TOP
 >> Exhibitions
 >> Honkan

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


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 Rise of Buddhism: Asuka–Nara period
Room 1  August 27, 2019 (Tue) - October 6, 2019 (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 Bodhisattva, Asuka period, 7th century
Part of the Sutra of the Wise and Foolish, Vol. 3, Known as Ojomu, Attributed to Emperor Shomu, Nara period, 8th century
Ritual Objects Used to Consecrate the Site of Kohfukuji Temple, Strips of beaten gold, 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, 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  September 3, 2019 (Tue) - September 29, 2019 (Sun)

This is a transcription of a sutra, which was used during Buddhist ceremonies to pray for the peace and prosperity of the country. The characters in gold were written to form a pagoda. The creation of this type of mandala was based on a Buddhist belief that encouraged the integration of several good deeds, which would lead to desirable outcomes, into one. Those good deeds included transcribing sutras and constructing Buddhist temples, pagodas, and statues, as well as decorating them in a dignified yet magnificent manner.

  
Buddhist Art: Heian–Muromachi period
Room 3  August 27, 2019 (Tue) - October 6, 2019 (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:
The Descent of a Buddha, Nanbokucho period, 14th century
Portrait of Wife of Takeda Nobutora, By Takeda Nobukado, Muromachi period, dated 1553 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Chozenji Temple, Yamanashi)
Volume 6 of the Illustrated Handscrolls of Selected Stories of a Virtuous Priest, Kamakura period, dated 1323 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Jofukuji Temple, Ibaraki)
Volumes 2 and 4 of the Golden Light Sutra (One of the “Eyeless Sutras”), Kamakura period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property)
Volume 4 of the Golden Light Sutra (One of the “Eyeless Sutras”), Kamakura period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property)
Head of a Monk’s Staff, Heian period, dated 1142 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Tesshuji Temple, Shizuoka)
Head of a Monk’s Staff, Found on Mount Dainichi, Toyama, Heian period, 11th century (Important Cultural Property, Private collection)

  
Courtly Art: Heian–Muromachi period
Room 3  August 27, 2019 (Tue) - October 6, 2019 (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:
The Tale of a Sparrow Who Became a Buddhist Monk, Muromachi - Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century (Gift of Ms. Mita Etsuko, On exhibit through September 29, 2019)
Segment of Collection of Japanese Poems Ancient and Modern Beginning of vol. 4; known as "Suji gire", Attributed to Fujiwara no Sari, Heian period, 12th century

  
Zen and Ink Painting: Kamakura–Muromachi period
Room 3  August 27, 2019 (Tue) - October 6, 2019 (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:
Admonition by Monk Yongming Yanshou, By Shokai Reiken, Nanbokucho period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Taiko'an, Kyoto)
The Zen Monk Ikkyu, Inscription by Motsurin Joto, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Okazaki Masaya)
Landscape of the Four Seasons, Attributed to Shubun, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property)

  
Tea Ceremony
Room 4  September 10, 2019 (Tue) - December 1, 2019 (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:
Tea Bowl, Named “Tago no Tsuki (The Moon of Tago)”, Komogai type, Joseon dynasty, 16th–17th century (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)
Flower Vase with Elephant-Shaped Handles, Named “Akizuki (Autumn Moon)”,
Muromachi period, 15th–16th century (Gift of Mr. Matsunaga Yasuzaemon)
Fan-Shaped Food Cups (
Mukozuke), Mino ware, Oribe type, Edo period, 17th century

  
Attire of the Military Elite: Heian–Edo period
Room 5 & 6  August 27, 2019 (Tue) - November 17, 2019 (Sun)

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:
Armor (Gusoku) with a Two-Piece Cuirass and White Lacing, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yoshihiro)
Outer Robe (Dobuku) with Wild-Ginger Crests and Ivy, Reportedly worn by Tokugawa Ieyasu, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th–17th century

  
Paintings on Folding Screens and Sliding Doors | 16th–19th century
Room 7  September 3, 2019 (Tue) - October 6, 2019 (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 Plains of Musashi, Artist unknown, Edo period, 17th century

  
The Arts of Daily Life: Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period
Room 8  July 30, 2019 (Tue) - October 27, 2019 (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:
Confectionary Box with Flowering Plants, By Tanda Chubei, Edo period, 18th century, (Gift of Mr. Ito Kashinosuke)
Hitoe (Summer garment) Stream, reed, and wild goose design on purple ro gauze ground, Edo period, 18th century (Gift of Ms. Takagi Kiyo)
Robe (Kosode) with Flowing Water, Plants, Pavilions, and Insect Cages, Edo period, 19th century
Handled Mirror with Ripe Rice Plants, Inscribed “Nishimura Bungo no Jo Fujiwara Masashige”, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada)
Large Bowl with Flowering Plants, Karatsu ware, Edo period, 17th century
Tea Bowl with a Mantis and the Moon, By Eiraku Hozen, Edo period, 19th century
Large Dish with Ferns, Imari ware, Edo period, 18th-19th century (Gift of Mr. Hirano Kosuke)

