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 >> June 5, 2007 (Tue)Japanese Gallery (Honkan)

June 5, 2007 (Tue)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"

The Dawn of Japanese Art
Prehistory and Protohistory: the Jomon, Yayoi, and Kofun Periods (10000B.C. - A.D. 600)
Room 1  April 3, 2007 (Tue) - September 9, 2007 (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:
Jar, From Kugahara, Ota-ku, Tokyo, Yayoi period, 1st - 3rd century (Important Cultural Property)
Haniwa Man in Formal Attire, Terra-cotta Tomb Ornament, From Yotsuzuka Tumulus, Ota-shi, Gunma, Kofun period, 6th century

The Rise of Buddhism: Asuka and Nara Periods (6c-8c)
Room 1  May 22, 2007 (Tue) - July 1, 2007 (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:
Seated Shaka Nyorai (Sakyamuni), Nara period, 8th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Saidaiji, Nara)
Vinaya in Four Divisions: Kaihon Section and Preface, Nara period, dated 766 (Gift of Mr. Hori Tatsu)

National Treasure Gallery Senzui Byobu (Screen with landscape painting for Buddhist rituals)
Room 2  June 5, 2007 (Tue) - July 1, 2007 (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.
Senzui Byobu (Screen with landscape painting for Buddhist rituals), Kamakura period, 13th century (National Treasure, Lent by Jingo-ji, Kyoto)

Buddhist Art: Heian to Muromachi Periods (8c-16c)
Room 3  May 22, 2007 (Tue) - July 1, 2007 (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 Muromachi periods.
Current exhibit includes:
Aizen Myo-o (Ragaraja), Kamakura period, 14th century (Gift of Mr. Endo Hisao)
Fudo Riyaku Engi Emaki (narrative picture scroll about the priest Shoku's devotion to his master priest in a serious illness), Nanbokucho period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property)

Courtly Art: Heian to Muromachi Periods (8c-16c)
Room 3  May 22, 2007 (Tue) - July 1, 2007 (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 from Kokin Waka Shu Poetry Anthology, known as "Koyagire", Attributed to Ki no Tsurayuki, Heian period, 11th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mrs. Morita Chikka)
Segment from the Michinari Shu Poetry Anthology, Attributed to Fujiwara no Tadaie, Heian period, 12th century (Important Art Object)
Fast Bull, Handscroll Segment, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)

Zen and Ink Paintings: Kamakura and Muromachi Periods (12c-16c)
Room 3  May 22, 2007 (Tue) - July 1, 2007 (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:
Geju (Verse in Praise of the Buddha), By Muso Soseki, Nanbokucho period, 14th century
Landscape of the Four Seasons, Attributed to Shubun, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property)

Art of the Tea Ceremony
Room 4  May 8, 2007 (Tue) - August 26, 2007 (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:
Shinnari Style Tea Kettle, Ashiya ware, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Art Object, Private collection)
Tea Caddy with Angular Shoulder, Known as "Matsuyama", Southern Song - Yuan dynasty, 13th century, China (Gift of Mr. Harada Kichizou)

Attire of the Military Elite: Heian to Edo Periods (12c-19c)
Rooms 5 & 6  March 20, 2007 (Tue) - June 17, 2007 (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 exhibit includes:
Tachi Sword, Known as Uesugi - Tachi, Ichimonji school, Kamakura period, 13th century (National Treasure)
Hyogo-gusari-no-tachi Style Sword Mounting with scabbard decorated with birds, Known as "Uesugi-Tachi", Kamakura period, 13th century (National Treasure)
Helmet bowl of Hoshikabuto type, Nanbokucho period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Agency for Cultural Affairs)

Folding Screen and Sliding Door Paintings: Azuchi-Momoyama and Edo Periods (16c-19c)
Room 7  June 5, 2007 (Tue) - July 16, 2007 (Mon)

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:
Europeans in Japan, Artist unknown, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century (Important Cultural Property, Private collection)

Interior Furnishings and Daily Utensils: Azuchi-Momoyama and Edo Periods (16c-19c)
Room 8  April 17, 2007 (Tue) - July 16, 2007 (Mon)

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:
Incense Burner, Paulownia crest and tray with character "san" design in maki-e lacquer, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 17th century
Tea Bowl in the Shape of a Shoe, Aka-Oribe type, Mino ware, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 17th century

Developments in Painting and Calligraphy: Azuchi-Momoyama and Edo Periods (16c-19c)
Room 8  June 5, 2007 (Tue) - July 16, 2007 (Mon)

This gallery introduces the dynamic and multi-faceted world of paintings and calligraphy from the Azuchi-Momoyama to the Edo period.
Current exhibit includes:
Portrait Traditionally Identified as Nawa Nagatoshi, By Hasegawa Tohaku, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century (Important Cultural Property)
Cuckoo Flying over Verdure, By Yosa Buson, Edo period, 18th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Hiraki Ukiyo-e Museum, Kanagawa)
Landscape of Mt. Hiko, By Tani Buncho, Edo period, dated 1815
Poem, By Ikeno Taiga, Edo period, 18th century (Private collection)

Room 9  April 24, 2007 (Tue) - June 17, 2007 (Sun)

Features the Noh play "Kakitsubata"(Iris), with costumes and masks used on stage.

