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 >> February 13, 2019 (Wed)Honkan

February 13, 2019 (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.

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Honkan room 13 will be closed for maintenance work from Tuesday, November 5, 2019 - Monday, March 9, 2020.
Honkan room 19 will be closed for maintenance work from Saturday, February 22, 2020.

2nd floor "Highlights of Japanese Art"

The Dawn of Japanese Art: Jomon, Yayoi and Kofun periods
Room 1  January 2, 2019 (Wed) - June 23, 2019 (Sun)

The roots of Japanese aesthetics can be seen in earthenware from the Jomon and Yayoi periods, as well as in dogu (small earthen figurines from Jomon period), dotaku (bronze bell-shaped ritual item from the Yayoi period), haniwa (terracotta figures from the Kofun period) and bronze mirrors (used as symbols of authority in the Yayoi and Kofun periods).

Current exhibit includes:
Haniwa (Terracotta tomb figurine), Dancing person, Excavated at Nohara Tumulus, Kumagaya-shi, Saitama, Kofun period, 6th century
Dotaku (Bell-shaped bronze), Design of Crossed Bands, Excavated at Azamukaiyama, Ibaraki, Hidaka-cho, Wakayama, Yayoi period, 1st-3rd century
Dogu (Clay figurine) with an Owl-shaped Face, Excavated at Takimamuro, Konosu-shi, Saitama, Jomon period, 1000 –400BC
Visored Helmet, With gilt-bronze decoration, Excavated at Nihonmatsuyama Tumulus, Eiheiji-cho, Fukui, Kofun period, 5th century

The Rise of Buddhism: Asuka–Nara period
Room 1  February 5, 2019 (Tue) - March 10, 2019 (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 Yakushi Nyorai (Bhaisajyaguru), Heian period, 9th century
Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra, Vol. 329, Known as "Yakushiji kyo", Nara period, 8th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Ykushi-ji, Nara)

Room 2  February 13, 2019 (Wed) - March 10, 2019 (Sun)

This painting depicts the Buddha Amida within a landscape that would have felt familiar to people of the time. It is different from typical images of this Buddha featuring glorious scenes of the Pure Land, the Buddhist paradise where he resides. Meanwhile, the Sanskrit character on the top left corner represents Buddha Dainichi (Mahavairocana). This painting therefore suggests that the two deities ― the Buddha Amida and the Buddha Dainichi ― are essentially the same, and that the very world we live in is the Pure Land.

Buddhist Art: Heian–Muromachi period
Room 3  February 5, 2019 (Tue) - March 10, 2019 (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 periods.

Current exhibit includes:
Attendant Bodhisattva on a Cloud, Formerly passed down at Byodoin temple, Kyoto, Heian period, dated 1053 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by the Agency for Cultural Affairs)
Nirvana, Kamakura period, 12th-13th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Shinyakushiji temple, Nara)
Nehan (Nirvana), Kamakura period, 14th century
Sixteen Arhats: Sixth Arhat, Kamakura period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Reiunji, Tokyo)
Illustrated Biography of Priest Shinran, Naobokucho period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Shoganji, Chiba)
Record of the Monk Xuanzang's Journey to India, Vol. 4, From the Chusonji-kyo compilation, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property)
Lotus Sutra: Kenhotohon Chapter, Kamakura period, 13th century (National Treasure, Lent by Jikoji, Saitama)
Diary of the Monk Sonkai's Overseas Travels, By Sonkai, Muromachi period, dated 1539 (Important Cultural Property)

Courtly Art: Heian–Muromachi period
Room 3  February 5, 2019 (Tue) - March 10, 2019 (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 displayed in this room with decorative art objects.

