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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 18, 2018 (Wed) - December 9, 2018 (Sun)

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, From Mukaiyama, Ibaraki, Hidaka-cho, Wakayama, Yayoi period, 1st–3rd century
Haniwa (Terracotta tomb object), Man carrying a hoe, From Shimofurei-cho, Isesaki-shi, Gunma, Kofun period, 6th century
Dogu (Clay figurine), With goggle-shaped eyes, Excavated at Rokugo ishinadate, Misato-cho, Akita, Jomon period, 1,000–400 BC
Mirror, Imaginary crocodile-like creature design, Provenance unknown, Kofun period, 4th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Dan Inou)

The Rise of Buddhism: Asuka–Nara period
Room 1  September 19, 2018 (Wed) - October 28, 2018 (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 Shaka Nyorai (Sakyamuni), Nara period, 8th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Saidaiji, Nara)
Mondakatsuo kyo
Sutra, Nara period, dated 740

Room 2  October 2, 2018 (Tue) - October 28, 2018 (Sun)

The word "kokuzo" refers to the deity's infinite wisdom and benevolence, as vast and boundless as infinite space. In Japan, Kokuzo Bosatsu, primarily an Esoteric Buddhist deity, was worshipped extensively from the 8th century, during the Nara period, through to the Edo period, which lasted until the mid-19th century. It was believed that praying before this deity would enable devotees to attain wisdom and better memory. Largely characterized by a graceful composition and subtle use of colors, with great emphasis on silver, this work is the oldest extant image of Kokuzo Bosatsu, and also the most accomplished.

Buddhist Art: Heian–Muromachi period
Room 3  September 19, 2018 (Wed) - October 28, 2018 (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:
Seated Amida Nyorai (Amitabha), Kamakura period, 12th–13th century (Lent by Ganshoji, Shizuoka)
Mandala of the Tusita Realm,
Nanbokucho period, ca. 1348
Portrait of Kosho Bosatsu (Priest Eizon),
Kamakura period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Shitsusenji, Tokyo)
Record of the Origin of
Sarira (Buddhist relics) and Their Blessings, By Daikyu Shonen, Kamakura period, dated 1278 (Important Cultural Property)
Record of Counting
Sarira (Buddhist relics), By Fujiwara no Tamekane, Kamakura period, dated 1293 (Important Art Object)

Courtly Art: Heian–Muromachi period
Room 3  September 19, 2018 (Wed) - October 28, 2018 (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:
Poetry Contest between Poets of Different Periods, Tameie Version, Kamakura period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property)
Record of Poetry Contest at Sumiyoshi Shrine,
Attributed to Saigyo, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by the Agency for Cultural Affairs)

Zen and Ink Painting: Kamakura–Muromachi period
Room 3  September 19, 2018 (Wed) - October 28, 2018 (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:
Landscape, By Gakuo Zokyu, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Okazaki Masaya)
Monk Xianzi,
By Kao Ninga, Nanbokucho period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property)
Monju Bosatsu (Manjusri),
By Reisai; inscription by Ryoko Shinkei, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property)

The Art of Tea Ceremony
Room 4  September 11, 2018 (Tue) - December 9, 2018 (Sun)

This gallery highlights the way of tea through its various art works such as paintings and calligraphy, vases, vessels for kaiseki meals, kettles, tea caddies, and tea bowls.