Ukiyo-e and Costumes: Edo Period (17c-19c) Edo Period Fashion and Design
Room 10  April 24, 2007 (Tue) - June 17, 2007 (Sun)

Introduces women's fashion of the Edo period townspeople. Enjoy comparing with the women depicted in ukiyoe works exhibited in the same room.
Current exhibit includes:
Kosode(Garment with small wrist openings), Drums and wisterias on white figured satin ground, Edo period, 17th century
Kosode(Garment with small wrist openings), Agriculture scenes of four seasons on brown figured satin ground, Edo period, 19th century

Ukiyo-e and Costumes: Edo Period (17c-19c) Ukiyo-e
Room 10  June 5, 2007 (Tue) - July 1, 2007 (Sun)

This gallery shows individualistic and manifold works of the ukiyo-e artists, ranging from depictions from those of the pleasure quarters, kabuki plays, traditional bird- and flower motifs and narrative pictures, to landscapes and sumo wrestlers.
Exhibit includes:
Actors Segawa Tomisaburo II as Yadorigi (Wife of Ogishi Kurando) and Nakamura Manse as her Maid Wakakusa, By Toshusai Sharaku, Edo period, dated 1794 (Important Cultural Property)
Beauties of the Hundred Famous Sites of Edo: Sanenzan in Zojoji, By Utagawa Kunisada , Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Asano Nagatake)

1st floor Genre Exhibits

Japanese Sculpture
Room 11  April 3, 2007 (Tue) - June 17, 2007 (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 exhibit includes:
Standing Zochoten (Virudhaka), Heian period, 9th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Ninna-ji, Kyoto)
Seated Jie-daishi, By Renmyo, Kamakura period, dated 1286 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kongorin-ji, Shiga)
Seated Amida Nyorai (Amitabha), Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Horyu-ji, Nara)
Standing Juni Shinsho (Twelve Heavenly Generals), Kamakura period, 12th - 13th century (Lent by Sogen-ji, Kanagawa)

Sculpture and Metal Art
Room 12  April 3, 2007 (Tue) - June 17, 2007 (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 exhibit includes:
Reliquary of Kaenhoju (Cintamani in Flame) Type, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)
Seated Eleven-head Kannon Bosatsu (Ekadasamukha Avalokitesvara), Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Komatsu-dera, Chiba)
Kanjo Ritual Implements, Kamakura - Edo period, 13th century (Lent by Son'eiji, Shizuoka)

Ceramics - Ceramics of the Azuchi-Momoyama and Edo Periods -
Room 13  March 20, 2007 (Tue) - June 10, 2007 (Sun)

Ceramics from the Muromachi through the Edo period are on view, featuring the characteristic tea ceremony wares of the Azuchi-Momoyama period.
Current exhibit includes:
Bowl, Cherry tree design in overglaze enamels and openwork, By Ninnami Dohachi, Edo period, 19th century
Water Jar in the Shape of a Gold-Powder Bag, Takatori ware, With yellow glaze, Edo period, 17th century
Bowl with Upturned Rim, Bizen ware, Edo period, 17th century

Room 13  March 20, 2007 (Tue) - June 10, 2007 (Sun)

Introduces maki-e works from the Heian through the Edo period. The exhibit overviews the history and charm of maki-e, together with the beauty of Japanese lacquerwork.
Current exhibit includes:
Sutra Box, Dragon-entwined sword in maki-e lacquer, Heian period, 12th century (National Treasure, Lent by Taima-dera Oku-no-in, Nara)
Writing Box, Mt. Hatsuse in maki-e, Muromachi-Momoyama Period, 16th century (Important Cultural Property)

Swords and Sword-fittings
Room 13  April 3, 2007 (Tue) - June 10, 2007 (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:
Tanto Sword, By Rai Kunitoshi, Kamakura period, dated 1316 (National Treasure, Lent by Atsuta Jingu, Aichi)
Tanto Sword, By Yukimitsu, Kamakura period, 14th century (National Treasure)
Tachi Sword, By Yoshifusa, Kamakura period, 13th century (National Treasure)

Room 14  April 10, 2007 (Tue) - July 1, 2007 (Sun)

This display features the history of water droppers (writing accessory used for making ink) together with interesting works from the Edo period.

Room 15  May 29, 2007 (Tue) - September 17, 2007 (Mon)

The Tokyo National Museum's collection of Ryukyu cultural items contains a number of items that reflect the vibrancy and character of Ryukyu decorative arts. Items displayed include lacquerware, metalwork, vivid textile, pottery, and items of the noro - a female ritual officer.

Room 16  June 5, 2007 (Tue) - July 1, 2007 (Sun)

A selection of historical photographs in the museum collection, from among those published in a three-volume catalogue.

Preserving Our Cultural Properties
Room 17  April 24, 2007 (Tue) - July 16, 2007 (Mon)

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.

Modern Art
Room 18  May 8, 2007 (Tue) - June 10, 2007 (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:
Flame, By Uemura Shoen, dated 1918
Tranquility, By Fujishima Takeji, dated 1916

Special Exhibition Galleries / Room T5  March 20, 2007 (Tue) - June 17, 2007 (Sun)

Introduces the latest achievements of research pertaining to Leonardo da Vinci, together with the masterpiece Annunciation. The exhibition invites to explore the genius' mode of thinking and his unitary conception of knowledge, in an unprecedented, rounded overview of the achievements of the genius.