Current exhibit includes:
Illustrated Scroll of Legends about the Origin of Kitano Tenjin Shrine, Vol. 2, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)
Detached Segment of Illustrated Scroll of The Tale of Sagoromo, Kamakura period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property)
Detached Segment of Illustrated Scroll of The Tale of Sumiyoshi, Passed down by Count Omura's family, Kamakura period, 14th century (Important Art Object, Private collection)
Letter, By Yoshishige no Yasutane, Heian period, 10th century (Important Cultural Property)

Zen and Ink Painting: Kamakura–Muromachi period
Room 3  February 5, 2019 (Tue) - March 10, 2019 (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:
Sermon Preached by Daito Kokushi, By Ikkyu Sojun, Muromachi period, 15th century (Gift of Mr. Nakajima Yoichi)

The Art of Tea Ceremony
Room 4  January 2, 2019 (Wed) - March 31, 2019 (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:
Bowl with Foliate Rim, Celadon glaze; known as "Bakohan", Longquan ware, China, Southern Song dynasty, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Mitsui Takahiro)
Tea Kettle, Plum and bamboo design, Ashiya ware, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Art Object,Lent by The Satoh Artcraft Research & Scholarship Foundation)
Bamboo Tea Scoop, By Takeno Jo'o, Muromachi period, 16th century (Gift of Mr. Matsudaira Naoaki)
Bowl, Wagtail design, Mino ware, Nezumi-shino type, Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period, 16th–17th century (Important Cultural Property)
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

Attire of the Military Elite: Heian–Edo period
Room 5 & 6  January 2, 2019 (Wed) - March 10, 2019 (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 Type Armor, With domaru cuirass and white lacing, Edo period, 17th century
Tanto Sword, By Yukimitsu, Kamakura period, 14th century (National Treasure)
Aikuchi Style Sword Mounting (For tanto sword by Yukimitsu), Auspicious cloud design in maki-e lacquer, Edo period, 19th century
Jinbaori (Coat worn over armor), Black feathers and Chinese character design, Reportedly used by Sakakibara Yasumasa, Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period, 16th-17th century
Kosode (Garment with small wrist openings), Cherry blossom design on dark blue heiken plain weave silk (crest: three sectioned floral roundels in circle), Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Asakura Hanji)

Folding Screens and Sliding Door Paintings: Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period
Room 7  February 5, 2019 (Tue) - March 10, 2019 (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)
Plum Trees, By Maruyama Okyo, Edo period, dated 1784

The Arts of Daily Life: Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period
Room 8  January 29, 2019 (Tue) - April 14, 2019 (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:
Tea Caddy, Weeping cherry design in maki-e lacquer, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)
Yogi Quilt, Design of autumn grasses and scenes from The Tale of Genji on a white satin ground, Edo period, 18th century
Kaidori (Formal outer garment), Design of peach trees and sake cups floating down a stream on a rinzu (figured silk satin) ground of white, Edo period, 18th–19th century
Hair Pin, With hawk ornament, Edo period, 19th century
Large Dish, Butterfly and peony design in overglaze enamel, Imari ware, Edo period, 17th century
Set of Dishes, Cherry tree design in overglaze enamel, Nabeshima ware, Edo period, 18th century
Bowl with Arched Handle, Cherry blossom design in overglaze enamel and openwork, Kyoto ware, Edo period, 18th century
Incense Container, Camellia design in overglaze enamel, Kenzan ware, Edo period, 18th century (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)

Developments in Painting and Calligraphy: Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period
Room 8  February 5, 2019 (Tue) - March 10, 2019 (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:
Plum Tree, By Sugai Baikan; inscription by Miyamoto Koson, Edo period, 19th century
Guo Ziyi with a Child, By Maruyama Okyo, Edo period, dated 1792 (Gift of Ms. Uematsu Kayoko)
Monkeys and a Wasp, By Mori Sosen, Mori Shuhou, Mori Tetsuzan and Mori Yusen, Edo period, dated 1814 (Private collection)
The Last Manuscript, By Rai San'yo, Edo period, dated 1832 (Gift of Ms. Sonoda Satomi)

Noh and Kabuki: Auspicious Patterns in Designs for the Noh Theater
Room 9  January 2, 2019 (Wed) - February 24, 2019 (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:
Hitatare (Noh costume), Design of cranes, tortoises, pines, and bamboos on a light-blue ramie ground, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kasuga jinja, Gifu)
Karaori (Noh costume), Design of seigaiha stylized waves, bouquets, fans, and bottle gourds on a green, red, and brown checkered ground, Passed down by the Uesugi clan, Edo period, 18th century

Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Fashion
Room 10  January 2, 2019 (Wed) - February 24, 2019 (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), Design of paulownias and phoenixes on a red figured-satin ground, Formerly passed down by retainers of the Kurume domain, Edo period, 18th century
Uchikake (Outer garment), Design of boxes for shell-game pieces on a white figured-satin ground, Edo period, 18th century
Inro (Medicine case), Design of young pines in maki-e lacquer, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Quincy A. Shaw)

Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Ukiyo-e
Room 10  January 29, 2019 (Tue) - February 24, 2019 (Sun)

The genre of ukiyo-e, which depicts the common people of the Edo period (1603–1868), originally consisted only of hand-painted works. Later, mass production of ukiyo-e 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 showcases works depicting wintry scenes such as snowscapes and beauties under umbrellas in the snow or at a kotatsu warmer, as well as those featuring wintry flowers including narcissuses and plums. Also added to the lineup are works associated with sake. We hope that these works will bring warmth during the cold season.

Current exhibit includes:
A Girl and Her Cat at the Kotatsu Warmer, By Utagawa Kunimasa, Edo period, dated 1790–1804 (Important Art Object)
Drunken Courtesan (Itsutomi),
By Kitagawa Utamaro, Edo period, 18th century
Allusion (
Mitate) to the Three Heroes in the Peach Garden, By Teisai Hokuba, Edo period, 19th century

2nd floor

Netsuke: The Prince Takamado Collection
The Prince Takamado Collection Room  January 29, 2019 (Tue) - April 14, 2019 (Sun)

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

Room T1 & T2  January 29, 2019 (Tue) - March 31, 2019 (Sun)

Noh—a masked drama unique to Japan—was enjoyed, supported, and studied by members of the warrior class, and performed at official events of the military government in the Edo period (1603–1868). The Uesugi warrior clan, who were major feudal lords at the time, held a collection of Noh masks and costumes so extensive it was said to fill two storehouses. Although this collection became dispersed in the 1930s and 40s, the Tokyo National Museum acquired 32 masks and 96 costumes that were formerly a part of it. These exquisite objects are valuable not only for their artistic quality, but also for their association with the successive lords of the Uesugi clan, who appreciated and patronized the performing art of Noh.

1st floor Genre Exhibits

Japanese Sculpture
Room 11  January 22, 2019 (Tue) - June 16, 2019 (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 Shinto Deity Hachiman, By Kyokaku, Kamakura period, dated 1326 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Akana Hachimangu, Shimane, On exhibit through April 14, 2019; On exhibit from May 8, 2019)

Room 12  January 2, 2019 (Wed) - March 31, 2019 (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:
Tebako (Cosmetic box), Design of wheels-in-stream in maki-e lacquer and mother-of-pearl inlay, Heian period, 12th century (National Treasure)
Writing Box, Design of bugaku dance in maki-e lacquer, Attributed to Hon'ami Koetsu, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Saddle, Design of bush clover in mother-of-pearl inlay, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property)
Tebako (Cosmetic box) and Contents, Plum design in maki-e lacquer, Kamakura period, 13th century (National Treasure, Lent by Mishima Taisha, Shizuoka)

Room 13  January 2, 2019 (Wed) - April 7, 2019 (Sun)

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:
Kei Gong, Design of a lotus arabesque, Heian period, 12th century (National Treasure, Lent by Zenrinji, Kyoto)
Container for Buddhist Relics in the Shape of a Flaming Wish-granting Jewel,
Kamakura period, 13th–14th century (Important Cultural Property)
Implements for the Kanjo Ceremony,
Kamakura–Edo period, 13th–17th century (Lent by Soneiji, Shizuoka)

Japanese Swords
Room 13  November 27, 2018 (Tue) - February 17, 2019 (Sun)

Exhibits selected swords and sword-fittings from the Heian to Edo periods, including the Tachi Sword, Known as “Dojikiri Yasutsuna” By Yasutsuna.

