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 >> May 1, 2012 (Tue)Honkan

May 1, 2012 (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: Jomon, Yayoi and Kofun periods
Room 1  January 2, 2012 (Mon) - May 6, 2012 (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:
Jar, From site at Juodai, Ishi Hongo, Juo-cho, Hitachi-shi, Ibaraki, Yayoi period, 1st-3rd century (Private collection)
Design of Mythical Beasts Mirror, From Chausuyama Tumulus, Yanai, Yanai-shi, Yamaguchi, Kofun period, 4th century
Ridge-End Tile, From Fuchidaka-cho, Aisai-shi, Aichi, Nara period, 8th century

The Rise of Buddhism: Asuka - Nara period
Room 1  March 27, 2012 (Tue) - May 6, 2012 (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 Bosatsu (Bodhisattva), Asuka period, 7th century (Important Cultural Property)
Seated Shaka Nyorai (Sakyamuni), Nara period, 8th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Saidaiji, Nara)
Tomoku Bosatsu Kyo Sutra, Donated by Kibi no Yuri, Nara period, dated 766 (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Sorimachi Eisaku)
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 Cultural Property)
Eight Nested Bowls, Nara period, 8th century (Important Cultural Property)

Room 2  April 17, 2012 (Tue) - May 27, 2012 (Sun)

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:
Narrative Picture Scroll of the Chronicle of the Heiji Civil War: The Removal of the Imperial Family to Rokuhara, Kamakura period, 13th century (National Treasure, Gift of Mr. Matsudaira Naoakira)

Buddhist Art: Heian - Muromachi period
Room 3  April 24, 2012 (Tue) - June 3, 2012 (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 Jie daishi, By Renmyo, Kamakura period, dated 1286 (Lent by Kongorin-ji, Shiga,  Important Cultural Property)
Senju Kannon (Sahasrabhuja), Heian period, 12th century (National Treasure)
Kitano Tenjin engi emaki (Narrative picture scroll of legends about the origin of Kitano Tenjin Shrine), Vol.2, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)
Kitano Tenjin engi emaki (Narrative picture scroll of legends about the origin of Kitano Tenjin Shrine), Vol.1, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)
Heart Sutra of the Divine Incantation of Amoghapasa, (J., Fukukenjaku Jinshu Shingyo), By Saionji Kinhira, Kamakura period, dated 1306 (Important Cultural Property)
Konkomyo Kyo (Suvarnaprabhasa Sutra), Surviving portion Known as "Menashi Gyo", Kamakura period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property)
Buddhist Ritual Bell with Five-Pronged Vajra Handle, Eight Sanskrit characters design, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property)

Courtly Art: Heian - Muromachi period
Room 3  April 24, 2012 (Tue) - June 3, 2012 (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:
Tengu Zoshi Emaki (illustrated scroll of stories about conceited monks), To-ji and Daigo-ji version, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)
Excerpts from the Tale of Genji, By Sanjonishi Sanetaka, Muromachi period, dated 1528 (Private collection)

Zen and Ink Painting: Kamakura - Muromachi period
Room 3  April 24, 2012 (Tue) - June 3, 2012 (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:
Monju (Manjusri) Riding a Lion, By Reisai/Inscription by Ryoko Shinkei, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property)
Flowers and Birds of the Four Seasons, By Kano Motonobu, Muromachi period, 16th century (Private collection)

The Art of Tea Ceremony
Room 4  March 27, 2012 (Tue) - June 10, 2012 (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:
Water Jar in the Shape of a Gold-powder Bag,Yellow glaze, Takatori ware, Edo period, 17th century
Tea Bowl, Totoya type, Known as "Sawarabi", Joseon dynasty, 16th - 17th century, Korea (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)
Set of Mukouzuke Dishes, With katamigawari (differing in halves) glazes, Takatori ware,  Edo period, 17th century

