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Outdoor Exhibits

Kuromon ("Black Gate") (Important Cultural Property)

This main gate used to adorn the main Edo (present-day Tokyo) residence of the feudal family of Ikeda, rulers over the Inshu country (present-day Okayama prefecture), located in the Marunouchi Daimyokoji lane (present-day Marunouchi 3 Chome). In the early Meiji period, the gate was transferred to the Crown Prince's residence, before being moved again to prince Takamatsu's Villa and further to the Tokyo National Museum in 1954. The construction date of this gate remains unclear, yet judging from the architectural style and technique employed, late Edo period or 19th century seems likely. The large roof is in hipped-gable style, with two smaller roofs with undulating bargeboards on each end sheltering the guards' chambers. As a main feudal residence gate, this one and Akamon ("Red Gate") of the Tokyo University are the most representative specimens in Japan.

Kuromon opening dates:

10:00-16:00 Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays and January 2 and 3 only Visitors can walk through the historic gate.
* The opening of the Kuromon may be cancelled due to bad weather conditions.


Azekura Repository (Important Cultural Property)

A repository facility constructed of logs, this structure originally stood at the Jurinin Temple within the Gangoji Temple compound in Nara and was used as a sutra repository. Having been relocated in May, 1882 to the Museum, it now stands beside the Gallery of Horyuji Treasure. It is a small repository of azekura style dating to the Kamakura period with a single bay square space. The inner wall space is adorned with murals depicting figures from the Maha-prajnaparamita Sutra, such as Bodhisattvas or the sixteen protector-deities, which clearly indicates its use as repository for the Maha-prajnaparamita Sutra.


Demon Tile

This tile originates from the Edo residence of the feudal family of Kuroda, formerly located in what is today the Kasumigaseki district in Chiyoda-ku area, Tokyo. The Kuroda clan ruled over Fukuoka in the country of Chikuzen. The complicated cloud pattern defines its character. It is placed next to the Kuromon.


Statue of Edward Jenner

The memorial statue is dedicated to the British physician Edward Jenner (1749-1823). It was executed by Yonehara Unkai, a pupil of the famous sculptor Takamura Koun in 1896 on the request of the Great Japan Private Health Association to commemorate the centenary of Jenner's discovery of vaccination and the resulting immunity against smallpox. The inscription on the base gives Jenner's name in Japanese kanji characters.


Site of Mori Ogai's Office, as Director General of the Imperial Household Museum (a forerunner of the Tokyo National Museum)

The site of the current Heiseikan building and the area in front of it was formerly the location for administration buildings adjacent to the gallery buildings since the museum was transferred to Ueno in 1882. The Director General’s office of the Imperial Household Museum was located around this spot. Mori Rintaro (Ogai), a famous Japanese literary figure, served as Director General here from 1917 until he died in 1922.


Stone Statue of Korea

(Clockwise from top left): Officials, Attributed provenance: Pyongyang, Korea, Joseon dynasty, 18th - 19th century (Gift of Mr. Nitta Aisuke); Officials, From Gangwondo, Korea, Joseon dynasty, 18th - 19th century; Sheep, From Gangwondo, Korea, Joseon dynasty, 18th - 19th century


Stone Statue of China

Lions, Attributed provenance: Beijing, China, Qing dynasty, 18th - 19th century (Gift of Mr. Nitta Aisuke)
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