Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Rooms T1 & T2
January 2, 2020 (Thu) - January 26, 2020 (Sun)
The Chinese Zodiac is also used in Japan, with 2020 being the Year of the Mouse. Today many people see mice as pests, but a closer look at Japan’s arts and stories reveals that these small creatures played some very big roles.
In an ancient myth, for example, a wise mouse saved the god Ōkuninushi. Later stories tell how mice are the servants of Daikokuten, one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune. Because mice reproduce very quickly, they were also symbols of families blessed with many children.
All of these positive associations made mice a popular subject for art. This thematic exhibition presents a selection of artworks from the Museum collection that reveal the many faces of mice.