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Encyclopedia > Tokyo National Museum
The Tokyo National Museum.
The Tokyo National Museum.

Established in 1872, the Tokyo National Museum (TNM) is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects from Japan and other East Asian countries. The museum holds over 110,000 articles, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure holdings and 610 Important Cultural Property holdings (as of July, 2005). The museum also conducts research and organizes educational events relating to its collection. PHGs public-domain photo. ... PHGs public-domain photo. ... This is for the movie. ...

The museum is located inside Ueno Park in Taito-ku, Tokyo. The facilities consist of the Japanese Gallery (本館), Asian Gallery (東洋館), Hyokeikan (表慶館), Heiseikan (平成館), the Gallery of Horyuji Treasures (法隆寺宝物館), as well as the Research and Information Center (資料館) and other facilities. There are restaurants and shops within the museum's premises, as well as outdoor exhibitions and a garden where visitors can enjoy seasonal views. People enjoying cherry blossoms Ueno Park (上野公園 Ueno Kōen) is a spacious public park located in the Ueno section of Taito-ku, Tokyo, Japan. ... Tokyo ) (help· info), literally eastern capital, is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan and includes the highly urbanized downtown area formerly known as the city of Tokyo which is the heart of the Greater Tokyo Area. ...

The museum's collections focus on ancient Japanese art and ancient Asian art along the Silk Road. There is also a large collection of Greco-Buddhist art. Bronze statue of Amida Buddha at Kotokuin in Kamakura (1252 CE) Japanese art covers a wide range of art styles and media, including ancient pottery, sculpture in wood and bronze, ink painting on silk and paper, and a myriad of other types of works of art. ... For other uses, see Silk Road (disambiguation). ... Gandhara Buddha, 1st-2nd century CE. Greco-Buddhist art is the artistic manifestation of Greco-Buddhism, a cultural syncretism between the Classical Greek culture and Buddhism, which developed over a period of close to 1000 years in Central Asia, between the conquests of Alexander the Great in the 4th century...

All information is provided in Japanese, Korean, Chinese, English, French, and German.



The museum came into being in 1872, when the first exhibition was held by the Museum Department of the Ministry of Education at the Taiseiden Hall. This marked the inauguration of the first museum in Japan. Soon after the opening, the Museum moved to Uchiyamashita-cho (present Uchisaiwai-cho), then in 1882 moved again to the Ueno Park, where the museum stands today. Since its establishment, the museum has gone under major challenges such as the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923, and the temporary closing during wartime in 1945. In more than 120 years of its history, the Museum has gone under much evolution and transformation through organizational reforms and administrative change. Several countries have government departments named the Ministry of Education Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Japan) Ministry of Education (India) Ministry of Education (New Zealand) Ministry of Education (Israel) Ministry of Education (Malaysia) Ministry of Education (Singapore) See also: Minister of Education, Department of Education This is... The Great Kanto Earthquake (関東大震災 Kantō daishinsai) struck the Kanto plain on the Japanese main island of Honshu at 11:58 on the morning of September 1, 1923. ...

The museum went through several name changes, being called the Imperial Museum in 1886 and the Tokyo Imperial Household Museum in 1900, until it was given its present title in 1900.

Five Exhibition Galleries

Japanese Gallery

The Japanese Gallery provides a general view of Japanese art, containing 24 exhibition rooms on two floors. It consists of exhibitions from 10,000 B.C. up to the late 19th century, exhibitions of different types of art such as ceramics, sculpture and swords, and thematic exhibitions.

The original Main Gallery (designed by the British architect Josiah Conder) was severely damaged in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. In contrast to the original building's more western style, the design of the present Honkan by Watanabe Jin is the more eastern "emperor's crown style." Construction began in 1932, and the building was inaugurated in 1938. It was designated Important Cultural Property of Japan in 2001.

Asian Gallery

The Asian Gallery consists of ten exhibition rooms arranged on five levels. It is dedicated to the art and archaeology of Asia, including Korea, China, India, Egypt, and Southeast Asia. Korea (한국, Hanguk, or 조선, Choson) refers to the civilization and geographical area situated on the Korean Peninsula in East Asia, bordering China to the northwest and Russia to the northeast, with Japan situated to the southeast across the Korea Strait. ... Location of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia. ...

In fact, the Tokyo National Museum holds one of the largest and most significant collections of Korean art, especially celadon pottery, in the world. This collection is the legacy of looting when Korea was a colonial possession of Japan. More than 1,000 gold, bronze, and celadon pieces owned by the late businessman Takenosuke Ogura now make up the core of the museum's Korean section. In total, about 4,800 Korean art items, of which more than 2,000 are considered antiquities, are displayed or stored by the museum. Landscape of Kumgangsan in Korea. ... Alternate meaning: Celadon (color) Celadon funerary jar from the Three Kingdoms period Celadon is a type of pottery having a pale green glaze. ... I archaeology, an artifact or artefact is any object made or modified by a human culture, and often one later recovered by some archaeological endeavor. ...