Current exhibit includes:
Tea Bowl, Oido type; known as "Uraku-ido", Formerly owned by Oda Urakusai and Kinokuniya Bunzaemon, Joseon dynasty, 16th century (Important Art Object, Gift of Mr. Matsunaga Yasuzaemon)
Bowl, Arabesque design in overglaze enamel,
Formerly owned by Okano Shigezo, 16th century (Important Art Object)
Box for a Tea Set, Design in
kinma lacquer inlay, 16–17th century
Shallow Bowl, Three-color glaze with melon design,
Studio of Chojiro (d. 1589), Raku ware, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century
By Sen no Rikyu, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century (Gift of Mr. Zenda Kiichiro)
Flower Vase with Elephant-shaped Lugs, Known as ‟Akizuki”,
Muromachi period, 15th–16th century (Gift of Mr. Matsunaga Yasuzaemon)
Tea Kettle with Ribs,
Muromachi period, 16th century

Attire of the Military Elite: Heian–Edo period
Room 5 & 6  October 2, 2018 (Tue) - December 9, 2018 (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, Passed down by the Akita clan, lords of Miharu domain, Mutsu province, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Akita Kazusue)
Kowakizashi Style Sword Mounting (For [wakizashi] sword known as "Ishida Sadamune"), With a black-lacquered scabbard, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Jinbaori (Coat worn over armor), Mt. Fuji design on black woolen cloth, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mrs. Henry)
Kaji Shozoku (Suit worn at scene of fire): Coat, Chest Cover, and Kitsuke,Brown wool with futatsu-hiki crest, Edo period, 19th century


Folding Screens and Sliding Door Paintings: Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period
Room 7  September 19, 2018 (Wed) - October 28, 2018 (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:
Autumn Grasses, By Sakai Hoitsu, Edo period, 19th century (Important Cultural Property, Company owned)
Millet Ears and Quails,
By Tosa Mitsuoki, Edo period, 17th century (Important Art Object, Private collection)
Autumn Grasses,
By Tawaraya Sosetsu, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)

The Arts of Daily Life: Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period
Room 8  October 16, 2018 (Tue) - January 27, 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:
Suzuribako (Writing box), Design of a flock of cranes in maki-e lacquer, Edo period, 18th century (Gift of Mr. Matsunaga Yasuzaemon)
Kajibaori (Coat worn during fires), Design of the Thunder God on a dark blue quilted-cotton ground, Edo period, 19th century
Yogi Quilt, Design of autumn grasses and scenes from The Tale of Genji on a white satin ground, Edo period, 18th century
Water Dropper, Design of an eggplant with Mount Fuji and the Miho pine grove, Edo period, 18th–19th century (Gift of Mr. Watanabe Toyotaro and Mr. Watanabe Masayuki)
Large Dish, Phoenix design in underglaze blue, Imari ware, Edo period, 17th century (Private collection)
Dish, Fruit design in overglaze enamel, Imari ware, Kakiemon type, Edo period, Enpo era (National Treasure, Gift of Dr. Yokogawa Tamisuke)
Sake Cask, Pail shape; Pine and bamboo design in overglaze enamel, Kyoto ware, Edo period, 18th century

Developments in Painting and Calligraphy: Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period
Room 8  September 19, 2018 (Wed) - October 28, 2018 (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:
Scene from ‟The Gatehouse” Chapter of The Tale of Genji, By Tawaraya Sotatsu; inscription by Karasumaru Mitsuhiro, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Monkeys Frolicking in Autumn Mountains,
By Mori Sosen, Edo period, 19th century (Important Art Object)
Verse in Praise of Bodhidharma,
By Seikan Bun'ei, Edo period, dated 1606

Noh and Kabuki: Kabuki Costumes
Room 9  October 16, 2018 (Tue) - December 9, 2018 (Sun)

Kabuki performances run in the eleventh month of the old lunar calendar introduced actors who were scheduled to appear at the three official Kabuki theaters of Edo (now Tokyo) in the coming year. The majority of the Kabuki costumes in the collection of the Tokyo National Museum were once worn by Bando Mitsue. With a focus on Kabuki costumes for male roles, this exhibition showcases the beauty of the costumes’ gorgeous, thick embroidery, large, eye-catching patterns, and designs of vivid colors that are unique to Kabuki.

