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November 23, 2005 (Wed)Japanese Gallery (Honkan)

Image of "Japanese Gallery (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"

 Image of "The Dawn of Japanese Art
Prehistory and Protohistory: the Jômon, Yayoi, and Kofun Periods (10000B.C. - A.D. 600)" 
The Dawn of Japanese Art
Prehistory and Protohistory: the Jômon, Yayoi, and Kofun Periods (10000B.C. - A.D. 600)
Room 1  September 6, 2005 (Tue) - February 26, 2006 (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, Furthermore, the typical objects of 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, expressing the essence of metal and glass craftsmanship are also featured.
Current exhibit includes:
Jomon Vessel with Flame-like Ornamentation, Attributed provenience: Umataka, Nagaoka-shi, Niigata, Jomon period, 3000 - 2000BC
Jar, From Kugahara, Ota-ku, Tokyo, Yayoi period, 1st - 3rd century (Important Cultural Property)
Footed Jar with Ornaments and Diminutives, Sue Stoneware, From Ogasayama, Setouchi-shi, Okayama, Kofun period, 6th century

 Image of "The Rise of Buddhism: Asuka and Nara Periods (6c-8c)" 
The Rise of Buddhism: Asuka and Nara Periods (6c-8c)
Room 1  November 22, 2005 (Tue) - December 25, 2005 (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:
Daihannya Kyo (Great Wisdom Sutra), Nara period, 8th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Yakushiji, Nara)
Seated Nikko Bosatsu (Suryaprabha), Formerly owned by Kozanji, Kyoto, Nara period, 8th century (Important Cultural Property)

 Image of "National Treasure Gallery   Man'yo Shu Poetry Anthology, Genryaku version" 
National Treasure Gallery Man'yo Shu Poetry Anthology, Genryaku version
Room 2  November 22, 2005 (Tue) - December 25, 2005 (Sun)

This room is specially designed for the comfortable viewing of masterpieces in a tranquil setting. With each rotation, one exceptional, designated work of painting or calligraphy in the Museum's collection or on loan will be presented.
On Exhibit:
Man'yo Shu Poetry Anthology, Genryaku version, Heian period, 11th century (National Treasure)

 Image of "Buddhist Art: Heian to Muromachi Periods (8c-16c)" 
Buddhist Art: Heian to Muromachi Periods (8c-16c)
Room 3  November 22, 2005 (Tue) - December 25, 2005 (Sun)

This room shows the art of the Esoteric Buddhism. Kukai introduced the mature school of esoteric Buddhism with its individualistic visual arts. From the late Heian to the early Kamakura period (1185 - 1333), several new Buddhist schools emerged. Illuminated sutras, portraits of founders, as well as narrative paintings of the origins and miracles related to temples and shrines are characteristic objects of this time.
Current exhibition includes:
Picture Scroll of the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, Heian - Kamakura period, 12th century (National Treasure)
Kegon Kyo (Garland Sutra), Heian period, 12th century

 Image of "Courtly Art: Heian to Muromachi Periods (8c-16c)" 
Courtly Art: Heian to Muromachi Periods (8c-16c)
Room 3  November 22, 2005 (Tue) - December 25, 2005 (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 are displayed in this room with decorative art objects.
Current exhibit includes:
Fragment of Poem Anthology "Kokin Waka Shu", Attributed to Minamoto no Toshiyori, Heian period, 12th century (Gift of Mr. Uemura Wado)
Konkomyo-kyo (Suvarnaprabhasottamaraja Sutra), Known as "Menashi-kyo" ("blind sutra", due to the lack of details on the faces, Kamakura period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property, Private collection)

 Image of "Zen and Ink Paintings: Kamakura and Muromachi Periods (12c-16c)" 
Zen and Ink Paintings: Kamakura and Muromachi Periods (12c-16c)
Room 3  November 22, 2005 (Tue) - December 25, 2005 (Sun)

This gallery features works by famous artists of the landscape-painting genre, such as Shubun, Sesshu, Sesson, and Kano Motonobu, along with famous works of bokuseki (calligraphy by Zen priests).
Current exhibition includes:
Writing in Two Lines, By Muso Soseki (1275 - 1351), Nanbokucho period, 14th century (Private collection)
Painting on Zen Enlightenment: Enlightenment attained when a pebble hits bamboo, Attributed to Kano Motonobu, Muromachi period, 16th century (Important Cultural Property)

