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February 9, 2010 (Tue)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  December 15, 2009 (Tue) - May 9, 2010 (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. Typical objects from 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, which expresses the essence of metal and glass craftsmanship, are also featured.
Current exhibit includes:
Dotaku (Bell-Shaped Bronze), Design of Crossed Bands,Attributed provenance: Kagawa, Yayoi period, 2nd-1st century BC (National Treasure)
Deep Bowl, From Horinouchi Shellmound, Ichikawa-shi, Chiba, Jomon period, 2000 - 1000BC (Private collection)
Design of Mythical Beasts Mirror, From Chausuyama Tumulus, Yanai-shi, Yamaguchi, Kofun period, 4th century
Footed Jar with Narrow Neck, Sue Stoneware,From Kaniana Tomb, Toshi-cho, Toba-shi, Mie,Kofun (Asuka) period, 7th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Kawahara Matsuzo)

  
The Rise of Buddhism: Asuka and Nara Periods (6c-8c)
Room 1  January 26, 2010 (Tue) - March 7, 2010 (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)
Bussetsu Miroku Jobutsu Kyo (Descent of Maitreya Sutra), Nara period, dated 730
Bowl, Gilt bronze, Excavated from under the building site of Main Hall, Kofukuji, Nara, Nara period, 8th century (National Treasure)
Bowl, Nara period, 8th century (Important Art Object, Gift of Takeyoshi Michikazu)

  
National Treasure Gallery Sahasrabhuja (Thousand Armed Guanyin)
Room 2  February 9, 2010 (Tue) - March 22, 2010 (Mon)

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.
On Exhibit:
Sahasrabhuja (Thousand Armed Guanyin) Heian period, 12th century (National Treasure)

  
Buddhist Art: Heian to Muromachi Periods (8c-16c)
Room 3  January 26, 2010 (Tue) - March 7, 2010 (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:
Seated Amida Nyorai (Amitabha), Kamakura period, 12th century (Lent by Ganshoji, Shizuoka)
Scene of Nirvana, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Shinyakushiji, Nara)
Tengu Zoshi Emaki (illustrated scroll of stories about conceited monks), To-ji and Daigo-ji version, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)
Words of Prayer Dedicated by Saionji Saneuji's Wife, Attributed to Sesonji Tsunetada, Kamakura period, dated 1282 (Important Cultural Property)
Hanging Lantern, Plum and bamboo branches, Muromachi period, dated 1550 (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Hatano Yujiro)

  
Courtly Art: Heian to Muromachi Periods (8c-16c)
Room 3  January 26, 2010 (Tue) - March 7, 2010 (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:
Pine trees on Seashore, Muromachi period, 16th century (Important Cultural Property)
Letter, By Yoshishige no Yasutane, Heian period, 10th century (Important Cultural Property)

  
Zen and Ink Paintings: Kamakura and Muromachi Periods (12c-16c)
Room 3  January 26, 2010 (Tue) - March 7, 2010 (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:
Juro (God of Longevity) under Plum Tree, Attributed to Sesshu Toyo, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Art Object)
Geju (Verse in Praise of the Buddha), By Ten'in Ryotaku, Muromachi period, 15th century

  
Art of the Tea Ceremony
Room 4  December 15, 2009 (Tue) - February 28, 2010 (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, Oido type, Known as "Uraku", Joseon dynasty, 16th century, Korea (Important Art Object, Gift of Mr. Matsunaga Yasuzaemon)
Fresh Water Jar for the Tea Ceremony, Known as "Shiba no Iori", Shigaraki Ware, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century(Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)
Segment from a Book of Poems Composed by Kiyohara no Fukayabu, Known as "Masu shikishi", Attributed to Fujiwara no Kozei, Heian period, 11th century

  
Attire of the Military Elite: Heian to Edo Periods (12c-19c)
Room 5 & 6  December 15, 2009 (Tue) - March 22, 2010 (Mon)

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:
Yoroi-Style Armor, With white lacing, Kamakura period, 14th century (National Treasure, Lent by Hinomisaki-jinja, Shimane)
Tachi Sword, By Yoshifusa, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Toshogu, Tochigi)
Itomaki-no-tachi Style Sword Mounting, With hollyhock crest design in maki-e and nashiji lacquer, Edo period, 19th century (Lent by Toshogu,Tochigi)

