TOP
 >> Exhibitions
 >> July 27, 2014 (Sun)Honkan

July 27, 2014 (Sun)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

Honkan (Highlights of Japanese Art) on the 2nd floor will be closed for maintenance work from Monday, December 10, 2018 - Tuseday, January 1, 2019.


2nd floor "Highlights of Japanese Art"

  
The Dawn of Japanese Art: Jomon, Yayoi and Kofun periods
Room 1  June 17, 2014 (Tue) - December 7, 2014 (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:
Dogu (Clay figurine), With heart-shaped face, From Gobara, Higashi Agatsuma-machi, Gunma, Jomon period, 2000 - 1000 BC (Important Cultural Property, Private collection)
Dotaku (Bell-shaped bronze), Kinki-region style, From Mukaiyama, Ibaraki, Hidaka-cho, Wakayama, Yayoi period, 1st - 3rd century
Haniwa (Terracotta tomb figurine), Man in full dress, From Yotsuzuka tumulus, Ota-shi, Gunma, Kofun period, 6th century
Four-legged Vessel, Jasper, From Oyagatani tumulus, Tarui-cho, Gifu, Kofun period, 4th - 5th century

  
The Rise of Buddhism: Asuka - Nara period
Room 1  July 23, 2014 (Wed) - August 31, 2014 (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
Buddhist Sutra on the Monastic Code of Conduct (Shibun kaihon) with Preface, Nara period, dated 768 (Gift of Mr. Hori Tatsu)
Ritual objects used in consecration of building site of Main Hall, Kohfukuji, Excavated from under the building site of Main Hall, Kohfukuji, Nara, Nara period, 8th century (National Treasure)
Reliquary, Excavated from former Mishima Temple site at Oda, Ibaraki-shi, Osaka, Nara period, 8th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Ota Jisaburo and Mr. Hirano Sutejiro)

  
Room 2  July 8, 2014 (Tue) - August 3, 2014 (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:
Cooling Off, By Kusumi Morikage, Edo period, 17th century (National Treasure)

 

  
Buddhist Art: Heian - Muromachi period
Room 3  July 23, 2014 (Wed) - August 31, 2014 (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 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kongorinji, Shiga)
Nirvana, Kamakura period, 14th century
Fudo Myo'o (Acalanatha) and Eight Attendants, Kamakura priod, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Onjoji, Shiga)
Hoke Kyo (Lotus Sutra), Vol. 1, With characters in pagoda shapes, Formerly owned by Anrakujuin, Heian period, 12th century (Gift of Mr. Tanaka Shinbi)
Words of Prayer by Fujiwara no Moromichi, Heian period, dated 1088 (Important Cultural Property, Private collection)
Buddhist Ritual Bell with Five-pronged Vajra Handle, Featuring attributes of Buddhist deities, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Gokokuji, Tokyo)

  
Courtly Art: Heian - Muromachi period
Room 3  July 23, 2014 (Wed) - August 31, 2014 (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 (Stories about conceited monks), Enryakuji Version, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)
Letter, By Prince Son'en, Nanbokucho period, 14th century

  
Zen and Ink Painting: Kamakura - Muromachi period
Room 3  July 23, 2014 (Wed) - August 31, 2014 (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 (Buddhist verse), By Muso Soseki, Nanbokucho period, 14th century
Budai (Hotei), By Kano Masanobu; inscription by Keijo Shurin, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property, Private collection)

  
The Art of Tea Ceremony
Room 4  May 20, 2014 (Tue) - August 3, 2014 (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, Horimishima type; known as "Kimura", Joseon dynasty, 16th - 17th century, Korea (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige, On exhibit from July 1, 2014)
Letter, By Daikyu Shonen, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Matsunaga Yasuzaemon, On exhibit from July 1, 2014)
Sake Bottle, Net and fish design in underglaze blue, Jingdezhen ware, Kosometsuke type, Ming dynasty, 17th century, China (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)

  
Attire of the Military Elite: Heian - Edo period
Room 5 & 6  June 17, 2014 (Tue) - August 31, 2014 (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:
Domaru Type Armor, With lacing in kashidori style, red at shoulders, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Akita Kazusue)
Tanto Sword, By Kanemitsu, Kamakura period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Oogamiyama Jinja, Tottori)
Aikuchi Style Sword Mounting (For tanto sword by Kanemitsu), Covered with gold sheet, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Oogamiyama Jinja, Tottori)

  
Folding Screens and Sliding Door Paintings: Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period
Room 7  July 1, 2014 (Tue) - August 3, 2014 (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:
Bridge with Willow Trees and Water Mill, Artist unknown, Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period, Late 16th - early 17th century