 Image of "Art of the Tea Ceremony" 
Art of the Tea Ceremony
Room 4  October 25, 2005 (Tue) - February 12, 2006 (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 exhibition includes:
Tea Bowl, Known as "Bakohan", Celadon glaze, Longquan ware, Southern Song dynasty, 13th century, China (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Mitsui Takahiro)
Powder-tea Spoon, By Gamo Ujisato(1556-95), Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century (Gift of Mr. Matsunaga Yasuzaemon)
Tea Bowl,Known as "Zangetsu", Black glaze, Satsuma ware, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)

 Image of "Attire of the Military Elite: Heian to Edo Periods (12c-19c)" 
Attire of the Military Elite: Heian to Edo Periods (12c-19c)
Rooms 5 & 6  September 21, 2005 (Wed) - December 18, 2005 (Sun)

Beginning with the sword as the single most important equipment for a samurai, this gallery focuses on arms and armor, saddlery, attire of the warriors as well as their portraits and hand-writings.
Current exhibition includes:
Tachi Sword, By Kunimune, Kamakura period, 13th century (National Treasure, Lent by Toshogu, Tochigi)
Domaru style Armor, With variegated lacing, Muromachi period, 16th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kagoshima Jingu, Kagoshima)

 Image of "Folding Screen- and Sliding Door Paintings: Azuchi-Momoyama and Edo Periods (16c-19c)" 
Folding Screen- and Sliding Door Paintings: Azuchi-Momoyama and Edo Periods (16c-19c)
Room 7  October 25, 2005 (Tue) - December 4, 2005 (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 exhibition includes:
Eight Sceneries of Xiao and Xiang, By Hasegawa Tohaku, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century

 Image of "Interior Furnishings and Daily Utensils: Azuchi-Momoyama and Edo Periods" 
Interior Furnishings and Daily Utensils: Azuchi-Momoyama and Edo Periods
Room 8  September 13, 2005 (Tue) - December 18, 2005 (Sun)

The maturing of Japanese culture supported by the military and commoner classes continued throughout the Azuchi-Momoyama and Edo periods. This gallery introduces interior furnishings and daily commodities that had adorned the life of the people during these periods.
Current exhibition includes:
Square Dish, Nezumi-Shino type, Mino Ware, Autumn grasses design , Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th-17th century
Sumiaka Tebako (Red Cornered Cosmetic Box), Chrysanthemums and paulawnia crests in maki-e lacquer, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Sugo-isobe-Jinja, Ishikawa)
Drawers for Incense Set, Autumn grasses in maki-e lacquer, Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period, 16 - 17th century
Covered Vessel, Kakiemon type, Imari Ware/Chrysanthemums and stream design in engraving and overglaze enamels, Edo period, 17th century

 Image of "Developments in Painting and Calligraphy: Azuchi-Momoyama and Edo Periods (16c-19c)" 
Developments in Painting and Calligraphy: Azuchi-Momoyama and Edo Periods (16c-19c)
Room 8  October 25, 2005 (Tue) - December 4, 2005 (Sun)

The gallery introduces the dynamic and multi-faceted world of paintings and calligraphy from the Azuchi-Momoyama- to the Edo period.
Current exhibition includes:
Illustrations of Poems on Twelve Months, By Tosa Mitsuoki, Edo period, 17th century
Chinese Style Poem in Eight Lines of Seven Characters, By Hosoi Kotaku, Edo period, 17th century
Waka Poems, By Shokado Shojo, Edo period, 17th century

 Image of "Noh and Kabuki" 
Noh and Kabuki
Room 9  November 1, 2005 (Tue) - December 25, 2005 (Sun)

One of the annual events of the late Edo period was the all-star Kabuki performances (Kaomise Kyogen)held in November of the lunar calendar. This exhibit introduces Kabuki, one of the three major entertainment of Edo through costumes from the end of the Edo period, ukiyo-e prints of star actors in their roles and uki-e prints depicting the inside of Kabuki stages.
Current exhibit includes:
Haori Robes(Kabuki Costume), Design of snow flakes and nandin plant on light blue satin, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Ms.Takagi Kyo) Kitsuke Garment(Kabuki Costume), Design of snow flakes and nandin plant on light blue satin, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Ms.Takagi Kyo)

 Image of "Ukiyo-e and Costume: Edo Period (17c-19c)   Edo Period Fashion and Design" 
Ukiyo-e and Costume: Edo Period (17c-19c) Edo Period Fashion and Design
Room 10  November 1, 2005 (Tue) - December 25, 2005 (Sun)

Together with beauties depicted in ukiyo-e prints, this exhibit introduces women's fashion of the Edo period. In time with the season, kosode garments in autumn foliage design, especially those were popular among the Edo women are featured in the exhibit.
Current exhibit includes:
Furisode Garment, Design of maples, bamboo fences, and charantors on nume satin, Edo period, 18th century
Kosode(Garment with Small Wrist Openings), Design of baskets of flowers and maples on light blue crepe, Edo period, 18th century
Kosode, Design of rikanjima stripes on dark cotton, Edo period, 19th century