Current exhibit includes:
Tachi Sword, Known as “Dojikiri Yasutsuna”, By Yasutsuna, Heian period, 10th–12th century (National Treasure)
Katana Sword, Known as “Ishida Masamune”, By Masamune, Kamakura period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property)

Room 13  January 2, 2019 (Wed) - March 17, 2019 (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)
Tea Bowl, Known as "Hashi hime", Mino ware, Shino type, Azuchi–Momoyama - Edo period, 16th–17th century (Gift of Mr. Matsunaga Yasuzaemon)
Flower Vase with Lugs, Iga ware, Edo period, 17th century
Tea Leaf Jar, Moon and plum design in overglaze enamel, Studio of Ninsei, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Large Bowl, Pine and plum tree design in underglaze blue, Imari ware, Edo period, 17th century (Private collection)
Large Dish, Treasure design in underglaze blue with celadon glaze, Nabeshima ware, Edo period, 17th–18th century (Lent by the OKURA MUSEUM OF ART, Tokyo)
Bevel-edged Footed Tray, Flying phoenix design in overglaze enamel, Attributed to Okuda Eisen, Edo period, 18th–19th century (Important Art Object, Gift of Mr. Okochi Masatoshi)

Room 14  February 5, 2019 (Tue) - March 17, 2019 (Sun)

It is custom in Japan to display ornamental Emperor and Empress dolls on March 3. This is done to pray for the health and happiness of girls. These “hina” dolls were very popular during the Edo period (1603-1868), with many exquisite examples produced during this time. The dolls are imbued with the Japanese aesthetic reverence for delicate, beautiful and adorable objects.

Records of History
Room 15  January 2, 2019 (Wed) - February 24, 2019 (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.

Current exhibit includes:
General Plan of the Ladies' Chambers at the Main Enclosure of Edo Castle, Edo period, 19th century
Model of the Pavilion of the Teahouse Sunshoan at a Sub-temple of Daitokuji (Sakuma Shogen's taste),
By Matsudaira Sadanobu, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Muneyoshi)
Map of the Tatebayashidori Highway, Gyoda, Kamishingo: Kawamataonsekisho and Tone river, Kawamata, and Tatebayashi: Morinji temple and Tsutsujigasaki,
Edo period, dated 1806 (Important Cultural Property)
Shinobazu Pond, Ueno,
Meiji era, 19th century (On exhibit through January 27, 2019)
Tomioka Silk MillInterior view of silk-reeling facility,
Dated 1877 (On exhibit from January 29, 2019)

Ainu and Ryukyu: The Prayers of the Ainu People
Room 16  January 22, 2019 (Tue) - February 24, 2019 (Sun)

This exhibition features items used by the Ainu people - including ritual implements such as inau, ikupasui and coats - together with clothes and tools used in everyday life, giving us an insight into the ways in which the Northern people prayed to their gods.

Current exhibit includes:
Sea Turtle Skull, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century
Sash for Shaman,
Sakhalin Ainu, 19th century (Gift of the Hokkaido Project Management Bureau, Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce)
Ritual Spatula,
Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century
Ritual Pipe,
Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada)
Smoking Set,
Sakhalin Ainu, 19th century
Musical Pipe,
Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Takeda Shoji)
Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Transferred from the Bureau for the Vienna World Exposition)
Bear Sacrificial Ceremony,
By Hirasawa Byozan, Dated 1871 (Private collection)

Conservation and Restoration
Room 17  April 15, 2014 (Tue) - March 31, 2020 (Tue)

>> 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  December 11, 2018 (Tue) - March 3, 2019 (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:
Heresy (Trampling a Christian Image), By Kobayashi Kokei, Dated 1914
Yoroboshi, A scene from the Noh play Yoroboshi, By Shimomura Kanzan, Dated 1915 (Important Cultural Property)
Vegetable Garden in Spring, By Asai Chu, Dated 1888 (Important Cultural Property)

Education Center: Education Space
Room 19  April 15, 2014 (Tue) - February 21, 2020 (Fri)

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

Room 19  August 7, 2018 (Tue) - September 16, 2019 (Mon)

Repousse Buddhist Images were produced by placing a thin bronze sheet over a relief, and hammering it into shape.  These were popular between the late 7th and 8th centuries, and were displayed on temple walls, or placed in small shrines for private worship.
These full-scale models show the production process divided into 6stages.  We hope that they enable visitors to learn about how this type of work was created and the materials used.