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

Honkan room 13 and room 14 will be closed for maintenance work from Monday, June 25, 2018 - July 9, 2018.
Honkan (Highlights of Japanese Art) on the 2nd floor will be closed for maintenance work from Monday, December 10, 2018 - Tuseday, January 1, 2019.


2nd floor "Highlights of Japanese Art"

  
The Dawn of Japanese Art: Jomon, Yayoi and Kofun periods
Room 1  January 2, 2018 (Tue) - July 16, 2018 (Mon)

Current exhibit includes:
Haniwa (Terracotta tomb figurine), Dancing person, Excavated from Nohara Tumulus, Kumagaya-shi, Saitama, Kofun period, 6th century
Deep Bowl, Excavated from Miyanomae, Ina-shi, Nagano, Jomon period, 3000–2000 BC (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada)
Dotaku (Bell-shaped bronze), Kinki-region style, Excavated from Mukaiyama, Ibaraki, Hidaka-cho, Wakayama, Yayoi period, 1st–3rd century
Dogu (Clay figurine), Excavated at Kamikurokoma, Misaka-cho, Fuefuki-shi, Yamanashi, Jomon period, 3000–2000 BC (Gift of Mr. Miyamoto Naokichi)

  
The Rise of Buddhism: Asuka–Nara period
Room 1  March 20, 2018 (Tue) - April 22, 2018 (Sun)

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

Current exhibit includes:
Standing Kannon Bosatsu (Avalokitesvara), Excavated at Mount Nachi, Nachikatsu'ura-cho, Higashimuro-gun, Wakayama, Asuka period, 7th century (Gift of Mr. Kitamata Tomeshiro and two others)
Ho'on Kyo Sutra, Attributed to Gyoyo, Nara period, 8th century

  
Room 2  April 10, 2018 (Tue) - May 13, 2018 (Sun)

This scroll is part of a thirty-volume decorative sutra, which, as a magnificent work of art, equals the Lotus Sutra donated by the Heike clan. Twenty-seven other volumes of the original thirty have been preserved at Tesshuji temple. This set was created upon the announcement that the Empress Dowager Taikenmon’in ― the consort of the Cloistered Emperor Toba ― would become a nun at the age of forty two. It was to be used particularly for a Buddhist memorial service, held for the Empress Dowager while she was still alive, to pray for the repose of her soul after death. Those who were involved in the creation of this sutra include individuals associated with the Empress Dowager, such as the cloistered emperor himself and another consort of his, Lady Bifukumon’in.

  
Buddhist Art: Heian–Muromachi period
Room 3  March 20, 2018 (Tue) - April 22, 2018 (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 periods.

Current exhibit includes:
Standing Amida Nyorai (Amitabha), Wood, Kamakura period, 13th–14th century
The Descent of Amitabha with Divine Attendants, Kamakura period, 14th century
Mandala of the Deer of Kasuga Shrine, Muromachi period, 16th century (Gift of Mr. Naito Gyoho)
Tengu zoshi, Toji and Daigoji Version, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)
Words of Prayer, By Jien, Kamakura period, dated 1224 (Important Cultural Property)
Lotus Sutra, By Fujiwara no Sadanobu, Heian period, 12th century (Private collection)

  
Courtly Art: Heian–Muromachi period
Room 3  March 20, 2018 (Tue) - April 22, 2018 (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 displayed in this room with decorative art objects.

Current exhibit includes:
Horse Stables, Muromachi period, 16th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Okazaki Masaya)
Album of Exemplary Calligraphy Known as "Karigane jo", Heian-Kamakura period, 11th–13th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by the Agency for Cultural Affairs)
Mirror with Image of Zao Gongen in Hairline Engraving, Auspicious flower and phoenix pair design, Excavated at Kinpusen range of ridges, Tenkawa-mura, Yoshino-gun, Nara, Heian period, 12th century
 

  
Zen and Ink Painting: Kamakura–Muromachi period
Room 3  March 20, 2018 (Tue) - April 22, 2018 (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:
Admonition by Monk Yongming Yanshou, By Shokai Reiken, Nanbokucho period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Taiko'an, Kyoto)
Landscapes of the Four Seasons, Attributed to Shubun, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property)