  
The Arts of Daily Life: Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period
Room 8  June 17, 2014 (Tue) - August 31, 2014 (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:
Picnic Set, Shellfish design in maki-e lacquer, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Utsuki Nobuo, On exhibit through August 24, 2014)
Koshimaki (Summer garment), Pine, bamboo, plum, crane and tortoise design on chrysanthemum-patterned red figured satin ground, Formerly preserved by a vassal of the Kurume domain, Edo period, 18th - 19th century
Koshimaki (Summer garment), Plum, camellia, interlocking tortoise-shell hexagon and floral lozenge design on reddish-black plain-weave ground with glossed weft, Worn by Teikyo-in (Tanehime Satoko), the wife of Tokugawa Harutomi, the 10th head of the Kishu Tokugawa family, Edo period, 18th century
Large Dish, Snowscape design in underglaze blue, Nabeshima ware, Edo period, 18th century
Dish, Gourd design in underglaze blue, partly with celadon glaze, Nabeshima ware, Edo period, 17th century

  
Developments in Painting and Calligraphy: Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period
Room 8  July 1, 2014 (Tue) - August 3, 2014 (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:
Eight Sceneries of Xiao and Xiang, By Hasegawa Tohaku, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century
A Poet's Mountain Retreat, By Uragami Gyokudo, Edo period, dated 1792 (Important Cultural Property)
Poems, By Dokuryu Shoeki, Edo period, 17th century (Private collection)

  
Noh and Kabuki:
Room 9  June 17, 2014 (Tue) - August 3, 2014 (Sun)

This exhibition conveys the atmosphere of a Noh play featuring blessings from deities.
Current exhibit includes:
Karaori Garment (Noh Costume), Basket pattern, peony, cherry blossom and blue magpie design on red ground, Edo period, 18th century
Maiginu (Noh Costume), Design of "flower-rafts" on red ground, Edo period, 18th century

  
Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Ukiyo-e
Room 10  July 15, 2014 (Tue) - August 3, 2014 (Sun)

In the early Edo period (1603-1868), ukiyo-e, which are depictions of commoners' lives in the Edo period, were only in the form of paintings. Later on, a method of woodblock printing was devised and mass production of ukiyo-e became possible. Eventually, a method of producing multicolored nishiki-e prints was established, following the further development of carving and printing techniques. Based on subjects popular among commoners, such as the pleasure quarters or Kabuki theatre, nishiki-e developed primarily through yakusha-e prints of actors and bijinga portraits of beautiful women, leading to the creation of various other genres, including prints of birds and flowers, narrative tales, and landscapes.
This exhibition shows works full of seasonal references: genre paintings featuring summery scenes at the water's edge, including cooling off in the evening and watching fireworks, as well as prints featuring summery flowers such as morning glories and lilies. Also on display are series of nishiki-e prints: Sixty-nine Stations of Kiso Kaido Highway by Keisai Eisen (1791–1848) and One Hundred Poems Explained by a Nurse by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849).
Current exhibit includes:
Woman Reading a Letter Outside Mosquito Net, By Torii Kiyomasu, Edo period, 18th century
Fireworks at Ryogoku, By Kitagawa Utamaro, Edo period, 18th century
Lilies, By Katsushika Hokusai, Edo period, 19th century (Important Art Object)
Cooling Off on a Boat under Azuma Bridge, By Torii Kiyonaga, Edo period, 18th century
 

  
Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Fashion
Room 10  June 17, 2014 (Tue) - August 3, 2014 (Sun)

Introduces the fashion of the Edo period townspeople. Enjoy comparing with the ukiyo-e works exhibited in the same room.
Current exhibit includes:
Katabira (Summer Garment), Design of landscape, pavilions and symbols for Genji-ko incense game on light blue ramie ground, Edo period, 18th century
Katabira (Summer Garment), Bush clover and sho (panpipe for Bugaku performance) design on white ramie ground, Edo period, 19th century
Inro (Medicine Case), In the shape of bamboo; cicada design in maki-e lacquer, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Quincy A. Shaw)
 

2nd floor

  
Netsuke: The Prince Takamado Collection
The Prince Takamado Collection Room  June 17, 2014 (Tue) - August 31, 2014 (Sun)

Including:
Strange Things Do Happen!, By Kangyoku Tachihara, 1992        
Melon, By Kinuyo Hariya, 1996                 
Ground Cherry, By Seiho Azuma, 1994
Squirrel, By Tadamine Nakagawa, 1989        
Hatching Snake, By Susan Wraight, 1993

