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 >> Scheduled Special Exhibitions(April, 2014 - March, 2015)

Scheduled Special Exhibitions(April, 2014- March, 2015)

Special Exhibitions

The 800th Memorial of Yosai  Roots of Zen: Yosai and the Treasures of Kenninji
March 25, 2014 (Tue) - May 18, 2014 (Sun)

Wind and Thunder Gods,  by Tawaraya Sotatsu, Edo period, 17th century (National Treasure, Kenninji, Kyoto)


The year 2015 marks the 800th memorial of priest Yosai (1141?1215), who founded Kenninji temple, the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto. Yosai disseminated the Zen teachings of the Rinzai sect in Japan. In commemoration of Yosai’s achievements, noted treasures from the Kenninji temple collection, including the screen paintings Wind and Thunder Gods (National Treasure) by Tawaraya Sotatsu, a master painter of the Azuchi-Momoyama to Edo period, will be on exhibit. Treasures owned by the Kenninji sect and by temples associated with Yosai will also be introduced, revealing the cultural accomplishments of Kenninji temple.

Photo:Wind and Thunder Gods, by Tawaraya Sotatsu, Edo period, 17th century (National Treasure, Kenninji, Kyoto)


Mural Paintings of the Kitora Tumulus
April 22, 2014 (Tue) - May 18, 2014 (Sun)

White tiger

Room T5, Honkan

Richly colored mural paintings from the Kitora tumulus (Asuka village, Nara prefecture; end of 7th-beginning of 8th century) will be specially exhibited at the Tokyo National Museum. The tumulus is designated as a special historic site. Out of the Four Gods ruling over the four directions, painted images of three of them―the white tiger, the black tortoise, and the vermilion bird―will be on exhibit. Also on display are painted images of two human figures with the heads of animals―the Rat and the Ox―from the twelve animals of the zodiac. This is a precious opportunity to view these paintings, which are being shown outside the village for the first time since their discovery in 1983.

Photo:White Tiger, of the Four Divine Animals,Mural Paintings from Kitora Tumulus: West Wall,Asuka period, 7th-8th century, Lent by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology


Treasured Masterpieces from the National Palace Museum, Taipei
June 24, 2014 (Tue) - September 15, 2014 (Mon)

人と熊 清時代・18~19世紀


Renowned works have been carefully selected for this exhibition from the cultural properties in the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei. The exhibition aims to introduce widely the characteristics and exquisiteness of Chinese culture. From ancient times, people in Japan have been familiar with Chinese culture and have actively sought to assimilate it. Distinctive Japanese culture, which was formed subsequently, can be better appreciated through an understanding of the fine Chinese cultural properties in the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei.

Photo:Man an bear, Qing dynasty, 18th - 19th century


Joint Special Exhibition of National Museums, Japan, China and Korea, 2014
East Asian Elegance: Masterpieces of Ceramics
September 20, 2014 (Sat) - November 24, 2014(Mon)

Room T5, Honkan

This is the first time a joint exhibition will be held by national museums of Japan, China and Korea. The exhibition displays world-renowned ceramic masterpieces from the collections of the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of China and the National Museum of Korea.

Photo:Tea Leaf Jar Moon and plum design in overglaze enamel, Studio of Ninsei, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)



National Treasures of Japan (Tentative)
October 15, 2014 (Wed) - December 7, 2014 (Sun)

国宝 普賢菩薩像(部分) 平安時代・12世紀 東京国立博物館蔵


This exhibition features National Treasures gathered across various periods and genres under the theme of the “form of prayers,”―tangible objects that people have placed their hopes in and cherished wholeheartedly. A considerable attempt is being made through these National Treasures to re-evaluate the essence of the formation of Japanese culture, as seen in the “form of prayers.” Works on exhibit are all National Treasures. This truly is an exhibition that highlights the heart of Japanese culture.

Photo:Dogu with Palms Together, Late Jomon period (2000-1000 BC), Kazahari site 1, Hachinohe-shi, Aomori (National Treasure)


Buddhist Statues from the Michinoku Region (Tentative)
January 14, 2015 (Wed) - April 5, 2015 (Sun)

Room T5, Honkan

The northeastern area of Japan, called the Michinoku region, is home to many attractive Buddhist statues. Their faces are filled with a powerful yet gentle human kindness, rather than expressions of enlightened, transcendent beings. This exhibition features representative examples of Buddhist sculpture from Japan’s northeastern region.

Photo:Seated Yakushi Nyorai (Bhaisajyaguru), Heian period, 9th century (National Treasure, Lent by Shojoji, Fukushima)



The Great Tsunami of March 11,2011 and the Restoration of Cultural Properties 
January 14, 2015 (Wed) - March 15, 2015 (Sun)


Honkan Room T2 & T4

On March 11, 2011 the tsunami following the Great East Japan Earthquake dealt severe damage to cultural properties that had supported the culture of the Tohoku area in northeastern Japan. After this disaster, the Tokyo National Museum cooperated with institutions including the Rikuzentakata City Museum and the Iwate Prefectural Museum to restore these damaged cultural properties. This exhibition will share with visitors the results of four years of effort and inform them of this restoration project’s current status.




Regular Exhibition

National Treasure GalleryPage Top

Exceptional work of painting and calligraphy designated as National Treasure will be exhibit on this Gallery.

Designation Name Creation Excavation Period Acquisition
Room On exhibit
National Treasure Portrait said to be of Fujiwara no Mitsuyoshi   Kamakura period, 13th century Lent by Jingoji, Kyoto Room 2, Honkan 2014/2/25 -
National Treasure Suiten (Varuna), One of the Twelve Devas   Heian period, 9th century Lent by Saidaiji, Nara Room 2, Honkan 2014/3/25 -
National Treasure Engishiki (Rules and regulations concerning ceremonies and other events), Volume 12, Volume 16   Heian period, 11th century   Room 2, Honkan 2014/4/22-
National Treasure Hoke Kyo (Lotus sutra), Kunoji Version   Heian period, 12th century Lent by Tesshuji, Shizuoka Room 2, Honkan 2014/5/27-
National Treasure Cooling Off By Kusumi Morikage Edo period, 17th century   Room 2, Honkan 2014/7/8-
National Treasure Imaginary Tour through Xiaoxiang By Li Southern Song dynasty, 12th century   Room 2, Honkan 2014/8/5-
National Treasure Letters  By Kukai Heian period, 9th century Lent by Kyo'ogokokuji, Kyoto Room 2, Honkan 2014/9/17-
National Treasure Record of the Poetry Contest at the Palace of the Emperor's Wife in the Kampyo Era   Heian period, 11th century   Room 2, Honkan 2014/10/15-
National Treasure Landscape By Sesshu Toyo; inscriptions by Sesshu Toyo and six monks Muromachi period, dated 1495 (Meio 4)   Room 2, Honkan 2014/11/26-
National Treasure Pine Trees By Hasegawa Tohaku Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century   Room 2, Honkan 2015/1/2-
National Treasure Hoke kyo (Lotus sutra), Vol. 6 On colored paper    Heian period, 12th century Lent by Kongobuji, Wakayama Room 2, Honkan 2015/1/14-
National Treasure Cypress Trees  By Kano Eitoku Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century   Room 2, Honkan 2015/2/17-
National Treasure Merrymaking Under Blossom Trees By Kano Naganobu Edo period, 17th century   Room 2, Honkan 2015/3/17 -