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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.

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  May 29, 2018 (Tue) - July 1, 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 Buddha, The Horyuji Treasures, Asuka period, 7th century
Bussetsu hou kyo Sutra Votive sutra of Empress Komyo; known as the ‟Sutra of the first day of the fifth month”, Nara period, dated 740

  
Room 2  June 5, 2018 (Tue) - July 8, 2018 (Sun)

Wakatai jisshu is a treatise on poetry which is said to have been written by Mibu no Tadamine, a poet who was active around the 10th century, during the mid-Heian period. It discusses waka poems by categorizing them into ten styles according to the norm in China. For each style, five example poems were provided, accompanied by short explanations in Chinese. The work on display is the oldest extant copy of this treatise. Its highlight is the splendid harmony created by the elegant kanji and kana characters written on the decorated paper featuring a tobikumo, or “flying cloud,” pattern in indigo and purple.

  
Buddhist Art: Heian–Muromachi period
Room 3  May 29, 2018 (Tue) - July 1, 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 Jizo Bosatsu (Ksitigarbha), Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Joruriji, Kyoto)
Amida Nyorai (Amitabha),
Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Hoshinji, Kanagawa)
Hannya Bosatsu (Prajnaparamita),
Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)
Xuanzang Sancang,
Kamakura period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property)
The Sixteen Benign Deities at the Sutra Repository of Jurin'in Temple,
Meiji Period, 20th century
Illustrated Gleanings of an Ancient and Virtuous Monk, Vol. 4,
Kamakura period, dated 1323 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Jofukuji, Ibaraki)
Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra, Vol. 9, Kasuga printed version,
Kamakura period, 13th century (Gift of Mr. Naito Gyoho)
Miracles in the Life of Dogen,
Attributed to Koun Ejo (1198-1280), Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Art Object)

  
Courtly Art: Heian–Muromachi period
Room 3  May 29, 2018 (Tue) - July 1, 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:
Narrative Picture Scroll of Gosannen Civil War, Vol. 2, By Hidanokami Korehisa, Nanbokucho period, dated 1347 (mportant Cultural Property)
Poem on
Shikishi Paper Known as “Tsugi shikishi”, Attributed to Ono no Tofu, Heian period, 10th–11th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by the Agency for Cultural Affairs)

  
Zen and Ink Painting: Kamakura–Muromachi period
Room 3  May 29, 2018 (Tue) - July 1, 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:
Portrait of Monk Bukkoku Kokushi (Koho Kennichi), Inscription by the monk, Kamakura period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Unganji, Tochigi)
Buddhist Writing Recited in Ceremony while Burning Incense,
By Issan Ichinei, Kamakura period, dated 1303 (Lent by Nanzenji, Kyoto)

  
The Art of Tea Ceremony
Room 4  June 19, 2018 (Tue) - September 9, 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:
Flower Vase in Shape of Jade Cong, Celadon glaze, Guan ware, ChinaPassed down by the Owari Tokugawa family, Southern Song dynasty, 12th–13th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)
Water Jar, Fishing net design, Mino ware, shino type, Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period, 16th–17th century (Private collection)
Letter, By Sen no Rikyu, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century (Gift of Mr. Matsunaga Yasuzaemon)
Tea Bowl, Horimishima type; known as "Kimura", Joseon dynasty, 16th–17th century (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)
Hexagonal Dish with Handles, Carriage and figure design in underglaze blue, Jingdezhen ware, China; kosometsuke type, Ming dynasty, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)

  
Attire of the Military Elite: Heian–Edo period
Room 5 & 6  May 8, 2018 (Tue) - July 16, 2018 (Mon)

Beginning with the sword which is the most important possession of a samurai, this gallery focuses on arms and armor, saddlery, attire of the warriors as well as their portraits and hand-writings.

Current exhibit includes:
Domaru Type Armor, With black leather lacing and white lacing on top, omodaka style, ridged helmet, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property)
Tanto Sword, By Tsugunao, Nanbokucho period, dated 1358 (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Watanabe Seiichiro)
Aikuchi Style Sword Mounting, With black-lacquered scabbard, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Watanabe Seiichiro)
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, 18th century

  
Folding Screens and Sliding Door Paintings: Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period
Room 7  May 29, 2018 (Tue) - July 1, 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:
The Carriage Struggle, By Kano Sanraku, Edo period, dated 1604 (Important Cultural Property)
King Wen Lushang and the Hermits at Mt. Shang,
By Kano Sanraku, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Myoshinji, Kyoto)
Teikanzu (Didactic illustrations for emperors), By Kano Sanraku, Edo period, 17th century

