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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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"Highlights of Japanese Art" on the 2nd floor of Honkan (Japanese Gallery) will be closed for maintenance work from Monday, December 10, 2018–Tuesday, January 1, 2019.

2nd floor "Highlights of Japanese Art"

The Dawn of Japanese Art: Jomon, Yayoi and Kofun periods Upcoming
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 Upcoming
Room 1  January 2, 2019 (Wed) - February 3, 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
Detached Segment of Flower Garland Sutra, Known as "Nigatsudo yake gyo,"  Nara period, 8th century (Gift of Mr. Yanagisawa Keiso)

Room 2  January 2, 2019 (Wed) - January 14, 2019 (Mon)

This room is specially designed for the comfortable viewing of masterpieces in a tranquil setting. With each rotation, one exceptional work of painting or calligraphy designated as National Treasure will be presented. The selections come from the Museum's collection or works that are on loan to the Museum.

Buddhist Art: Heian–Muromachi period Upcoming
Room 3  January 2, 2019 (Wed) - February 3, 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:
Seated Minamoto Yoritomo (Presumed), Kamakura period, 13th–14th century (Important Cultural Property)
Mandalas of the Two Realms, Kamakura period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kaneiji, Tokyo)
Juntei Butsumo (Cundi), Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property)
The Decent of Amida (Amitabha), Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Hasedera, Nara)
Mandala of the True Buddhist Form of Hiesanno, Kamakura period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Reiunji, Tokyo)
Tengu zoshi, Enryakuji Version, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)
Lotus Sutra with Opening and Concluding Volumes, Vol. 10, Heian period, 11th century (National Treasure, Lent by Sensoji, Tokyo)

Courtly Art: Heian–Muromachi period Upcoming
Room 3  January 2, 2019 (Wed) - February 3, 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 Horse Doctors, Kamakura period, dated 1267 (Important Cultural Property)
Detached Segment of Illustrated Scroll of Horse Doctors, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)
Kokin waka shu Poetry Anthology (Gen'ei version), Vol. 2, Heian period, 12th century (National Treasure, Gift of Mr. Mitsui Takahiro)
Poem of Bai Le-tian, Heian period, 12th century
Segment of Anthology of Poems Composed by Ki no Tsurayuki, Attributed to Ki no Tsurayuki, Heian period, 10th century (Gift of Mrs. Morita Chikka)

Zen and Ink Painting: Kamakura–Muromachi period Upcoming
Room 3  January 2, 2019 (Wed) - February 3, 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:
Budai, By Kano Masanobu; inscription by Keijo Shurin, Muromachi period, 15th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by the Agency for Cultural Affairs)
The Artistic Name "Korin" Given to a Pupil, By Tetto Giko, Nanbokucho period, 14th century

The Art of Tea Ceremony Upcoming
Room 4  January 2, 2019 (Wed) - March 24, 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 Upcoming
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 Upcoming
Room 7  January 2, 2019 (Wed) - February 3, 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:
Pine, Bamboo, and Plum, By Kano Tsunenobu, Edo period, 17th century (Lent by Chion'in, Kyoto)

The Arts of Daily Life: Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period Upcoming
Room 8  January 2, 2019 (Wed) - 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 Upcoming
Room 8  January 2, 2019 (Wed) - February 3, 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:
Palm Tree in the Snow, By Hata Ichu, Edo period, 19th century
Waka Poems Composed during the Imperial Visit to Jurakudai Castle, By Karasumaru Mitsuhiro, Edo period, 17th century

Noh and Kabuki: Auspicious Patterns in Designs for the Noh Theater Upcoming
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: Ukiyo-e Upcoming
Room 10  January 2, 2019 (Wed) - January 27, 2019 (Sun)

The genre of art called ukiyo-e depicted the everyday people of the Edo period (1603–1868). Early in this period, ukiyo-e consisted solely of hand-painted works. Later, mass-production was carried out through woodblock printing, while advances in carving and printing techniques led to the creation of brilliant, multicolor prints. The present exhibition features ukiyo-e celebrating the New Year with scenes of Mount Fuji, the first sunrise of the year, and auspicious deities. Elaborate prints specially commissioned for this time of year are also included.

Current exhibit includes:
Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji: Mild Breeze on a Fine Day, By Katsushika Hokusai, Edo period, 19th century
Mitate (Allusion to) the Soga Brothers' Confrontation, By Kitagawa Utamaro Edo period, 18th century
Scenes along the Sumida River, By Chobunsai Eishi, Edo period, 19th century

Ukiyo-e and Fashion in the Edo Period: Fashion Upcoming
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)

2nd floor

Netsuke: The Prince Takamado Collection Upcoming
The Prince Takamado Collection Room  January 2, 2019 (Wed) - 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 T1 & T2  January 2, 2019 (Wed) - January 27, 2019 (Sun)

1st floor

Japanese Sculpture
Room 11  October 23, 2018 (Tue) - January 20, 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:
Standing Bodhisattva, Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)
Standing Komokuten (Virupakusa), Heian period, 12th century (National Treasure, Lent by Joruriji, Kyoto)

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 Flaming 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  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  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  October 30, 2018 (Tue) - December 25, 2018 (Tue)

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:
Map of Kyushu (Large-scale map), No. 9, Meiji era, 19th century (Important Cultural Property)
Exhibits for the World Exposition 1873 Vienna, By Yokoyama Matsusaburo and others, Meiji era, 19th century
Map of Oshudo Highway, Shirasawa, Ujiie; Akutsukashi, and Kitsuregawa, Edo period, dated 1806 (Important Cultural Property)

Ainu and Ryukyu: Life of the Ainu People
Room 16  October 30, 2018 (Tue) - January 20, 2019 (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:
Mat, Sakhalin Ainu, 19th century
Necklace, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada)
Knife and Mounting, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada)
Ritual Hoe-shaped Crest, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Oda Katsukichi and Mr. Izumi Rintaro)
Coat Known as "What We Sewed Up", Hokkaido Ainu (Abuta), Formerly used by Chief Ikashi Wakka, Edo period-Meiji era, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada)

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  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) - 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.