>> Exhibitions
 >> Toyokan


Toyokan was reopened on January 2, 2013. The galleries feature art and artifacts from regions including China, Korea, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, India, and Egypt.

Floor Map



1st floor

Room 1  April 9, 2019 (Tue) - April 12, 2020 (Sun)

This section mainly features stone or gilt bronze Buddhist statues from about the 6th to the 8th century. The statues on display present the exquisite form of sculptures from the golden era of Buddhist statues in China.

2nd floor

Room 3  February 26, 2020 (Wed) - May 17, 2020 (Sun)

This part intrduces artifacts from West Asia and Egypt, known as the cradle of the earliest civilization.

Room 3  June 25, 2019 (Tue) - June 21, 2020 (Sun)

This part mainly features Buddhist statues from Gandhara (northwestern Pakistan) and Mathura (northern, central India) from the 2nd to the 5th century. The wide variety of sculptures on display is a notable feature.

Room 3  February 26, 2020 (Wed) - April 12, 2020 (Sun)

This part introduces art of the Western Regions (Central Asia) from about the 1st to the 10th century, with a focus on Buddhist art. The highlight of this part is the rich variety of works with high artistic and historical significance.

3rd floor

Room 4  February 11, 2020 (Tue) - June 7, 2020 (Sun)

This section focuses on pottery and jade objects from about 3000 BC to AD 200. The items on display present the beauty that ancient Chinese people pursued in the form and color of pottery, as well as the characteristic luster of jade.

Room 5  November 19, 2019 (Tue) - April 12, 2020 (Sun)

This part focuses on Chinese bronzes from about 1800 BC to AD 1000. The changing shapes and designs of the bronzes on display provide clues to the thoughts and shifting religious beliefs of ancient Chinese.

Room 5  March 3, 2020 (Tue) - July 5, 2020 (Sun)

This part introduces burial items of tombs from about the 2nd century BC to the 8th century AD. Mingqi are models of various implements and equipment, such as cooking stoves, vehicles including carriages and oxcarts, and even toilets. Tomb figures are models of humans who served a master, such as servants and entertainers. The objects on display present the idealized lifestyle that people of this time entrusted to mingqi and tomb figures.

Room 5  March 3, 2020 (Tue) - July 5, 2020 (Sun)

This part presents the changing expressions of Chinese ceramics from the 7th to the 19th century.

Room 5  February 18, 2020 (Tue) - May 17, 2020 (Sun)

Rare textiles from China, India, and other regions were prized in Japan. They were regarded so highly that during the Edo period (1603–1868), feudal lords and wealthy townspeople who practiced the tea ceremony preserved fragments of these textiles in albums. Each fragment would be given a label and the album bound with the utmost care to be passed down to future generations. In this exhibit, we invite you to explore these small yet magnificent albums, which were viewed with reverence by tea practitioners through the ages.

4th floor

Room 7  April 7, 2020 (Tue) - April 4, 2021 (Sun)

In the 2nd century BC, Chinese tombs were not simply holes in the ground. They developed to have walls and ceilings, with a structure almost like underground mansions. Tombs also appeared that had shrines built above ground for the bereaved families to perform rituals. Particularly in Shandong province and southern Henan province, sturdy stone was favored for making the tombs and shrines, with the stone surfaces used for carving images. Many of these stone bas-reliefs were created until the second half of the 2nd century in the Eastern Han dynasty.

Room 8  March 3, 2020 (Tue) - April 12, 2020 (Sun)

Since the revolution of 1911, Shanghai, Beijing, Nanjing, and other cities have performed the role of art centers in modern China. Societies debating Chinese painting in particular flourished in Beijing, the capital of the former Qing dynasty (1644–1912). The lecturer Zhen at the National School of Arts in Beijing called for a revolution in Chinese art, in which artists would add new elements to the existing pallet of ink-painting traditions. These calls for innovation by Zhen and others led to a flowering of new talent. One of the great talents who emerged in Beijing in this period was Qi Baishi (1864–1957). Here we are displaying works by Qi and other innovative artists who were active in Beijing.

Room 8  March 3, 2020 (Tue) - May 24, 2020 (Sun)

Chinese script was first standardized during the reign of the Qin emperor (221–206 BC). This so-called seal script was replaced by the less complicated clerical script of the Eastern Han dynasty (25–220). From the Northern and Southern dynasties (439–589), clerical script was further simplified to what is now known as standard script, although it remained in use for memorial stones. During the reign of Emperor Xuanzong (712–756) and the Qing dynasty (1644–1912), clerical script briefly came back into fashion and became the subject of epigraphy.

In this exhibition we are currently displaying ink rubbings from the Eastern Han dynasty to the Tang dynasty (618–907) and works from various Qing-dynasty (1644–1912) scholars to explore the development of clerical script.