Attire of the Military Elite: Heian - Edo period
Room 5 & 6  February 14, 2012 (Tue) - May 6, 2012 (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:
Gusoku Style Armor, With black lacing, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Tachi Sword, By Sukezane, Kamakura period, 13th century (Lent by Toshogu, Tochigi, National Treasure)
Sword mounting of uchigatana type, With black-laquered scabbard, Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period,17th century (Lent by Toshogu, Tochigi, National Treasure)
Yoroi Style Armor, With red lacing, Nanbokucho period, 14th century (Lent by Oyamazumi-jinja, Ehime, Important Cultural Property)
Jinbaori (Sleeveless Campaign Coat), Made of Feathers, Chinese character, literary "wood",  Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th - 17th century (on exhibit from February 28 to April 22, 2012)

Room 7  March 27, 2012 (Tue) - May 6, 2012 (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:
Farming Scenes, By Maruyama Ozui, Edo period, 19th century
Flowers and Birds of the Four Seasons, By Okamoto Shuki, Edo period, 19th century
Cherry Trees and Kerria Plants, Attributed to Tawaraya Sotatsu, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Tazawa Fusataro)

The Arts of Daily Life: Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period
Room 8  March 27, 2012 (Tue) - June 24, 2012 (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:
Box for Tanzaku Poem Cards, Plum and cherry blossom design in maki-e lacquer, Edo period, 18th century
Kosode (Garment with small wrist openings) Flowering plant, waterfall and carp design on divided purple and pale blue crepe, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mrs. Henry, on exhibit through April 22, 2012)
Furisode (Garment with long Sleeves), Design of pines, maples, peonies, streams and peacocks on light green crepe ground, Edo period, 19th century (on exhibit from April 24, 2012)
Sake Ewer in the Shape of a Gourd, By Funada Ikkin, Edo period, dated 1843
Dish, Dandelion design in overglaze enamels, Nabeshima ware, Edo period, 17th - 18th century (Private collection)
Bevel-Edged Footed Tray, Phoenix in overglaze enamel, Attributed to Okuda Eisen, Edo period, 18th - 19th century (Important Art Object, Gift of Mr. Okochi Masatoshi)

Room 8  March 27, 2012 (Tue) - May 6, 2012 (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:
Cherry-blossom Viewers, By Sumiyoshi Gukei, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Nishiwaki Kenji)
Poem, By Sakuma Shozan, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Aizu Hideo)

Noh and Kabuki
Room 9  April 24, 2012 (Tue) - June 24, 2012 (Sun)

Exhibit includes:
Karaori (Noh costume), Paired-crane diamonds design on brown ground, Edo period, 17th century
Choken Coat (Noh costume), Fans, peonies and chrysanthemums design on purple ground, Edo period, 18th century

Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Ukiyo-e
Room 10  April 17, 2012 (Tue) - May 13, 2012 (Sun)

Ukiyo-e, or depictions of everyday life in the Edo period (1603-1868), initially developed in the early Edo period as paintings by artists. After this, woodblock printing developed to enable the mass production of ukiyo-e, and innovative carving and printing techniques led to the accomplishment of multicolored nishiki-e prints. This exhibition begins with Woman Looking Out through the Rope Curtain, an Important Cultural Property that represents an early stage in the development of ukiyo-e of beautiful women. The exhibition then focuses on works featuring wisteria as well as prints on the theme of the Boys' Festival (May 5), such as Kitagawa Utamaro's depictions of Kintaro, the incredibly strong child. Prints of sumo wrestlers and other figures are also on display.
Exhibit includes:
Woman Looking Out through the Rope Curtain, Artist unknown, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property, Private collection)
Kintaro, By Katsukawa Shun'ei, Edo period, 18th century
Scenes of Twelve Months by Toyokuni and Toyohiro: May, By Utagawa Toyokuni, Edo period, dated 1801

Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Fashion
Room 10  April 24, 2012 (Tue) - June 24, 2012 (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), Snowflake and yellow rose design on particolored figured twill, Edo period, 18th century
Kosode (Garment with small wrist openings), Drum and wisteria design on white figured satin, Edo period, 17th century
Inro (Medicine case), With chicken design in cloisonne enamel, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mr.Quincy A. Shaw)

2nd floor

Netsuke: The Prince Takamado Collection
The Prince Takamado Collection Room  March 27, 2012 (Tue) - June 24, 2012 (Sun)

