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 >> July 12, 2019 (Fri)Honkan

July 12, 2019 (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 room 13 will be closed for maintenance work from Tuesday, November 5, 2019 - Monday, March 9, 2020.
The first floor (Rooms 11–18) of the Honkan (Japanese Gallery) will be closed for maintenance work from December 9, 2019 to January 1, 2020.

2nd floor "Highlights of Japanese Art"

The Dawn of Japanese Art: Jomon, Yayoi and Kofun periods
Room 1  June 25, 2019 (Tue) - December 25, 2019 (Wed)

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:
Deep Bowl with flame-like Ornamentation, Attributed provenance: Umataka, Nagaoka-shi, Niigata, Jomon period, 3000–2000 BC
Dotaku (bell-shaped bronze), Crossed bands design, Excavated from Oiwayama, Koshinohara, Yasu-shi, Shiga, Yayoi period, 1st–3rd century (Important Cultural Property)
Haniwa (Terracotta tomb object), Monkey, Attributed provenance: Dainichizuka Tumulus, Namegata-shi, Ibaraki, Kofun period, 6th century (Important Cultural Property)

The Rise of Buddhism: Asuka–Nara period
Room 1  June 4, 2019 (Tue) - July 15, 2019 (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 Shaka Nyorai (Sakyamuni), Nara period, 8th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Saidaiji, Nara)
Tomoku Bosatsu Kyo, Vol.2 of 3 Votive sutra of Kibi no Yuri, Nara period, dated 766 (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Sorimachi Eisaku)
Ritual Objects Used to Consecrate Site of Kohfukuji Temple, Excavated from under altar of Main Hall at Kohfukuji, Nara, Nara period, 8th century (National Treasure)
Ritual Objects Used to Consecrate Site of Kohfukuji TempleEight-lobed Mirror with Design of Flowers and Paired Butterflies, Excavated from under altar of Main Hall at Kohfukuji, Nara, Nara period, 8th century (National Treasure)
Ritual Objects Used to Consecrate Site of Kohfukuji Temple, Excavated from under altar of Main Hall at Kohfukuji, Nara, Nara period, 8th century (National Treasure)

Room 2  July 9, 2019 (Tue) - August 4, 2019 (Sun)

Buddhism teaches that after a person dies, he or she is reborn as one of the following: a god, human, demigod, animal, hungry ghost, or being who suffers in hell. The works on display show the suffering found in the realms of animals and fierce demigods (asura). They are from the oldest set of paintings depicting these realms, which were kept at Shojuraigoji Temple near Kyoto. People hoped to escape from these realms through rebirth in a paradise called the Pure Land, where salvation and enlightenment is guaranteed.

Buddhist Art: Heian–Muromachi period
Room 3  June 4, 2019 (Tue) - July 15, 2019 (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 periods.

Current exhibit includes:
Standing Bishamonten (Vaisravana), By Keisan, Kamakura period, dated 1271
Miroku Bosatsu (Maitreya), Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Hozanji, Nara)
The Tweleve Devas: Bishamonten (Vaishravana) and Nitten (Surya), Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Shojuraikoji, Shiga)
Iconography of Kujaku Myo'o (Mahamayuri), Heian period, 12th century
Daijo hyakufukuso kyo Sutra, Heian period, dated 1152 (Gift of Mr. Takashima Kyuzo)
Record of "Kiuho" Ceremony for Bringing Rain, By Shoken, Heian period, dated 1191 (Important Cultural Property)
Butterfly-shaped Kei Gong, Excavated at Miyabuchi, Matsumoto-shi, Nagano, Heian period, dated 1001 (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Takahashi Tamotsu)
Kei Gong, Lotus pond design, Excavated at Kinpusen, Tenkawa-mura, Yoshino-gun, Nara, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property)

Courtly Art: Heian–Muromachi period
Room 3  June 4, 2019 (Tue) - July 15, 2019 (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 displayed in this room with decorative art objects.

