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Special Thematic Exhibition in Celebration of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games: Sports NIPPON

Special Thematic Exhibition in Celebration of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games: Sports NIPPON / Heiseikan Thematic Exhibition Room   July 13, 2021 (Tue) - September 20, 2021 (Mon)

 Image of "Gold Medal from the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, Dated 1964" 
Gold Medal from the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, Dated 1964

This exhibition presents the history and culture of sports in Japan in commemoration of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The exhibition is divided into two parts. Chapter 1 introduces the origins of Japanese sports during the Edo period (1603–1868) and earlier through artworks and crafts from the collection of the Tokyo National Museum. Chapter 2 explores developments in Japanese sports after the Meiji Restoration of 1868 through modern and contemporary sports-related materials from the collection of the Prince Chichibu Memorial Sports Museum.

 

Highlights of the Exhibition

General Information

 

Highlights of the Exhibition

 

Chapter 1: The Origins of Japanese Sports as Seen in Arts and Crafts

Chapter 2: Modern and Contemporary Japanese Sports and the Olympics

 

 

 

Chapter 1: The Origins of Japanese Sports as Seen in Arts and Crafts

The history of sports in Japan can be traced all the way back to primeval times. These origins are highly diverse, ranging from the imperial court events of the nobility and military arts of samurai to games of the common people, religious rituals, and performing arts. Such ancient forms have been passed down to the present day as aspects of traditional culture like sumō wrestling, yabusame horseback archery, and the kemari ballgame, as well as modern Japanese martial arts like kendō and kyūdō. These have much in common with modern sports and the Olympic spirit in the sense that they involve competitions of skill according to predetermined rules in order to train the mind and body.

Chapter 1 introduces the origins of Japanese sports during the Edo period (1603–1868) and earlier through paintings, crafts, and other artworks from the collection of the Tokyo National Museum.

 

Illustrated Scroll of Tale of Warrior Obusuma Saburō (detail)
Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)
(On exhibit from June 30 to August 15, 2021)

Kasagake is a practical mounted archery technique in which archers shoot special whistling arrows from atop a galloping horse.

 

 

Long Sword (katana) by Nagasone Kotetsu
Edo period, 17th century

Kotetsu swords are known for their exceptional cutting ability. Yotsudō in the inscription means "four bodies" and indicates that when the blade was tested, it was sharp enough to cut through the stacked corpses of four criminals.

 

 

Saddle Tree with Lions
Heian–Kamakura period, 12th–13th centuries (Gift of Mr. Kano Jigorō, Important Cultural Property)

A splendid saddle decorated in gold. Note the lion ornaments in mother-of-pearl inlay.

 

 

Battledore and Shuttlecock
By Ishikawa Toyonobu, Edo period, 18th century
(On exhibit from June 30 to August 15, 2021)

The Japanese battledore and shuttlecock game known as hanetsuki uses a feathered shuttlecock and racket and is played at the beginning of the New Year.

 

 

Sumō Wrestlers Kajigahama, Sekinoto, and Referee Kimura Shōnosuke
By Katsukawa Shunsho, Edo period, dated 1784
(On exhibit from August 17 to September 20, 2021)

During the Edo period, the traditional combat sport of sumō wrestling became a major form of sporting entertainment, with spectators paying a fee to watch matches.

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Chapter 2: Modern and Contemporary Japanese Sports and the Olympics

Chapter 2 covers the history of Japanese sports from early modern times to the present day. As showcased in Chapter 1, various physical activities closely tied to traditional culture have existed in Japan since ancient times, and these can be considered the “origins” of Japanese sports. The modern concept of “sports” came to Japan from overseas after the Meiji Restoration of 1868, and the Olympics played a particularly important role in popularizing and cultivating sports in Japan.

Chapter 2 presents early Japanese sporting equipment and gear, Japan’s participation in the Olympics, and its process of successfully bidding to host the Games through materials from the collection of the Prince Chichibu Memorial Sports Museum.

 

 

Tomb Sculpture Haniwa: Warrior in Tankō Armor
Found in Kumagaya City, Saitama, Kofun period, 6th century (Important Cultural Property)

This haniwa clay figurine was used in the design of a poster for the 1940 Tokyo Olympics.

 

 

Track-and-Field Uniform and Shoes Worn by Mishima Yahiko
Dated 1912

These were worn by Mishima Yahiko when he competed in the men’s 400-meter track-and-field event at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm.

 

 

Olympic Torch and Its Holder for the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo
Dated 1964

The handle portion of the Olympic torch for the 1964 Games in Tokyo was designed by the renowned art scholar Yanagi Sōri.

 

 

Uniform Worn by Vera Cáslavská (Czechoslovak Gymnast)
Dated 1964

This uniform was worn by Vera Cáslavská of Czechoslovakia, who won the individual all-around gold medal in women’s gymnastics.

 

 

Gold Medal from the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo
Dated 1964

 

 

"Friendship Medal" Won by Ōe Sueo and Nishida Shuhei (Pole Vault) at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin
Dated 1936

 

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General Information

Period July 13–September 20, 2021
Venue Heiseikan Thematic Exhibition Room, Tokyo National Museum (Ueno Park)
Hours 9:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
(Last entry 30 minutes before closing)
Closed Mondays (except for August 9 and September 20)
Admission

Admission for this exhibition is included in tickets for the regular and special exhibitions (if visited on the same day).

Adults: 1,000 yen
University students: 500 yen

High/Junior High/Elementary School Students and persons under 18 and over 70: Free

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Special exhibitions require separate ticketing procedure and admission fees.

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Persons with disabilities are admitted free of charge along with one attendant. Please show official ID or other documentation.

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Regular admission is free for persons under 18 and over 70. Please show proof of age (driver's license, passport, etc.) when entering.

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Free admission to the regular exhibitions on September 20, 2021 (excluding special exhibitions).

All tickets are now timed-entry tickets and must be purchased in advance online. Museum members and other visitors eligible for free admission must also make reservations online.

Online reservations can only be made prior to the specified entry time for your desired time slot. If you wish to enter the museum after your desired time slot has already begun, you must make your reservation in person at the ticket counter at the main gate.

See visitor information page for more details.

Access 10 minutes' walk from JR Ueno Station (Park exit) and Uguisudani Station
15 minutes' walk from Keisei Ueno Station, Tokyo Metro Ueno Station and Tokyo Metro Nezu Station
Organizers Tokyo National Museum, Prince Chichibu Memorial Sports Museum, The Yomiuri Shimbun
With the Support of The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games
Sponsorship Japanese Olympic Committee
General Inquiries 050-5541-8600  (Hello Dial)

 

Pamphlet

Thematic Exhibition in Celebration of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games: Sports NIPPON
Special Thematic Exhibition in Celebration of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games: Sports NIPPON


This pamphlet is also available at the information desk in the Heiseikan during the exhibition period.

PDF 15.8MB)

 

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