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 >> December 8, 2017 (Fri)Honkan

December 8, 2017 (Fri)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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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  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  November 14, 2017 (Tue) - December 25, 2017 (Mon)

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)
Shibun kaihon Monastic Code of Conduct with Preface, Nara period, dated 768 (Gift of Mr. Hori Tatsu)
One of the “One Million Pagodas”,
Nara period, dated 770 (Gift of Ms. Yamakoshi Yasuko)

Room 2  November 21, 2017 (Tue) - December 25, 2017 (Mon)

These volumes comprise one of the five renowned versions of the Man' yo shu poetry anthology transcribed in classical calligraphy. They were transcribed by more than ten individuals, and the calligraphic style in the first volume is very close to the handwriting in other anthologies, such as Wakan roei shu in butterfly-bound (decchoso) booklets. This version is hence presumed to date back approximately to the latter half of the 11th century. The Genryaku version was divided up in the course of the history of its ownership. The Museum holds six volumes formerly owned by the Takamatsu house of the imperial family and 14 volumes that belonged to the Furukawa family.

Buddhist Art: Heian–Muromachi period
Room 3  November 14, 2017 (Tue) - December 25, 2017 (Mon)

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:
Standing Monju Bosatsu (Manjusri), Kamakura period, dated 1269 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Chuguji, Nara)
Benzaiten (Sarasvati) and Fifteen Attendants,
Muromachi period, 15th century
Muromachi period, 15th century
Standing Monju Bosatsu (Manjusri),
Kamakura period, dated 1269 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Chuguji, Nara)
Fragment of Object from Inside a Statue of Monju Bosatsu (Manjusri),
Kamakura period, dated 1269 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Chuguji, Nara)
Illustrated Biography of Priest Honen, Vol. 19,
Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property, Okunoin at Taimadera, Nara)
Miniature Clay Pagodas,
Provenance unknown, Heian period, 12th century (Gift of Mr. Muraoka Isaburo)
Lotus Sutra, Vol. 1, With characters in pagoda shapes,
Passed down at Anrakujuin, Kyoto, Heian period, 12th century (Gift of Mr. Tanaka Shinbi)

Courtly Art: Heian–Muromachi period
Room 3  November 14, 2017 (Tue) - December 25, 2017 (Mon)

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 Scroll of Legends about the Origin of Seikoji Temple, Vol. 1, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property)
Detached Segment of Anthology of Poems Composed by Kiyohara no Fukayabu, Known as “Meika kashu gire”,
Attributed to Ki no Tsurayuki, Heian period, 11th century (Important Art Object, Gift of Mr. Matsunaga Yasuzaemon)
Eight-foiled Mirror, Auspicious flower design with bird-shaped knob,
Heian period, 11th–12th century

Zen and Ink Painting: Kamakura–Muromachi period
Room 3  November 14, 2017 (Tue) - December 25, 2017 (Mon)

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:
Verse of Praise Written on the Anniversary of Nan'in Kokushi's Death, By Seisetsu Shocho, Nanbokucho period, dated 1337

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  November 21, 2017 (Tue) - February 12, 2018 (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:
Gusoku, Type Armor, With two-piece cuirass with white lacing, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yoshihiro)
Daisho (Pair of long and short swords), Style Sword Mounting, Gold banding on red-lacquered ground, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century (Important Cultural Property)
Tachi, Sword, By Yoshikane, Heian-Kamakura period, 12th–13th century (Important Cultural Property)
Itomaki no tachi, Style Sword Mounting (For tachi sword by Sadazane), With bamboo grass and gentian crests on nashiji lacquer ground, Edo period, 17th century
Jinbaori (Coat worn over armor), White nerinuki plain weave and sutra text design, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century

Folding Screens and Sliding Door Paintings: Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period
Room 7  October 31, 2017 (Tue) - December 17, 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:
Waves, By Maruyama Okyo, Edo period, dated 1788 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kongoji, Kyoto)
Autumn and Winter Landscapes,
By Maruyama Okyo, Edo period, 18th century

The Arts of Daily Life: Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period
Room 8  October 24, 2017 (Tue) - January 28, 2018 (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:
Pair of Boxes for Shell Matching Game Pieces, Scenes from the Tale of Genji, Edo period, 17th 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
Yogi Bedspread, Edo period, 18th century
Water Dropper, Eggplant with Japanese gold beetle design, Edo period, 18th–19th century (Gift of Mr. Watanabe Toyotaro and Mr. Watanabe Masayuki)
Bowl, Wagtail design, Mino ware, Nezumi Shino type, Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period, 16th–17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Covered Dish, Fan shape, Mino ware, Oribe type, Edo period, 17th century

