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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.

Floor Map



1st floor

Room 1  June 24, 2020 (Wed) - April 18, 2021 (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  June 24, 2020 (Wed) - October 4, 2020 (Sun)

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

Room 3  June 24, 2020 (Wed) - June 27, 2021 (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  July 7, 2020 (Tue) - August 16, 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  June 24, 2020 (Wed) - October 4, 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  July 21, 2020 (Tue) - November 15, 2020 (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.

Room 5  July 7, 2020 (Tue) - November 1, 2020 (Sun)

This gallery 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  July 7, 2020 (Tue) - November 1, 2020 (Sun)

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

Room 5  June 24, 2020 (Wed) - August 10, 2020 (Mon)

This gallery introduces Chinese textiles and embroidery from the 13th to the 19th century.

4th floor

Room 7  June 24, 2020 (Wed) - 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  July 7, 2020 (Tue) - August 16, 2020 (Sun)

Dr. Hayashi Munetake (1923–2006) was a businessman and collector born into the distinguished Lin Benyuan family in Taiwan.

Room 8  July 7, 2020 (Tue) - August 16, 2020 (Sun)

The literati were people who devoted themselves to reading, calligraphy, painting, and other highly valued art forms in China. Their way of life was viewed as an ideal. This exhibition room recreates the studies of the literati, where they created works of calligraphy and painting.

5th floor

Room 9  June 24, 2020 (Wed) - September 27, 2020 (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.

Room 9  June 24, 2020 (Wed) - September 27, 2020 (Sun)

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

Room 10  June 24, 2020 (Wed) - October 18, 2020 (Sun)

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

Room 10  June 24, 2020 (Wed) - October 18, 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  June 24, 2020 (Wed) - October 18, 2020 (Sun)

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

Room 10  June 24, 2020 (Wed) - October 11, 2020 (Sun)

his part  features the essence of Korean Buddhist art.

Room 10  July 21, 2020 (Tue) - October 11, 2020 (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.


Room 11  June 24, 2020 (Wed) - May 16, 2021 (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  June 24, 2020 (Wed) - May 16, 2021 (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  June 24, 2020 (Wed) - April 25, 2021 (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  June 24, 2020 (Wed) - September 6, 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  June 24, 2020 (Wed) - August 10, 2020 (Mon)

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  July 21, 2020 (Tue) - August 16, 2020 (Sun)

The art of “miniature painting” is one of India’s best-known genres. These paintings use elaborate brushwork and vibrant colors to depict a variety of themes, including: Indian myths, Hindu gods, portraits of kings, scenes from history, and love stories. Miniature paintings can also be enjoyed for their distinct regional styles that reflect India’s rich history of cultural diversity.

Room 13  July 21, 2020 (Tue) - October 11, 2020 (Sun)

Wayang Kulit is a traditional form of shadow-puppet theater in Indonesia.
Around the 10th century, Hinduism along with its accompanying epics the Mahabharata and the Ramayana were introduced to Indonesia from India. As the epics spread through Indonesia, they were adopted as the storylines for Wayang Kulit plays.
The puppets used in Wayang Kulit are cut from water buffalo hide, intricately carved with fine chisels, and decorated in vibrant colors. The sticks for manipulating the puppets are mostly made from water buffalo horn.
Wayang Kulit plays typically last all night. The puppeteer, called a dhalang, maneuvers all the puppets, delivers all the lines, and even cues the accompanying musicians (gamelan). Although they are based on famous epics, performances are not strictly scripted and include the dhalang’s improvisations.