TOP
 >> Exhibitions
 >> Honkan

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 12, 2015 (Tue) - November 23, 2015 (Mon)

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:
Haniwa (Terracotta tomb figurine)Dancing people, female, Excavated from Nohara Tumulus, Miyawaki, Nohara, Kumagaya-shi, Saitama, Kofun period, 6th century
Dancing PeopleHaniwa (Terracotta tomb figurine),
Excavated from Nohara Tumulus, Miyawaki, Nohara, Kumagaya-shi, Saitama, Kofun period, 6th century
Deep Bowl with Flame-like Ornamentation,
Attributed provenance: Umataka, Nagaoka-shi, Niigata, Jomon period, 3000-2000 BC
Haniwa (Terracotta Tomb Figure)Woman in Full Dress,
Excavated from Yokotsuka, Toyoshiro-cho, Isezaki-shi, Gunma, Kofun period, 6th century (Important Cultural Property)
Haniwa (Terracotta tomb figure)Monkey,
Attributed provenance: Dainichizuka Tumulus, Okinosu, Namegata-shi, Ibaraki, Kofun period, 6th century (Important Cultural Property)
Dogu (Clay figurine)With goggle-shaped eyes,
Excavated from Ebisuda, Tajiri Kabukuri, Osaki-shi, Miyagi, Jomon period, 1000-400 BC (Important Cultural Property)
Gyobutsu Stone Tool (Purpose unknown),
Excavated from Bira, Anamizu-cho, Ishikawa, Jomon period, 1000-400 BC (Lent by The Imperial Household Agency)
Footed Jar,
Excavated from Atsuta Kaizuka, Takakura-cho, Atsuta-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi, Yayoi period, 1st-3rd century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada, On exhibit through August 30, 2015)
Short CuirassVertical iron bands joined with leather,
Excavated from Omaruyama Kofun, Koaza Higashiyama, Shimomukoyama-cho, Kofu-shi, Yamanashi, Kofun period, 4th century
Footed Long-necked JarSue 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  June 30, 2015 (Tue) - August 2, 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:
Seated Yakushi Nyorai (Bhaisajyaguru), Heian period, 9th century
Daihannya kyo (Great Wisdom Sutra), Vol. 468Votive sutra of Prince Nagaya,
Nara period, dated 728 (Important Cultural Property, Private collection)
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)
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)

  
Room 2  June 9, 2015 (Tue) - July 5, 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:
Introduction to Kokin waka shu Poetry Anthology, Attributed to Minamoto no Toshiyori, Heian period, 12th century(National Treasure, Lent by Okura Shukokan Museum, Tokyo)

  
Buddhist Art: Heian - Muromachi period
Room 3  June 30, 2015 (Tue) - August 2, 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:
Seated Amida Nyorai (Amitabha), Kamakura period, 12th-13th century (Lent by Ganshoji, Shizuoka)
Hachiji Monju Mandala,
Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Private collection)
Kokuzo Bosatsu (Akasagarbha),
Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Muto Sanji)
Hannya Bosatsu (Prajnaparamita),
Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)
Daihannya kyo (Great Wisdom Sutra), Vol. 221,
Heian period, dated 871 (Gift of Mr. Oi Saitaro)
Sixteen Guardian Deities of Buddhism,
Kamakura period, 13th century
Keman (Buddhist ornamental pendant),
Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Nara National Museum, Nara)

  
Courtly Art: Heian - Muromachi period
Room 3  June 30, 2015 (Tue) - August 2, 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:
Anthology of Poems from Different Periods, Kamakura period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property)
Detached Segment of Poetry Contest in Fifteen Rounds, By Fujiwara no Korefusa, Heian period, 11th century

  
Zen and Ink Painting: Kamakura - Muromachi period
Room 3  June 30, 2015 (Tue) - August 2, 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:
Buddhist Writing Recited in Ceremony while Burning Incense, By Issan Ichinei, Kamakura period, dated 1303 (Lent by Nanzenji, Kyoto)
Landscape,
Seal of "Shuho", Muromachi period, 16th century

  
The Art of Tea Ceremony
Room 4  April 21, 2015 (Tue) - July 12, 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:
Flower Vase in Shape of Jade CongCeladon glaze, Guan ware, ChinaFormerly preserved by the Owari Tokugawa family, Southern Song dynasty, 12th-13th century, (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)
Tea BowlHorimishima type; known as "Kimura",
Joseon dynasty, 16th-17th century, (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)
Segment of Sotan shu Poetry Anthology,
Attributed to Saigyo, Heian period, 12th century, (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)