Developments in Painting and Calligraphy: Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period
Room 8  October 31, 2017 (Tue) - December 17, 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:
Flowers and Birds of the Four Seasons, Volume 2, By Sakai Hoitsu, Edo period, dated 1818
Man'yo shu Poem Anthology, By Keichu, Edo period, 17th century
Scroll of Waka Poems,
By Hon'ami Koetsu, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Kawai Gyokudo)

Noh and Kabuki: Auspicious Patterns in Designs for the Noh Theater
Room 9  December 5, 2017 (Tue) - February 18, 2018 (Sun)

Noh theater, one of Japan's traditional performing arts, was presented at Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples as an offering to the gods. In return, people hoped to be blessed with rich harvests, numerous descendants, as well as long and healthy lives. For this reason, props and costumes for Noh were often decorated with auspicious patterns–some Chinese in origin and others uniquely Japanese–that reflected these wishes. We invite visitors to take a closer look at these brilliant patterns that embody the hope for good fortune.

Current exhibit includes:
Atsuita Garment (Noh costume), Lion design on dark blue ground, Edo period, 17th century
Nuihaku (Noh costume), Stylized wave, mandarin duck, and Japanese spatterdock design on scarlet ground, Edo period, 18th century

Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Ukiyo-e
Room 10  November 28, 2017 (Tue) - December 25, 2017 (Mon)

December reminds people in Japan of Chushingura, literally “The Treasury of Faithful Retainers.” The story is based on the incident of 47 retainers who took revenge of their lord who was forced to kill himself in humiliation. Every year at this season we feature scenes from Kanadehon chushingura, its Kabuki version. Works on this theme by Utagawa Kuniyoshi are featured this year, together with other seasonal subjects such as end-of-the-year markets and winter scenes from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo.

Current exhibit includes:
Kanadehon Chushingura (The Kana Copybook of the Treasury of Loyal Retainers): Act V, By Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Edo period, dated 1854 (Gift of Mr. Takahashi Yasushi)
One Hundred Famous Places of Edo: Kinryuzan Temple, Asakusa,
By Utagawa Hiroshige, Edo period, dated 1856
One Hundred Famous Places of Edo: Yabukoji Lane at the Foot of Atago Hill,
By Utagawa Hiroshige, Edo period, dated 1857
The Year-end Market at Asakusa,
By Kitagawa Utamaro, Edo period, 18th century

Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Fashion
Room 10  December 5, 2017 (Tue) - February 18, 2018 (Sun)

Introduces the fashion of the Edo period townspeople. Enjoy comparing with the ukiyo-e works exhibited in the same room.

Current exhibit includes:
Furisode (Garment with long sleeves), Cloud, bamboo curtain, and tachibana orange design on white figured satin ground, Edo period, 19th century
Uchikake (Outer garment), Pine, bamboo, plum, sandbar-shaped table, and treasure design on white satin ground, Formely owned by Noguchi Hikobei, Edo period, 19th century
Inro (Medicine case), Tortoise and lobster design in maki-e lacquer, Edo period, 19th century

2nd floor

Netsuke: The Prince Takamado Collection
The Prince Takamado Collection Room  October 24, 2017 (Tue) - January 28, 2018 (Sun)

Columbus's Egg, By Kiho Takagi, 1995
Aurora, By Kozan Fukuyama, 1998
Please…, By Ryushi Komada, 1989
Cicada on Tile, By Senpo Kobayashi, 1989
Grazing Horse, By Gregg Stradiotto, 1993

Room T1  December 5, 2017 (Tue) - December 25, 2017 (Mon)

Records Related to Envoys from Joseon Korea, which include a group of our museum collection of documents (Important Cultural Property), were added this year to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.
In particular, the documents from 1617 is a significant evidence of the restoration of diplomatic relationships between the two countries after the severance during the late 16th century. The diplomacy between the two countries are reflected in the exchanging of diplomatic letters from long ago, filled with the spirit of sincerity and trust.
By the preservation and exhibition of the artifacts, we believe that academic studies regarding the Joseon envoys to Japan shall deepen.

Room T2  December 5, 2017 (Tue) - December 25, 2017 (Mon)

This thematic exhibition will display Madonna of the Thumb, an image brought to Japan by the Giovanni Battista Sidotti (1667–1714), together with other objects related to this extraordinary Italian missionary, as well as images of saints and those portraying the Madonna and Child.

