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Courtly Millenium - Art Treasures from the Konoe Family Collection

Courtly Millenium - Art Treasures from the Konoe Family Collection / Heiseikan Special Exhibition Galleries   January 2, 2008 (Wed) - February 24, 2008 (Sun)

  
Diary of Fujiwara no Michinaga, Kanko 4 (1007), volume 2 (detail)
By Fujiwara no Michinaga
National Treasure
Heian period, 1007
Yomei Bunko Foundation, Kyoto

Yomei Bunko, housing approximately 200 thousand objects including 8 National Treasures and 59 Important Cultural Properties, is the treasury of the Konoe household, which was one of the most eminent of the court families. This exhibit features masterpieces from among the colletion, as well as objects formerly owned by the family that are now in other institutions.

 General Information
Period Wednesday, January 2 - Sunday, February 24, 2008
Venue Heiseikan, Tokyo National Museum (Ueno Park)
Hours 9:30 - 17:00
(last entry 30 minutes before closing)
Closed Mondays (open on holidays, closed on the next day instead)
Admissions Adults: 1,400 (1,100/1,000)yen
University and High school students: 900 (700/600)yen
Junior high school students and under: Free
* Prices shown in ( ) indicate advance/group (more than 20 persons) discount tickets.
* Persons with physical or mental disabilities are allowed free entry with one accompanying guest.
* Ticket prices include admission to regular exhibitions.
* Advance tickets are on sale at the Museum ticket office (during museum hours) and e-Ticket Pia, Lawson Ticket, JR East Reservation Ticket Office (Midori-no-madoguchi) and View Plaza at major stations; FamilyMart, Sankus, Seven-Eleven, JTB, E-Plus and CN Playguide from September 22, 2007.
Access 10 minutes' walk from JR Ueno Station (Park exit) and Uguisudani Station
15 minutes' walk from Keisei Ueno Station and Tokyo Metro Ueno Station and Nezu Station
Organizers Tokyo National Museum, Yomei Bunko Foundation, NHK, NHK Promotions
With the support of Agency for Cultural Affairs
With the sponsorship of Nissha Printing Co., Ltd., Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co.,Ltd.
General Inquiries 03-5777-8600 (Hello Dial: in Japanese)
Exhibition Official Website http://www.nhk-p.co.jp/tenran/konoe/index.html
The website has closed with the end of the exhibition.
 Related Events (application required)
  Commemorative lecture (In Japanese)
"Konoe Family and Yomei Bunko Library"
  Auditorium, Heiseikan
Saturday, February 2, 2008, 13:30 - 15:00
Lecture by: Nawa Osamu (Director, Yomei Bunko Foundation)
  Related Concert
Restored Ancient Court Music - Concert by Tempyo Gafu
  Auditorium, Heiseikan
Saturday, January 26, 2008, 13:30 - 14:30
 Major Works on Display
1. Daily life of the court nobles
A court noble was expected to be well versed in Chinese literature, have sufficient knowledge of waka poetry and also be proficient in calligraphy and musical instruments, thereby helping shape the refined lifestyle, beliefs, and culture of the imperial court.

The court aristocracy kept diaries, of which the Mido-kampakuki (National Tresure) by Fujiwara no Michinaga, is a prime example. Yet these works differ from the diaries of today in that they were passed down successive generations, forming a very valuable point of reference for each family. We can learn many things from them, such as the lifestyles and ceremonies of the aristocracy and the social conditions.