  
Attire of the Military Elite: Heian - Edo period
Room 5 & 6  May 19, 2015 (Tue) - July 26, 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:
Gusoku Type ArmorTwo-piece cuirass with black lacing, Formerly used by Sakakibara Yasumasa, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Tachi SwordKnown as "Hojo Tachi",
By Ichimonji school, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)
Hyogogusari Style Sword Mounting (For sword known as "Hojo Tachi")With triple-triangle crests,
Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)

  
Folding Screens and Sliding Door Paintings: Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period
Room 7  June 16, 2015 (Tue) - August 2, 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:
Dog Chasing (Equestrian archery contest) (detail), Artist unknown, Edo period, 17th century

  
The Arts of Daily Life: Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period
Room 8  May 12, 2015 (Tue) - August 2, 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:
CabinetFishing net and heron design in maki-e lacquer, Edo period, 17th century
Hitoe (Summer garment)Stream, reed, and wild goose design on purple ro gauze ground, Edo period, 18th century, (Gift of Ms. Takagi Kiyo)
Sage obi SashNet, cherry blossom, wisteria, and butterfly design on white chirimen crepe ground, Reportedly worn by Tensho-in, the wife of the 13th shogun Tokugawa Iesada, Edo period, 19th century
Water DropperCarp design, Edo period, 18th-19th century, (Gift of Mr. Watanabe Toyotaro and Mr. Watanabe Masayuki)
BowlWagtail design, Mino ware, Nezumi Shino type, Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period, 16th-17th century, (Important Cultural Property)

  
Developments in Painting and Calligraphy: Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period
Room 8  June 16, 2015 (Tue) - August 2, 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:
Morning Glories and Puppies, By Maruyama Okyo, Edo period, dated 1784
Letter,
By Yosa Buson, Edo period, 18th century (Private collection)

  
Noh and Kabuki: Masks and Costumes in the Noh Play Kuzu
Room 9  May 19, 2015 (Tue) - July 12, 2015 (Sun)

The lead actor plays the role of the elderly man in the first half of this play. An akobujo type mask gives him an aged and approachable appearance while a mizugoromo costume represents his working clothes. In the second half, he plays the deity Zao Gongen in a golden otobide type mask suggesting divine nature and a kariginu costume signifying noble rank. The choken costume of the heavenly maiden is made of beautiful, light textile appropriate for her dancing role. Visitors are invited to view these masks and costumes, which symbolize the respective natures and ranks of the characters who wear them, while keeping the story of this Noh play in mind.

Current exhibit includes:
Kariginu (Noh costume)Dharmacakra design on dark blue ground, Formerly owned by the Ikeda clan, Bizen, Edo period, 18th century (Lent by OKURA MUSEUM OF ART)
Choken (Noh costume)Peony arabesque, butterfly, and bird design on dark blue ground,
Edo period, 18th century

  
Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Ukiyo-e
Room 10  June 9, 2015 (Tue) - July 5, 2015 (Sun)

The genre of ukiyo-e vividly depicts common people of the Edo period (1603–1868). This exhibition features ukiyo-e portraying beautiful women, ranging from commoners washing laundry or playing kawaranage (a dish-throwing game), to geisha and high-ranking courtesans of the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters. Landscapes portraying the suburbs of Edo (now Tokyo) and famous sites in various regions will also be displayed.

Current exhibit includes:
Geishas of the Pleasure Quarters: Itsutomi, By Chobunsai Eishi, Edo period, 18th century (Important Cultural Property)
Lineup of Contemporary Popular Beauties: Morokoshi of Echizenya, By Kitagawa Utamaro, Edo period, dated 1794
Illustrations of Famous Poems: Li Po's Poem, By Katsushika Hokusai, Edo period, 19th century

  
Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Fashion
Room 10  May 19, 2015 (Tue) - July 12, 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)Stream, Japanese larch, and wisteria design on white figured satin ground, Edo period, 17th-18th century
Kosode (Garment with small wrist openings)Paulownia tree design on white figured satin ground,
Edo period, 17th-18th century
Inro (Medicine case)Sweetfish design in maki-e lacquer,
Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Quincy A. Shaw)

