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Special Exhibition

Special Exhibition Celebrating the Enthronement of His Majesty the Emperor
Shosoin: Essential Treasures of Ancient Japan Passed Down by the Imperial Family

Eight-lobed bronze mirror decorated on the back with mother-of-pearl inlay, No. 13., China, Tang Dynasty, 8th century (The Shosoin Treasure, On exhibit from November 6 to November 24, 2019)

Heiseikan Special Exhibition Galleries :October 14, 2019 (Mon) - November 24, 2019 (Sun)

In celebration of the enthronement of His Majesty the Emperor, the Museum will hold a special exhibition featuring culturally significant pieces from the formative Asuka and Nara periods (593–794). Visitors will have the rare opportunity to view the Shosoin Treasures and the Horyuji Treasures together in a single exhibition hall. As befits the inaugural year of the Imperial era “Reiwa,” this special exhibition will also provide insight into the history of Japanese culture for international audiences. The significance of these works lies not only in their status as masterpieces passed down by the Imperial Household, but also in their inestimable cultural value that grows with each passing year.

Man, God & Nature in the Ancient World: Masterpieces from The Al Thani Collection

Head of a Royal Figure, Red jasper, c. 1473-1292 BC, Egypt

Toyokan Room 3 :November 6, 2019 (Wed) - February 9, 2020 (Sun)

How did people of ancient civilizations conceive and depict themselves, their gods, and the natural world? The artworks they produced reflect their beliefs and world views, providing us with insights into this question.
This exhibition presents 117 masterpieces from the collection assembled by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani, a prince of the royal family of Qatar. Ancient civilizations across the world produced these magnificent artworks, which will be presented under the themes of “man,” “god,” and “nature.”

Upcoming KIMONO: Fashioning Identities

Robe (Kosode) with Waves and Mandarin Ducks, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)

Heiseikan Special Exhibition Galleries :April 14, 2020 (Tue) - June 7, 2020 (Sun)

The kimono is one of Japan’s most iconic symbols, its colors and designs exemplifying Japanese cultural sensibilities and aesthetics. Lesser known, however, is that, the kimono originated as an undergarment. The predecessor to today’s kimono is a robe called the kosode (literally, “small sleeve openings”). The kosode first came into its own as an outer robe in medieval Japan during the Muromachi period (1392–1573). It was decorated accordingly with lavish dyed, embroidered, and gold or silver patterns.

This exhibition traces the kimono from its inception some eight hundred years ago to its role today as a symbol of Japanese culture with increasing sway on the contemporary fashion scene. Featuring some of the finest extant textiles, paintings, prints and other artworks drawn from collections in Japan and around the world, KIMONO: Fashioning Identities promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to consider the past, present, and future of this quintessential Japanese garment.