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Honkan

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

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2nd floor "Highlights of Japanese Art"

  
The Dawn of Japanese Art: Jomon, Yayoi and Kofun periods
Room 1  June 17, 2014 (Tue) - December 7, 2014 (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:
Dogu (Clay figurine), With heart-shaped face, From Gobara, Higashi Agatsuma-machi, Gunma, Jomon period, 2000 - 1000 BC (Important Cultural Property, Private collection)
Dotaku (Bell-shaped bronze), Kinki-region style, From Mukaiyama, Ibaraki, Hidaka-cho, Wakayama, Yayoi period, 1st - 3rd century
Haniwa (Terracotta tomb figurine), Man in full dress, From Yotsuzuka tumulus, Ota-shi, Gunma, Kofun period, 6th century
Four-legged Vessel, Jasper, From Oyagatani tumulus, Tarui-cho, Gifu, Kofun period, 4th - 5th century

  
The Rise of Buddhism: Asuka - Nara period
Room 1  September 2, 2014 (Tue) - October 13, 2014 (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:
Daichido kyo (Buddhist sutra), Vol.75, From the Ishiyamadera issai kyo, Nara period, dated 734 (Lent by Enpukuji, Chiba)
Eight Nested Bowls, Horyuji Treasures, Nara period, 8th century (Important Cultural Property)

  
Room 2  August 5, 2014 (Tue) - September 15, 2014 (Mon)

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:
Imaginary Tour through Xiaoxiang, By Li, Southern Song dynasty, 12th century (National Treasure)

  
Buddhist Art: Heian - Muromachi period
Room 3  September 2, 2014 (Tue) - October 13, 2014 (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:
Shakyamuni Triad with Ten Raksasis (Rasetsunyo), Nanbokucho period, 14th century
Confucius, By Eiga, Muromachi period, 15th century
Record of the Monk Xuanzang's Journey to India, Vol.4, From the Chusonji Kyo, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property)
Diary of the Monk Sonkai's Overseas Travel, By Sonkai, Muromachi period, dated 1539 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Daiganji, Hiroshima)
Incense Burner with Handle With weight at end of handle, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kongoji, Osaka)

  
Courtly Art: Heian - Muromachi period
Room 3  September 2, 2014 (Tue) - October 13, 2014 (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 the Origin of Kiyomizu‐dera Temple, Second of Three Volumes, Illustrated by Tosa Mitsunobu; text by Sanjo Saneka, Kanroji Motonaga and others, Muromachi period, dated 1517 (Important Cultural Property)
Record of Kokin denju (Transmission of teachings regarding the Kokin wakashu poetry anthology), By Iio Sogi, Muromachi period, 15th century

  
Zen and Ink Painting: Kamakura - Muromachi period
Room 3  September 2, 2014 (Tue) - October 13, 2014 (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:
Nom de Plume "Korin" Given to a Pupil, By Tetto Giko, Nanbokucho period, 14th century
The Taoist Immortals Xiama (Gama) and Tieguai (Tekkai), By Sesson Shukei, Muromachi period, 16th century

  
The Art of Tea Ceremony
Room 4  August 5, 2014 (Tue) - October 26, 2014 (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:
Black Raku Square Tea Bowl,Known as "Shoun", By Ichinyu; Raku ware, Kuroraku type, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)
Tea Caddy in Bunrin (Apple) Shape,Known as "Mochizuki"; with black glaze, Satsuma ware, Edo period, 18th century (Gift of Mr. Matsunaga Yasuzaemon)
Poem on Shikishi Paper, Attributed to Ono no Tofu, Heian period, 11th century (Important Cultural Property)

  
Attire of the Military Elite: Heian - Edo period
Room 5 & 6  September 2, 2014 (Tue) - November 24, 2014 (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:
Itomaki-no-tachi Style Sword Mounting Black leather-bound scabbard and gold fittings with paulownia design, Muromachi period, 15th century(Important Cultural Property)
Tachi Sword, By Sukezane, Kamakura period, 13th century (National Treasure)
Uchigatana Style Sword Mounting (For tachi sword by Sukezane), Hollyhock crests design in maki-e lacquer and mother of pearl inlay on ikakeji lacquer ground, Edo period, 19th century
Haramaki Type Armor, With black leather lacing in katasusodori style, Muromachi period, 16th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Hinomisaki-jinja, Shimane)