Current exhibit includes:
Omigoromo Coat (Kabuki Costume), Chrysanthemum and stream design on light blue velvet ground, Formerly used by Bando Mitsue, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Ms.Takagi Kiyo)
Haori (Kabuki costume), Dragon and wave design on white wool ground, Formerly used by Bando Mitsue, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Ms. Takagi Kiyo)
Kitsuke (Kabuki costume), Dragon and wave design on white wool ground, Formerly used by Bando Mitsue, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Ms. Takagi Kiyo)
Yoten (Kabuki costume), Tortoiseshell, cloud, crane, and dragon design, Formerly used by Bando Mitsue, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Ms. Takagi Kiyo)

Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Ukiyo-e
Room 10  September 26, 2018 (Wed) - October 21, 2018 (Sun)

The genre of Japanese art called ukiyo-e portrays the common people of the Edo period (1603–1868) as well as their interests and leisure activities. Early ukiyo-e was all painted by hand. Later, ukiyo-e prints began to be mass-produced using woodblocks, while subsequent advances in woodblock carving and printing led to the creation of multicolor prints called nishiki-e, or “brocade pictures,” so called because of their vibrant combinations of pigments. The current exhibition features prints related to the theme of travel. They include images of beauties paired with picturesque places by the artist Harunobu and landscapes by Hokusai, Kuniyoshi, and Hiroshige, as well as copperplate prints of scenery by Aodo Denzen.

Current exhibit includes:
Eight Views of the East: Wild Geese at Yaguchi, By Ippitsusai Buncho, Edo period, 18th century
Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji: The Tama River, Bushu Province,
By Katsushika Hokusai, Edo period, 19th century
Enokizaka Slope,
By Aodo Denzen, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Hashimoto Den'emon)

Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Fashion
Room 10  October 16, 2018 (Tue) - December 9, 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:
Kosode (Garment with small wrist openings), Design of waves and mandarin ducks on a black figured-satin ground, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Kosode (Garment with small wrist openings), Design of baskets of autumn leaves and flowers on a light blue chirimen-crepe ground, Edo period, 18th century
Inro (Medicine case), Design of a chicken in cloisonne, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Quincy A. Shaw)

2nd floor

Netsuke: The Prince Takamado Collection
The Prince Takamado Collection Room  October 16, 2018 (Tue) - January 27, 2019 (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, 1995
Belling the Cat, By Susan Wraight, 2001

Room T2  October 10, 2018 (Wed) - December 2, 2018 (Sun)

"Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region," registered in July of this year as World Heritage, comprise 11 locations in Nagasaki prefecture and one location in Kumamoto prefecture where the Christian faith has been passed down for centuries. We hope that this exhibition will provide an opportunity to think about the countless individuals who pursued their faith in Japan regardless of the unforgiving circumstances.

1st floor

Japanese Sculpture
Room 11  July 24, 2018 (Tue) - October 21, 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:
Standing Jizo Bosatsu (Ksitigarbha), Kamakura period, 13th century
Standing Juichimen Kannon Bosatsu (Ekadasamukha),
Heian period, 9th century
Standing Bosatsu (Bodhisattva),
Kamakura period, 13th century

Room 12  October 2, 2018 (Tue) - December 25, 2018 (Tue)

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:
Mirror Box, Mount Penglai (Island of immortals) design in maki-e lacquer, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Atsuta Jingu shrine, Aichi)
Sutra Box, Dragon coiled around sword design in maki-e lacquer, Heian period, 12th century (National Treasure, Lent by Taimadera temple, Okuno'in, Nara)
Sutra Box with Inner Tray, Tray: Sakyamuni and the sixteen guardians of the Great Wisdom Sutra design in maki-e lacquer; box: lotus pond design in maki-e lacquer, Heian period, dated 1175 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Nanatsu-dera temple, Aichi)
Tebako (Cosmetic box) and Contents, Paulownia design in maki-e lacquer, Donated to the shrine in Nanbokucho period, 1390 (National Treasure, Lent by Kumano-hayatama Taisha shrine, Wakayama)

Room 13  October 2, 2018 (Tue) - December 25, 2018 (Tue)