Nine-Tailed Fox, By 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, 1976

Room T1 & T2  April 28, 2012 (Sat) - May 13, 2012 (Sun)

This exhibition introduces 44 objects from among those newly designated National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties in 2012.
Exhibit includes:
Amida Triad, Color on Silk, By Pu-yue, Chinese, Southern Song dynasty, 12 - 13th century, Shojoke-in, Kyoto (National Treasure)
Dogu (clay figurine) from Nishinomae site, Yamagata, Jomon period, 3000 - 2000 B.C., Yamagata Prefectural Museum (National Treasure)
Seated Lanxi Daolong, Kamakura period, 13th century, Kencho-ji, Kanagawa (Important Cultural Property)
Red-raku type incense case with rabbit, By Hon'ami Koetsu, Edo period, 17th century, Idemitsu Museum of Arts (Important Cultural Property)
Choshu eiso (Collection of poems written by Toshinari Fujiwara), Kamakura period, 13th century, Nihon University (Important Cultural Property)
Rinsenjiryo ooigo Kaihan ezu (Picture map to show frontier of Ooigo ruled by Rinsen-ji temple), Nanbokucho period, dated 1348, Tenryu-ji, Kyoto (Important Cultural Property)
Prototype Measures relating to the Metre Convention and the Weights and Measures Act, 19th century, National Institute Advanced Industrial Sciense and Technology, Metrology Management Center, Ibaraki (Important Cultural Property)

1st floor

Japanese Sculpture
Room 11  February 7, 2012 (Tue) - May 13, 2012 (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 Fudo Myo-o (Acalanatha), Heian period, 12th century (Lent by Ota City, Tokyo)
Standing Juichimen Kannon Bosatsu (Ekadasamukha), Heian period, 9th century (Lent by Kojima-dera, Nara, Important Cultural Property)     
Standing Bishamonten (Vaisravana), Heian period, 9th century (Lent by Dojo-ji, Wakayama, Important Cultural Property)
Buddhain Nirvana (Death of Sakyamuni), Kamakura period, 13th century (Lent by Okadera, Nara, Important Cultural Property, on exhibit through April 22, 2012)
Standing Senju Kannon Bosatsu (Sahasrabhuja Avalokitesvara) No. 504, By Ryuen, Kamakura period, dated 1251-66 (Lent by Myoho'in (From the Main Hall of Rengeo'in), Important Cultural Property, on exhibit through April 22, 2012)

Room 12  February 14, 2012 (Tue) - May 6, 2012 (Sun)

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:
Writing Box, Cloth-fulling design in maki-e lacquer, Muromachi period, 16th century (Important Cultural Property)
Writing Box, Courtly carriage design in maki-e lacquer, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Rack for Kei (Buddhist ritual gong), Auspicious flower (hosoge) design in mother-of-pearl inlay and heijin-style maki-e lacquer, Heian period, 12th century (Lent by Daichojuin, Iwate, National Treasure)
San`e-bako (Box for Priest's Garments), Shinobu (hare's-foot fern) and arrowroot design in maki-e lacquer and mother-of-pearl inlay, Nanbokucho period, dated 1342 (Lent by Kongobu-ji, Wakayama, Important Cultural Property)

Room 13  February 28, 2012 (Tue) - May 20, 2012 (Sun)

Kyozo are mirrors or panels similar to bronze mirrors, with engravings or paintings of Buddhist or Shinto deities. Panels with three-dimensional representations of these deities are known as kakebotoke. These items were considered sacred and were hung up as objects of worship. Kyozo appeared in the Heian period in around the 9th century. In general their shape gradually became more three-dimensional throughout the Heian period, with kakebotoke becoming dominant from the Kamakura period onwards. The exhibits will highlight this change of form, as well as metalworking techniques of kyozo and kakebotoke such as engraving, casting, and forging.
Current exhibit includes:
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)
Pendant Plaque with Image of Kannon (Avalokitesvara), Kamakura period, dated 1275 (Important Cultural Property)
Plaque with Cast Image of Zao Gongen, Excavated at Mt. Kinpusen, Yoshino-gun, Nara, Heian period, 12th century (Lent by Ominesanji, Nara, Important Cultural Property)

