>> Exhibitions
 >> September 27, 2017 (Wed)Honkan

September 27, 2017 (Wed)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

2nd floor "Highlights of Japanese Art"

The Dawn of Japanese Art: Jomon, Yayoi and Kofun periods
Room 1  July 19, 2017 (Wed) - December 25, 2017 (Mon)

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), Design of Crossed Bands (San'en Type), From Shikiji, Iwata-shi, Shizuoka, Yayoi period, 1st–3rd century (Gift of Mr. Matsuno Hikotaro et al.)
Haniwa (Terracotta tomb figurine), Man in formal attire, From Yotsuzuka tumulus, Ota-shi, Gunma, Kofun period, 6th century

The Rise of Buddhism: Asuka–Nara period
Room 1  August 22, 2017 (Tue) - October 1, 2017 (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 Nikko Bosatsu (Suryaprabha), Formerly owned by Kinrinji and Kosanji, Kyoto, Nara period, 8th century (Important Cultural Property)
Daichido kyo Sutra, From the Ishiyamadera Issai Kyo sutra compilation, vol. 75, Nara period, dated 734 (Lent by Enpukuji, Chiba)

Room 2  September 26, 2017 (Tue) - October 22, 2017 (Sun)

This prominent decorative sutra from the early Kamakura period (1192–1333) has been passed down at Jikoji Temple in Tokigawa village, Saitama prefecture. Its accompanying documents reveal that the sutra text was transcribed jointly by several court nobles. Other extant examples of the Lotus Sutra that were transcribed by multiple individuals include ones donated by the Heike clan, as well as the ones known as the “Kunoji kyo” and “Hasedera kyo,” all of which are designated as National Treasures.

Buddhist Art: Heian–Muromachi period
Room 3  August 22, 2017 (Tue) - October 1, 2017 (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 (Priest Ryogen), By Renmyo, Kamakura period, dated 1286 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kongourinji, Shiga) Fugen Bosatsu (Samantabhadra) and Ten Rasetsunyo (Raksasi), Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, LLent by Joninji, Tottori)
Kokuzo Bosatsu (Akasagarbha), Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Muto Sanji)
Yugyo Shonin den emaki (Narrative picture scroll of life of priest Ippen and Taa), Kamakura period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property)
Words of Prayer Dedicated by Saionji Saneuji's Wife, Attributed to Sesonji Tsunetada, Kamakura period, dated 1282 (Important Cultural Property)
Lotus Sutra, Hoben hon chapter; known as "Chikubujima kyo", Heian period, 11th century (National Treasure)

Courtly Art: Heian–Muromachi period
Room 3  August 22, 2017 (Tue) - October 1, 2017 (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:
Illustrated Biography of Itinerant Priests, Vol. 2, Kamakura period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Tanaka Shinbi)
Kokin waka shu Poetry Anthology, By Emperor Gofushimi, Kamakura period, dated 132 (Important Cultural Property)
Kokin waka shu Poetry Anthology, By Nijo Tameaki, Kamakura period, dated 1324 (Important Cultural Property)
Eight-foiled Mirror, Auspicious flower and pair of phoenixes design, Heian period, 11th–12th century (Important Cultural Property)

Zen and Ink Painting: Kamakura–Muromachi period
Room 3  August 22, 2017 (Tue) - October 1, 2017 (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:
Orchids (detail), By Gyokuen Bonpo, Nanbokucho period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property)

The Art of Tea Ceremony
Room 4  September 20, 2017 (Wed) - December 25, 2017 (Mon)

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:
Flower Vase with Elephant-shapedKnown as "Akizuki”, Muromachi period, 15th–16th century (Gift of Mr. Matsunaga Yasuzaemon)
Tea Caddy, Bunrin ("apple") type, Known as "Uji", China, Southern Song–Yuan dynasty, 13th century (Gift of Mr. Matsunaga Yasuzaemon)
Tea Bowl, Aoido type, Known as "Toki-ido", Korea, Joseon dynasty, 16th century (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)
Poem, Known as "Sunshoan shikishi", Attributed to Ki no Tsurayuki, Heian period, 11th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Asano Nagatake)

Attire of the Military Elite: Heian–Edo period
Room 5 & 6  August 29, 2017 (Tue) - November 19, 2017 (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)
Tachi Sword, By Sukezane, Kamakura period, 13th century (National Treasure, On exhibit from September 5, 2017)
Uchigatana Style Sword Mounting (For tachi sword by Sukezane), Hollyhock crests design in maki-e lacquer and mother of pearl inlay on ikakeji lacquer ground, Edo period, 19th century (On exhibit from September 5, 2017)
Jinbaori (Coat worn over armor), White nerinuki plain weave and sutra text design, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century (On exhibit from October 17, 2017)