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:
Flower Basket, Design of a hosoge floral arabesque in openwork, Heian period, 12th century (National Treasure, Lent by Jinshoji, Shiga)
Container for Buddhist Relics in the Shape of a Wish-granting Jewel, Kamakura period, 13th-14th century (Important Cultural Property)
Kakebotoke (Buddhist pendant plaque), Image of Sho Kannon (Aryavalokitesvara), Kamakura period, dated 1275 (Important Cultural Property)

Japanese Swords
Room 13  September 19, 2018 (Wed) - November 25, 2018 (Sun)

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)
Tanto Sword, By Kunimitsu, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Watanabe Seiichiro)

Room 13  October 2, 2018 (Tue) - December 25, 2018 (Tue)

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)
Water Jar with Straight Lip, Karatsu ware, Chosen karatsu type, Edo period, 17th century,
Incense Burner, With lion-shaped knob, Mino ware, Oribe type, Edo period, dated 1612
Bowl, Cherry blossom and maple design in overglaze enamel, By Nin'nami Dohachi, Edo period, ca. mid-19th century (Important Art Object, Private collection)
Large Dish, Snowscape design in underglaze blue, Nabeshima ware, Edo period, 18th century
Covered Square Bowl, Flower and bird design in overglaze enamel, Imari ware, Kakiemon type, Edo period, 17th century (Private collection)
Water Jar, Qilin (mythical animal) and chrysanthemum design in overglaze enamel, By Okuda Eisen, Edo period, 18th century (Gift of Dr. Yokogawa Tamisuke)

Room 14  October 2, 2018 (Tue) - December 25, 2018 (Tue)

After being lost to a fire in 960, the Inner Palace of the Kyoto Imperial Palace was reconstructed multiple times over the centuries.
The works presented here–rare furnishings made in classical styles–are from the Higyosha reconstructed in 1855 and provide insight into daily life at the court.

Records of History
Room 15  September 4, 2018 (Tue) - October 28, 2018 (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:
Ink Rubbing of an Inscription on a Bell, Toshodaiji Temple, By Ichikawa Kansai Formerly owned by Ichikawa Beian, Copy: Edo period, dated 1805; original: Nara peirod, dated 753 (Gift of Mr. Ichikawa Kansai)
Album of Birds: Forest Birds, Vol. 1,
Compiled by Hotta Masaatsu, Copy: Edo period, 18th–19th century
Map of the Nikko Kaido Highway, Senju, Sosenji, Soka, Koshigaya, and Osagamifudo,
Edo period, dated 1806 (Important Cultural Property)
Karamon Gate at the Hall of Worship, Joken'in Mausoleum, Kan'eiji Temple,
Meiji era, 19th century
Shishinden Hall, Kyoto Imperial Palace, Photographed during the 1872 survey,
By Yokoyama Matsusaburo, Dated 1872 (Important Cultural Property)

Ainu and Ryukyu: Life of the Ainu People
Room 16  August 7, 2018 (Tue) - October 28, 2018 (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:
Storage House (Model), Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Transferred from the Bureau for the Vienna World Exposition)
Weaving Beater, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century
Deer Call, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Transferred from the Bureau for the Vienna World Exposition)
Coat, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Transferred from the Bureau for the Vienna World Exposition)
The Village of Koropokkur, By Oda To'u, Dated 1907

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  September 11, 2018 (Tue) - December 9, 2018 (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:
White Fox, By Shimomura Kanzan, Dated 1914 (On exhibit from October 30, 2018)
Girl, By Tsuchida Bakusen, Dated 1930 (Gift of Ms. Katayama Yoshiko, On exhibit from October 30, 2018)
Garment as a Memento,
By Kawamura Kiyo’o, Dated 1899–1911
By Suzuki Chokichi, Dated 1892 (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Japan Delegate Office for World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago)

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  August 7, 2018 (Tue) - March 31, 2019 (Sun)

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.