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The original Main Gallery (designed by the British architect Josiah Conder) was severely damaged in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. In contrast to western style of the original structure, the design of the present Honkan by Watanabe Jin is the more eastern "Emperor's Crown Style." Construction began in 1932, and the building was opened in 1938.
24 exhibition rooms on two floors provide a thorough introduction into Japanese art: "Highlights of Japanese Art" on the second floor introduces the development of Japanese art from Jomon through to the Edo period in a chronological manner, and genre galleries presenting specific rooms displaying ceramics, swords, lacquerwares, sculptures, modern decorative arts as well as the material culture of Ainu and Ryukyu are located on the first floor.

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Finding Cherry Blossom in the Japanese Gallery (Honkan)

 March 14, 2017 (Tue) - April 9, 2017 (Sun)

To coincide with the Springtime Opening of the Museum Garden (Tuesday, March 14- Sunday, May 7, 2017), many artworks featuring cherry blossoms are on display in the Japanese Gallery. Come and enjoy the various expressions of cherry blossom depicted in ancient and modern masterpieces.

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)
(Terracotta tomb figure), Warrior in Armor, From Kamishiba Tumulus, Misato-machi, Takasaki-shi, Gunma, Kofun period, 6th century
(Terracotta tomb figure), Monkey, Attributed provenance: Dainichizuka Tumulus, Okinosu, Namegata-shi, Ibaraki, Kofun period, 6th century (Important Cultural Property)
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  February 7, 2017 (Tue) - March 20, 2017 (Mon)

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

Current exhibit includes:
Seated Nikko Bosatsu (Suryaprabha), Formerly owned by Kinrinji and Kosanji, Kyoto, Nara period, 8th century (Important Cultural Property)
Shosan jodo butsu shoju kyo
(Sutra on Pure Land and Salvation through the Grace of Buddha), Nara period, 8th century
Buddhist Incantation from the “One Million Pagodas”,
Nara period, 8th century
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)
Nara period, 8th century (Important Cultural Property)

Gunsho chiyo (A book of politics), Vol. 31
Room 2  February 14, 2017 (Tue) - March 12, 2017 (Sun)

This scroll is a transcription of a volume from a Chinese manuscript on politics, which was compiled by the order of a Tang-dynasty emperor. While many of the original volumes were lost in the early stages in China, some reached Japan and their transcriptions have survived to this day. With the text written on plain or decorated writing paper, this particular scroll is the oldest surviving transcription of the original in the world.

On Exhibit:
Gunsho Chiyo (a book of politics), Vol. 31, Heian period, 11th century (National Treasure)

Buddhist Art: Heian - Muromachi period
Room 3  February 7, 2017 (Tue) - March 20, 2017 (Mon)

Buddhist art is one of the major genres that define Japanese art. Many masterworks date from the late Heian period, a time characterized as classical in Japanese art history. After the Kamakura period, Buddhist art further developed in its materials, methods, and styles as Zen schools and other new Buddhist schools emerged, together with the influence from the Chinese arts. This exhibit features artworks from the Heian to Kamakura periods, when Buddhist art most flourished, adding siginificant objects from the Nanbokucho and Muromachi periods.

Current exhibit includes:
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)
Kamakura period, 14th century (Important Art Object, Lent by the OKURA MUSEUM OF ART, Tokyo)
Illustrated Scroll of Legends about the Origin of Kitano Tenjin Shrine, Vol. 1,
Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)
Bussetsu zoho ketsugi kyo
Sutra, Heian period, 12th century
Detached Segment of Flower Garland Sutra, Vol. 9 Known as "Menashi gyo", Kamakura period, 13th century (Gift of Mr. Naito Gyoho)
Agganna Sutra, Vol. 10, Transcribed by the order of Ashikaga Takauji,
By Jistunin, Nanbokucho period, dated 1354
Flower Basket, Hosoge floral arabesque design in openwork, Heian period, 12th century (National Treasure, Lent by Jinshoji, Shiga)

Courtly Art: Heian - Muromachi period
Room 3  February 7, 2017 (Tue) - March 20, 2017 (Mon)

The courtiers were strongly involved in the arts through the Heian and Muromachi periods, their aesthetic tastes playing a great role in Japanese art history. Literature works such as waka poems and other calligraphy written by courtiers, and e-maki narrative picture scrolls are displayed in this room with decorative art objects.

Current exhibit includes:
Illustrated Scroll of Legends about Hachiman Dai Bosatsu (Great Bodhisattva Hachiman), Nanbokucho period, 14th century
Narrative Picture Scroll of Stories about Kan Josho (Sugawara no Michizane), Muromachi period, 16th century (Private collection)
Poem on the Hanshu (History of the Han), By Emperor Fushimi, Kamakura period, 13th - 14th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Reitoin, Kyoto)
Poem, By Sanjonishi Sanetaka, Muromachi period, dated 1510
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  February 7, 2017 (Tue) - March 20, 2017 (Mon)

This gallery features works by famous artists of the landscape-painting genre, along with famous works of bokuseki (calligraphy by Zen priests).

