birds of Dawn,” highlights roosters. The bird of the Chinese zodiac usually takes the form of a rooster. Roosters, which report daybreak, have been domestic fowl familiar to people since long ago, while they have also been seen in pastimes involving roosters such as cockfights. The exhibits in this section include works featuring roosters as motifs as well as those showing the relationship between roosters and people.
The second theme, “Birds of Celebration,” presents birds that bring happiness. The birds featured in these artworks include those with auspicious associations, such as hawks, peacocks, cranes, herons, and mandarin ducks, as well as imaginary birds that also bring good fortune such as phoenixes and garudas.

Current exhibit includes:
Fowl, By Soga Chokuan (dates unknown), Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Hokiin, Wakayama)
Cockerel and Bamboo,
By Luo Chuang (dates unknown), Southern Song dynasty, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)
Fowl with Pine and Plum,
By Ito Jakuchu, Edo period, 18th century
The Illustrated Album of Old Courtly Customs: Watching a Cockfight,
Meiji era, 19th century
Flowers and Birds,
By Kaiho Yusetsu, Edo period, 17th century
Bugaku
Mask, Korobase type, Heian period, dated 1042 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Tamukeyama Hachimangu, Nara)
Hoken
Style Sword Mounting, Paulownia, bamboo, and phoenix design in maki-e lacquer on nashiji lacquer ground, Metal fittings by Ichijo, Edo period, dated 1864

1st floor

  
Japanese Sculpture
Room 11  October 25, 2016 (Tue) - February 5, 2017 (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:
Seated Male Shinto Deity, Heian period, 11th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Daishogunhachi jinja, Kyoto)
Seated Benzai Ten (Sarasvati),
Kamakura period, 13th century (Private collection)
Standing Juni Shinsho (Twelve Heavenly Generals): Shishin (Snake General),
Formerly preserved at Joruriji, Kyoto, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)
Seated Priest Horen,
Kamakura period, 13th-14th century (Lent by the OKURA MUSEUM OF ART, Tokyo)

  
Lacquerware
Room 12  January 2, 2017 (Mon) - March 20, 2017 (Mon)

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, Pontoon bridge design in maki-e lacquer, By Hon'ami Koetsu, Edo period, 17th century (National Treasure)
Writing Box, Courtly carriage design in maki-e lacquer, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Sutra Box, Lotus pond design in maki-e lacquer, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kongoji, Osaka)
Tebako (cosmetic box) and Its Contents, Tachibana (citrus) tree design in maki-e lacque, Nanbokucho period, dated 1390 (National Treasure, Lent by Kumanohayatama taisha, Wakayama)
Nested Boxes for Tanto Sword, Chrysanthemum and paulownia crest design in maki-e lacquer, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Honma Museum of Art, Yamagata)

  
Metalwork: Ritual Implements of Esoteric Buddhism
Room 13  January 2, 2017 (Mon) - April 9, 2017 (Sun)

In the 9th century, Kukai and other Japanese monks travelled to Tang dynasty China, bringing back the teachings of Esoteric Buddhism and its ritual implements. During the Heian period (794–1192), esoteric doctrine and its application to practical training were established, and the combination of ritual implements required for a set was defined in Japan. Often made of durable metals, these varied and uniquely-shaped implements were not only used in rituals but also served an ornamental function, being methodically positioned inside Buddhist halls and on altars. Visitors are invited to view these diverse implements and their richly-expressive forms achieved mainly through casting techniques.

Current exhibit includes:
Buddhist Ritual Bell with Five-pronged Vajra Handle, Design of symbols representing a Buddhist deity, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Gokokuji, Tokyo)
Set of Five Ritual Bells,
Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Son'eiji, Shizuoka)
Symbols Representing Buddhist Deity,
Excavated at Mount Nachi, Nachikatsuura-cho, Higashimuro-gun, Wakayama, Heian period, 12th century (Gift of Mr. Kitamata Tomeshiro and others)

  
Japanese Swords
Room 13  November 15, 2016 (Tue) - February 5, 2017 (Sun)

Exhibits selected swords and sword-fittings from the Heian to Edo periods, including the Tanto Sword, Known as "Atsushi Toshiro", By Yoshimitsu.

Current exhibit includes:
Tanto Sword, Known as "Atsushi Toshiro", By Yoshimitsu, Kamakura period, 13th century (National Treasure)
Tachi
Sword, Known as "Ima Aranami", By Ichimonji school, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)
Tanto
Sword, By Sadamune, Kamakura period, 14th century (National Treasure, Lent by the Agency for Cultural Affairs)
Sword Guard, Rising sun and plover design,
By Yasuchika, Edo period, 18th century (Important Cultural Property, Private collection, On exhibit from November 22, 2016)

  
Ceramics
Room 13  January 2, 2017 (Mon) - March 20, 2017 (Mon)