  
The Arts of Daily Life: Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period
Room 8  May 8, 2018 (Tue) - July 22, 2018 (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, Design of gabions and plovers in maki-e lacquer, Edo period, 18th century (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)
Kosode (Garment with small wrist openings), Carp, waterfall, and flowering plant design on divided purple and pale blue chirimen crepe ground, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mrs. Henry)
Katabira (Unlined summer garment), Design of paulownias and characters from the Kimigayo poem on a light blue ramie ground, Edo period, 19th century
Nail Covers, Design of narcissuses in cloisonné,
Edo period, 17th–18th century
Large Dish, Peony arabesque design in overglaze enamel,
Imari ware, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Yamanaka Sadajiro)
Large Dish, Watermill design in underglaze blue, partly with celadon glaze,
Nabeshima ware, Edo period, 17th–18th century (Private collection)

  
Developments in Painting and Calligraphy: Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period
Room 8  June 5, 2018 (Tue) - July 1, 2018 (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:
Great Confucian Masters and Sages: Confucius, By Kano Sansetsu, Inscription by Kim Seryeom, Edo period, dated 1632
Album of Poetry Contest between the New Thirty-six Immortal Poets, By Kano Eino, Edo period, 17th century
Illustrated Legend of the Origin of Kajuji Temple, By Kano Sanboku Ryoji, Edo period, 17th century (Lent by Kajuji, Kyoto)
Letter , By Kobori Enshu, Edo period, 17th century

  
Noh and Kabuki: Masks and Costumes in the Noh Play Benkei on the Bridge
Room 9  June 19, 2018 (Tue) - August 19, 2018 (Sun)

The Noh play Benkei on the Bridge is based on the legendary encounter between the young warrior Ushiwaka and the fighting monk Benkei. As the title suggests, this encounter takes place on a bridge, and ensues in a duel in which Benkei is subdued. In the first act, the actor portraying Benkei wears a beshimi mask, characterized by its strong, rough-hewn features, together with a mizugoromo robe and a kakuboshi cap. This costume is typical for monk characters in Noh theater. In act two, Benkei wears a happi garment, which represents armor. Ushiwaka appears for the first time in this act, and wears a beautiful furisode robe with long sleeves, which serves to reflect his young age. These costumes contrast the vigor of Benkei with the elegance of Ushiwaka.

Current exhibit includes:
Happi (Noh costume), Design of clouds and dharma wheels on a dark blue ground, Edo period, 19th century (Lent by the Agency for Cultural Affairs)
Hangire (Noh costume), Design of undulating stripes, tomoe comma shapes, and hammer wheels on a red ground, Edo period, 18th century
Atsuita (Noh costume), Design of clematis arabesques on a red and white checkered ground, Edo period, 18th century

  
Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Ukiyo-e
Room 10  June 5, 2018 (Tue) - July 1, 2018 (Sun)

The artistic genre of ukiyo-e originated and flourished in the Edo period (1603–1868), focusing its attention on the common people and their leisure activities and interests. Early ukiyo-e was all painted by hand. Later, ukiyo-e prints began to be mass-produced using woodblocks, while subsequent advances in woodblock carving and printing led to the creation of multicolor prints called nishiki-e, or “brocade pictures,” so called because of their vibrant combinations of pigments. The current exhibition includes benizuri-e, which are woodblock prints with soft coloring that appeared before nishiki-e. It also features nishiki-e prints and hand-painted ukiyo-e that draw on the seasonal themes of early summer, such as irises, sudden showers, and the Sannou festival.

Current exhibit includes:
Allusion to the Grasscutter Sanro, By Ishikawa Toyonobu, Edo period, 18th century
One Hundred Famous Places of Edo: Komagatado Temple and Azumabashi Bridge, By Utagawa Hiroshige, Edo period, dated 1857
Geisha with a Shamisen, By Kitagawa Hidemaru, Edo period, 19th century

  
Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Fashion
Room 10  June 19, 2018 (Tue) - August 19, 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:
Katabira (Unlined summer garment), Design of flowing water and autumn leaves on a black plain-weave ramie ground, Edo period, 18th century
Katabira (Unlined summer garment), Design of bush clovers and [sho] panpipes on a white ramie ground, Edo period, 19th century
Inro (Medicine case), Design of fireflies in [maki-e] lacquer, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Quincy A. Shaw)
 

2nd floor

  
Netsuke: The Prince Takamado Collection
The Prince Takamado Collection Room  April 24, 2018 (Tue) - July 22, 2018 (Sun)

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

  
Room T1  May 8, 2018 (Tue) - July 1, 2018 (Sun)

Segments of calligraphy known as the “Koya gire” constitute the oldest extant transcriptions of the Kokin waka shu poetry anthology. These segments are considered masterpieces of calligraphy, the elegance of which is unrivaled in the history of Japan, and they are the models on which today’s hiragana characters are based. This exhibition introduces the Koya-gire segments, other works by the same calligraphers, works similar to these segments, and other hiragana calligraphy from around the same time.

