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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
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Honkan room 13 will be closed for maintenance work from Tuesday, November 5, 2019 - Monday, March 9, 2020.
The first floor (Rooms 11–18) of the Honkan (Japanese Gallery) will be closed for maintenance work from December 9, 2019 to January 1, 2020.


2nd floor "Highlights of Japanese Art"

  
The Dawn of Japanese Art: Jomon, Yayoi and Kofun periods
Room 1  June 25, 2019 (Tue) - December 25, 2019 (Wed)

The roots of Japanese aesthetics can be seen in earthenware from the Jomon and Yayoi periods, as well as in dogu (small earthen figurines from Jomon period), dotaku (bronze bell-shaped ritual item from the Yayoi period), haniwa (terracotta figures from the Kofun period) and bronze mirrors (used as symbols of authority in the Yayoi and Kofun periods).

Current exhibit includes:
Deep Bowl with flame-like Ornamentation, Attributed provenance: Umataka, Nagaoka-shi, Niigata, Jomon period, 3000–2000 BC
Dotaku (bell-shaped bronze), Crossed bands design, Excavated from Oiwayama, Koshinohara, Yasu-shi, Shiga, Yayoi period, 1st–3rd century (Important Cultural Property)
Haniwa (Terracotta tomb object), Monkey, Attributed provenance: Dainichizuka Tumulus, Namegata-shi, Ibaraki, Kofun period, 6th century (Important Cultural Property)

  
The Arrival of Buddhism | 6th–8th century
Room 1  November 19, 2019 (Tue) - December 25, 2019 (Wed)

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 6th–8th century.

Current exhibit includes:
Standing Bodhisattva, Asuka period, 7th century
Part of the Flower Garland Sutra, Vol. 9 (Called the "Burnt Sutra of Nigatsudō"), Nara period, 8th century (Gift of Mr. Yanagisawa Keiso)
Ritual Objects Used to Consecrate the Site of Kohfukuji Temple, Strips of Beaten Gold, Excavated from under altar of Main Hall at Kohfukuji, Nara
Ritual Objects Used to Consecrate the Site of Kohfukuji Temple, Eight-Lobed Mirror with Design of Flowers and Paired Butterflies, Excavated from under altar of Main Hall at Kohfukuji, Nara, Nara period, 8th century (National Treasure)
Ritual Objects Used to Consecrate the Site of Kohfukuji Temple, Large Gilt-Bronze Bowl, Excavated from under altar of Main Hall at Kohfukuji, Nara, Nara period, 8th century (National Treasure)

  
Room 2  November 26, 2019 (Tue) - December 25, 2019 (Wed)

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.

  
The Arts of Buddhism | 8th–16th century
Room 3  November 19, 2019 (Tue) - December 25, 2019 (Wed)

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:
The Mandalas of the Two Realms, Kamakura period, 14th century
The Ninth Arhat, One of the Sixteen Arhats, Kamakura period, 13th-14th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Tenshinji, Tokyo)
The Bodhisattva Miroku, Passed down at Kōzanji Temple, Kyoto, Kamakura period, 13th century
Illustrated Biography of the Priest Honen, Vol. 20, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Taima Temple, Nara)
Volume 21 of [The Biography of Priest Hōnen], Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Taima Temple, Nara)
Words of Prayer, By Jien, Kamakura period, 1224 (Important Cultural Property)
Words of Prayer by the Wife of Saionji Saneuji, Attributed to Sesonji Tsunetada, Kamakura period, dated 1282 (Important Cultural Property)
Succession of Priests and Their Biographies, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property)
Record of Dreams, By Myōe, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kōzanji Temple, Kyoto)
Head of a Monk’s Staff, Found on Mount Dainichi, Toyama, Heian period, 11th century (Important Cultural Property, Private collection)
Head of a Monk’s Staff, Heian period, dated 1142 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Tesshuji Temple, Shizuoka)

  
The Arts of the Imperial Court | 8th–16th century
Room 3  November 19, 2019 (Tue) - December 25, 2019 (Wed)

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:
The Tale of a Crane, Vol. 1, Artist unknown, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Ms. Nakajima Hiroko)
Part of the Collected Poems of Lady Ise (One of the "Ishiyama Fragments"), Attributed to Fujiwara no Kintō, Heian period, 12th century (Gift of Mr. Matsunaga Yasuzaemon)