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:
Wide-mouthed Jar, Stamped peony arabesque design under brown glaze, Seto ware, Excavated from summit of Mount Ryozen, Sakanoshita, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa, Kamakura period, 14th century (Gift of Mr. Murata Hisakichi)
Flower Vase in Shape of Flask,
Bizen ware, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Matsunaga Yasuzaemon)
Tea Leaf Jar, Moon and plum design in overglaze enamel,
Studio of Ninsei, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Square Dish, Design of Chinese figure watching seagulls in underglaze iron,
By Ogata Korin and Shinsei, Edo period, 18th century (Important Cultural Property)
Bowl, Red dot, cloud and dragon design in overglaze enamel,
Imari ware, Edo period, 17th-18th century (Private collection)
Bevel-edged Footed Tray, Flying phoenix design in overglaze enamel,
Attributed to Okuda Eisen, Edo period, 18th-19th century (Important Art Object, Gift of Mr. Okochi Masatoshi)

  
Room 14  December 20, 2016 (Tue) - February 19, 2017 (Sun)

Fukusa were used to cover gifts presented at celebrations. It was from the early to mid- Edo period, in the 17th to the early 18th century, that fukusa came to be ornately decorated. Eventually, from the late 18th century in the late Edo period, the custom of fukusa covers spread to prosperous townspeople. Unlike the stylized patterns used by the higher warrior class, the townspeople chose motifs from popular fables, or patternized motifs from everyday life, for their liberal designs. By this time, fukusa were not only rendered with embroidery but also with techniques suitable for pictorial renderings, including yuzen paste-resist dyeing, as well as tapestry weaving. The designs convey the festive spirits of people in the Edo period.
To celebrate the New Year, fukusa from the Edo period in the museum collection are introduced through four themes in this exhibition: “Stories and fables,” “Good-luck motifs,” “Warrior-class motifs,” and “Deities and festivities.” These motifs will introduce you to the visual expression arising from the celebratory spirit of the people from this time.

Including:
Fukusa (Gift cover), Shojo immortal figure design, Edo period, 18th-19th century (Gift of Mrs. Henry)
Fukusa (Gift cover), Sea bream design on dark blue satin ground, Edo period, 18th-19th century (Gift of Mrs. Henry)
Fukusa (Gift cover), Cherry blossom and peacock design on green satin ground, Edo period, 19th century
Fukusa(Gift Cover), Design of a Hotei (one of the Seven Deities of Good Fortune) and Chinese children on light red seigo weave silk, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mr.Hosoya Hiroyoshi)

  
Room 15  December 20, 2016 (Tue) - February 19, 2017 (Sun)

The “Temporary National Survey of Treasures Bureau,” established in 1888 (Meiji 21), dispatched researchers across the country to conduct appraisals and registration of art objects. After the survey concluded, the remaining affairs and materials were transferred to the then Imperial Museum, which is now the Tokyo National Museum.
This exhibition introduces the activities of the bureau which continued for 10 years and which the museum inherited, by looking at the documented materials with artworks that were surveyed.

Current exhibit includes:
Red and White Cotton Roses, By Li Di, Southern Song dynasty, dated 1197 (National Treasure, On exhibit through January 9, 2017)
Detailed Catalogue of Artifacts in the Tokyo District Volume 2,
Meiji era, 19th century (Important Cultural Property, On exhibit through January 9, 2017)
Certificate of Appraisal, Red and White cotton Roses,
March 17, 1893 (On exhibit through January 9, 2017)
Registry of Appraisals by Numbers, 5744-7450,
Meiji era, 19th century (Important Cultural Property, On exhibit through January 9, 2017)
Letter,
By Shibayama Nobutoyo (1612-90), Edo period, dated 1664 (Gift of Mrs. Tsuishu Tsuruko)
References for Categorizing Materials,
Compiled by the Artifact Appraisal Department, 1899 (Important Cultural Property)

  
Ainu and Ryuku: Decorative Designs of the Ainu People
Room 16  December 20, 2016 (Tue) - March 20, 2017 (Mon)

This display features elaborate designs the Ainu people used to decorate their garments and daily utensils. Garment designs were rendered from pieces of cotton cloth and dyed embroidery. Wooden objects such as trays, makiri knife mountings, and ritual quivers were decorated with minutely carved patterns. Women decorated using cloth and needles, and men engraved designs with makiri knives. The Ainu designs featured include whorl patterns called morew and brace-like patterns known as ayus.
The Ainu people held rituals and dances wearing garments and holding objects decorated with these designs.

Current exhibit includes:
Apron, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Ms. Hirako Hatsu, On exhibit through February 5, 2017)
Necklace,
Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of the Ogura Foundation)
Tobacco Case,
Sakhalin Ainu, 19th century
Tray,
Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada)
Ritual Quiver,
Hokkaido Ainu, 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  December 6, 2016 (Tue) - January 22, 2017 (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:
Yoroboshi (Pricipal Character of Noh Dorama "Yoroboshi"), By Shimomura Kanzan, Dated 1915 (Important Cultural Property)
Portrait of Okubo Koto,
By Takahashi Yuichi, Dated 1881
Portrait of Uesugi Yozan,
By Takahashi Yuichi, Dated 1881
Princess Shakuntala and King Dushyanta,
By Sato Chozan, Dated 1916 (On exhibit through January 15, 2017)
Flower Vase, Hosoge floral arabesque design, By Sekizawa Uichi, Dated 1892 (Gift of Japan Delegate Office for World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago)

  
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.