  
Folding Screen and Sliding Door Paintings: Azuchi-Momoyama and Edo Periods (16c-19c)
Room 7  January 13, 2010 (Wed) - February 21, 2010 (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:
Scenes In and Around Kyoto, Artist unknown, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)

  
Interior Furnishings and Daily Utensils: Azuchi-Momoyama and Edo Periods (16c-19c)
Room 8  February 9, 2010 (Tue) - May 9, 2010 (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:
Cosmetic Set, Design of young pine and cherry trees in maki-e lacquer, Edo Period, 18th century
Yogi (Bedclothes), Mandarin orange, fan, and tortoise design on red figured satin, Edo period, 19th century (on exhibit through March 7, 2010)
Uchikake Outer Garment, Design of chrysanthemum blossoms enclosed with undulating lines and bouquets on white figured satin ground, Edo period, 19th century (on exhibit from March 9, 2010)
Uchikake Outer Garment, Cherries and Yatsuhashi on red crepe, Edo period, 19th century (Private Collection)
Sake Ewer in the Shape of a Gourd, By Funada Ikkin, Edo period, dated 1843
Large Dish, Figures amongst cherry trees, Imari Ware, Edo period, 18th century
Large Dish, Butterflies and peonies design in overglaze enamels, Imari ware, Kokutani Gosai-de type, Edo period, 17th century (on exhibit through March 28, 2010)
Water Jar, Peonies in overglaze enamel, Studio of Ninsei, Edo period 17th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Empress Dowager Shoken, on exhibit through March 14, 2010)

  
Developments in Painting and Calligraphy: Azuchi-Momoyama and Edo Periods (16c-19c)
Room 8  January 13, 2010 (Wed) - February 21, 2010 (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:
Roar of Tiger Causing Wind, By Maruyama Okyo, Edo period, dated 1786 (Gift of Mrs. Uematsu Kyoko)
Landscapes of Izu and Sagami Peninsulas, By Tani Buncho, Edo period, dated 1793 (Important Cultural Property)
Poems of the Thirty-Six Immortal Poets from the Hyakunin Isshu Anthology, By Suminokura Soan, Edo period, 17th century

  
Room 9  January 13, 2010 (Wed) - March 7, 2010 (Sun)

>> detailed information
This exhibition focuses on masks and costumes from "Nasori" and "Ryo-o," two hashiri-mai style bugaku works which are considered sister pieces. Displayed together with instruments used in court music, these costumes provide a glimpse into the elegant colors and designs nurtured by court cultue.
Exhibit includes:
Ryoto (Bugaku Costume) for the Nasori Role, Paulownia arabesque and phoenix roundel design on green ground, Edo period, 19th century
Ryoto (Bugaku Costume) for the Ryo-o Role, Cloud and dragon roundel design on red ground, Edo period, 19th century

  
Ukiyo-e and Costumes: Edo Period (17c-19c) Ukiyo-e
Room 10  February 9, 2010 (Tue) - March 7, 2010 (Sun)

This gallery shows individualistic and manifold works of the ukiyo-e artists, ranging from depictions of pleasure quarters, kabuki plays, traditional bird and flower motifs and narrative pictures, to landscapes.
Exhibit includes:
Beauty with a Smoking Pipe, Artist unknown, Edo period, 17th century (Private collection)
Actors Ichikawa Danjuro VII as Mongaku and Matsumoto Koshiro V as Fudo Myo-o, By Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III), Edo period, 19th century
Celebrated Places of Edo: Theater District Nichomachi, By Utagawa Hiroshige, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Takahashi Yasushi)
Garyubai, By Suzuki Harunobu, Edo period, 18th century

  
Ukiyo-e and Costumes: Edo Period (17c-19c) Edo Period Fashion and Design
Room 10  January 13, 2010 (Wed) - March 7, 2010 (Sun)

Introduces the fashion of the Edo period townspeople. Enjoy comparing with the ukiyo-e works exhibited in the same room.
Current exhibit includes:
Kosode (Garment with Small Wrist Openings), Stripes, windows of various shapes, and plum branches on light yellow crepe, Edo period, 19th century
Fukusa (Gift Cover), Design of the story of Seio-bo on red crepe, Edo period, 19th century
Inro, Peach and pigeon design in maki-e, Edo period, 19th century