  
Folding Screens and Sliding Door Paintings: Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period
Room 7  August 5, 2014 (Tue) - September 15, 2014 (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:
Landscape, By Goshun, Edo period, 18th century (Important Art Object, Gift of Mr. Yoshikawa Kan)

  
The Arts of Daily Life: Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period
Room 8  September 2, 2014 (Tue) - November 24, 2014 (Mon)

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:
Sumiaka Tebako (Red Cornered Cosmetic Box), Chrysanthemums and Paulownia crests design in maki-e lacquer, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Koshimaki (Summer garment), Plum, camellia, interlocking tortoise-shell hexagon and floral lozenge design on reddish-black plain-weave ground with glossed weft, Worn by Teikyo-in (Tanehime Satoko), the wife of Tokugawa Harutomi, the 10th head of the Kishu Tokugawa family, Edo period, 18th century
Uchikake (Outer garment), Wisteria, chrysanthemum, peony and interlocking circle design on white figured satin ground, Edo period, 19th century (on exhibit from September 30, 2014)
Flower Cart Ornament, Edo period, 19th century
Bowl, Cherry blossom and maple design in overglaze enamel, By Ninnami Dohachi, Edo period, 19th century (Important Art Object, Private collection)

  
Developments in Painting and Calligraphy: Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period
Room 8  August 5, 2014 (Tue) - September 15, 2014 (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:
Hama and Tieguai, By Soga Shohaku, Edo period, 18th century
Waka Poems in Ten Styles, By Prince Taruhito, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Matsudaira Naoaki)

  
Noh and Kabuki: Kyogen Masks and Costumes
Room 9  August 5, 2014 (Tue) - September 28, 2014 (Sun)

Kyogen - classical comic performance - takes everyday life of the Muromachi period (1392-1573) as its setting. It humorously depicts and satirizes human relations as well as interactions between humans and gods (and natural phenomenon). At this exhibition, we invite visitors to view the masks and costumes used in Kyogen while imagining the lively exchanges between the actors who wore them.
Current exhibit includes:
Kyogen Mask, Ebisu (God of commerce) type, Formerly owned by the Konparu Troupe, Nara, Edo period, 17th - 18th century (Important Cultural Property)
Kataginu Sleeveless Jacket (Kyogen costume), Wave, rabbit, peony, arabesque, sandbank, and bamboo design on black ramie ground, Edo period, 19th century

  
Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Ukiyo-e
Room 10  September 2, 2014 (Tue) - September 28, 2014 (Sun)

This exhibition features works by Kitagawa Utamaro (1753?-1806), a skilled ukiyo-e artist renowned for his portrayal of Japanese beauties. Utamaro began his career receiving commissions related to comic kyoka poems, a highly popular form of literary art at the time, such as illustrations for printed books. Later, he gradually established his own artistic style in pursuit of depicting feminine beauty, which is amply shown through the works selected for this exhibition. The works on exhibit consist of prints created in the Tenmei era (1781-1789), during which Utamaro was developing his style, and in the Kansei era (1789-1801), a period when his artistic achievement was at its peak, as well as one of his paintings.

Current exhibit includes:
Standing Beauty, By Kitagawa Utamaro, Edo period, 18th century (Important Art Object, Private collection)
Elegant Pleasures: The Scent of Flowers; Bush Clover Viewers, By Kitagawa Utamaro, Edo period, 18th century
Female Performers at the Niwaka Festival in the Pleasure District: Ogiebushi Shingers Oiyo and Takeji in Omando Ceremony Costume, By Kitagawa Utamaro
Women at Various Hours of the Day: Hour of Monkey (Four o'clock p.m.), By Kitagawa Utamaro, Edo period, 18th century (Important Cultural Property)

  
Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Fashion
Room 10  August 5, 2014 (Tue) - September 28, 2014 (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)Hollyhocks, rafts, and fishing nets design on white ramie ground, Edo period, 18th century
Katabira (Unlined summer garment)Landscape with caps and drums usded in bugaku (imperial court dance) and curtains design on white ramie ground, Edo period, 19th century
Inro (Medicine case), Scene from the Noh play Kikujido design in maki-e lacquer, Meiji era, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Quincy A. Shaw)

2nd floor

  
Netsuke: The Prince Takamado Collection
Netsuke: The Prince Takamado Collection  September 2, 2014 (Tue) - November 24, 2014 (Mon)

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,1976

1st floor Special Exhibition

  
Room T5  September 20, 2014 (Sat) - November 24, 2014 (Mon)

This is the first time a joint exhibition will be held by national museums of Japan, China and Korea. The exhibition displays world-renowned ceramic masterpieces from the collections of the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of China and the National Museum of Korea.