1st floor

Japanese Sculpture
Room 11  October 24, 2017 (Tue) - February 4, 2018 (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:
Chinese Lion and Dog, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property)
Seated Male Shinto Deity, Heian period, 11th century, Important Cultural Property, Lent by Daishogunhachi jinja, Kyoto
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  October 17, 2017 (Tue) - January 8, 2018 (Mon)

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

Current exhibit includes:
Tachi Sword, Known as “Koryu Kagemitsu”, By Kagemitsu, Kamakura period, dated 1322 (National Treasure)
Katana Sword, Known as “Ishida Masamune”, By Masamune, Kamakura period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property)

Room 13  November 28, 2017 (Tue) - February 25, 2018 (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, Yellow glaze with peony arabesque design, Seto ware, Kamakura period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property)
Tea Leaf Jar, Moon and plum design in overglaze enamel,
Studio of Ninsei, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Square Dish, Design of Chinese figure watching seagulls in underglaze iron,
By Ogata Korin and Shinsei , Edo period, 18th century (Important Cultural Property)
Large Bowl, Pine and plum tree design in underglaze blue,
Imari ware, Edo period, 17th century (Private collectio)
Sake Ewer, Peony and lion design in overglaze enamel,
Imari ware, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by the Agency for Cultural Affairs)
Deep Bowl, Flower and bird design in overglaze enamel,
Imari ware, Kakiemon type, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)

Room 14  December 5, 2017 (Tue) - February 25, 2018 (Sun)

Swords have been appreciated in Japan from 600 years ago. This thematic exhibition aims to experience the aspects of sword appreciation that has been accumulated over time, by looking at actual blades.

Records of History: Culinary Culture of Edo
Room 15  November 28, 2017 (Tue) - January 28, 2018 (Sun)

Tokyo National Museum holds documents and other objects that reveal Japan’s history. This collection is comprised primarily of objects from the government of the shogun in the Edo period (1603–1868). Since the establishment of the museum in 1872 (Meiji 5), the collection grew through expositions and surveys of cultural properties that the museum was involved in. This exhibition features the history of Japanese culinary culture revealed through cookbooks from the Edo period. Also included in the lineup – from the museum’s large collection of photographs taken from the end of the Edo period and throughout the Meiji era – are early photographs of the museum, as well as temples and shrines, such as Kan’eiji temple, with historical connections to the museum.

Current exhibit includes:
Merrymaking under the Moon, Edo period, 18th century
Boki-e (biographical stories about priest Kakunyo) (copy), Copied by Nagai Jo'un, Edo period–Meiji era, 19th century
Guide to Famous Places of Kyoto,
By Akizato Rito, illustrations by Takehara Nobushige, Re-publication: Edo period, dated 1780 (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Muneyoshi)
Yamashitamonnai Museum, Collections Gallery 1,
By Wada Ichiro, Dated 1874

Ainu and Ryukyu: Decorative Designs of the Ainu People
Room 16  November 28, 2017 (Tue) - February 25, 2018 (Sun)

This display features elaborate designs the Ainu people used to decorate their garments and daily utensils. Garment designs were rendered from pieces of cotton cloth and dyed embroidery. Wooden objects such as trays, makiri knife mountings, and ritual quivers were decorated with minutely carved patterns. Women decorated using cloth and needles, and men engraved designs with makiri knives. The Ainu designs featured include whorl patterns called morew and brace-like patterns known as ayus.
The Ainu people held rituals and dances wearing garments and holding objects decorated with these designs.

Current exhibit includes:
Hood, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Transferred from the Bureau for the Vienna World Exposition)
Ethnic group unknown, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Katayama Naoto)
Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada)
Pendent Ornament in Shape of Flounder,
Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada)
Jinbaori (Coat worn over armor), Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century

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  November 14, 2017 (Tue) - December 25, 2017 (Mon)

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:
Heaven and Hell, By Kawanabe Kyosai, Meiji era, 19th century
Night Scene at the Railway Station,
By Takamura Shinpu, Taisho era, 20th century (Gift of the artist)
By Goto Sadayuki, Dated 1893
By Suzuki Chokichi, Dated 1892 (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Japan Delegate Office for World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago)
Flower Vase, Bamboo design in overglaze enamel,
By Ito Tozan I, Meiji–Taisho era, 20th century (Gift of Mr. Ito Tozan III)

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

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.