2nd floor

  
Paintings of Plum Blossoms and Calligraphy from the Late Ming and Early Qing Dynasties
Room T1  February 2, 2010 (Tue) - February 28, 2010 (Sun)

Introduces the various styles of plum blossoms paintings and calligraphy mainly from the Ming dynasty to the Qing dynasty.
Current exhibit includes:
Plum Blossoms in Snow, By Wu Taisu , Yuan dynasty, 14th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Teikan-en Hozonkai, Niigata)
Plum Blossoms in the Moonlight, By Zhao Congji, Ming dynasty, 15th century
Plum Blossoms, By Emperor Shunzhi, Qing dynasty, dated 1655 (Private collection)
Red Plum Blossoms, By Jin Nong, Qing dynasty, dated 1760
Dreaming under Plum Blossoms, By Yu Ming, Qing dynasty - Republic period, 20th century (Private collection)

  
Room T2  February 3, 2010 (Wed) - March 28, 2010 (Sun)

>> detailed information
This exhibition introduces furnishings which were made based on studies by Yusoku experts of the Edo period, along with fragments of fabric which tell of the styles of imperial court costume. Illustrated records of rituals are also on view.
Exhibit includes:
Illustrations based on Ruiju Zatsuyo Shu ("Reference Book of Courtly Customs"), Compiled by Takahashi Munetsune, Edo period, 18th century Fragment of Courtly Garment, Edo period
Models of Sweets, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Sakakibara Yoshino)
Illustrated Album of Obsolete Courtly Customs: "Trip to Shugakuin Imperial Villa", By Fujishima Sukenobu, Meiji period, 19th - 20th century
Kazari-tachi Style Sword Mounting, Formerly preserved by the Hirohashi family, Heian period, 12th century (National Treasure)
Two-Tiered Cabinet, From the Higyosha chamber, Kyoto Imperial Palace, Edo period, 19th century

1st floor

  
Japanese Sculpture
Room 11  January 19, 2010 (Tue) - April 18, 2010 (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:
Seated Minamoto Yoritomo, Kamakura Period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)
Standing Monju Bosatsu (Manjusri), Kamakura period, dated 1269 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Chuguji, Nara)
Five Vidyaraja, Heian period, 11th - 12th century (Lent by Kuwado district community, Yamanashi)

  
Sculpture and Metal Art
Room 12  January 19, 2010 (Tue) - April 18, 2010 (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 Komatsudera, Chiba)
Finial of Priest's Staff, Heian period, 11th century (Important Cultural Property, Private Collection)
Kei (flat gong), Lotus pond design, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property)
Ritual Implements, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kokenji, Kagawa)

  
Ceramics
Room 13  December 15, 2009 (Tue) - March 14, 2010 (Sun)

Focuses on kyo-yaki, Imari ware and other ceramics from the Edo period, together with ceramic ware related to the tea ceremony.
Current exhibit includes:
Oblong Dishes, Tanzaku poem card design in underglaze iron, Kenzan ware, Edo period, dated 1743
Tiered Food Box with Handle, Dragon and waves design in underglaze blue, By Aoki Mokubei, Edo period, 19th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Kasagi Toru)
Large Bowl, Landscape design in underglaze blue, Imari ware, Edo period, 17th century
Large Jar, Umbrella and figures design in overglaze enamel, Kakiemon type, Imari ware, Edo period, 17th century
Shallow Bowl, Melon design with three-color glaze, Studio of Chojiro, Raku ware, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century
Tea Bowl, Known as "Hashihime", Shino type, Mino ware, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th-17th century (Gift of Mr. Matsunaga Yasuzaemon)

  
Lacquerware
Room 13  December 15, 2009 (Tue) - March 22, 2010 (Mon)

Features maki-e works from Heian to Edo period. The exhibit shows the history and beauty of maki-e, a unique lacquerwork method that developed in Japan.
Current exhibition includes:
Sutra Box, Dragon coiled around sword design in maki-e lacquer, Heian period, 12th century (National Treasure, Lent by Taimadera Okuno'in, Nara)
Chest with Legs, DSuminoe Beach design in maki-e lacquer, Nanbokucho period, dated 1357 (Important Cultural Property)
Writing box, Motif of "Kinuta" from the Senzai-wakashu poetry anthology in maki-e, Muromachi period, 16th century (Important Cultural Property)