Current exhibit includes:
Calligraphy in Three Large Characters, By Sekishitsu Zenkyu, Nanbokucho period, 1386
Poets Playing Go and Viewing Waterfall, Attributed to Kano Motonobu, Muromachi period, 16th century (Important Art Object, Gift of Mrs. Masuoka Tsuma)

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 (on exhibit through February 5, 2017)
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)
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  February 7, 2017 (Tue) - March 20, 2017 (Mon)

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

Current exhibit includes:
Figures in Landscape, By Goshun, Edo period, 18th century (Gift of Ms. Uematsu Kayoko)

The Arts of Daily Life: Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period
Room 8  January 31, 2017 (Tue) - April 16, 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:
Tea Caddy, Weeping cherry design in maki-e lacquer, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)
Yogi Bedspread, Mandarin orange and plum design on yellowish-green crepe ground, Edo period, 19th century (On exhibit through February 2, 2017)
Garment for Naishi no Suke Rank, Edo period, 19th century (On exhibit from February 28, 2017)
Furisode (Garment with long sleeves), Pine, maple, peony, stream, and peacock design on yellowish-green crepe ground, Edo period, 19th century (On exhibit from April 18, 2017)
Sake Ewer in Shape of Gourd, By Funada Ikkin, Edo period, dated 1843
Bowl in Shape of Cracked Japanese Peppercorn, White opaque glaze, Agano ware, Edo period, 17th century (Private collection)
Sake Flask, Bamboo design in overglaze enamel, Kyoto ware, Edo period, 17th - 18th century
Lobed Bowl, Cherry blossom and maple tree design in overglaze enamel, By Nin'nami Dohachi, Edo period, 19th century

Developments in Painting and Calligraphy: Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period
Room 8  February 7, 2017 (Tue) - March 20, 2017 (Mon)

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

Current exhibit includes:
Zhou Maoshu and Lin Hejing, By Kano Tan'yu, Edo period, 17th century
Documents Preserved by the Kosokabe Family, Volume 3,
Kamakura to Edo period, 13th - 17th century (Gift of Mr. Kousokabe Jun)

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)
(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 31, 2017 (Tue) - February 26, 2017 (Sun)

Ukiyo-e, which portray the daily lives of townspeople during the Edo period (1603–1868), were comprised solely of hand-painted works by the artists until multicolored woodblock prints became mass produced. This exhibit, by a mixture of prints and paintings, introduces works related to the deification and worship toward Sugawara no Michizane, whose memorial is in February, along with pine, snow, and other seasonal themes related to the month.

Current exhibit includes:
Beauty and Manservant in the Snow, By Eishosai Choki, Edo period, 18th century (Important Art Object)
Crossing the Ice on Suwa Lake in Shinshu Province,
By Katsushika Hokusai, Edo period, 19th century (Important Art Object)
Visiting Inari Shrine,
By Utagawa Toyoharu, Edo period, dated 1795
Dazaifu Tenmangu Shine, Chikushi Province,
By Kikukawa Eizan, 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)
(Outer garment), Design of boxes for shell-game pieces on white figured satin ground, Edo period, 18th century
(Garment with long sleeves), Bamboo blind and cypress fan design on dark blue plain-weave silk, Edo-Meiji period, 19th century (Private collection)
(Medicine case), Chicken design in maki-e lacquer, Edo period, 19th century

2nd floor

Netsuke: The Prince Takamado Collection
The Prince Takamado Collection Room  January 31, 2017 (Tue) - April 23, 2017 (Sun)

Nine-Tailed Fox, Bishu Saito, 1986
Begining and End,
By Kiho Takagi, 1995
Wind Shines,
By Kozan Fukuyama, 1994
By Yako (Akemi) Ota, 1997
Lovelorn Ghost,
By Michael Birch, Dated 1976

Room T1 & T2  January 31, 2017 (Tue) - March 26, 2017 (Sun)

In the 14th century, for example, what would later be called the Kanze, Hosho, Konparu, and Kongo troupes performed at Kasuga Shrine and Kofukuji Temple. To this day, the lead roles in Noh plays are performed by actors from these troupes, with the Konparu boasting the longest history. In the 15th century, Konparu Zenchiku, an actor from this troupe, became the son-in-law of Zeami, who is credited with perfecting Noh theater. Consequently, Zenchiku inherited Zeami’s books of secret Noh teachings. Thereafter, around the late 16th century, Konparu Yasuteru received the patronage of the warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi, bringing the Konparu troupe to a peak of popularity. However, the troupe subsequently began to lose its vitality, and during a time of upheaval in the late 19th century, many of its masks and costumes were sold and became scattered throughout Japan. However, one private group, the Teirakusha in Nara, aided the troupe by purchasing many of its objects and allowing the troupe to continue to use them. After the Second World War, 47 Noh masks and 196 costumes in the group’s possession became part of the Tokyo National Museum collection.
This thematic exhibition is the very first to bring together exceptional masks and costumes of the Konparu troupe. We invite visitors to enjoy this collection, which is prized for its significance in the history of Noh theater.