Room 8  March 3, 2020 (Tue) - April 12, 2020 (Sun)

The literati were people who devoted themselves to reading, calligraphy, painting, and other fine arts. In China, their way of life was traditionally held as an ideal. This exhibit recreates the studies of literati, where calligraphy and painting of China were born.

5th floor

Room 9  January 21, 2020 (Tue) - April 12, 2020 (Sun)

This part introduces the various methods and designs in Chinese lacquerware. Lacquerware is a form of decorative art made by applying lacquer sap on vessels and utensils, a practice which developed widely in China, Japan, Korea, and the Southeast Asian regions, in techniques and designs unique to each area. China, in particular, has a history of lacquerware of as long as 7000 years.

Room 9  January 21, 2020 (Tue) - April 12, 2020 (Sun)

This part introduces the decorative art of the Qing dynasty (1644–1912) in China, such as works of jade, cloisonne, glass, and bamboo. The items on display feature the beauty of fine technical skill and the sophisticated atmosphere of Qing-dynasty decorative art.

Room 10  October 22, 2019 (Tue) - April 19, 2020 (Sun)

This part highlights Korean polished stone tools and metal objects that had a great influence on Japan's Yayoi culture.

Room 10  October 22, 2019 (Tue) - April 19, 2020 (Sun)

This part features the prosperity of kings in the Three Kingdoms period (4th century–676) in Korea, through works including items of metalwork. The diverse designs of the objects are evidence of the prosperity of the kings.

Room 10  October 22, 2019 (Tue) - April 19, 2020 (Sun)

This part introduces Korean ceramics from the Proto–Three Kingdoms period (1st century BC–3rd century AD) to the Joseon dynasty(1392–1910).

Room 10  October 22, 2019 (Tue) - April 12, 2020 (Sun)

This part  features the essence of Korean Buddhist art.

Room 10  February 4, 2020 (Tue) - April 26, 2020 (Sun)

This part features furnishings, costumes, and accessories from Korea in the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910). While the costumes, furniture, tableware, and stationery each possessed individual beauty, their appeal was enhanced by their placement in living spaces.


Room 11  May 8, 2019 (Wed) - May 10, 2020 (Sun)

This section introduces sculptures from Khmer, with a focus on stone statues from the Angkor period (9th-13th century). The Tokyo National Museum collection of Khmer sculptures, which are distinguished in both quality and quantity, was acquired in 1944 through an exchange project with the research institute l'École francaise d'Extrême-Orient.

Room 12  May 8, 2019 (Wed) - May 10, 2020 (Sun)

This part focuses on Southeast Asian gilt bronze statues of gods and Buddhist deities from the 7th to 13th century. The statues are made using the lost-wax casting process, and therefore they have common qualities in their plasticity and smoothness of form.

Room 12  April 23, 2019 (Tue) - April 19, 2020 (Sun)

The excavated pottery and metal wares exhibited in this part clearly show the prosperity of cultures with rich regional characteristics in ancient India and Southeast Asia.

Room 12  January 7, 2020 (Tue) - May 10, 2020 (Sun)

This part introduces the individual styles of ceramics made in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam from the 9th to the 16th century.

Room 13  February 18, 2020 (Tue) - May 17, 2020 (Sun)

Various textiles and techniques were spread across Asia from India, such as cotton cloth, splashed-pattern dyeing, tie-dyeing and brocades with metal threads. In particular, chintz, which was cotton cloth dyed with floral patterns or legendary images using woodblock printing or hand-drawing, fascinated people around the world and was a major export from the 16th to the 19th century.

Room 13  March 17, 2020 (Tue) - April 19, 2020 (Sun)

Indian miniature paintings established a uniquely meticulous, colorful, and passionate style, with various painting schools. An appeal of the paintings to viewers is the abundance of elements vividly contained each picture, such as myths, music, and nature.

Room 13  February 18, 2020 (Tue) - May 10, 2020 (Sun)

Paiwan s population consists not only of Han Chinese, who originally came from the mainland, but also of 16 indigenous tribes. Of these tribes, the Payuan people based in southern Taiwan are divided into two social classes: the noble class, or the class of chieftains, and the class of villagers. People in both classes have long worshiped their respective ancestors. This exhibition shows wooden artifacts that were used mainly by the noble class at festivals and ceremonies. Patterns on the surfaces of these objects represent a sense of admiration and awe towards ancestral spirits. In particular, the patterns with motifs such as of human gures and snakes, which typically are symbolic of ancestral spirits of the noble class, constitute an important element characteristic of wood sculpture created by the Payuan people. This exhibition sheds light on two-dimensional yet lively depictions of ancestral spirits on various pieces of wood sculpture.