日本民藝館

The building which was completed in 1936 is called the old wing. The old wing, which is wooden and two-story, was designed led by Soetsu Yanagi. Both its exterior and each exhibition room have Japanese style, and Western style was also adopted here and there. The old wing and the stone wall along the street were designated as Tokyo Metropolitan Government Designated Tangible Cultural Property (Building) in 2021. The two-story new wing made of reinforced concrete was reconstructed in 1982 where the old main exhibition room was.

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Main Entrance

Main Entrance

Opening the main entrance, you are welcomed by a brilliantly polished central stair, Oya-stone ground, white stucco wall, large display cases and wide-open stairwell. Here, crafts related to each Special Exhibition or suitable for each season are exhibited and it is an important space which connects each exhibition room. Visitors first experience the atmosphere of the museum here.

Room 1 Ceramics

Japanese old ceramics are on display in this room: kilns in Kyushu like Imari, Karatsu, Shodai and Satsuma, Seto, Mino, Tamba and others. Besides, modern ceramics from folk kilns of Onta, Naeshirogawa and Tsutsumi, which are rarely shown in other places, are on display. In summer blue and white porcelains or overglaze enameled wares are shown to provide coolness.

Room 2 Foreign and Tribal Crafts

Foreign and tribal crafts except Joseon are on display here. Introduced are European ceramics like British slipware, furniture, blue and white /overglaze enameled porcelains of the end of Ming Dynasty, China, Chinese old ceramics like Cizhou ware, crafts of Taiwanese indigenous people, and African crafts. Japanese glass/metal/straw crafts are sometimes on display.

Room 3 Textile

This room is for dyed and woven textiles. The collection ranges widely, from Okinawa textiles such as Bingata and ‘Kasuri’ made of ‘Basho’ (banana fiber textile), ‘Choma’ (ramie fiber textile) silk or cotton to various Japanse textiles such as Tamba-fu, Kihachijo and Echigo-‘Kasuri’, Japanese traditional embroidery works such as Kogin and Hishizashi, Katsugi from Shonai region in Yamagata prefecture, and Japanese dyed textiles such as ‘katazome’ (stencil-dyed), ‘tsutsugaki’ (free-hand paste-resist decorating) and ‘shibori-zome’ (tie-dyed). A sense of the season is considered very important, so textiles from Okinawa, Japanese ‘Kasuri’ and tie-dyed textiles are focused in summer while textiles like leather coats are focused in winter.

Museum Shop

The Museum Shop carries an extensive collection of merchandise, representing present craft works all over Japan — works such as ceramics, glass, baskets, Japanese paper products and more which are produced in traditional areas as well as produced by individual workers. We choose items which are healthy and useful to daily life.

  1. Main Entrance
  2. Room 1 Ceramics
  3. Room 2 Foreign and Tribal Crafts
  4. Room 3 Textile
  5. Museum Shop

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Room 1 Joseon Crafts

From as many as 1,600 items of Joseon craftworks collection in the museum, about 50 pieces are selected to be shown. According to each season, white porcelains, ‘sometsuke’ (blue and white), ‘shin-sha’ (copper red) and tessha (translucent glaze) are highlighted in summer. In winter, ceramics like bowls of brushwork designs and ‘kohiki’, jars and large bowls, paintings, wood/metal/stone works are highlighted.

Room 2 Artist-Craftsman Works

The Museum has regarded important to promote new production, and this room has been a room to introduce new crafts since its foundation. Works by craft artists such as Bernard Leach, Kanjiro Kawai, Shoji Hamada, Keisuke Serizawa, and Shiko Munakata, who had close relationships with Yanagi and supported Mingei Movement, are mainly exhibited. In addition, works by following generation, beautiful books designed by Yanagi, Yanagi’s calligraphy, Kogei are also introduced.

Room 3 Paintings

Min-ga, which was coined by Yanagi, are mainly exhibited here including Otsu-e, Doro-e, and votive tablets. Min-ga means folk paintings by anonymous painters for people’s daily life, most of which were mass-produced. In addition, Buddhist paintings, scrolls, woodblock prints, and sutras are also introduced. ‘Craftic’ paintings like Korean Min-ga and paintings and rubbings from China from the museum collection are included.

Room 4 Wood and Lacquer Crafts

This room exhibits Japanese wood/lacquer works and sculptures. Wood works include Buddhist ritual tools, signboards, furniture. Lacquer ware includes bowls, ritual tools, trays, and boxes with mother-in-pearl or lacquer painting design. Sculptures like Mokujiki and masks are also on display. Metal and straw works from Japan, Joseon wood works or lacquer ware, too.

Corridor

New-wing Corridor

Corridor

Main Exhibition Room

This is the main exhibition room for each special exhibition. It is renovated commemorating the 80th anniversary of the museum foundation in 2021, with Oya-stone from Tochigi prefecture and kudzu-fu textile from Shizuoka prefecture, a return to the original concept by founder Soetsu Yanagi. It also benefits from a view of Komaba Park just behind the entrance of the room. Lectures are sometimes held here.

  1. Room 1 Joseon Crafts
  2. Room 2 Artist-Craftsman Works
  3. Room 3 Paintings
  4. Room 4 Wood and Lacquer Crafts
  5. Corridor
  6. New-wing Corridor
  7. Main Exhibition Room

HOMEMain Hall

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