Folding Screens and Sliding Door Paintings: Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period
Room 7  September 20, 2017 (Wed) - October 29, 2017 (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:
Flowers and Birds, By Soga Nichokuan, Edo period, 17th century

The Arts of Daily Life: Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period
Room 8  August 1, 2017 (Tue) - October 22, 2017 (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:
Food Box, Flowering plant design in maki-e lacquer, By Tanda Chubei, Edo period, 18th century (Gift of Mr. Ito Kashinosuke)
Katabira (Unlined summer garment), Chrysanthemum, hollyhock, wisteria, peony, lozenge, and carriage wheel design on brown plain-weave ramie ground, Edo period, 19th century
Katabira (Unlined summer garment), Landscape design featuring courtly houses on white ramie ground, Edo period, 18th century
Uchikake (Outer garment), Flowing water, chrysanthemum, hollyhock, and plum tree design on red figured satin ground, Said to have been used by Tanehime, wife of 10th head of Kishu-Tokugawa clan, Edo period, 18th century
Kaji Shozoku (Suit worn at scene of fire), Wave and carp design on scarlet plain-weave woolen ground (with paired Japanese ginger crests), Edo period, 19th century
Kajibaori (Protective garment for firefighter), Design of male figure on dark blue quilted cotton, Edo period, 19th century
Water Dropper, Design of eggplant with Mount Fuji and Miho Pine Grove, Edo period, 18–19th century (Gift of Mr. Watanabe Toyotaro and Mr. Watanabe Masayuki)
Lidded Vessel, Chrysanthemum and stream design in overglaze enamel, Imari ware, Kakiemon type, Edo period, 18th century
Bowl, Cherry blossom and maple design in overglaze enamel, By Nin'nami Dohachi, Edo period, ca. mid–19th century (Important Art Object, Private collection)

Developments in Painting and Calligraphy: Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period
Room 8  September 20, 2017 (Wed) - October 29, 2017 (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:
Grapes, By Tachihara Kyosho, Edo period, dated 1835 (Important Cultural Property)
Laozi, Dragon and Tiger, By Iwasa Matabei, Edo period, 17th century
Poem, By Ike no Taiga, Edo period, 18th century (Gift of Ms. Kuze Tamie)

Noh and Kabuki: Kyogen Masks and Costumes
Room 9  August 8, 2017 (Tue) - October 15, 2017 (Sun)

Kyogen, which began in the Muromachi period (1392–1573), is one of Japan’s major styles of theater along with Noh and Kabuki. Taking inspiration from the ups and downs of everyday life, Kyogen plays originally served as comic interludes in between the acts of somber Noh dramas. Kyogen masks have cheerful, humorous expressions with exaggerated eyes and noses, while the costumes are freely dyed with patterns of everyday plants, animals, and objects for a casual appearance that reflects the carefree and optimistic nature of Kyogen.

Current exhibit includes:
Illustrated Handscroll of Noh and Kyogen Plays, Vol. 2, Artist unknown, Edo period, 18th century
Kataginu (Kyogen costume), Wave, rabbit, peony, arabesque, sandbank, and sasa bamboo design on black ramie ground, Edo period, 19th century
Kyogen Mask, Buaku (demon) type, Attributed to Bunzo, Muromachi Period, 14th century

Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Ukiyo-e
Room 10  September 5, 2017 (Tue) - October 1, 2017 (Sun)

The genre of ukiyo-e, which depicts the common people of the Edo period (1603–1868), first consisted of only hand-painted works. Mass production of ukiyo-e later became possible through woodblock printing, while advances in carving and printing techniques eventually led to the creation of multi-colored prints called nishiki-e. This exhibition will trace the history of this unique genre of art through works by famous artists, beginning with the so-called “Founder of Ukiyo-e,” Iwasa Matabei, and another early artist, Hishikawa Moronobu. It will continue with monochrome prints, such as the standing beauties of the Kaigetsudo school, prints with colors applied by brush, ones with printed colors, and finally, brilliant nishiki-e. Paintings by Hishikawa Moronobu and artists of the Miyagawa school will also be featured.

Current exhibit includes:
Genre Scenes, By Iwasa Matabei, Edo period, 17th century
Scenes in the Yoshiwara Pleasure District, By Hishikawa Moronobu, Edo period, 17th century
Beauty with a Book of Tokiwazu Songs, By Ishikawa Toyonobu, Edo period, 18th century (Important Art Object)
Renowned Beauties Likened to the Six Immortal Poets: Naniwaya Okita, By Kitagawa Utamaro, Edo period, 18th century
Eight Famous Views of Buyo Kanazawa at Night, Essentialized in One Scene, By Utagawa Hiroshige, Edo period, dated 1857

Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Fashion
Room 10  August 8, 2017 (Tue) - October 15, 2017 (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 (Unlined summer garment), Stream and bush clover design on white ramie ground, Edo period, 18th century
Kosode (Garment with small wrist openings), Chrysanthemum, net, and character design on white figured satin ground, Edo period, 18th century
Inro (Medicine case), Chrysanthemum flower and butterfly design in inlay, Meiji era, 19th century