Current exhibit includes:
Detached Segment of Wakatai jisshu (Treatise on poetry), Heian period, 11th century (National Treasure)
Record of the Poetry Contest at the Palace of the Empress in the Kampyo Era,
Attributed to Imperial Prince Munetaka, Heian period, 11th century (National Treasure)
Detached Segment of
Kokin waka shu Poetry Anthology, Vol. 19 Known as “Koya gire”, Attributed to Ki no Tsurayuki, Heian period, 11th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mrs. Morita Chikuka)
Man'yo shu Poetry Anthology, Genryaku Version, Vol. 1 Known as ”Furukawa bon”, Heian period, 11th century (National Treasure)
Man'yo shu Poetry Anthology, Genryaku Version, Vol. 2 Known as ”Furukawa bon”, Heian period, 11th century (National Treasure)
Album of Exemplary Calligraphy Known as ”Getsudai”,
Nara–Kamakura period, 8th–14th century (Important Cultural Property)

1st floor

  
Japanese Sculpture
Room 11  May 8, 2018 (Tue) - July 22, 2018 (Sun)

the Heian and Kamakura periods, the zenith of Japanese sculpture.

Current exhibit includes:
Standing Kichijo Ten (Mahasri), Formerly passed down at Omiya Jinja, Kameoka-shi, Kyoto, Heian period, 10th century
Standing Bishamon, ten (Vaisravana), Heian period, 9th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Dojoji, Wakayama)

  
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  May 22, 2018 (Tue) - June 24, 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)
Squat Flower Vase,
Shigaraki ware, Muromachi period, 16th century (Private collection)
Shallow Bow, lThree-color glaze with melon design,
Studio of Chojiro, Raku ware, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century
Bowl, Wagtail design,
Mino ware, Nezumi-shino type, Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period, 16th-17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Set of
Mukozuke Dishes, Figure design in overglaze enamel and gold, By Eiraku Zengoro, Edo period-Meiji era, 19th century (Private collection)
Large Dish, Flower and bird design in overglaze enamel,
Imari ware, Edo period, 17th century (Lent by the OKURA MUSEUM OF ART, Tokyo)
Large Bowl, Landscape design in underglaze blue,
Imari ware, Edo period, 17th century

  
Room 14  April 24, 2018 (Tue) - June 24, 2018 (Sun)

This exhibition features Japanese-style tea bowls for use in the tea ceremony.
Visitors are invited to appreciate the charm of Japanese-style tea bowls from some of the most prominent kilns that added uniqueness to the tea ceremony.

  
Room 15  May 15, 2018 (Tue) - July 8, 2018 (Sun)

Mori Rintaro (Ogai) was one of the leading writers of modern Japan, and also worked as a doctor of medicine and held an important positon in the army. His last official position was, however, the General Director of the Tokyo Imperial Household Museum, the forerunner of the Tokyo National Museum (TNM). Recent research conducted by TNM has revealed that the Museum archives and collections include a considerable number of Ogai’s autograph manuscripts. This exhibition shows a large number of such materials and reveals Ogai’s approach to his work.
 

  
Life in Ryukyu
Room 16  May 22, 2018 (Tue) - August 5, 2018 (Sun)

Tokyo National Museum’s collection of materials from Ryukyu (present-day Okinawa) comprises mainly objects purchased by the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce from Okinawa prefecture in 1884. In addition to these, special mention should be made of the donated materials related to the noro (female shamans) of Yamato-mura on Amami Oshima island in Kagoshima prefecture. These materials are all significant for the study of Ryukyu culture.

Current exhibit includes:
Covered Food Tray, Landscape, pavilion, and figure design in haku-e lacquer (gold leaf imprint), Ryukyu, Second Sho dynasty, Ryukyu kingdom, 19th century (On exhibit through June 24, 2018)
Ritual Fan,
Amami Oshima Island, Second Sho dynasty, Ryukyu kingdom, 19th century (Gift of Ms. Yamato Ryoko, On exhibit through June 24, 2018)
Hair Ornament for
Noro (Female shaman), Amami Oshima Island, Second Sho dynasty, Ryukyu kingdom, 18th century (Gift of Ms. Yamato Ryoko)
Headwear for Prince,
Ryukyu, Second Sho dynasty, Ryukyu kingdom, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Higa Kamato, On exhibit from June 26, 2018)
Dogin (Outer garment), Screen, cypress fan, wisteria, and clematis flower design in yuzen dyeing on light blue plain weave silk ground, Amami Oshima Island, Second Sho dynasty, Ryukyu kingdom, 19th century (Gift of Ms. Yamato Ryoko, On exhibit from June 26, 2018)
Garment in
Bingata Stencil Dyeing, Stream, flowering plant, and shellfish design on white cotton ground, Ryukyu, Second Sho dynasty, Ryukyu kingdom, 19th century (On exhibit through June 24, 2018)

  
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  June 19, 2018 (Tue) - September 9, 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:
Yumedono Hall, By Yasuda Yukihiko, Dated 1912
Master Goryu, By Yokoyama Taikan, Dated 1912
Seashore Village (Houses with white plaster walls), By Nakamura Tsune, Dated 1910
Eagle, By Suzuki Chokichi, Dated 1892 (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Japan Delegate Office for World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago)

  
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.