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New Year's Celebration at the Tokyo National Museum Monkey Paradise

New Year's Celebration at the Tokyo National Museum Monkey Paradise / Honkan Room T1 & T2   January 2, 2016 (Sat) - January 31, 2016 (Sun)

  
Monkey (detail), By Kano Sansetsu, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Ms. Uematsu Kayoko)

We wish all visitors a Happy New Year for 2016, the year of the monkey! In the past, the people of Japan made countless artworks portraying monkeys, who, of course, bear a close resemblance to humans. These artworks reflect the different ways in which people saw these creatures and feature a rich variety of artistic expression.

This exhibition explores the different ways in which monkeys were depicted, showcasing artworks based on themes such as "adorable monkeys," "troops of monkeys," "personified monkeys," and even "monkey fur." The diversity is truly surprising, with adorable combinations of baby and parent monkeys, lively troops, fur depicted with incredibly fine brushstrokes, and monkeys portrayed as messengers of the gods and as creatures illustrating moral lessons. Moreover, skillful and imaginative works such as sword guards toggles shaped like troops of monkeys show us just how familiar of a motif the monkey became in Japanese art.

Take some time to enjoy this "Monkey Paradise," which was created through the age-long interactions of these creatures and humans.

 

 Major works in this exhibition
* Works listed below are in the TNM Collection unless otherwise indicated.
 Major works in this exhibition
* Works listed below are in the TNM Collection unless otherwise indicated.
Sixteen Arhats, Heian period, 11th century (National Treasure)
Monkeys in Autumn Mountains, By Mori Sosen, Edo period, 19th century (Important Art Object)
Sixteen Arhats (Eleventh Arhat), By Kano Sansetsu, Edo period, 17th century (Gift of Ms. Uematsu Kayoko)
Tea Kettle in Shape of Igeta (Crossed beams at a wellhead), By Onishi Jorin, Edo period, 17th century


 

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January 2, 2016 (Sat) - January 31, 2016 (Sun)