1st floor

  
Buddhist Art: Heian - Muromachi period
Room 11  September 2, 2014 (Tue) - November 24, 2014 (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:
Seated Juichimen Kannon Bosatsu (Ekadasamukha), Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Komatsuji, Chiba)
Standing Zao Gongen, Kamakura Period, 12th - 13th century
Seated Amida Nyorai (Amitabha) and Two Attendants, Heian period, dated 1176 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Saikoin, Saitama)

  
Lacquerware
Room 12  August 19, 2014 (Tue) - November 16, 2014 (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:
Tebako (Cosmetic box), Cart wheels in stream design in mother of pearl inlay, Kamakura period, 13th century (National Treasure)
Lamp Stand, Hosoge flower design in mother of pearl inlay and Heijin maki-e lacquer, Heian period, 12th century (National Treasure, Lent by Daichojuin, Iwate)
Sanne-bako (Box for priest's garments), Hare's foot fern and arrowroot design in maki-e lacquer and mother of pearl inlay, Donated to temple in Nanbokucho period, 1342 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kongobuji, Wakayama)
Tebako (Cosmetic box), Scattered fan design in maki-e lacquer, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property)

  
Metalwork: Ornamentation in Buddhism
Room 13  August 19, 2014 (Tue) - November 9, 2014 (Sun)

In Buddhism, sculptures of deities and sacred spaces such as the interiors of temples are solemnly decorated. This exhibition features objects that were created for this purpose such as ornamental containers for Buddhist relics as well as ornaments for esoteric Buddhist altars and the interiors of Buddhist halls, including metal banners and pendants. Through these ornamental objects, visitors will be exposed to the various artistic possibilities of metalworking techniques such as casting, carving, and hammering.

Current exhibit includes:
Keman (Pendent ornament), Lotus flower design, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kongorinji, Shiga)
Ban (Buddhist ornamental banners), With beaded decorations, Muromachi period, dated 1485 and 1492
Mandalas of the Two Realms (Ryokai Mandara), Kamakura period, dated 1194 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Tokumanji, Ibaraki)

  
Japanese Swords
Room 13  August 26, 2014 (Tue) - November 16, 2014 (Sun)

Exhibits selected swords and sword-fittings from the Heian to Edo periods, including the Tanto Sword, known as "Atsushi-Tosiro".
Current exhibit includes:
Tanto Sword, Known as "Atsushi-Toshiro", By Yoshimitsu, Kamakura period, 13th century (National Treasure)
Tachi Sword, Known as "Imaaranami", By Ichimonji School, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)
Katana Sword, Known as "Kiriha Sadamune", By Sadamune, Nanbokucho period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Watanabe Seiichiro)

  
Ceramics
Room 13  August 26, 2014 (Tue) - November 16, 2014 (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:
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)
Tea Bowl, Moon and mantis design in overglaze enamels, By Eiraku Hozen, Edo period, 19th century
Large Dish with Foliate Rim, Phoenix design in overglaze enamels, Imari ware, Kokutani gosai-de type, Edo period, 17th century (Important Art Object, Gift of Ms. Yamamoto Tomiko and Mr. Yamamoto Kenji)
 

  
Room 14  September 2, 2014 (Tue) - November 3, 2014 (Mon)

As the trend for Orientalism permeated the upper classes in Europe, Japanese lacquerware became extremely popular. To these Europeans, it was a decorative furnishing symbolic of East Asia. In response, lacquerware of new shapes and designs, suited to the lifestyles and preferences of Europeans, and quite different from that traditionally used in Japan, was produced.

