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Ryukyu Decorative Arts

Ryukyu Decorative Arts / Honkan Room 15   May 29, 2007 (Tue) - September 17, 2007 (Mon)

  
Hair Ornament for an Amushirare (Ritual Officer), Amami Oshima Island, 18th century (Gift of Ms. Yamato Ryoko)

The Tokyo National Museum's collection of Ryukyu cultural items is largely the result of 3 sets of acquisitions.

In 1882 by request of the German Anthropological Society, the then Japanese Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce collected Ryukyu artifacts for research purposes. Identical items that were included in the set, together with the objects returned from Germany, were added to the Tokyo National Museum collection. Later in 1884, the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce further purchased items from Okinawa Prefecture, and the purchases now form the core of the museum's collection of Ryukyu cultural objects. While few cultural items survived the ashes of WWII in Okinawa, the museum collection became among the oldest and most important.

Of special note are the items from the village of Yamato in Amami Oshima relating to noro, a female ritual officer, collected by Ms. Osada Suma, who researched the Amami dialect. In 1997, items collected by Ms. Osada were donated by her younger sister, Ms. Yamato Ryoko.

Lacquerware that reflects its Chinese influence and items used by thenoro, as well as gorgeous metal work, vivid textiles, and pottery that reflects various influences, serve to highlight the vibrancy and character of Ryukyu decorative arts.

 Major works in this exhibition

* Works listed below are in the TNM Collection unless otherwise indicated.
Covered Food Box, Chrysanthemums in tsuikin (applique of colored lacquer cutouts) work design, Okinawa Main Island, 19th century
Tray, Design of dragon in mother-of-pearl inlay, Okinawa Main Island, 18th - 19th century
Hitoe Garment, Dark blue plantain fiber with hanaori weave pattern, Amami Oshima Island, 19th century (Gift of Ms. Yamato Ryoko)
Bingata Garment, Stream, chrysanthemum, reed, and wild geese in bingata stencil dyeing on light blue ground, Okinawa Main Island, 19th century
Hair Ornament for Women, Silver, Amami Oshima Island, Amami Oshima Island, 19th century (Gift of Ms. Yamato Ryoko)
Hair Ornament for Men, Brass and silver, Okinawa Main Island, Okinawa Main Island, 19th century
Ring, Gold, Okinawa Main Island, Okinawa Main Island, 19th century
Wine Bottle with Spout, Okinawa Main Island, Okinawa Main Island, 19th century
Cinerary Urn, Tsuboya ware, Okinawa Main Island, 19th century
Covered Food Box, Lacquered wood, Okinawa Main Island, Okinawa Main Island, 18th century
Ewer, Tin, Okinawa Main Island, Okinawa Main Island, 19th century