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Asian Gallery (Toyokan)

Image of "Asian Gallery (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.

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1st floor

 Image of "Chinese Buddhist Sculpture" 
Room 1  April 20, 2021 (Tue) - April 24, 2022 (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

 Image of "Artifacts from West Asia and Egypt" 
Room 3  July 20, 2021 (Tue) - December 5, 2021 (Sun)

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

 Image of "Sculptures from India and Gandhara" 
Room 3  June 29, 2021 (Tue) - July 3, 2022 (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.

 Image of "Art of the Western Regions" 
Room 3  September 14, 2021 (Tue) - October 31, 2021 (Sun)

This room mainly features artifacts discovered at Silk Road sites by the Japanese Ōtani expeditions at the start of the 20th century. Works are exhibited on rotation and illustrate the wide range of art and religious objects found in the diverse cultures along the Silk Road.

3rd floor

 Image of "The Advent of Chinese Civilization" 
Room 4  May 18, 2021 (Tue) - November 14, 2021 (Sun)

This gallery 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.

 Image of "Chinese Bronzes" 
Room 5  June 29, 2021 (Tue) - November 7, 2021 (Sun)

This gallery focuses on Chinese bronzes from about 1,800 BC to 1,000 AD. The changing shapes and designs of the bronzes on display provide clues to the thoughts and shifting religious beliefs of the ancient Chinese people.

 Image of "Burials in China" 
Room 5  June 29, 2021 (Tue) - November 7, 2021 (Sun)

This gallery introduces burial goods from about the 2nd century BC to the 8th century AD. During this period, the aristocracy and ruling elites were buried in tomb mounds along with numerous items meant to ensure their comfort in the next life, such as miniature models of daily goods (mingqi) and tomb figures shaped like servants or other people to care for them after death. The miniature models are often related to livestock or agriculture and give clues about the dietary practices of people living during this period. Visitors will also have the opportunity to see tomb figures from the Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD) and earthenware decorated in the renowned "three-color glaze" (sancai) of the Tang dynasty (618–907).

 Image of "Chinese Ceramics" 
Room 5  June 15, 2021 (Tue) - November 7, 2021 (Sun)

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

 Image of "Chinese Silk Tapestry (Kesi)" 
Room 5  September 28, 2021 (Tue) - December 5, 2021 (Sun)

The term kesi refers to slit tapestry. To make this kind of tapestry, different colors of horizontal (weft) threads are woven over and under the vertical (warp) threads only for a specific portion of the pattern, doubling back in on themselves when the desired width is reached. This method creates small gaps between each color in the pattern.

Kesi tapestry weaving grew extremely sophisticated during the Song dynasty (960–1279), and weavers began to produce richly-patterned tapestries that rivaled paintings in complexity and design. This exhibition traces the development of kesi textiles from northern China’s Liao dynasty (916–1125) to the Yuan (1271–1368) and Ming dynasties (1368–1644).

4th floor

 Image of "Stone Relief Carvings of China" 
Room 7  April 6, 2021 (Tue) - April 10, 2022 (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.

 Image of "Buddhist Paintings and Calligraphy" 
Room 8  October 19, 2021 (Tue) - December 5, 2021 (Sun)

This year’s exhibition of masterpieces of Chinese painting and calligraphy focuses on Buddhist art. Copies of sutras, records about carving Buddhist sculptures, paintings with Buddhist subjects, and calligraphy by Chan (Zen) monks still captivate us through their detailed representations of religious doctrines and deep devotion of the artist. Calligraphy and paintings by Chinese Chan priests from the Song (960–1276) and Yuan (1271–1368) dynasties were introduced to Japan through exchanges between China and Japan, and were highly valued in the world of the tea ceremony.

5th floor

 Image of "Chinese Lacquerware" 
Room 9  September 7, 2021 (Tue) - December 5, 2021 (Sun)

Lacquer is the sap of the lacquer tree, which grows in East and Southeast Asia. Naturally sticky, it can be brushed onto different materials, and hardens into a durable coating that is waterproof and resistant to acids, alkalis, and heat.