  
Swords and Sword-fittings
Room 13  December 8, 2009 (Tue) - March 14, 2010 (Sun)

Exhibits selected swords and sword-fittings from the Heian to Edo periods, including the National Treasure, Tachi Sword Known as "Dojigiri Yasutsuna".
Current exhibit includes:
Tachi Sword, Known as "Dojigiri Yasutsuna", By Yasutsuna, Heian period, 10th-11th century (National Treasure)
Katana Sword, Known as "Kanze Masamune", By Soshu Masamune, Kamakura period, 14th century (National Treasure)

  
Room 14  December 22, 2009 (Tue) - February 14, 2010 (Sun)

>> detailed information
This exhibition features blown glass wares including works made using ancient sand-core, casting or sagging techniques.
Exhibit includes:
Headdress, Mycenae, Greece, 14th - 13th century B.C.(Private collection)
Mirror, Egypt or Syria, 4th - 6th century (Private collection)
Millefiori Dish, Eastern Mediterranean region or Italy, 1st century (Private collection)
Pyxis, Alexandria, Egypt or Italy, 1st century B.C. - 1st century A.D. (Private collection)
Alabastron, Alexandria, Egypt or Italy, 1st century B.C. - 1st century A.D. (Private collection)
Head-Shaped Bottle, Eastern Mediterranean region, 1st century (Private collection)
Rhyton, Syria, 8th - 9th century (Private collection)

  
Room 15  January 5, 2010 (Tue) - April 4, 2010 (Sun)

>> detailed information
This display features elaborate designs the Ainu people used to decorate their garments and daily utensils.
Exhibit includes:
Apron, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Ms. Hirako Hatsu, on exhibit through February 14, 2010)
Coat, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (on exhibit from February 16, 2010)
Reed, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada)
Makiri Knife Mounting, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century
Tray, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada)
Tray, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Transferred from the Agency for International Expositions)

  
Room 16  January 19, 2010 (Tue) - March 7, 2010 (Sun)

>> detailed information
By looking into resources from the time, this exhibition pays tribute to the museum's efforts to accumulate knowledge through the acquisition of Western books in the early Meiji period.
Exhibit includes:
Sammlung Architekotnische Entwurfe, K.F.Schinkel, Berlin, 1873
An American dictionary of the English language, N.Webster, Philadelphia, 1867

  
Preserving Our Cultural Properties
Room 17  March 24, 2009 (Tue) - March 22, 2010 (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  January 13, 2010 (Wed) - February 21, 2010 (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:
Horse, By Goto Sadayuki, Meiji period, dated 1893
The Dream, By Yasuda Yukihiko, Taisho period, dated 1918

  
Room 18  January 13, 2010 (Wed) - February 21, 2010 (Sun)

>> detailed information
This exhibition focuses on works produced while Asai was living in Kyoto after returning to Japan from Europe. It features six paintings of emotionally resonant scenes of Japan, rendered with a sense of simplicity and honesty.
Current exhibit includes:
Garden at Shogoin, By Asai Chu, dated 1904 (Gift of Mr. Takano Tokiji)

  
Modern Decorative Arts
Room 19  December 8, 2009 (Tue) - March 7, 2010 (Sun)

The museum played a great role in the development of modern Japanese decorative arts. This gallery features exhibits from the National Industrial Exhibitions of the Meiji period, now in the museum collection.
Current exhibit includes:
Large Dish, Design of zither player under-the moon in overglaze enamels, By Kato Hajime, 1943
Cigarette Case, Lobster design, By Tukada Shukyo, Meiji - Taisho period, 20th century (Gift of Mr. Tamura Kin'ichi)
Pair of Cloisonne Vases, Flowers and butterflies, By Namikawa Yasuyuki, 1892
Red Cased Glass Bowl with Cut Design, By Miyagaki Hidejiro, Ca. 1881

1st floor

  
Room T5  December 15, 2009 (Tue) - February 21, 2010 (Sun)

>> detailed information
This is one of a series of overseas exhibitions organized by the Agency of Cultural Affairs which is being shown domestically on the occasion of its return. This exhibition (held at the British Museum, UK; Thursday, September 10 - Sunday, November 22, 2009) showcases dogu clay figurines, which are known as representations of the spiritual world and the belief of Japan's ancient Jomon people. This is a rare opportunity to see the most important works of this genre, including three National Treasures.