  
Zen and Ink Painting | 13th–16th century
Room 3  November 19, 2019 (Tue) - December 25, 2019 (Wed)

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:
The White-Robed Bodhisattva Kannon, Painting by Shūen Ōsei; inscription by Liao'an Qingyu, Nanbokuchō period, 14th century (Lent by the Tokiwayama Bunko Foundation, Tokyo)
Letter, By Kokan Shiren, Kamakura period, 14th century

  
Tea Ceremony
Room 4  December 3, 2019 (Tue) - February 24, 2020 (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 the Shape of a Cong Ritual Vessel, Stoneware with celadon glaze, Imperial kilns, ChinaPassed down by the Owari Tokugawa clan, Southern Song dynasty, 12th–13th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)

  
Arms and Armor of the Samurai | 12th–19th century
Room 5 & 6  November 19, 2019 (Tue) - February 9, 2020 (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:
Armor (Dōmaru) with “Eurasian Jay” Lacing, Red at the Top, Passed down by the Akita clan, lords of Miharu domain, Mutsu province, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Akita Kazusue)
Mounting for the Long Sword Named "Shishiō", Wooden black-lacquered scabbard, Kamakura period, 13th–14th century (Important Cultural Property)

  
Paintings on Folding Screens and Sliding Doors | 16th–19th century
Room 7  November 26, 2019 (Tue) - December 25, 2019 (Wed)

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 Narrow Ivy Road, By Fukae Roshū, Edo period, 18th century (Important Cultural Property)

  
Decorative Arts | 16th–19th century
Room 8  October 29, 2019 (Tue) - January 26, 2020 (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:
Boxes for the Shell-Matching Game with Scenes from The Tale of Genji, Edo period, 17th century
Robe (
Kosode) with Flowing Water, Plants, Pavilions, and Insect Cages, Edo period, 19th century
Mirror with Paulownia and Bamboo Branches,
By Ao Ietsugu, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 1588
Large Dish with a Snowscape, Nabeshima ware,
Edo period, 18th century
Chrysanthemum-Shaped Bowl with a Tiger, Bamboo, and Plum Tree,
Imari ware, Kakiemon type, Edo period, 17th century (Private collection)
Dishes in the Shape of Papers with
Waka Poems, Kenzan ware, Edo period, 1743

  
Painting and Calligraphy | 16th–19th century
Room 8  November 26, 2019 (Tue) - December 25, 2019 (Wed)

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

Current exhibit includes:
Volume 1 of The Tales of Ise, Painting by Sumiyoshi Jokei; calligraphy by Otagi Michitomi, Edo period, 17th century
Monks' Answers to Examination Questions,
By Hayashi Dōshun and others, Edo period, 1614 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Konchi Temple, Kyoto)

  
Performing Arts: Noh Robes from Kasuga Shrine in Seki
Room 9  October 22, 2019 (Tue) - December 25, 2019 (Wed)

In this gallery, we are currently displaying noh costumes from a rare 16th-century collection. These costumes were discovered under a noh-theater stage at the Kasuga Shrine of Seki in Gifu Prefecture. They predate the Edo period (1615–1868), when the samurai government made noh into a ceremonial art form. In contrast to the lavish robes worn in later periods, the Seki noh costumes feature serene natural scenery and embroidered patterns on fabrics that were probably imported from China and Korea. Their distinctive qualities provide us with a sense of what medieval noh robes may have looked like.

Current exhibit includes:
Noh Costume (Suō) with Auspicious Symbols, Muromachi–Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kasuga Shrine, Gifu)
Noh Costume (Suō) with Flowering Plants and Poem Papers, Muromachi–Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kasuga Shrine, Gifu)
Noh Costume (Nuihaku) with Pines, Wisterias, and Swallowtail Butterflies, Muromachi–Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kasuga Shrine, Gifu)
Noh Costume (Hitatare) with Paths, Chrysanthemums, Paulownias, and Cranes with Pine Branches, Muromachi - Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kasuga Shrine, Gifu)

  
The Art of Fashion | 17th–19th century
Room 10  October 22, 2019 (Tue) - December 25, 2019 (Wed)

Introduces the fashion of the Edo period townspeople. Enjoy comparing with the ukiyo-e works exhibited in the same room.