Current exhibit includes:
Portrait of Kakinomoto no Hitomaro, Muromachi period, 15th century, Private collection
Portraits of Thirty-six Immortal Priest-poets, Nanbokucho period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property)

Zen and Ink Painting: Kamakura–Muromachi period
Room 3  June 4, 2019 (Tue) - July 15, 2019 (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:
Calligraphy in One Line, By Sesson Yubai (1290-1346), Nanbokucho period, 14th century (Gift of Mr. Koizumi Yutaro)

The Art of Tea Ceremony
Room 4  June 18, 2019 (Tue) - September 8, 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:
Water Jar in the Shape of a Pail, Jingdezhen ware, China, Ming dynasty, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)
Tea Caddy in the Shape of a Pail with Lotuses and Herons, Jingdezhen ware, China; Nankin akae type, Passed down by the Konoike family, Ming-Qing dynasty, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)
Sake Flask with a Net and Fish, Jingdezhen ware, China; kosometsuke type, Ming dynasty, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)

Attire of the Military Elite: Heian–Edo period
Room 5 & 6  June 4, 2019 (Tue) - August 25, 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, European-style cuirass with dark blue lacing, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century (Important Cultural Property)
Hirumaki-no-tachi Style Sword Mounting, With scabbard decorated with spiral bands of silver-plated copper, Heian period, 12th century (National Treasure, Lent by Niutsuhime jinja, Wakayama)

Folding Screens and Sliding Door Paintings: Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period
Room 7  June 18, 2019 (Tue) - July 21, 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:
Mount Asama, By Aodo Denzen, Edo period, 19th century (Important Cultural Property)

The Arts of Daily Life: Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period
Room 8  May 8, 2019 (Wed) - July 28, 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:
Cabinet, Fishing net and heron design in maki-e lacquer, Edo period, 17th century
Kosode (Garment with small wrist openings)Peony, wisteria, chrysanthemum bouquet, and fret pattern design on white figured satin ground, Passed down by the Shimazu clan, Edo period, 18th century
Hitoe (Summer garment)Stream, reed, and wild goose design on purple [ro] gauze ground, Edo period, 18th century (Gift of Ms. Takagi Kiyo)
Mirror with Handle, Design of man carrying water pails under willow, Edo period, 17th century
Ewer in Shape of Gourd, Grape and squirrel design in overglaze enamel, Imari ware, Kakiemon type, Edo period, 17th century
Tiered Box with Handle, Dragon and wave design in underglaze blue, By Aoki Mokubei, Edo period, 19th century (Important Cultural Property)

Developments in Painting and Calligraphy: Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period
Room 8  June 18, 2019 (Tue) - July 21, 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:
Portrait of Takaku Aigai, By Tsubaki Chinzan, Edo period, 19th century (Important Cultural Property, Private collection)
Shinobazu Pond, By Shiba Kokan, Edo period, dated 1784 (Gift of Mr. Hazama Inosuke)
Letter, By Tsubaki Chinzan, Edo period, 19th century
Poem in Chinese, By Sato Issai, Edo period, dated 1854 (Private collection)

Noh and Kabuki: Kyogen Masks and Costumes
Room 9  June 25, 2019 (Tue) - August 25, 2019 (Sun)

Kyogen is a form of comical theater dating back to the Muromachi period (1392–1573). Many Kyogen plays are about everyday life, focusing on family relations or the interactions between a samurai master and his servants. Some plays are parodies of religious rituals or natural phenomena. Most characteristic of Kyogen are the exaggerated facial expressions of Kyogen masks and the bold designs of the costumes. Imagine the lively interactions between the actors and enjoy the Kyogen masks and garments on display.

Current exhibit includes:
Kataginu (Kyogen Costume), Shrine Gate, Tree, and Grass design on Light Blue Ramie Ground, Edo period, 19th century
Kyogen Mask, Saru (Monkey) type, Edo period, 18th–19th century
Kyogen Mask, Noborihige type, By Dohaku, Edo period, 18th century

Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Fashion
Room 10  June 25, 2019 (Tue) - August 25, 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:
Katabira (Unlined summer garment), Cracked ice, maple leaf, and Chinese character design on black ramie ground, Edo period, 18th century
Katabira (Unlined summer garment), Sumiyoshi bay design on white ramie ground, Edo period, 19th century
Inro (Medicine case) in Shape of Bamboo, Cicada design 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  July 2, 2019 (Tue) - July 28, 2019 (Sun)

