Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room T1
March 27, 2012 (Tue) - April 22, 2012 (Sun)
In commemoration of the Tokyo National Museum’s 140th anniversary, this exhibition features the museum’s activities from a century ago, when it was called the Tokyo Imperial Household Museum.
The museum collection includes 37 life-size sketches of garments and accessories used by women of the Edo period (1603–1868), such as kosode and furisode garments, and obi sashes. Depictions are outstandingly precise, with details including the woven patterns of the fabric, stitches of embroidery, and dots of tie-dyed designs. Details concerning the production of these sketches, however, were not known until now.
Research during recent years has revealed that these sketches were made on the occasion of a special exhibition, Paintings, Costumes and Accessories of Women in the Tokugawa Period, held at the Tokyo Imperial Household Museum in 1911 (Meiji 44). The sketches were produced as reproductions of costumes which were lent for the exhibition, for the purpose of the advancement of future studies. At the same time, glass dry plate photographs in black and white were also taken for the same reason. Today, the whereabouts of the majority of the original pieces in the exhibition are not known, and in many of these cases the sketches and photographs are the only clues that tell us about the original works.
This exhibition aims to reproduce a part of the special exhibition of 1911, through the sketches of kosode and furisode garments along with examples of original garments, paintings, and photographs. We hope visitors enjoy the gift that the curators of the past have left us.