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12.History of the National Museum, Tokyo

1871 Sep. The Museum Department was established as a section within the Ministry of Education; the Taiseiden Hall of the former Seido (the Confucian temple) at Yushima, Tokyo, was designated the Museum Bureau Pavilion to prepare for establishing of a museum.

1872 Mar. The first exhibition was held by the Museum Department of the Ministry of Education at the Taiseiden Hall, which was also the inauguration of the first museum in Japan; in this year the Tokyo National Museum came into being.

1873 Mar. The Museum Department was incorporated with the Exposition Office established within the Cabinet Secretariat and accordingly transferred to Uchiyamashita-cho (present Uchisaiwai-cho 1-chome, Chiyodaku, Tokyo), where the Exposition Office was located.

1875 Mar. The Exposition Office was renamed the Museum and placed under the authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

1881 Apr. The Museum was placed under the authority of the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce.

1882 Mar. The Museum was transferred to the building (the former Honkan or the Main Gallery) used as one of the galleries for the Second National Industrial Exposition and inaugurated. The site was formerly occupied by the Hombo (headquarters) of Kan'ei-ji Temple construction of the building commenced in March, 1878, and completed in January, 1881.)

1886 Mar. The Museum was placed under the authority of the Ministry of the Imperial Household.

1889 May. The Museum was renamed the Imperial Museum in accordance with the Imperial Museum Regulations; the Kyoto Imperial Museum and the Nara Imperial Museum were concurrently established.

1900 Jul. The Museum was renamed the Tokyo Imperial Household Museum in accordance with the Imperial Household Museum Regulations, the museums in Kyoto and Nara were concurrently renamed.

1909 May. The gallery presented by the Royal Wedding Celebrative Society, in commemoration of the wedding of the then Crown Prince (Emperor Taisho), was named the Hyokeikan (meaning the gallery to express congratulations) and inaugurated. The construction of the building was commenced in August, 1901, and completed in September, 1908.

1923 Sep. The former Honkan was damaged by the Great Kanto Earthquake.

1925 Mar. The collection of the Natural Products Department were transferred to the Tokyo Museum of the Ministry of Education (the present National Science Museum).

1938 Nov. The present Honkan presented by the Society to Promote Reconstruction of the Imperial Household Museum was inaugurated.(The construction of the building commenced in December, 1932, and was completed in November, 1937.)

1941 Aug. The Museum started to evacuate its collection to rural districts as wartime conditions turned threatening.

1945 Mar. The Museum was temporarily closed because of wartime conditions.

1946 Mar. With the end of the war, some of the works of art which had been returned from their places of safe-keeping were put on display and the Museum was reopened.

1947 May. The Imperial Household Museum was placed under the authority of the Ministry of Education and therefore renamed the National Museum, the Nara Imperial Museum was made the Nara branch of the National Museum. Furthermore, the Museum incorporated the National Treasures Research Section, the National Treasures Conservation Section, and the Fine Art Research Institute of the Ministry of Education.
As a result, the organizations of the National Museum were classified into 6 departments (Display, Activities, Research, Conservation, Reference Materials, and Management) and a subordinate Research Institute.

1952 Apr. The National Museum was renamed the Tokyo National Museum in accordance with the amendment to the law for Protection of Cultural Properties.

  Aug. The Nara branch of the National Museum became independent as the Nara National Museum in accordance with the amendment to the law for Protection of Cultural Properties.

1964 Oct. The Horyuji Homotsukan (the Gallery of Horyuji Treasures) was inaugurated. The construction of the building commenced in November, 1961, and was completed in September, 1962.

1968 Jun. The Agency for Cultural Affairs was established in accordance with the amendment to the law for Establishment of the Ministry of Education, the Tokyo National Museum was therefore placed under the control of the Agency.

  Oct. The Toyokan (the Gallery of Oriental Antiquities) was inaugurated. (The construction of the building commenced in October, 1965, and was completed in August, 1968.)

1972 Oct. The Tokyo National Museum celebrated its 100th anniversary.

1982 Apr. The Department of Research and Information subordinate to the Curatorial Board was reorganized into the Research and Information Center consisting of 5 sections in accordance with the amendment to the enforcement regulations of the law for Establishment of the Ministry of Education.

1983 Apr. The Data Administration Section was established within the Research and Information Center in accordance with the amendment to the enforcement regulations of the law for Establishment of the Ministry of Education As a result, the Research and Information Center was expanded to consist of 6 sections.

1984 Feb. The Shiryokan (the Research and Information Center) was inaugurated.(The construction of the building commenced in March, 1981, and was completed in September, 1983.)

  Apr. The Research Information Section was established within the Research and Information Center in accordance with the amendment to the enforcement regulations of the law for Establishment of the Ministry of Education" a result, the Research and Information Center was expanded to consist of 7 sections.

1986 Apr. The Department of Oriental Antiquities subordinate to the Curatorial Board was reorganized and expanded to consist of 3 sections (the Chinese Art Section, the Chinese Archaeology Section, and the Middle East Section) in accordance with the amendment to the enforcement regulations of the law for Establishment of the Ministry of Education.

1987 May. The South and Southeast Asia Section was established within the Department of Oriental Antiquities subordinate to the Curatorial Board in accordance with the amendment to the enforcement regulations of the law for Establishment of the Ministry of Education as a result, the Department of Oriental Antiquities was expanded to consist of 4 sections.

1988 Apr. The Northeast Asia Section was established within the Department of Oriental Antiquities subordinate to the Curatorial Board in accordance with the amendment to the enforcement regulations of the law for Establishment of the Ministry of Education as a result, the Department of Oriental Antiquities was expanded to consist of 5 sections.

1999 Jul. The Gallery of Horyuji Treasures was inaugurated. (The construction of the building started in December 1994 and was completed in March 1999.)

  Oct. The Heiseikan was inaugurated in commemoration of the Crown Prince's marriage. (The construction of the building started in July 1995 and was completed in March 1999.)

2001 Apr. Tokyo National Museum, Kyoto National Museum and Nara National Museum formed together the Independent Administrative Institution National Museum.

2003 Apr. To ensure the smooth running of various museum activities, the organization of the Museum was reformed.

2007 Apr. Independent Administrative Institution National Museum and Independent Administrative Institution Research Institute of Cultural Properties merged to form the Independent Administrative Institution National Institute for Cultural Heritage.
11.Tokyo National Museum