2nd floor

Netsuke: The Prince Takamado Collection
The Prince Takamado Collection Room  August 1, 2017 (Tue) - October 22, 2017 (Sun)

Daruma, By Hosen Miyazawa, 1998
Kappa, By Kenji Abe, 1986
Angel's Tears, ojime: Cheese, By Kozan Fukuyama, 2001
Winter Sparrow, By Shizuka Kimura, 1998
Belling the Cat, By Susan Wraight, 2001

Room T1  August 29, 2017 (Tue) - October 9, 2017 (Mon)

Konoe Nobutada (1565?1614) was the head of the Konoe clan, a prestigious family of court nobles. He was also an accomplished calligrapher, and his calligraphic style, which was later called the “Sanmyaku’in style” after his artistic name, was passed down to his adopted son, Nobuhiro, and became widely admired. This exhibition presents the beauty of Konoe Nobutada’s calligraphy as well as Sanmyaku’in-style calligraphic works by his followers.

1st floor

Japanese Sculpture
Room 11  July 25, 2017 (Tue) - October 22, 2017 (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 (Presumed), Kamakura period, 13th–14th century (Important Cultural Property)
Seated Amida Nyorai (Amitabha),
Formerly passed down at Chorakuji, Kyotanba-cho, Funai-gun, Kyoto, Heian period, dated 1147 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Agency for Cultural Affairs)
Two Heavenly Kings,
Formerly passed down at Chorakuji, Kyotanba-cho, Funai-gun, Kyoto, Heian period, dated 1147 (Lent by Agency for Cultural Affairs)
Standing Senju Kannon Bosatsu (Sahasrabhuja), No. 493,
By Injo, Kamakura period, dated 1251–59 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Myoho'in (From the Main Hall of Rengeo'in), Kyoto)
Standing Senju Kannon Bosatsu (Sahasrabhuja), No. 504,
By Ryuen, Kamakura period, dated 1251–66 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Myoho'in (From the Main Hall of Rengeo'in), Kyoto)
Standing Senju Kannon Bosatsu (Sahasrabhuja), No. 40,
By Tankei, Kamakura period, dated 1251–56 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Myoho'in (From the Main Hall of Rengeo'in), Kyoto)

Room 12  September 26, 2017 (Tue) - December 25, 2017 (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:
Tebako (Cosmetic box), Scattered fan design in maki-e lacquer, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property)
Writing Box, Ivy and brushwood fence design in
maki-e lacquer, By Koma Kyui, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Sake Flask, Paulownia, bamboo, and phoenix design in
maki-e lacquer, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Tamukeyama Hachimangu, Nara)
Tebako (Cosmetic box), Sumino-e seascape design in maki-e lacquer lacquer, Kamakura period, dated 1228 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Rin'noji, Tochigi)
Bookshelf, Landscape design in
maki-e lacquer, Edo period, 18th century (Important Art Object, Lent by the OKURA MUSEUM OF ART, Tokyo)
Writing Box, Design based on poem with the word "
shinobu" (hare's foot fern) in maki-e lacquer, Attributed to Hon'ami Koetsu, Edo period, 17th century (Important Art Object, Gift of Mr. Yamamoto Tatsuro)

Room 13  September 20, 2017 (Wed) - December 25, 2017 (Mon)

This exhibition provides a historical overview of Japanese metalwork from the Heian (794–1192) to the Edo (1603–1868) period. Objects are displayed by category, such as Buddhist ritual implements, mirrors, tea kettles, objects with designs in cloisonné, decorative fittings, and okimono ornaments. Visitors are invited to view the beauty of metals such as gold, silver, copper, and iron, as well as the shapes they were crafted into, and the designs they were freely embellished with.

Current exhibit includes:
Container for Buddhist Relics in Shape of Flaming Sacred Jewel, Kamakura period, 13th–14th century (Important Cultural Property)
Articulated Figure, Dragon, By Myochin Mune'aki, Edo period, dated 1713

Japanese Swords
Room 13  July 19, 2017 (Wed) - October 15, 2017 (Sun)

Exhibits selected swords and sword-fittings from the Heian to Edo periods, including the Tachi Sword, Known as "Mikazuki Munechika", By Munechika .