  
Painting and Calligraphy | 16th–19th century
Room 8  September 3, 2019 (Tue) - October 6, 2019 (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:
Volume 2 of the Illustrated Handscroll of The Life of Saigyo, By Tawaraya Sotatsu, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by the Agency for Cultural Affairs)
Draft of a Japanese Poem (Waka) Starting with "The Moon Above the Plains of Musashino", By Karasumaru Mitsuhiro, Edo period, 17th century

  
Noh and Kabuki: Masks and Robes in the Noh Play Kashiwazaki
Room 9  August 27, 2019 (Tue) - October 20, 2019 (Sun)

In the Noh play Kashiwazaki, the wife of the lord of Kashiwazaki in Echigo (now Niigata Prefecture) loses her mind due to the sudden death of her husband. On her way to mourn the death of her husband, she is unexpectedly reunited with her son at the temple Zenkoji in Shinano (now Nagano prefecture). One of the highlights of Shirazaki is a scene in which the lead actor changes his costume on stage.

Current exhibit includes:
Noh Costume (Karaori) with Autumn Grasses, Formerly owned by the Uesugi clan, Edo period, 18th century
Noh Costume Nuihaku with Woven-Wood Fences, Autumn Grasses, Linked Circles, Bottle Gourds, Flowing Water, and Irises, Edo period, 18th century (Lent by Agency for Cultural Affairs)
 

  
Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Ukiyo-e
Room 10  August 27, 2019 (Tue) - September 23, 2019 (Mon)

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. In connection with the National Museum of Western Art, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary with the exhibition Upon the 60th Anniversary of the NMWA THE MATSUKATA COLLECTION; A One-Hundred-Year Odyssey, this museum is displaying ukiyo-e prints from the Matsukata Collection. This Collection consists of roughly 8000 prints collected by Japanese businessman Matsukata Kojiro (1866–1950). They make up the majority of the Museum’s ukiyo-e collection. In this chronological exhibition outlining developments in ukiyo-e, we have selected works from the 100 prints that were displayed at the museum of Matsukata’s alma mater, Rutgers University in New Jersey, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his graduation. This is the final part of a four-part exhibition.

Current exhibit includes:
“Turban-Shell Hall at the Temple of the Five Hundred Arhats” from the Series Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji, By Katsushika Hokusai, Edo period, 19th century
“The Ghost of the Sarayashiki Residence” from the Series One Hundred Ghost Stories, By Katsushika Hokusai, Edo period, 19th century
Allusion to Lady Joruri and Ushiwakamaru, By Torii Kiyonaga, Edo period, 18th century

  
Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Fashion
Room 10  August 27, 2019 (Tue) - October 20, 2019 (Sun)

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

Current exhibit includes:
Unlined Summer Robe (Katabira) with Flowing Water and Bush Clovers, Edo period, 18th century
Robe (Kosode) with Chrysanthemums, Fishing Nets, and Calligraphy, Edo period, 18th century
Case (Inro) with a Scene from the Noh Play Kikujido, Meiji era, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Quincy A. Shaw)

2nd floor

  
Netsuke: The Prince Takamado Collection
The Prince Takamado Collection Room  July 30, 2019 (Tue) - October 27, 2019 (Sun)

Including:
Nine-Tailed Fox, Bishu Saito, 1986
Beginning 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 T2  July 17, 2019 (Wed) - September 23, 2019 (Mon)

This exhibition features real samurai armor alongside modern reproductions of the armor’s individual components.
Don’t miss this rare opportunity to learn the ins and outs of samurai armor.

1st floor

  
Room 11  June 18, 2019 (Tue) - September 23, 2019 (Mon)

The Four Great Temples of Yamato (now Nara prefecture) are Okadera, Murouji, Hasedera and Abe Monjuin. These temples were built between the 7th and 8th century, shortly after Buddhism was introduced and began to thrive there. The Buddhist sculptures displayed here were borrowed from the Four Great Temples. They are not only excellently sculpted images, but also provide a fascinating glimpse into early developments in the Buddhist culture of the Four Great Temples of Yamato.

  
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)

  
Metalwork
Room 13  September 18, 2019 (Wed) - November 4, 2019 (Mon)

Decoration in Buddhism involves sumptuous representations of Buddhas, as well as ritual interiors of temple halls. The adornments used for this purpose are known collectively in Japanese as shogongu. This exhibition introduces Buddhist ritual implements such as containers for sarira, or literally, “Buddha’s relics,” together with items for esoteric Buddhist altars, and interior decor including ritual banners and pendent floral openwork ornaments. The works present an overview of multifarious metalwork techniques such as casting, carving, and forging.