Current exhibit includes:
Jewel Box, Landscape with pavilion design in maki-e lacquer, Edo period, 17th century
Folding Chair, Westerner design in maki-e lacquer, Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period, 16th - 17th century (Important Cultural Property, Zuikoh-Ji, Kyoto)
Christian Shrine, Flower, tree, bird and animal design in maki-e lacquer and mother of pearl inlay, Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period, 16th - 17th century (Important Cultural Property)

  
Records of History
Room 15  September 2, 2014 (Tue) - October 26, 2014 (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 room mainly displays a wide range of historical materials. These include illustrated catalogues created for natural history research-a field of study that flourished in the Edo period (1603-1868)-old maps produced in the Edo period and Meiji era (1868-1912), as well as illustrations and documents on diverse subjects such as the practices of the imperial court and warrior families, annual events, customs, Japanese literature, and medicine. In addition, there is a vast collection of old photographs from the end of the Edo period and Meiji era onward. Some of these photographs are introduced in this exhibition room to show aspects of former times, such as exhibitions, sceneries, people and cultural properties.
Current exhibit includes:
Jinshin Survey Catalogue of Valuable Objects at Temples and Shrines, By Machida Hisanari, Uchida Masao, Ninagawa Noritane, and others, Dated 1872 (Important Cultural Property)
Illustrated Map of the Mino Route, Nagoya, Kiyosu and Inaba, Edo period, 18th - 19th century (Important Cultural Property)
Shishinden Hall, Kyoto Imperial Palace, Photographed during the 1872 survey, By Yokoyama Matsusaburo, Dated 1872 (Important Cultural Property)

  
Ainu and Ryukyu: Decorative Arts of Ryukyu
Room 16  July 8, 2014 (Tue) - September 28, 2014 (Sun)

This display features examples of decorative art from Ryukyu, including metalwork, colorful textiles, ceramics showing various influences, lacquerware showing Chinese influences, and jade objects.
Current exhibit includes:
Covered Food Box, Figure under tree design in mother-of-pearl inlay and in chinkin (gilded hair-line engraving), Okinawa Main Island, Second Sho Dynasty, Ryukyu Kingdom, 18th century
Covered Food Box, Figure under tree design in mother-of-pearl inlay and in chinkin (gilded hair-line engraving), Okinawa Main Island, Second Sho Dynasty, Ryukyu Kingdom, 18th century (On exhibit through August 17, 2014)
Tea Set, Tin hot water jar with brass handle, Okinawa Main Island, Second Sho Dynasty, Ryukyu Kingdom, 19th century (On exhibit from August 19, 2014)
Ritual Bead Necklace, Amami Oshima Island, Second Sho Dynasty, Ryukyu Kingdom, 19th century (Gift of Ms. Yamato Ryoko)
Hair Ornament for an Amushirare (Ritual officer), Amami Oshima Island, Second Sho Dynasty, Ryukyu Kingdom, 18th century (Gift of Ms. Yamato Ryoko)
Quiver, Okinawa Main Island, Second Sho Dynasty, Ryukyu Kingdom, 19th century (On exhibit through August 17, 2014)
Tray, Dragon design in mother-of-pearl inlay, Okinawa Main Island, Second Sho Dynasty, Ryukyu Kingdom, 18th - 19th century (On exhibit from August 19, 2014)
Cinerary Urn, Okinawa Main Island, Second Sho Dynasty, Ryukyu Kingdom, 18th - 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tsutsumi Satoshi)

  
Conservation and Restoration
Room 17  April 15, 2014 (Tue) - December 23, 2014 (Tue)

>> 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  August 19, 2014 (Tue) - September 28, 2014 (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:
Maiko (Apprentice geisha) of Kyoto, By Hayami Gyoshu, Dated 1920
Strolling musicians, By Kobayashi Mango, Dated 1900 (Gift of the artist)
Woman, By Ogiwara Morie, Mold: 1910; cast: 2010
Plaque, Wild ducks and lotus design in maki-e lacquer, By Shibata Zeshin, Dated 1881
Footed Bowl, With applied crabs and brown glaze, By Miyagawa Kozan I, Dated 1881 (Important Cultural Property)
Large Flower Vase, "Oeyama" (scene of goblin hunting) design, By Yokoyama Takashige and Yokoyama Yazaemon, 1872 (Gift of the Bureau for the Vienna World Exposition)

  
Education Center: Education Space
Room 19  April 15, 2014 (Tue) - March 29, 2015 (Sun)

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