Current exhibit includes:
Chokuto Sword, Known as "Suiryu ken", Nara period, 8th century (Important Cultural Property)
Tachi Sword, Known as "Mikazuki Munechika", By Munechika, Heian period, 10th–12th century (National Treasure, Gift of Mr. Watanabe Seiichiro)

Room 13  September 5, 2017 (Tue) - November 26, 2017 (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, Tomoe (comma shapes) design, Suzu ware, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by the Agency for Cultural Affairs)
Hexagonal Dish, Juro (God of longevity) design in underglaze iron pigment, By Ogata Korin and Ogata Kenzan (Shinsei), Edo period, 18th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by the OKURA MUSEUM OF ART, Tokyo)
Tea Bowl, Design of motifs from "Autumn Excursion" chapter of The Tale of Genji in overglaze enamel, Studio of Ninsei, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Ms. Yamamoto Tomiko and Mr. Yamamoto Kenji)
Lobed Bowl, Cherry blossom and maple tree design in overglaze enamel, By Nin'nami Dohachi, Edo period, 19th century
Lidded Bowl, Peony design in overglaze enamel, Imari ware, Kakiemon type, Edo period, 17th century

Room 14  August 29, 2017 (Tue) - December 3, 2017 (Sun)

The realistic style of the Buddhist sculptor Unkei (d. 1223), with its powerful, dynamic forms and rich expression of volume, had an undeniable influence on the sculptors of later generations. Unkei’s grandson, Koen (b. 1207), for example, inherited his grandfather’s style and succeeded in making it more approachable, while the sculptors of the Zenpa school, including Zen’en (1197–1258), elaborated on Unkei’s style in the Nara region. This thematic exhibition explores how these sculptors inherited and transformed the style of Unkei in the Kamakura period (1192–1333).

Records of History: The Prosperity of the Tokugawa Shogunate
Room 15  August 8, 2017 (Tue) - October 1, 2017 (Sun)

The Tokyo National Museum Collection includes numerous artworks and documents that shed light on history. These include objects collected through expositions and surveys of cultural properties conducted since the Museum’s establishment in 1872, and others transferred from the shogunate. This exhibition features historical documents that reveal the prosperity of the Tokugawa shogunate. Photographs of relevant objects and sites, such as a pleasure boat for the shoguns, Edo castle, and Kan’eiji Temple, will also be included from the Museum’s extensive collection of photographs taken at the end of the Tokugawa regime and during and after the following Meiji era (1868–1912).

Current exhibit includes:
Dolls of A Daimyo's Procession, Meiji period, 19th century
1 Waka Poem, By Karasumaru Mitsuhiro, Edo period, 17th century, Private collection
Preliminary Painting for Edo Castle to be Reviewed by Shogun, Upper Room, Great Reception Building, Front Section, Nishinomaru Palace, By Kano Seisen-in Osanobu, Edo period, dated 1839
Diary of Official Painting Duties (Autumn and winter of 1841), By Kano Seisen'in (Osanobu), Edo period, dated 1841

Ainu and Ryukyu: Life of the Ainu People
Room 16  September 5, 2017 (Tue) - November 26, 2017 (Sun)

The Ainu people, who lived in the harsh environment of Hokkaido and its islands, revered nature and the gods, living their lives in harmony with their natural surroundings. This exhibition features everyday items that shed light on the daily lives of the Ainu. These include hunting and fishing tools that Ainu men used, weaving tools and woven items, such as clothing and bags, used by Ainu women, as well as wooden tableware.

Current exhibit includes:
Beater, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada)
Knife, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of the Hokkaido Project Management Bureau, Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce)
Harpoon, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of the Hokkaido Project Management Bureau, Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce)
Trap, Primorsky Krai, 19th century (Gift of the Geological Society of Amur River, Russia)
Coat, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century
The Village of Koropokkur, By Touu Oda, Dated 1907

Conservation and Restoration
Room 17  April 15, 2014 (Tue) - April 5, 2020 (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  August 22, 2017 (Tue) - October 1, 2017 (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:
Scenes from the Tropics: Evening, By Imamura Shiko, Dated 1914 (Important Cultural Property)
Portrait of Reiko, By Kishida Ryusei, Dated 1921 (Important Cultural Property)
Eagle, By Suzuki Chokichi, Dated 1892 (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Japan Delegate Office for World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago)
Wild Boar, By Ishikawa Komei, Dated 1912 (Gift of the artist)

Education Center: Education Space
Room 19  April 15, 2014 (Tue) - April 5, 2020 (Sun)

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

Room 19  April 18, 2017 (Tue) - August 5, 2018 (Sun)

This year’s reproduction project features a garment from Okinawa, made by using the island’s traditional bingata dyeing technique. With a mass of colorful peony flowers, buds, and leaves, all dyed on a white background, the original work is entitled: Bingata Garment with Peony Design on White Cotton. The intricate design structure and vivid colors gave our team ample opportunity to explore this superb dyeing technique that blossomed in the 19th-century Ryukyu Kingdom in Okinawa. What kind of dyeing techniques allow such minutely-detailed flower petals and leaf shapes, and what kind of culture nurtured the colorful style of bingata? This display explores answers to these questions through a combination of research, fieldwork, and hands-on reproduction.