Current exhibit includes:
Container from a Reliquary Set, Found at former site of Mishima Temple, Ōda, Ibaraki-shi, Osaka, Nara period, 8th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Hirano Sutejirō and Mr. Ōta Jisaburō)
Jar from a Reliquary Set, Found at former site of Mishima Temple, Ōda, Ibaraki-shi, Osaka, Nara period, 8th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Hirano Sutejirō and Mr. Ōta Jisaburō)
Box from a Reliquary Set, Found at former site of Mishima Temple, Ōda, Ibaraki-shi, Osaka, Nara period, 8th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Hirano Sutejirō and Mr. Ōta Jisaburō)
Box from a Reliquary Set, Found at former site of Mishima Temple, Ōda, Ibaraki-shi, Osaka, Nara period, 8th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Hirano Sutejirō and Mr. Ōta Jisaburō)
“Flower Garland” with Lotuses, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kongōrinji Temple, Shiga)
“Flower Garland” with a Seed Syllable, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Nara National Museum)
“Flower Garland” with Lotuses, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Jinshōji Temple, Shiga)

  
Japanese Swords
Room 13  July 23, 2019 (Tue) - September 29, 2019 (Sun)

Exhibits selected swords and sword-fittings from the Heian to Edo periods, including the Long Sword (Tachi), Named “Mikazuki Munechika”, By Munechika.

Current exhibit includes:
Long Sword (Tachi), Named “Mikazuki Munechika”, By Munechika, Heian period, 10th–12th century (National Treasure, Gift of Mr. Watanabe Seiichiro)
Long Sword (Tachi), Named “Okada Giri Yoshifusa”, By Yoshifusa, Kamakura period, 13th century (National Treasure)

  
Ceramics
Room 13  September 10, 2019 (Tue) - November 4, 2019 (Mon)

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, Echizen ware, Muromachi period, 16th century (Lent by the Agency for Cultural Affairs)
Tea Bowl,
By Donyu, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)
Rectangular Dish with Autumn Grasses,
Mino ware, Nezumi-shino type, Azuchi-Momoyama—Edo period, 16th—17th century (Private collection)
Bowl with Cherry Blossoms and Maple Leaves,
By Ninnami Dohachi, Edo period, ca. mid-19th century (Important Art Object, Private collection)
Water Jar with a Lotus,
Imari ware, Edo period, 17th century
Sake Bottle with Autumn Grasses,
Imari ware, Kakiemon type, Edo period, 17th century (Private collection)
Hexagonal Jar, Design of flowering plants and phoenixes in overglaze enamel,
Imari ware, Kakiemon type, Edo period, 17th century (Private collection)
Tea Bowl with Quails and Millet,
Satsuma (Tateno) ware, Edo period, second half of 19th century (Gift of Mr. Naito Gyoho)

  
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.

  
Records of History
Room 15  August 20, 2019 (Tue) - October 20, 2019 (Sun)

The Tokyo National Museum holds many artworks and other materials that shine light on history, with the foundation of this collection consisting of materials inherited from the shogun’s government of the Edo period (1603–1868). From the time of the Museum’s establishment in 1872, this foundation was supplemented with additional materials collected through exhibitions and surveys of cultural properties. This gallery displays albums of natural science, a discipline that thrived in the Edo period, maps created in the Edo period and the following Meiji era, ink rubbings of calligraphy inscribed into stone and metal, and a variety of other historical materials. In addition, photographs from the late 19th and early 20th century, which show the people and scenery of the day, as well as expositions and cultural properties, are also shown periodically.

Current exhibit includes:
Map of Nebukawa Road, Mount Izu, Atami: Higane, Karuizawa; Hirai: Tamazawa, Formerly owned by Asakusa Bunko, Edo period, dated 1806 (Important Cultural Property)
Shishinden Hall, Kyoto Imperial Palace,
By Yokoyama Matsusaburo, 1872 (Important Cultural Property)

  
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.

1st floor

  
Room T4 & T5  October 1, 2019 (Tue) - December 1, 2019 (Sun)

The Sumitomo Foundation is celebrating thirty years of providing funding for the conservation of cultural properties. To mark this occasion, exhibitions of works that have received funding through the foundation will be held across four museums: Sen-oku Hakukokan Museum (Kyoto), Sen-oku Hakukokan Museum, Tokyo (Tokyo), the Kyushu National Museum, and the Tokyo National Museum. The Tokyo National Museum will host a special thematic exhibition featuring Buddhist statues.
An impressive number of Buddhist statues have survived to modern times in Japan. In mountainous and rural regions, traditions venerating Buddhist statues attest to the importance these statues held for local communities. This exhibition will present Buddhist statues that have been cherished and handed down by such communities, including those affected by The Great East Japan Earthquake (2011) and The Noto Hanto Earthquake (2007).