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Revived Meiji Architecture - Repair work on Tokyo National Museum's Hyokeikan Gallery


    October 24, 2006 (Tue) - January 28, 2007 (Sun)

    The Hyokeikan, or the "Building to express joy", was planned in 1900 to celebrate the marriage of Emperor Taisho (crown prince at the time). It was designed by Katayama Tokuma, an engineer in the Imperial Household Ministry. The building was presented to the Imperial Household after it was completed in 1908, and the Tokyo National Museum (Tokyo Imperial Household Museum at the time) was appointed for its care and maintenance.

    As a typical example of late Meiji period Western style architecture, the building was designated an Important Cultural Property in 1978.

    The Hyokeikan has deteriorated over the years, nearly a century since its completion. It was closed since last year to repair the leaking roof and other areas that needed treatment. Now that the repair work has been completed, we are pleased to open it again to the public for viewing its renovated interiors.

    An overview of the repair work will be displayed on computer screens. The original plans and drawings of the Hyokeikan and its history will also be introduced. We hope that visitors will appreciate the architectural techniques and beauty of this Western style building from the Meiji period.

 General Information
Period Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - Sunday January 28, 2007
Venue Hyokeikan, Tokyo National Museum (Ueno Park)
Hours 9:30 - 17:00 (last admission at 16:30)
* Open until 20:00 on Fridays until December 1, 2006 (last admission at 19:30)
* Open until 20:00 Tuesday, October 31 - Sunday, November 5, 2006 for special museum illumination event (last admission at 19:30)
Closed Mondays (Except for Monday, January 8, 2007), year-end holidays (December 28, 2006 - January 1, 2007), Thursday, January 4, 2007 and Tuesday, January 9, 2007
* Hyokeikan will be closed after 12:30 on October 31 and November 3, 2006.
* Hyokeikan will be closed throughout the day on November 4, 5, and December 17, 2006
Admissions Free with regular museum admission fee
Organizers Tokyo National Museum
With the assistance of Obayashi Corporation, The Japanese Association for Conservation of Architectural Monuments, P.T. Morimura & Associates, Ltd.
General Inquiries 03-5777-8600 (Hello Dial: in Japanese)
 Introduction to the Exhibition
History of Hyokeikan
  This section traces the history of Hyokeikan, which has been used as an exhibition gallery for 98 years since its inauguration in 1908. The exhibits include design drawings of the building, photographs of the inaugural displays, and materials related to exhibitions. Works by Katayama Tokuma, and artists Okuma Ujihiro and Numata Kazumasa, who crafted the bronze lions on the sides of the building entrance, are also on display.
Repair Work during the Heisei Period
  A large-scale repair project was carried out due to damages from roof leakage and other deterioration. Replacing copper roof plates and sheathing were major parts of the project. The walls of the exhibition rooms were re-painted starting from 2005, in a color close to the priginal. You can see how these works were done through photographic records on the computer screen.
Techniques and Art of Meiji Western Style Architecture
  One can find beautiful decoration and innovative use of space in various parts of the Hyokeikan. During the 98 years since its construction, certain parts have been added, and other parts become to be used other purposes. Labels with comments have been placed throughout the building to highlight and explain these changes and features.
Renewed roof dome
Renewed roof dome
The interior restored to the original coloring
The interior restored to the original coloring
Air conditioners were removed to under the floor for more space
Air conditioners were moved to under the floors for more space
Sunlight through the windows
Sunlight through the windows
The dome interior paintings after treatment to prevent exfoliation
The dome interior paintings after treatment to prevent exfoliation
New slope in the rear side
New slope in the rear side of the building