The history of lacquerware in China dates back to the Neolithic period. Over the past 7,000 years, a number of ornate decorative techniques have grown out of Chinese innovations, including: built-up layers of lacquer that are then carved, mother-of-pearl inlay, incised lines of gold, and a special type of decorative inlay made up of different colors of lacquer and outlined in incised lines.

 Image of "Decorative Art of the Qing Dynasty" 
Room 9  September 7, 2021 (Tue) - December 5, 2021 (Sun)

This gallery 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.

 Image of "Polished Stone Tools and Metal Tools of Korea" 
Room 10  October 26, 2021 (Tue) - May 22, 2022 (Sun)

This section of the gallery introduces archeological artifacts from Korea, including stone and bronze weapons and sophisticated cast ornamental fittings with animal motifs. It also features mirrors, hooked belt fittings, and other items associated with the Lelang Commandery, an administrative division established by China’s Han dynasty in the northern part of the Korean Peninsula.

 Image of "The Rise and Fall of Kings in Korea" 
Room 10  October 26, 2021 (Tue) - May 22, 2022 (Sun)

This gallery presents artifacts from Korea’s Three Kingdoms period (57 BC–668 AD), an era when powerful rulers vied for control of the Korean Peninsula. The three kingdoms were comprised of Goguryeo in the north, Baekje in the southwest, and Silla in the southeast. A fourth state, known as the Gaya confederacy, also existed in the south before being annexed by Silla.

Each region made full use of the materials of the time—namely, gold, silver, bronze, iron, glass, and jade—to create distinct ornaments and other objects including, armor, horse tack, clay tiles, and pottery.

 Image of "Korean Ceramics" 
Room 10  October 26, 2021 (Tue) - May 22, 2022 (Sun)

This gallery introduces Korean ceramics from the Proto-Three Kingdoms period (ca. 1st century BC–3rd century AD) to the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910). The development of Korean ceramics during the Proto–Three Kingdoms period was influenced by the Lelang Commandery, an outpost established by China’s Han dynasty in the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. Rulers of powerful states struggled for supremacy during this period, resulting in a rich variety of distinct ceramic aesthetics in each region. Under Chinese influence, a blue-green glaze called celadon began to be produced in Korea during the Goryeo dynasty (935–1392). Over time, celadon wares took on a distinct gray-green coloring that came to be known as Goryeo celadon. The production of pottery then diversified during the Joseon dynasty to include white porcelain and Buncheong ware, a type of stoneware often featuring designs in white slip and iron pigment.

 Image of "Buddhist Art of Korea" 
Room 10  September 22, 2021 (Wed) - April 10, 2022 (Sun)

Buddhism began to spread on the Korean Peninsula during the 4th and 5th centuries. This section introduces Buddhist art from the Three Kingdoms period (57 BC–668 AD), the Unified Silla dynasty (669–935), and the Goryeo dynasty (935–1392), including gilt-bronze statues, bricks, roof tiles, and ritual implements.

 Image of "Art of the Joseon Dynasty" 
Room 10  September 22, 2021 (Wed) - December 5, 2021 (Sun)

This gallery features Korean furniture, clothing, and room decor from 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.


 Image of "Khmer Sculpture" 
Room 11  July 6, 2021 (Tue) - February 20, 2022 (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.

 Image of "14 Dynasties and a Region: The History and Culture of the Muslim World: The Collection of the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia" 
Rooms 12 & 13  July 6, 2021 (Tue) - February 20, 2022 (Sun)

This special thematic exhibition does not limit its scope to a particular nation or region, but instead features Islamic art from all over the world. It was made possible through the generous cooperation of the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia and their willingness to loan works from their impressive collection of Islamic masterpieces.

Islam was founded as a monotheistic religion in the 7th century by the Prophet Muhammad (ca. 570–632) on the Arabian Peninsula. After its founding, Islam gradually spread outward to Europe, North Africa, and Central Asia, eventually reaching East and Southeast Asia. It is currently the world’s second most widely practiced religion next to Christianity. Many Islamic dynasties rose and fell as the religion spread across the globe, and each one developed its own version of Islamic culture enriched by elements of local cultures.

This exhibition showcases decorative art objects and historical materials that highlight the diversity within Islamic culture and promote a deeper understanding of the Islamic world.

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