 Image of "Ukiyo-e and Costumes: Edo Period (17c-19c)   Ukiyo-e" 
Ukiyo-e and Costumes: Edo Period (17c-19c) Ukiyo-e
Room 10  November 1, 2005 (Tue) - November 27, 2005 (Sun)

This exhibit features beauty pictures by Utamaro and other Ukiyo-e artists. Also in association with the Chiaroscuro prints exhibition at the National Museum of Western Art held from Saturday, October 8 to Sunday, December 11, 2005, prints using similar colors to attain three-dimentional effects are featured.
Current exhibit includes:
Collection of Contemporary Dancers: Sagimusume, By Kitagawa Utamaro, Edo period, 18th century (Important Art Object)
The Strong Woman Okane of Omi Province, By Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Edo period, 19th century
Kanadehon Chushingura (47 Ronin): Act XI, By Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Edo period, 19th century
Sundial of Young Women: Hour of Monkey, By Kitagawa Utamaro, Edo period, 18th century (Important Cultural Property)
Famous Places of Tokyo: Asakusa Bridge at the Time of Great Fire in Ryogoku, By Kobayashi Kiyochika, Meiji period, 19th century (Gift of Mrs. Mitani Tei)

2nd floor

 Image of "The Charm of Ancient Transcribed Books" 
Room T1  October 12, 2005 (Wed) - November 27, 2005 (Sun)

This exhibit features Japanese and Chinese books transcribed between the Nara (710-794) through the Muromachi periods(1392-1573). Certain books exist in different versions, which is a result of a long history of transcription and ownership.
Exhibition includes:
Chogyoku Shu (Chinese encylopedia of ancient legends), Nara period, dated 747 (National Treasure, Lent by Hosho-ji, Aichi)
Engishiki (detailed rules of the Ritsuryo Statute), Heian period, 11th century (National Treasure)

1st floor Genre Exhibits

 Image of "Japanese Sculpture" 
Japanese Sculpture
Room 11  September 6, 2005 (Tue) - December 11, 2005 (Sun)

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 exhibition includes:
Standing Sho-Kannon Bosatsu (Arya-Avalokitesvara), Heian period, 9th - 10th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kanshin-ji, Osaka)
Standing Komoku Ten (Virupakusa), Heian period, 12th century (National Treasure, Lent by Joruri-ji, Kyoto)

 Image of "Japanese Sculptures and Metal Art" 
Japanese Sculptures and Metal Art
Room 12  September 6, 2005 (Tue) - December 11, 2005 (Sun)

This gallery introduces many different types of gilt bronze Buddhist statues and figures from the Asuka and Nara periods, such as kyozo (mirror icons) and kakebotoke (hanging icons), as well as Buddhist implements such as candlesticks and incense burners, and implements for esoteric Buddhist rituals.
Current exhibition includes:
Waniguchi Buddist Ritual Gong, Excavated at Miyabuchi-machi, Matumoto-shi, Nagano, Heian period, dated 1001 (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Takahashi Tamotsu)
Mirror with an Image of Eleven-Headed Kannon (Ekadasamukha Avalokitesvara) in Hair-line Engraving, Autumn grasses and birds on the back, Heian period, dated 1159 (Important Cultural Property)
Bell with Pagoda-Shaped Handle, Kamakura period, dated 1307 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Jikoji, Saitama)
Plaque with Cast Image of Zao Gongen, Excavated at Mt. Kinpusen, Yoshino-gun, Nara, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Ominesanji, Nara)
Kei (Flat Gong) in the Shape of a Butterfly, Excavated at Miyabuchi-machi, Matsumoto-shi, Nagano, Heian period, 11th century (Important Cultural Property)

 Image of "Ceramics - Ceramics of the Azuchi-Momoyama and Edo Periods -" 
Ceramics - Ceramics of the Azuchi-Momoyama and Edo Periods -
Room 13  September 6, 2005 (Tue) - December 11, 2005 (Sun)

The splendidly decorated Edo period ceramics and characteristic tea ceremony wares of the Azuchi-Momoyama period are highlighted.
Current exhibit includes:
Large Dish, Deer and landscape design in overglaze enamels, Kokutani type, Imari Ware, Edo period, 17th century
Flower Vase in the Shape of a Flask, Bizen Ware, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Matsunaga Yasuzaemon)