  
The Art of Tea Ceremony
Room 4  March 20, 2018 (Tue) - June 17, 2018 (Sun)

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

Current exhibit includes:
Tea Kettle, Japanese kerria design, Ashiya ware, Shinnari type, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Art Object, Lent by the Satoh Artcraft Research & Scholarship Foundation)
Water Jar
, Kosometsuke type; Cherry blossom and stream design in underglaze blue, Jingdezhen ware, China, Ming dynasty, 17th century (Private collection)
Flower Vase with Lugs, Iga ware, Edo period, 17th century
Sake Flask, Cherry blossom and stream design in overglaze enamel, Imari ware, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)

  
Attire of the Military Elite: Heian–Edo period
Room 5 & 6  February 14, 2018 (Wed) - May 6, 2018 (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)
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)
Undergarment for Armor, Bouquet, auspicious motifs and Horai (Penglai, Land of Immortals) design on white twill ground, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Aoki Kinzo)
Kamishimo (Warriors' Costume), Pine-leaf design with three-leaves hollyhock crests on yellow-green ramie, Purportedly owned by Tsunayoshi, the fifth-generation, Tokugawa shogun, Edo period, 19th century

  
Folding Screens and Sliding Door Paintings: Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period
Room 7  March 20, 2018 (Tue) - April 22, 2018 (Sun)

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

Current exhibit includes:
Cherry Blossom Viewing, By Sumiyoshi Gukei, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Nishiwaki Kenji)
Kabuki Theater and Other Amusements, Artist unknown, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by the Agency for Cultural Affairs)

  
Room 8 & Room 11  April 17, 2018 (Tue) - May 6, 2018 (Sun)

This exhibition introduces 58 objects from among those newly designated National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties in 2018.

  
Noh and Kabuki: The Forms of Gods and Demons in Noh
Room 9  February 20, 2018 (Tue) - April 22, 2018 (Sun)

Noh plays were originally performed as offerings to the gods. Characters that appear in these plays include a variety of gods and demons, the creation of which was stimulated by a fear of nature and unearthly "spirits." The colors, patterns, and shapes of the costumes used for these roles depend on the type of god or demon being portrayed. For this exhibition, we have recreated the appearances of three different types of gods inspired by the latter half of the Noh play Arashiyama. Visitors are also encouraged to view a related exhibition, The Masks of Japan: Gods and Demons in Noh and Kyogen, in Room 14 on the first floor of this building.

Current exhibit includes:
Atsuita (Noh costume), Design of clouds, screens with arrows, and fish scales on red and green ground, Edo period, 19th century
Kariginu (Noh costume), Edo period, 18th century, (Lent by the Agency for Cultural Affairs)

  
Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Ukiyo-e
Room 10  April 17, 2018 (Tue) - May 13, 2018 (Sun)

This exhibit features works themed on the seasonal festival of May, better known as the Boys’ Festival, with vigorous works such as portrayals of Samurai and Kintaro, the powerful boy in legends.

Current exhibit includes:
The Arched Bridge at Kameido, By Isoda Koryusai, Edo period, 18th century
The Actors Segawa Kikunojo III as Yamanba and Kataoka Nizaemon VII as Kintaro, By Katsukawa Shunko, Edo period, 18th century
Fight between Tatsugoro, a Fireman of the Me Squad and Daihachi, a Sumo Wrestler, By Toyohara Kunichika, Meiji era, 19th century

  
Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Fashion
Room 10  February 20, 2018 (Tue) - April 22, 2018 (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), Design of stripes, windows, and plum branches on a light-yellow chirimen crepe ground, Formely owned by Noguchi Hikobei, Edo period, 18th century
Kosode (Garment with small wrist openings), Design of young pines, cherries, and curtains on a white figured-satin ground, Edo period, 18th century
Furisode (Garment with long sleeves), Design of weeping cherries, chrysanthemums, and tanzaku poem cards on a parti-colored chirimen crepe ground, Edo period, 18th century
Inro (Medicine case), Design of the monk Saigyo viewing Mount Fuji in maki-e lacquer and mother-of-pearl inlay, Meiji era, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Quincy A. Shaw)
 