In the 17th century, painters started depicting the lives of commoners in a genre known as ukiyo-e. With the advent of new printing technology, these images began to be reproduced in high numbers, and ukiyo-e gradually spread to all layers of society. The addition of colorists to the publishers’ craftsmen also led to the birth of the color print in the mid-18th century. In connection with the National Museum of Western Art, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary with the exhibition Upon the 60th Anniversary of the NMWA THE MATSUKATA COLLECTION; A One-Hundred-Year Odyssey, this museum is displaying ukiyo-e prints from the Matsukata Collection. This Collection consists of roughly 8000 prints collected by Japanese businessman Matsukata Kojiro (1866–1950). They make up the majority of the Museum’s ukiyo-e collection. In this chronological exhibition outlining developments in ukiyo-e, we have selected works from the 100 prints that were displayed at the museum of Matsukata’s alma mater, Rutgers University in New Jersey, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his graduation. This is the second part of a four-part exhibition.

Current exhibit includes:
Beauties and Moored Boat, By Suzuki Harunobu, Edo period, 18th century (Important Art Object)
Pheasant and Snake,
By Katsushika Hokusai, Edo period, 19th century (Important Art Object)
Waterfalls in Various Provinces: Amidagataki Falls on the Kiso Highway,
By Katsushika Hokusai, Edo period, 19th century

2nd floor

Netsuke: The Prince Takamado Collection
The Prince Takamado Collection Room  April 16, 2019 (Tue) - July 28, 2019 (Sun)

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


1st floor

Room 11  June 18, 2019 (Tue) - September 23, 2019 (Mon)

The Four Great Temples of Yamato (now Nara prefecture) are Okadera, Murouji, Hasedera and Abe Monjuin. These temples were built between the 7th and 8th century, shortly after Buddhism was introduced and began to thrive there. The Buddhist sculptures displayed here were borrowed from the Four Great Temples. They are not only excellently sculpted images, but also provide a fascinating glimpse into early developments in the Buddhist culture of the Four Great Temples of Yamato.

Room 12  June 18, 2019 (Tue) - September 16, 2019 (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, Reed and boat design in maki-e lacquer, Attributed to Hon'ami Koetsu, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Box for Priest's Vestment, Mount Penglai (Horai) design in maki-e lacquer, Horyuji Treasures Collection, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property)
Writing Box, Scene illustrating a poem known as "Shio no yama" in maki-e lacquer, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property)
Christian Shrine, Flower, tree, bird, and animal design in maki-e lacquer and mother-of-pearl inlay, Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period, 16th–17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Writing Table and Writing BoxIvy-bound path design in maki-e lacquer, By Tatsuke Chobei, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)

Room 13  July 2, 2019 (Tue) - September 16, 2019 (Mon)

In the 9th century, Kukai and other Japanese monks travelled to Tang dynasty China, bringing back the teachings of Esoteric Buddhism and its ritual implements. During the Heian period (794–1192), esoteric doctrine and its application to practical training were established, and the combination of ritual implements required for a set was defined in Japan. Often made of durable metals, these varied and uniquely-shaped implements were not only used in rituals but also served an ornamental function, being methodically positioned inside Buddhist halls and on altars. Visitors are invited to view these diverse implements and their richly-expressive forms achieved mainly through casting techniques.

Current exhibit includes:
Container for Buddhist Relics in the Shape of a Flaming Jewel, Kamakura period, 13th-14th century (Important Cultural Property)
Bell with a Five-Pronged
Vajra and Objects Symbolizing Deities, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Gokokuji, Tokyo)
Dharma Wheel, Kamakura period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Jiko-ji, Saitama)
Vajra, Kamakura period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Jiko-ji, Saitama)
Bell with a Five-Pronged
Vajra and Characters Symbolizing Deities, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property)
The Mandalas of the Two Realms,
Kamakura period, 1194 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Tokumanji, Ibaraki)

Japanese Swords
Room 13  May 14, 2019 (Tue) - July 21, 2019 (Sun)

Exhibits selected swords and sword-fittings from the Heian to Edo periods, including the Katana Sword, Known as "Kikko Sadamune" Unsigned, By Sadamune

Current exhibit includes:
Tachi Sword, By Yoshifusa, Kamakura period, 13th century (National Treasure)
Katana Sword, Known as "Kikko Sadamune" Unsigned, By Sadamune, Kamakura–Nanbokucho period, 14th century (National Treasure, Gift of Mr. Watanabe Sei'ichiro)
Sword Guard, Tiger in rain design, By Toshinaga, Edo period, 18th century (Important Cultural Property)