  
Room T2  July 23, 2014 (Wed) - August 31, 2014 (Sun)

This exhibition, themed "The Beautiful Scenery at Kasuga," is the first round of a series that attempts to introduce people's faith in Kasuga Taisha from various aspects, along with the appeal of the copies of the Illustrated Scrolls of Kasuga Shrine.
Current exhibit includes:
Kasuga Shrine Mandala, Kamakura period, 13th century
Mandala of Kasuga Honjibutsu (Shinto gods as Buddhist deities), Kamakura period, 13th century
Illustrated Scroll of Kasuga Shrine (Copy), Vol. 16, Copied by Reizei Tamechika and others, Edo period, 19th century
Mandala of Holy Deer as Messenger of Deity of Kasuga, Muromachi period, 16th century (Gift of Mr. Naito Gyoho)
Illustrated Scroll of Kasuga Shrine (Copy), Vol. 19, Copied by Reizei Tamechika and others, Edo period, 19th century
Cabinet, With painted decoration of Kasuga Shrine Mandala, Muromachi period, dated 1479

1st floor

  
Room 11 & 14  June 10, 2014 (Tue) - August 31, 2014 (Sun)

This exhibition, being held in rooms 11 and 14 of the Honkan, displays Buddhist statues that were created mainly in the Kamakura period (1192–1333).
Current exhibit includes:
Seated Dainichi Nyorai (Mahavairocana), Heian - Kamakura period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Shinnyo-en, Tokyo)
Seated Dainichi Nyorai (Mahavairocana), Heian - Kamakura period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kotokuji, Tochigi)
Seated Aizen Myo'o (Ragaraja), Kamakura period, 13th - 14th century (Important Cultural Property)
Standing Bosatsu (Bodhisattva), Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)

  
Lacquerware
Room 12  May 20, 2014 (Tue) - August 17, 2014 (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, Ivy and brushwood fence design in maki-e lacquer, By Koma Kyui, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Sutra Box with Inner Tray, Tray: design of Sakyamuni and the sixteen guardians of the Daihannya-kyo sutra in maki-e lacquer; box: lotus pond design in maki-e lacquer, Heian period, dated 1175 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Nanatsu-dera, Aichi)
Tebako (Cosmetic Box) and Contents, Paulownia design in maki-e lacquer, Donated to temple in Nanbokucho period, dated 1390 (National Treasure, Lent by Kumanohayatama Taisha, Wakayama)
Chest with Legs, Suminoe Beach design in maki-e lacquer, Nanbokucho period, dated 1357 (Important Cultural Property)
Mirror Box, Paulownia, bamboo and phoenix design in maki-e lacquer, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Atsuta Jingu, Aichi)
Writing Table and Writing Box, Ivy-bound path design in maki-e lacquer, By Tatsuke Chobei, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)

  
Metalwork: Metalwork in the Edo period
Room 13  May 20, 2014 (Tue) - August 17, 2014 (Sun)

In Japan from the late Muromachi period (1392-1573) onward, circular bronze mirrors with handles began being produced. Throughout the Edo period (1603-1868), these mirrors became a part of town life, with various designs cast on their backs, such as landscapes with flowers and birds, or characters from historical events.
This exhibition shows changes in the forms of these mirrors over time, as well as the development of diverse design expressions.
Current exhibit includes:
Mirror with Handle, Tachibana citrus tree, turtle and crane design, Muromachi period, 16th century
Mirror with Handle, Plum and bamboo design, Edo period, 18th - 19th century
Mirror with Handle, Ripe rice plant design, Signed "Nishimura Bungonojyou Fujiwara Masasige", Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada)

 

  
Japanese Swords
Room 13  May 27, 2014 (Tue) - August 24, 2014 (Sun)

Exhibits selected swords and sword-fittings from the Heian to Edo periods, including the Tachi Sword by Yoshifusa.
Current exhibit includes:
Chokuto Sword, Known as "Suiryu Ken", Nara period, 8th century (Important Cultural Property)
Tachi Sword, By Yoshifusa, Kamakura period, 13th century (National Treasure)
Katana Sword, Known as "Kanze Masamune", By Soshu Masamune, Kamakura period, 14th century (National Treasure)

  
Ceramics
Room 13  May 27, 2014 (Tue) - August 24, 2014 (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 Jar, Natural glaze, Tokoname ware, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property, Private collection)
Tiered Food Box with Handle, Dragon and wave design in underglaze blue, By Aoki Mokubei, Edo period, 19th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Kasagi Toru)
Large Bowl, Landscape design in underglaze blue, Imari ware, Edo period, 17th century
 