2nd floor

  
Netsuke: The Prince Takamado Collection
The Prince Takamado Collection Room  January 30, 2018 (Tue) - April 22, 2018 (Sun)

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

  
Room T2  February 6, 2018 (Tue) - April 22, 2018 (Sun)

This exhibition sheds light on Okuda Eisen (1753–1811), a renowned potter of Kyoto ware who was active in the late Edo period, and his pupils. In an attempt to meet the demands of the time, during which the custom of drinking leaf tea was becoming popular and Chinese art and culture was highly admired, Eisen, for the first time in Japan, fired porcelain in Kyoto. Eisen’s pupils – Aoki Mokubei, Kinkodo Kisuke, and Nin’nami Dohachi – contributed to the founding and expansion of local kilns beyond Kyoto, in various feudal domains where they were invited to provide guidance.
Visitors are invited to view ceramic works by these prominent, Kyoto-based potters as well as those created at the associated local kilns.

1st floor

  
Lacquerware
Room 12  April 10, 2018 (Tue) - July 1, 2018 (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 portraying a poem known as "Otokoyama" in maki-e lacquer, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property)
Box for Priest's Vestments, Seascape design in maki-e lacquer, Heian period, 10th century (National Treasure, Lent by Kyo'ogokokuji, Kyoto)
Chest with Legs, Suminoe Beach design in maki-e lacquer, Nanbokucho period, dated 1357 (Important Cultural Property)
Mirror Box, Paulownia, bamboo, and phoenix design in maki-e lacquer, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Atsuta Jingu, Aichi)

  
Metalwork
Room 13  April 10, 2018 (Tue) - June 24, 2018 (Sun)

This exhibition provides a historical overview of Japanese metalwork from the Heian (794–1192) to the Edo (1603–1868) period. Objects are displayed by category, such as Buddhist ritual implements, mirrors, tea kettles, objects with designs in cloisonné, decorative fittings, and okimono ornaments. Visitors are invited to view the beauty of metals such as gold, silver, copper, and iron, as well as the shapes they were crafted into, and the designs they were freely embellished with.

Current exhibit includes:
Flower Basket, Openwork design, Nanbokucho period, 14th century (National Treasure, Lent by Jinshoji, Shiga)
Butterfly-shaped Kei Gong, Excavated at Miyabuchi, Matsumoto-shi, Nagano, Heian period, dated 1001 (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Takahashi Tamotsu)
Waniguchi Gong, Excavated at Miyabuchi, Matsumoto-shi, Nagano, Heian period, dated 1001 (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Takahashi Tamotsu)

  
Japanese Swords
Room 13  April 10, 2018 (Tue) - June 24, 2018 (Sun)

Exhibits selected swords and sword-fittings from the Heian to Edo periods, including the Tachi Sword By Yoshifusa.

Current exhibit includes:
Tachi Sword, By Masatsune, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Koide Fusatada)
Tachi Sword, By Yoshifusa, Kamakura period, 13th century (National Treasure)

  
Ceramics
Room 13  February 27, 2018 (Tue) - May 20, 2018 (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 Jar, Natural glaze, Tokoname ware, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property, Private collection)
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)
Bowl, Cherry tree design in overglaze enamel and openwork,
By Nin'nami Dohachi, Edo period, 19th century
Large Jar, Flowering plant design in overglaze enamel,
Imari ware, Kakiemon type, Edo period, 17th century

  
Room 14  March 20, 2018 (Tue) - April 22, 2018 (Sun)

Noh and Kyogen have been performed for centuries in Japan, with Kyogen plays serving as comic interludes in between acts of Noh. These performing arts feature not only human characters, but also supernatural figures such as gods and demons. When playing these roles, actors wear distinctive masks that are of central importance to the performances and aid the audience in using their imaginations to flesh out the stories portrayed.