The building was inaugurated in 1968 and designed by Taniguchi Yoshio. There is a restaurant and museum shop on the first floor.


Built to commemorate the marriage of the then Meiji Crown Prince (later Emperor Taisho), Hyokeikan was inaugurated in 1909. This building is designated as an Important Cultural Property as a representative example of Western style architecture of the late Meiji period (early 20th century).
Emperor Taisho (大正天皇 Taishō Tennō) (August 31, 1879 – December 25, 1926), whose given name was Yoshihito (嘉仁), was the 123rd imperial Emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession, from 1912 until his death in 1926. ... See: Meiji Restoration, the revolution that ushered in the Meiji Era Meiji Era - the period in Japanese history when the Meiji Emperor reigned Emperor Meiji of Japan - Mutsuhito, the Meiji Emperor, who reigned during Meiji Era Meiji University - University in Tokyo. ...

  • open only for events and temporary exhibitions


Heiseikan serves primarily as space for special exhibitions, but also houses the Japanese archaeology Gallery. The Japanese Archaeology Gallery on the first floor traces Japanese history from ancient to pre-modern times through archaeological objects. The galleries on the second floor are entirely dedicated to special exhibitions. The Heiseikan building was opened in 1999 to commemorate the crown prince's marriage. The building also contains an auditorium and lounge area. History of Japan Paleolithic Jomon Yayoi Yamato period ---Kofun period ---Asuka period Nara period Heian period Kamakura period Muromachi period Azuchi-Momoyama period ---Nanban period Edo period Meiji period Taisho period Showa period ---Japanese expansionism ---Occupied Japan ---Post-Occupation Japan Heisei Pre-History/The Origin of History Jomon Period Main...

This gallery displays some examples of pottery, the Jomon linear appliqué type, from around 10,000 BC: The antiquity of these potteries was first identified after the Second World War, through radiocarbon dating methods: "The earliest pottery, the linear applique type, was dated by radiocarbon methods taken on samples of carbonized material at 12500 +- 350 before present" (Prehistoric Japan, Keiji Imamura). Unfired green ware pottery on a traditional drying rack at Conner Prairie living history museum. ... The Jomon period (Japanese: 縄文時代 Jōmon-jidai) is the time in Japanese history from about 10,000 BCE to 300 BCE. Most scholars agree that by around 40,000 BCE glaciation had connected the islands with the mainland. ...

The Gallery of Horyuji Treasures

Art works from the 319 Horyuji Treasures, originally donated to the Imperial Household by Horyuji in 1878, are exhibited in six rooms. The building was designed by Taniguchi Yoshio and furnished with the latest in conservation technology, and opened in 1999 after a full renovation. The reference room on the 2nd floor mezzanine houses the "digital archive" which allows visitors to view the entire collection of Horyuji Treasures on computer with explanations provided in Japanese, Chinese, Korean, English and French. A restaurant is located on the first floor. Categories: Japan-related stubs | Buddhist temples | World Heritage Sites in Japan ...

Research and Information Center

The Research and Information Center was established in 1984 mainly for scholarly use. It deals with various documents related to archaeological objects, fine art, applied arts, and historic materials for the whole of Asia and the Middle East, with a special emphasis on Japan's legacy. Visitors may browse through books, magazines and large-format art books on the open stacks, as well as monochrome and color photographs in the photo cabinets. Admission is free. (Materials are mostly in Japanese only)

Available Materials
Books: Books and magazines (Japanese, Chinese, European), including exhibition catalogues and archaeological reports.
Photographs: Color and monochrome photographs of arts, crafts, and archaeological findings of Japan, Korea, China, and other Asian countries, mainly from the collections of the Tokyo National Museum.

Image Reproductions
Images stocked at Tokyo National Museum are lent for academic or commercial use by color duplicates, digital data or printing papers.
web: http://www.dnparchives.com

Museum Shop

Located on Honkan B1 and Toyokan 1F, the Museum Shops offer a variety of items based on objects and motifs in the Museum's collection. Items on sale include T-shirts, stationary, ukiyoe prints, postcards and many more. Traditional Japanese crafts by contemporary artists are also available for purchase.

See also

History of Japan Paleolithic Jomon Yayoi Yamato period ---Kofun period ---Asuka period Nara period Heian period Kamakura period Muromachi period Azuchi-Momoyama period ---Nanban period Edo period Meiji period Taisho period Showa period ---Japanese expansionism ---Occupied Japan ---Post-Occupation Japan Heisei The Jōmon period (Japanese: 縄文時代 jōmon jidai) is the...

External links

  • Jomon Period
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • Japanese website



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