  
Records of History
Room 15  June 10, 2014 (Tue) - August 3, 2014 (Sun)

Tokyo National Museum includes a large collection of historical objects and documents. This collection began with objects previously owned by the Edo shogunate government. From the museum's establishment in 1872 (Meiji 5) onward, the collection grew through the holding of exhibitions as well as surveys of cultural properties. This exhibition room mainly displays a wide range of historical materials. These include illustrated catalogues created for natural history research-a field of study that flourished in the Edo period (1603-1868)-old maps produced in the Edo period and Meiji era (1868-1912), as well as illustrations and documents on diverse subjects such as the practices of the imperial court and warrior families, annual events, customs, Japanese literature, and medicine. In addition, there is a vast collection of old photographs from the end of the Edo period and Meiji era onward. Some of these photographs are introduced in this exhibition room to show aspects of former times, such as exhibitions, sceneries, people and cultural properties.
Current exhibit includes:
Illustrations of Fish Species, Compiled by the Museum Bureau; by Kurimoto Tanshu and others, Edo period - Meiji era, 19th century
Map of the Koshudochu Highway, Komagino, Takaosan, Kobotoke, Ohara, Yose, Yoshino, Sekino, Uenohara and Tsurukawa, Edo period, dated 1806 (Important Cultural Property)
Distant View from Shimofuri Bridge, Nikko, By Yokoyama Matsusaburo, Dated 1869 - 70

  
Ainu and Ryukyu: Decorative Arts of Ryukyu
Room 16  July 8, 2014 (Tue) - September 28, 2014 (Sun)

This display features examples of decorative art from Ryukyu, including metalwork, colorful textiles, ceramics showing various influences, lacquerware showing Chinese influences, and jade objects.
Current exhibit includes:
Covered Food Box, Figure under tree design in mother-of-pearl inlay and in chinkin (gilded hair-line engraving), Okinawa Main Island, Second Sho Dynasty, Ryukyu Kingdom, 18th century
Covered Food Box, Figure under tree design in mother-of-pearl inlay and in chinkin (gilded hair-line engraving), Okinawa Main Island, Second Sho Dynasty, Ryukyu Kingdom, 18th century (On exhibit through August 17, 2014)
Tea Set, Tin hot water jar with brass handle, Okinawa Main Island, Second Sho Dynasty, Ryukyu Kingdom, 19th century (On exhibit from August 19, 2014)
Ritual Bead Necklace, Amami Oshima Island, Second Sho Dynasty, Ryukyu Kingdom, 19th century (Gift of Ms. Yamato Ryoko)
Hair Ornament for an Amushirare (Ritual officer), Amami Oshima Island, Second Sho Dynasty, Ryukyu Kingdom, 18th century (Gift of Ms. Yamato Ryoko)
Quiver, Okinawa Main Island, Second Sho Dynasty, Ryukyu Kingdom, 19th century (On exhibit through August 17, 2014)
Tray, Dragon design in mother-of-pearl inlay, Okinawa Main Island, Second Sho Dynasty, Ryukyu Kingdom, 18th - 19th century (On exhibit from August 19, 2014)
Cinerary Urn, Okinawa Main Island, Second Sho Dynasty, Ryukyu Kingdom, 18th - 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tsutsumi Satoshi)

  
Conservation and Restoration
Room 17  April 15, 2014 (Tue) - April 7, 2019 (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.

 

  
Modern Art
Room 18  July 15, 2014 (Tue) - August 17, 2014 (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:
The Priest Fenggan, By Kawanabe Kyosai, Meiji period, 19th century
Strolling Musicians, By Kobayashi Mango, Dated 1900 (Gift of the artist)
Woman, By Ogiwara Morie, Mold: 1910; cast: 2010
Plaque, Wild ducks and lotus design in maki-e lacquer, By Shibata Zeshin, Dated 1881
Footed Bowl, With applied crabs and brown glaze, By Miyagawa Kozan I, Dated 1881 (Important Cultural Property, Exhibited at the Second National Industrial Exhibition)
Large Flower Vase, "Oeyama" (scene of goblin hunting) design, By Yokoyama Takashige and Yokoyama Yazaemon, 1872

  
Education Center: Education Space
Room 19  April 15, 2014 (Tue) - April 7, 2019 (Sun)

Designing at TNM
Exploring The TNM Collection
Making at TNM
Searching for National Treasures at TNM
Touching TNM