Current exhibit includes:
Robe (Kosode) with Young Pines, Small Flowers, Deer, and Autumn Leaves, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Robe (Kosode) with Weeping Maples and Hats, Edo period, 18th century
Case (Inrō) with Three Monkeys, By Shiomi Masanari, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Quincy A. Shaw)
 

  
The Art of Ukiyo-e | 17th–19th century
Room 10  November 19, 2019 (Tue) - December 22, 2019 (Sun)

In the 17th century, painters started depicting the lives of commoners in a genre known as ukiyo-e. With the advent of new printing technology, these images began to be reproduced in high numbers, and ukiyo-e gradually spread to all layers of society. The addition of colorists to the publishers’ craftsmen also led to the birth of the color print in the mid-18th century. From October 22–November 17, 2019, this gallery displays images of Ebisu, the god of trade and fishermen who was worshipped for thriving businesses, and seasonal pictures depicting daily life in the western part of Edo. The exhibition also includes theater playbills, actor prints, views of the Saruwaka theater district, prints depicting ancient and medieval Japanese poetry, and autumn scenery.

Current exhibit includes:
Act 5 of The Treasury of Loyal Retainers, By Katsushika Hokusai, Edo period, 19th century
"Oi" From the Series Sixty-Nine Stations of the Kisokaidō Road, By Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Edo period, 1852
Year's End at the Yoshiwara from the Series Views of the Sumida River from Both Banks, By Katsushika Hokusai, Edo period, 19th century

2nd floor

  
Netsuke: The Prince Takamado Collection
The Prince Takamado Collection Room  October 29, 2019 (Tue) - January 26, 2020 (Sun)

 

Including:
Cut Piece: Apple, Akira Kuroiwa, 1997
Hagoromo, Isshu Kishi, 1988
Grooming, Kiho Takagi, 1995
Owl, Onosato Zanmai, 2002
Hatching Gecko, Susan Wraight, 1997

  
Room T2  November 19, 2019 (Tue) - December 25, 2019 (Wed)

In ancient and medieval times, Japan mainly adopted ideas and material culture from China and Korea. The arrival of Europeans in the mid-16th century, however, led to the introduction of new worldviews, technology, and science, such as Christianity, firearms, and the study of anatomy.

1st floor

  
Sculpture
Room 11  September 25, 2019 (Wed) - February 24, 2020 (Mon)

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:
The Rooster General, One of the Twelve Divine Generals, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Murouji Temple, Nara)
The Snake General, One of the Twelve Divine Generals, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Murouji Temple, Nara)
The Dog General, One of the Twelve Divine Generals, Passed down at Jōruriji Temple, Kyoto, Kamakura period, 13th century(Important Cultural Property)
Standing Juni Shinsho (Twelve Heavenly Generals): Bishin (Who protects the direction of the sheep), Passed down at Jōruriji Temple, Kyoto, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)
The Buddha Amida, the Central Image of a Buddha Triad, Heian period, dated 1176 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Saikōin Temple, Saitama)
The Buddha Amida, Passed down at Kōmyōin Temple, Hiroshima, Heian-Kamakura period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Taishō University)
The Buddha Shaka, Heian period, 9th century (National Treasure, Lent by Murouji Temple, Nara)
The Eleven-Headed Bodhisattva Kannon, Heian period, 9th–10th century (National Treasure, Lent by Murouji Temple, Nara)
 

  
Lacquerware
Room 12  September 18, 2019 (Wed) - December 8, 2019 (Sun)

Features maki-e works from 12th century to 19th century. The exhibit shows the history and beauty of maki-e, a unique lacquerwork method that developed in Japan.

Current exhibition includes:
Cosmetic Box with Cypress-Fan Crests, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)
Writing Box with a Brushwood Fence and Ivy, By Koma Kyūi, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Lamp Stand, Hosoge flower design in mother of pearl inlay and Heijin maki-e lacquer, Heian period, 12th century (National Treasure, Lent by Daichōjuin Temple, Iwate)
Sutra Box with the Moon and Peonies, Kamakura period, 13th–14th century (National Treasure, Lent by Saidaiji Temple, Nara)
Box for Monk's Robes with Squirrel's Foot Ferns and Arrowroot, Donated to temple in Nanbokucho period, 1342 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kongōbuji Temple, Wakayama)
Footed Chest with Suminoe Beach, Nanbokucho period, dated 1357 (Important Cultural Property)
Mirror Box with Paulownias, Bamboo, and Phoenixes, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Atsuta Shrine, Aichi)
Writing Box with a Bugaku Performer, Attributed to Hon'ami Kōetsu, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)

  
Room 14  September 18, 2019 (Wed) - December 8, 2019 (Sun)

This exhibition showcases tea wares created at some of the major Japanese kilns—Bizen, Shigaraki, Iga, and Tanba—that are known for the production of unglazed ceramic wares.