Current exhibit includes:
Noh Mask, Sankojo type, With inscription “Sanko”, Formerly owned by the Konparu troupe, Muromachi period, 15th - 16th century (Important Cultural Property, On exhibit through February 12, 2017)
Noh Mask, Okina type, Formerly owned by the Konparu troupe, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property)
Noh Mask, Chorei beshimi type, With inscription “Kihinokensei”, Formerly owned by the Konparu troupe, Muromachi period, 15th - 16th century (Important Cultural Property)
(Noh costume), Shikishi paper and grape design on purple ground, Formerly owned by the Konparu troupe, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century (Important Cultural Property)
(Noh costume), Design of paulownia, phoenix, reed, cherry blossom, and snow-covered bamboo at shoulders and hem on white ground, Formerly owned by the Konparu troupe, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century (Important Cultural Property)
(Noh costume), Chrysanthemum, reed, and waterfowl design on red and white checkered ground, Formerly owned by the Konparu troupe, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century (Important Cultural Property)
Noh Mask, Shakumi type, With branded mark “Tenkaichi Zekan”, Formerly owned by the Konparu troupe, Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period, 16th - 17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Noh Mask, Ko'omote
type, Formerly owned by the Konparu troupe, Muromachi period, 15th - 16th century (Important Cultural Property)
(Noh costume), Snow-covered willow and fan design at shoulders and skirt on white ground, Formerly owned by the Konparu troupe, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century (Important Cultural Property)
(Noh costume), Poem design on red and gold katamigawari (color differing in halves) ground, Formerly owned by the Konparu troupe, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)

1st floor

Japanese Sculpture
Room 11  February 7, 2017 (Tue) - April 16, 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:
Standing Nitenno (Two Heavenly Kings), Right statue, Heian period, 11th - 12th century (Lent by Yofukuji, Tokyo)
Standing Komoku Ten (Virupaksa),
Heian period, 9th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Shojoji, Fukushima)
Standing Bishamon Ten (Vaisravana),
Heian period, 9th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Dojoji, Wakayama)

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  February 7, 2017 (Tue) - April 23, 2017 (Sun)

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

Current exhibit includes:
Wakizashi Sword, By Tadahiro, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Robert Burawoy)
Sword, By Yasusada, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Robert Burawoy)

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  February 21, 2017 (Tue) - April 16, 2017 (Sun)

In Japan, the third day of the third month is the “Peach Blossom Festival,” the time to display hina dolls. The history of these dolls goes back to ancient times when people purified themselves by transferring “defilements” and “wrongdoings” to dolls, and also to the Heian period (794–1192), when aristocrats used dolls as protective charms for their children. From the first half of the 17th century, special made-to-order sitting dolls in silk clothes were created for the imperial court, a practice that later spread to the warrior class and the townspeople. Dolls with costumes of ample silk and gold brocade were also created for wealthy townspeople. In order to trace this rich history, a variety of dolls is on display, including isho ningyo, which depict the people of the Edo period with different garments. We hope that this exhibition will convey the delicacy, beauty, and charm of Japanese aesthetics.

Current exhibit includes:
Mechanical Dolls on Platform,  By Myogaya Han'emon and Kawai Tanigoro Masazane, Edo period, dated 1713
Hina Dolls, Kyoho type, Edo period, 18th century
Standing Hina Dolls, With Jirozaemon-type heads, Edo period, 18th - 19th century
Costumed Doll, Kichiya (Kabuki actor), Edo period, 18th century
Uizan Dolls, Meiji era, 19th century (Gift of Ms. Akagi Yasuko)

Records of History: Natural History Paintings
Room 15  February 21, 2017 (Tue) - April 16, 2017 (Sun)

Current exhibit includes:
Illustrated Guide to Imported Plants 1, 2, By Baba Daisuke, Edo period, dated 1855
Museum Album of Fishes, Volume 11,
Kurimoto Tanshu, Takahashi Yuichi et al., Edo period - Meiji era, 19th century
"Ryokuiken" Natural History Album of Animals, Volumes 1, 3
, Edo period, 19th century

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)
Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of the Ogura Foundation)
Tobacco Case,
Sakhalin Ainu, 19th century
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  January 24, 2017 (Tue) - March 5, 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:
Plum Trees, By Yokoyama Taikan Paintings for the interior of the former residence of Kuninomiya imperial family, Dated 1926 (Private collection)
Landscape of Grez-sur-Loing,
By Asai Chu, Dated 1901 (Gift of Mr. Takano Tokiji)
Buck and Doe,
By Morikawa Toen, Dated 1892 (Gift of Japan Delegate Office for World's Columbian Exposition)
Sacred Deer,
By Takenouchi Kyuichi, Dated 1912 (Gift of the artist)
Style Sword Mounting, Dragon and cloud design in maki-e lacquer on nashiji lacquer ground, Metal fittings by Kano Natsuo, Dated 1873
Plaque, Monkeys and mantis design in relief,
By Kagawa Katsuhiro, Dated 1892 (Gift of Japan Delegate Office for World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago)
Footed Bowl With applied crabs and brown glaze,
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 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.