 Image of "Negoro Ware - The Beauty of Red Lacquer" 
Room 13  September 6, 2005 (Tue) - December 11, 2005 (Sun)

This exhibit features negoro-nuri, or red laquerware, which originated as utensils at temples and shrines.
Exhibit includes:
Red-lacquered Tray with Three Legs, Nanbokucho Period, dated 1379 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Hotsumisaki-dera, Kochi)
Red-lacquered Oshiki(plate)and Keisu(cup stand), Muromachi Period, dated 1457 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Masumida Jinja, Ehime)

 Image of "Swords and Sword-fittings" 
Swords and Sword-fittings
Room 13  September 13, 2005 (Tue) - December 11, 2005 (Sun)

This gallery, dedicated to the history of the Japanese sword, features manifold types of sword blades from the Heian to the Edo periods, as well as scabbards and individual sword fittings that were appreciated throughout history.
Current exhibition includes:
Tachi Sword, Known as "Koryu Kagemitsu", By Kagemitsu, Kamakura period, dated 1322 (National Treasure)
Tachi Sword, Known as "Ohosho", By Rai Kunimitsu, Kamakura period, dated 1327 (National Treasure)

 Image of "Religious Textile Art" 
Room 14  September 27, 2005 (Tue) - December 11, 2005 (Sun)

This display features religious embroidery and other textile works preserved at temples. The delicate embroidery needle work, soft colors of natural dyes and carefully woven designs demonstrate how people of long ago gave shapes to their prayers.
Exhibit includes:
Embroidered Buddhist Icon, Descent of Amida (Amitabha) Triad, Kamakura period, 13th - 14th century (Important Cultural Property, on exhibit from November 8, 2005)
Embroidery Fragments with Tenjukoku (Heavenly Paradise) Scene, Kamakura period, 13th century (National Treasure, Lent by Chuguji, Nara, on exhibit through November 6, 2005)

 Image of "Religion of Ainu People" 
Thematic Exhibition  Religion of Ainu People
Room 15  September 13, 2005 (Tue) - December 11, 2005 (Sun)

This display features various ritual implements used by the Ainu people such as inau and iku-pasui, together with their clothes and daily tools.
Exhibit includes:
Ritual Hoe-Shaped Crest, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Oda Shokichi and Izumi Rintaro)
Coat, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century
Necklace, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Hirota Kanematsu)
Tray, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century
Sword Mountings, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada)

 Image of "Series Japanese Natural History : Bugei (Military Arts): Falcon hunting and Inuoumono" 
Room 16  October 25, 2005 (Tue) - December 11, 2005 (Sun)

This exhibition introduces the history and strict rules of falcon hunting and inuoumono as examples of bugei followed by warriors.
Exhibit includes:
Inu-Oumono (Dog Chasing Game Played by Mounted Archers), By Oshima Sukebe, Edo period, dated 1711 (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Muneyoshi)
Shogun's Falconry at Komaba, By Sakakibara Nagatoshi, Edo period, dated 1786
Miniature Replicas of Inuoumono (Dog Chasing Event), Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Muneyoshi)

 Image of "Modern Art: Painting and Sculpture" 
Modern Art: Painting and Sculpture
Room 18  November 22, 2005 (Tue) - December 11, 2005 (Sun)

This gallery features paintings and sculptures from the Meiji to Showa periods, until before World War II. 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 exhibition includes:
A Christian and a Buddist, By Maeda Seison, 1917
A Nude and Lions, By Yoshida Hiroshi, 1909 (Gift of Mr. Yoshida Fujio)

 Image of "Modern Decorative Arts" 
Modern Decorative Arts
Room 19  September 21, 2005 (Wed) - December 11, 2005 (Sun)

This gallery illustrates the essence of modern Japanese decorative arts, with examples from the World Expositions, from the National Industrial Exhibitions, and works created by the teishitsu gigei-in (Artists to the Imperial Household).
Current exhibition includes:
Incense Burner, Butterflies design in overglaze gold, By Seifu Yohei III, Meiji period, dated 1892

 Image of "Donations Gallery" 
Donations Gallery
Room 20  October 4, 2005 (Tue) - December 11, 2005 (Sun)

Since our founding in 1872, more than 3,000 donors have greatly contributed to the forming of the collection in quality as well as in quantity. All of the donors are listed in this room, represented by selections from the donated pieces in grateful remembrance of the donors.
On exhibit:
Figure of Phenix, White porcelain, By Numata Ichiga, dated 1921 (Gift of the artist)
Cat, By Tobari Kogan, dated 1910 (Gift of Mr. Miura Tetsutaro)
Large Flower Vase, Landscape Design, dated 1912 (Gift of the artist)

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