Japanese Swords
Room 13  February 21, 2012 (Tue) - May 13, 2012 (Sun)

Exhibits selected swords and sword-fittings from the Heian to Edo periods, including the Katana Sword Known as "Kikko Sadamune".
Current exhibit includes:
Tanto Sword, By Rai Kunitoshi, Kamakura period, deted 1316 (Lent by Atsuta Jingu, Aichi, National Treasure)
Tachi Sword, By Yoshifusa, Kamakura period, 13th century (National Treasure)
Katana Sword, Known as "Kikko Sadamune", By Soshu Sadamune, Kamakura-Nanbokucho period, 14th century (Gift of Mr. Watanabe Seiichiro, National Treasure)

Room 13  February 14, 2012 (Tue) - May 6, 2012 (Sun)

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-mouthed Jar, Design of peony scrolls under yellow glaze, Seto Ware, Kamakura period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property)
Set of  Five Dishes, Cherry tree design in overglaze enamels, Nabeshima ware, Edo period, 18th century
Bowl, Cherry tree design in overglaze enamel and openwork, By Nin'ami Dohachi, Edo period, 19th century

Room 14  March 6, 2012 (Tue) - May 13, 2012 (Sun)

Various designs of drinking vessels on display in this exhibition.
Current exhibit includes:
Gourd-shaped Sake Bottles, With overglaze enamel decoration, Imari ware, Shonzui-de type, Edo period, 17th century
Sake Cup, With yellow glaze, Karatsu ware, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)
Sake Cup, Twisted band design in underglaze blue, Jingdezhen ware, Kosometsuke type, Ming dynasty, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)

Life of the Ainu People
Room 15  April 3, 2012 (Tue) - July 8, 2012 (Sun)

Current exhibit includes:
Mat, Sakhalin Ainu, 19th century (Transferred from the Agency for International Expositions, on exhibit through May 20, 2012)
Kina Mat, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Transferred from the Agency for International Expositions, on exhibit from May 22, 2012)
Coat, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Mr.Tokugawa Yorisada, on exhibit from May 22, 2012)
Quiver and Arrows,  Hokkaido Ainu
Spatula, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada)
Bobbin, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Mr.Sairu of Toyosha Company)

Room 16  March 27, 2012 (Tue) - May 20, 2012 (Sun)

This exhibition introduces the early days of the Tokyo National Museum, with a focus on materials related to Ninagawa’s research at the end of the Edo period, in the Jinshin Survey, and during the survey of 1875.
Current exhibit includes:
Exhibition at Yushima Seido, By Ichiyosai Kuniteru, 1872
Photographs of Edo Castle, Compiled by Ninagawa Noritane; photographed by Yokoyama Matsusaburo; colored by Takahashi Yuichi, 1871 (Important Cultural Property)
Jinshin Survey Catalogue of Treasures from Temples and Shrines, No.12, By Machida Hisanari, Uchida Masao and Ninagawa Noritane, 1872 (Important Cultural Property)

Preserving Our Cultural Properties
Room 17  March 27, 2012 (Tue) - March 3, 2013 (Sun)

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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: Painting and Sculpture
Room 18  April 3, 2012 (Tue) - May 13, 2012 (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, 1893
Stone Buddha of Datong, By Maeda Seison, 1938 (Gift of the artist)
Aiming at the Target, By Soyama Sachihiko, 1890

Modern Decorative Arts
Room 19  February 7, 2012 (Tue) - May 6, 2012 (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 Vases, Flowers in overglaze enamels and gold, By Chin Jukan XII, 1892
Child and Pigeon Ivory, By Asahi Meido, 1892
Eagle, By Suzuki Chokichi, 1892 (Important Cultural Property, on exhibit from February 21, 2012)
Vase, With purple-red glaze, By Takemoto Hayata, 1892

Education Center Reproducing Japanese Painting Techniques:Urazaishiki - The Effect of Hidden Color
Room 20  February 7, 2012 (Tue) - May 13, 2012 (Sun)

Urazaishiki is a technique used in Eastern painting traditions, whereby natural pigments are applied to the reverse side of a silk painting. The display demonstrates how the technique influences the appearance of paintings on silk.