2nd floor

  
Netsuke: The Prince Takamado Collection
Netsuke: The Prince Takamado Collection  May 12, 2015 (Tue) - August 2, 2015 (Sun)

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

  
Room T1 & T2  June 9, 2015 (Tue) - August 2, 2015 (Sun)

In 1875, Noguchi Hikobei (1848–1925) established the Daihiko Textile Merchant in the Tachibana area of Nihonbashi, Tokyo. Believing that to create something new, “one must gain a wide range of knowledge and experience, improve one’s ability to discern quality and value, and be shrewd in separating the good from the bad,” he amassed a collection of Edo-period (1603–1868) kosode garments around the turn of the century.
This thematic exhibition focuses on Noguchi as a textile merchant, rather than as a scholar, who contributed to research on Edo-period kososde. It features carefully-selected masterpieces and rare examples from his collection.

Current exhibit includes:
Kosode (Garment with small wrist openings), Pine bark, lozenge, and bamboo design on white silk ground with glossed weft, Purportedly presented to Kyogen actor Sagi Niemon Sogen by Tokugawa Ieyasu Formely owned by Noguchi Hikobei, Azuchi - Momoyama - Edo period, 16t -17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Kosode (Garment with small wrist openings), Diagonal stripe and poem design on white figured satin ground,
Formely owned by Noguchi Hikobei, Edo period, 17th century
Kosode (Garment with small wrist openings), Floral roundel design on yellow parti-colored figured satin ground, Formely owned by Noguchi Hikobei, Edo period, 17th century
Furisode (Garment with long sleeves), Plum tree, standing screen, and falcon design on white chirimen crepe ground, Formely owned by Noguchi Hikobei, Edo period, 18th century
Kosode (Garment with small wrist openings), Chinese landscape design on light blue chirimen silk crepe ground, Formely owned by Noguchi Hikobei, Edo period, 18th century

1st floor

  
Japanese Sculpture
Room 11  May 12, 2015 (Tue) - August 2, 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 Bosatsu (Bodhisattva), Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)
Seated Nikko Bosatsu (Suryaprabha), Formerly owned by Kinrinji and Kosanji, Kyoto, Nara period, 8th century (Important Cultural Property)
Seated Dainichi Nyorai (Mahavairocana), Heian-Kamakura period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kotokuji, Tochigi)
Standing Sho Kannon Bosatsu (Arya Avalokitesvara), Heian period, 9th-10th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kanshinji, Osaka)
Seated Amida Nyorai (Amitabha),
Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Koumyouji, Nagano)

  
Metalwork: Articulated Figures and Ornaments
Room 13  May 8, 2015 (Fri) - July 26, 2015 (Sun)

Metalwork techniques reached a high level of sophistication in the Edo period (1603–1868), during which nationwide peace encouraged the diffusion of knowledge, the culture of the common people thrived, and advancements were made in the natural sciences. Against this background, metalwork objects of various shapes and subjects were created. They served more than just practical functions, showing exquisite craftsmanship suitable for artistic appreciation. This exhibition will feature ornaments such as articulated figures, which are a prime example of such finely-crafted objects, and incense burners, allowing visitors to enjoy the rich expression of Edo period metalwork.

Current exhibit includes:
Hanging Incense Burner in Shape of Flower Basket, Edo period, 18th century
Flower Cart Ornament, Edo period, 19th century
Articulated FigureDragon, By Myochin Muneaki, Edo period, dated 1713

  
Japanese Swords
Room 13  May 12, 2015 (Tue) - July 20, 2015 (Mon)

Exhibits selected swords and sword-fittings from the Heian to Edo periods, including the Tachi SwordKnown as "Mikazuki Munechika", By Sanjo Munechika.
Current exhibit includes:
Tachi SwordKnown as "Mikazuki Munechika", By Munechika, Heian period, 10th-12th century (National Treasure, Gift of Mr. Watanabe Seiichiro)
Katana SwordKnown as “Kikko Sadamune”,
By Sadamune, Kamakura-Nanbokucho period, 14th century (National Treasure, Gift of Mr. Watanabe Seiichiro)
Sword GuardTiger in rain design,
By Toshinaga, Edo period, 18th century (Important Cultural Property)