  
Room 15  October 22, 2019 (Tue) - December 8, 2019 (Sun)

In 1164, the powerful head of the Heike samurai clan, Taira no Kiyomori, donated extravagant manuscripts of the Lotus Sutra, Amida Sutra, and Heart Sutra to Itsukushima Shrine (now Miyajima Island, Hiroshima Prefecture). These scriptures in thirty-three scrolls became known as The Sutras Donated by the Heike Clan and were reproduced between 1920 and 1925 by the art historian Tanaka Shinbi.

  
Ainu and Ryūkyū
Room 16  September 10, 2019 (Tue) - December 8, 2019 (Sun)

Stretching from north to south, the Japanese archipelago is home to diverse cultures that have flourished in its rich natural environments. Representing such cultures from northern Japan, this gallery exhibits a range of items created by the Ainu people featuring their distinctive designs, a typical example of which is a moreu whirl pattern. These items include ritual implements, clothing, and wooden objects. Also on display in this gallery are decorative art objects from the Ryukyu Kingdom, representing a southern culture. The Ryukyu Kingdom developed its unique culture through trade and exchange with many regions including China, Japan, the Korean peninsula, and Southeast Asia. Metalwork objects and textiles created mainly during the Kingdom’s Second Sho dynasty (1469–1879) are featured here.

Current exhibit includes:
Ainu:
Sash for Shaman, Sakhalin Ainu, 19th century (Gift of the Hokkaido Project Management Bureau, Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce)
Necklace,
Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada)
Bear Cage (Model),
Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada)
Ritual Hoe-shaped Crest,
Hokkaido Ainu, Found at Sakurayama, Kakuta, Kuriyama Town, Hokkaido, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Oda Katsukichi and Mr. Izumi Rintaro)

Ryukyu:
Covered Food Box, Chrysanthemum design, Chrysanthemum design in tsuikin work (appliqué of colored lacquer cutouts), Okinawa Main Island, Second Sho dynasty, Ryukyu kingdom, 19th century
Headwear for Prince,
Okinawa Main Island, Second Sho dynasty, Ryukyu kingdom, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Higa Kamato)

  
Conservation and Restoration
Room 17  April 15, 2014 (Tue) - April 5, 2020 (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.

 

  
Art of the Modern Era | Late 19th–first half of 20th century
Room 18  September 3, 2019 (Tue) - December 8, 2019 (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:
Stone Buddha of Datong, By Maeda Seison, 1938 (Gift of the artist)
A Christian and a Buddhist, By Maeda Seison, 1917
Night Scene at the Railway Station, By Takamura Shinpu, Taisho era, 20th century (Gift of the artist)
Large Vase with a Plum Tree, By Miyagawa Kozan I, 1892 (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Japan Delegate Office for World's Columbian Exposition)
Jar, White porcelain with grape scroll design in relief, By Itaya Hazan, Showa era, 20th century
Flower Vase, Butterfly design, By Kanazawa Copper Ware Company, Dated 1892 (Gift of the Japan Delegate Office for the Chicago World's Fair)

  
Education Center: Education Space
Room 19  April 15, 2014 (Tue) - April 5, 2020 (Sun)

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

  
Room 19  September 18, 2019 (Wed) - March 31, 2020 (Tue)

In traditional Asian painting, the paints were made from natural substances, such as minerals, plants, animals, and even insects. Depending on the base substances, the color tones and usability of the paints differed. Understanding the unique properties of each type of paint, as well as effective use and combination of different paints, allowed for increased variation in painted depictions. The National Treasure Red and White Cotton Rosemallow is an example of works in which the unique properties of the paints have been skillfully utilized. It is a pair of paintings created by the Chinese court painter Li Di in 1197, during the Southern Song dynasty. From this pair of hanging scroll paintings, the one depicting pink flowers has been reproduced based on research.