Room 13  June 4, 2019 (Tue) - September 8, 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, Natural glaze, Echizen ware, Muromachi period, 16th century (Lent by the Agency for Cultural Affairs)
Tea Bowl, Named “Furisode (Swinging Sleeves)”, Mino ware, Shino type, Azuchi-Momoyama—Edo period, 16th—17th century
Tea Bowl, By Donyu, Raku ware, Kuro-raku type, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)
Bowl in the Shape of a Stylized Sandbank with a Handle, Mino ware, Oribe type, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Mino Susumu)
Dishes in the Shapes of Poem Cards, Design of waka poems in underglaze iron oxide, Kenzan ware, Edo period, dated 1743
Large Dish with Watermills, Nabeshima ware, Edo period, 17th-18th century (Private collection)
Hexagonal Jar, Design of flowering plants and phoenixes in overglaze enamel, Imari ware, Kakiemon type, Edo period, 17th century (Private collection)
Tea Bowl, Named “Zangetsu (Moon at Dawn)”, Satsuma ware, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)

Room 14  June 25, 2019 (Tue) - September 16, 2019 (Mon)

This exhibition invites visitors to view Okinawan ceramics alongside the Chinese ceramics prized and passed down by the Ryukyu people.

Records of History
Room 15  June 18, 2019 (Tue) - August 18, 2019 (Sun)

The Tokyo National Museum holds many artworks and other materials that shine light on history, with the foundation of this collection consisting of materials inherited from the shogun’s government of the Edo period (1603–1868). From the time of the Museum’s establishment in 1872, this foundation was supplemented with additional materials collected through exhibitions and surveys of cultural properties. This gallery displays albums of natural science, a discipline that thrived in the Edo period, maps created in the Edo period and the following Meiji era, ink rubbings of calligraphy inscribed into stone and metal, and a variety of other historical materials. In addition, photographs from the late 19th and early 20th century, which show the people and scenery of the day, as well as expositions and cultural properties, are also shown periodically.

Current exhibit includes:
Map of the Uraga Highway, Yukinoshita-mura, Kamakura Hachiman, Kenchoji, Genjiyama, Komyoji, Uraga, and Hashirimizu Kannon, Formerly owned by Asakusa Bunko Library, Edo period, dated 1806 (Important Cultural Property)

Ainu and Ryukyu
Room 16  June 4, 2019 (Tue) - September 8, 2019 (Sun)

Stretching from north to south, the Japanese archipelago is home to diverse cultures that have flourished in its rich natural environments. Representing such cultures from northern Japan, this gallery exhibits a range of items created by the Ainu people featuring their distinctive designs, a typical example of which is a moreu whirl pattern. These items include ritual implements, clothing, and wooden objects. Also on display in this gallery are decorative art objects from the Ryukyu Kingdom, representing a southern culture. The Ryukyu Kingdom developed its unique culture through trade and exchange with many regions including China, Japan, the Korean peninsula, and Southeast Asia. Metalwork objects and textiles created mainly during the Kingdom’s Second Sho dynasty (1469–1879) are featured here.

Current exhibit includes:
Hood, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century, Transferred from the Bureau for the Vienna World Exposition
Container, Ethnic group unknown, 19th century (Gift of Ms. Hirako Hatsu)
Cup Stand, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century, Transferred from the Bureau for the Vienna World Exposition

Hair Ornament for Noro (Female shaman), Amami Oshima Island, Second Sho dynasty, Ryukyu kingdom, 18th century (Gift of Ms. Yamato Ryoko)
Ewer, Okinawa Main Island, Second Sho dynasty, Ryukyu kingdom, 19th century

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  May 28, 2019 (Tue) - September 1, 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:
Ducks, By Kawai Gyokudo, Dated 1897 (Gift of Mr. Motoyama Toyomi)
Chomon Gorge, By Matsubayashi Keigetsu, Dated 1929 (Gift of the artist)
Mist (Nude), By Nakazawa Hiromitsu, Dated 1907 (Gift of the Nihon Club)
Jar, White porcelain with grape scroll design in relief, By Itaya Hazan, Showa era, 20th century
Flower Vase, Butterfly design, By Kanazawa Copper Ware Company, Dated 1892 (Gift of the Japan Delegate Office for the Chicago World's Fair)

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  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.