The Konoe family came to possess a vast amount of correspondence and works of calligraphy penned by successive emperors, on account of their extensive connections with the Imperial family. Some of these works, as well as examples of calligraphy by successive heads of the Konoe family, are on display in this section.
Diary of Fujiwara no Michinaga, Kanko 4 (1007), volume 2
  Diary of Fujiwara no Michinaga, Kanko 4 (1007), volume 2 (detail)
By Fujiwara no Michinaga
National Treasure
Heian period, 1007
Yomei Bunko Foundation, Kyoto
Gilt-bronze sutra case
  Gilt-bronze sutra case
By Tomo no Nobusuke
National Treasure
Heian period, 1007
Kinpu Jinja (Yoshino Mikumari Jinja), Nara
Protrait of Fujiwara no Kamatari
  Protrait of Fujiwara no Kamatari
Muromachi period, 15th-16th century
Yomei Bunko Foundation, Kyoto
Kasuga Deer Mandala
  Kasuga Deer Mandala
Important Cultural Property
Kamakura period, 13th century
Yomei Bunko Foundation, Kyoto
2. The Konoe Family in Early Modern Era
Konoe Sakihisa was deeply involved in the process of national unification during the turbulent Warring States Period. His son, Nobutada, was a renowned calligrapher, one of the so-called Kan'ei no Sanpitsu - or the Three Prominent Brushes of the Kanei Era. Nobutada's adopted son, Nobuhiro, the fourth son of Emperor Goyozei, contributed much to the furtherance of scholarship and the arts of the Kan'ei Era, in the reign of Emperor Gomizuno-o, performing a role of intermediary between scholars and artists and the court. Konoe Motohiro was fond of waka poetry and a talented calligrapher and painter, and also engaged in historical studies of court ritual. This tradition of scholarship and the arts was passed on down the generations.
Poems
  Poems
By Emperor Goyozei, Konoe Sakihisa, and Konoe Nobutada
Important Art Object
Azuchi-Momoyama to Edo period, 16th-17th century
Yomei Bunko Foundation, Kyoto
Albums of Eight Views of the Xiao and Xiang Rivers
  Albums of Eight Views of the Xiao and Xiang Rivers
Inscription by Konoe Motohiro, painting by Kano Tsunenobu
Edo period, 18th century
Yomei Bunko Foundation, Kyoto
3-4. The World of Iehiro
The 21st head of the Konoe Household, Iehiro, otherwise known as Yorakuin, studied pottery under his grandfather, Motohiro, from an early age and was a naturally talented practitioner of calligraphy and other arts. He came to love scholarship, too, and was conversant with the tea ceremony, flower arrangement and the art of incense. He was the leading cultural figure in the court of his day. His encyclopedic knowledge can be appreciated in the form of sayings recorded by his personal physician, Yamashina Doan, in the Kaikayobun (or Kaiki for short). He also studied the works of such famous calligraphers as Kukai and Ono no Michikaze, now preserved in Yomei Bunko and other organizations, and developed his own distinctive brushwork on this basis. He both created and collected many works of great value, which he classified, sorted and displayed. These became the foundation of the Yomei Bunko collection.
Copies of exemplary calligraphies by Yorakuin
  Copies of exemplary calligraphies by Yorakuin
By Konoe Iehiro
Edo period, 17th-18th century
Yomei Bunko Foundation, Kyoto
Illustrated scrolls of the Miracle of the Kasuga Deity, volume 3, 5, 12, & 15
  Illustrated scrolls of the Miracle of the Kasuga Deity, volume 3, 5, 12, & 15
Calligraphy by Konoe Iehiro, paintings by Watanabe Shiko
Edo period, 1735
Yomei Bunko Foundation, Kyoto
True pictures
  "True pictures" of flowers and trees
By Konoe Iehiro
Edo period, 18th century
Yomei Bunko Foundation, Kyoto
5-6. Transmission of art objects through the generations
The many masterpieces preserved by the Konoe Household include well-known National Treasures such as the ancient calligraphy of the Wakansho poetry scrolls and Otekagami samples and the Kumano Kaishi poems. There is also a fragment of a letter by the priest Myoe, which is designated an Important Cultural Property. Other items include many tea ceremony implements from the time of the 21st head, Iehiro, maki-e lacquer incense implements, celadon vases (including the Sensei (Thousand Voices), Important Cultural Property), a great sword made by the master Unsho of the Bizen Ukai school (Important Cultural Property), and paintings such as folding screens by Sakai Hoitsu, as well as Goshoningyo court dolls and Kamoningyo festival dolls, silverware decorations for the Dolls' Festival, imported fabrics collected for use in mountings and other outstanding pieces. Besides the remarkable works of calligraphy, please enjoy this opportunity to view these masterpieces of craftwork and painting.
Wakan sho volume 2
  Wakan-sho, volume 2
Attibuted to Fujiwara no Kozei
National Treasure
Heian period, 11th century
Yomei Bunko Foundation, Kyoto
Segment of the Kumano poems
  Segment of the "Kumano poems"
By Retired Emperor Gotoba
National Treasure
Kamakura period, 1201
Yomei Bunko Foundation, Kyoto
Tachi sword with sword mounting with peony blossom design in maki-e on hirameji lacquer ground
  Tachi sword
With sword mounting with peony blossom design in maki-e on hirameji lacquer ground

By Unsho
Important Cultural Property
Kamakura period, 13th century
Yomei Bunko Foundation, Kyoto
Sword mounting with peony blossom design in maki-e on hirameji lacquer ground
Kinuta celadon flower vase with phoenix handles, known as Sensei A thousand voices
  Kinuta celadon flower vase with phoenix handles, known as "Sensei" (A thousand voices)
Longquan ware
Important Cultural Property
China, Southern Song Dynasty, 13th century
Yomei Bunko Foundation, Kyoto
Gosho dolls posed as daimyo procession
  Gosho dolls: posed as daimyo procession
Edo period, 19th century
Yomei Bunko Foundation, Kyoto
Birds and flowers of the four seasons
  Birds and flowers of the four seasons
By Sakai Hoitsu
Edo period, 1816
Yomei Bunko Foundation, Kyoto