  
Records of History
Room 15  March 20, 2018 (Tue) - May 13, 2018 (Sun)

The Tokyo National Museum holds many artworks and other materials that shine light on history, with the foundation of this collection consisting of materials inherited from the shogun’s government of the Edo period (1603–1868). From the time of the Museum’s establishment in 1872, this foundation was supplemented with additional materials collected through exhibitions and surveys of cultural properties. This gallery displays albums of natural science, a discipline that thrived in the Edo period, maps created in the Edo period and the following Meiji era, ink rubbings of calligraphy inscribed into stone and metal, and a variety of other historical materials. In addition, photographs from the late 19th and early 20th century, which show the people and scenery of the day, as well as expositions and cultural properties, are also shown periodically.

Current exhibit includes:
Map of Kyushu, Large scale, No. 6, By Ino Tadataka, Edo period, 19th century (Important Cultural Property)
Album of Birds: Waterbirds 1,
Compiled by Hotta Masa'atsu, Copy: Edo period, 18th-19th century
Map of the Nakasendo Highway, Itabashi, Warabi, Urawa, Omiya, Ageo, Okegawa and Konosu,
Edo period, dated 1806 (Important Cultural Property)
Takeuchi Yasunori, Photograph of the Bunkyu Mission to Europe,
By Robillard, Edo period, dated 1862
Fukuchi Gen'ichiro, Photograph of the Bunkyu Mission to Europe,
By Robillard, Edo period, dated 1862

  
Ainu and Ryukyu: The Prayers of the Ainu People
Room 16  February 27, 2018 (Tue) - May 20, 2018 (Sun)

The Ainu people believed that everything in their rich natural environment, from the vast plateaus of their native northern landscapes to the infinite expanse of the ocean, possessed a soul. Things which were essential to human life and beyond human capability were regarded as deities and worshipped. The Ainu believed that a stable lifestyle would be impossible without the provision and protection of the gods. They prayed for a life of continued peace, and held rituals to verbally express their gratitude toward the gods for heeding their prayers.
This exhibition features ritual items used by the Ainu people, including crowns and necklaces, as well as implements such as inau, iku-pasui, and wooden figurines. There are also various implements that were used in the ceremonial sacrifices of bears. Together with paintings of Ainu, these objects give us insight into how the Ainu people prayed to their gods.

Current exhibit includes:
Ritual Crown, Sakhalin Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada)
Ritual Spatula,
Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Transferred from the Bureau for the Vienna World Exposition)
Talisman,
Sakhalin Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada)
Coat,
Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada)
Ritual Hoe-shaped Crest,
Hokkaido Ainu, Excavated at Sakurayama, Kakuta, Kuriyama-cho, Hokkaido, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Oda Katsukichi and Mr. Izumi Rintaro)
Portrait of Tobu, the Chieftain of Monbetsu,
Ezo, By Kakizaki Hakyo, Edo period, dated 1783

  
Conservation and Restoration
Room 17  April 15, 2014 (Tue) - April 7, 2019 (Sun)

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

 

  
Modern Art
Room 18  March 20, 2018 (Tue) - May 6, 2018 (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:
Scenes from the Tropics: Morning, Dated 1914, 1914 (Important Cultural Property)
Taking Aim,
By Soyama Sachihiko, Dated 1890
Princess Shakuntala and King Dushyanta,
By Sato Chozan, Dated 1916
Eagle,
By Suzuki Chokichi, Dated 1892 (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Japan Delegate Office for World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago)
Footed Bowl Brown glaze with applied crabs,
By Miyagawa Kozan I, Dated 1881 (Important Cultural Property, Exhibited at the second National Industrial Exhibition)

  
Education Center: Education Space
Room 19  April 15, 2014 (Tue) - April 7, 2019 (Sun)

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

  
Room 19  April 18, 2017 (Tue) - August 5, 2018 (Sun)

This year’s reproduction project features a garment from Okinawa, made by using the island’s traditional bingata dyeing technique. With a mass of colorful peony flowers, buds, and leaves, all dyed on a white background, the original work is entitled: Bingata Garment with Peony Design on White Cotton. The intricate design structure and vivid colors gave our team ample opportunity to explore this superb dyeing technique that blossomed in the 19th-century Ryukyu Kingdom in Okinawa. What kind of dyeing techniques allow such minutely-detailed flower petals and leaf shapes, and what kind of culture nurtured the colorful style of bingata? This display explores answers to these questions through a combination of research, fieldwork, and hands-on reproduction.