  
Ceramics
Room 13  May 12, 2015 (Tue) - August 2, 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:
Large-mouthed JarPeony arabesque design under yellow glaze, Seto ware, Kamakura period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property)
Hexagonal DishJurojin (one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune) design in underglaze iron (Important Cultural Property, Lent by the OKURA MUSEUM OF ART, Tokyo, on exhibit through August 2, 2015)
Deep BowlFlower and bird design in overglaze enamel,
Imari ware, Kakiemon type, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)

  
Room 14  April 7, 2015 (Tue) - July 5, 2015 (Sun)

This exhibition is the first ever to display fragments of the armor that were removed during restoration, Ataka’s records, and sketches of the armor from before restoration. With the addition of the aforementioned Haramaki Type Armor, which was restored in 1856 following the example set by Armor with White Lacing, visitors will be introduced to these model restorations of the Edo period.

  
Records of History: Edo Castle and Kan’eiji Temple
Room 15  April 21, 2015 (Tue) - July 5, 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 focuses on Edo Castle and Kan'eiji Temple, both of which were built in Edo (present-day Tokyo). The temple was located on the Ueno plateau and protected the castle's northeastern approach (this was considered an inauspicious direction through which evil spirits passed). Frequent fires changed the appearance of Edo castle over the years, while most of the structures at Kan'eiji Temple were burned down in the Battle of Ueno (1868) and its grounds were later converted into Ueno Park. This exhibition features maps, diagrams, and multicolored woodblock prints illustrating the histories of these two significant places. Images showing Edo Castle before it was demolished and Kan'eiji Temple after the conflict have also been selected from our extensive collection of photographs dating back to the 19th century.

Current exhibit includes:
Drafts of Wall Paintings for the Pine Tree Corridor of Edo Castle, By Kano Tan'en and Sumiyoshi Hirotsura, Edo period, dated 1845
Album of Photographs of Edo Castle,
Compiled by Ninagawa Noritane; photographed by Yokoyama Matsusaburo; colored by Takahashi Yuichi, Dated 1871, (Important Cultural Property)
Famous Places of Tokyo: Opening of the 1877 National Industrial Exposition in Ueno Park,
By Kawanabe Kyosai, Dated 1877
 

  
Ainu and Ryuku: The Prayers of the Ainu People
Room 16  June 16, 2015 (Tue) - September 13, 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:
Tray Dragon design in mother of pearl inlay, Okinawa Main Island, Second Sho dynasty, Ryukyu kingdom, 18th-19th century
Headwear for Prince,
Ryukyu, Second Sho dynasty, Ryukyu kingdom, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Higa Kamato)
Tea Tray with Legs,
Okinawa Main Island, Second Sho dynasty, Ryukyu kingdom, 19th century
Stemmed Tray for Teatime Snacks,
Okinawa Main Island, Second Sho dynasty, Ryukyu kingdom, 19th century
Liquor Bottle,
Okinawa Main Island, Tsuboya ware, Second Sho dynasty, Ryukyu kingdom, 19th century
Garment in Bingata Stencil DyeingWave, pine, plum, and maple design on light blue ground,
Okinawa Main Island, Second Sho dynasty, Ryukyu kingdom, 19th century
Sudina Garment,
Yaeyama Islands, Second Sho dynasty, Ryukyu kingdom, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada)

  
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  June 2, 2015 (Tue) - July 12, 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:
Ducks, By Kawai Gyokudo, Dated 1897 (Gift of Mr. Motoyama Toyomi)
Cormorant Fishing on Nagara River
, By Takahashi Yuichi, Dated 1891
Aged Monkey,
By Takamura Koun, Dated 1893 (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Japan Delegate Office for World's Columbian Exposition)
Eagle,
By Suzuki Chokichi, Dated 1892 (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Japan Delegate Office for World's Columbian Exposition)
Large VaseWhite porcelain with butterfly and peony design in relief,
By Seifu Yohei lll, Dated 1892 (Gift of Japan Delegate Office for World's Columbian Exposition)

  
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

  
Room 19  April 7, 2015 (Tue) - September 23, 2015 (Wed)

The original hanging scroll was painted in the 14th century during the Kamakura period. Models in this exhibition demonstrate the production process in five stages, using pigments similar to those in the original. Materials used for the golden decorationare also introduced.
These models aim to faithfully demonstrate the techniques used to produce the original painting. Through looking at the original work closely with the help of the models, we hope visitors will gain a deeper understanding of Japanese Buddhist painting.