September 23 (Sat.) - December 10 (Sun.), 2017
1st term: September 23 - October 29
2nd term: November 3 - December 10
On Mondays and Fridays, except for National Holidays on October 9 and November 3, but October 10 is closed.
On preparation periods for the 2nd term (October 30 – November 2).
until October 29 / 9:00-16:15 (last admission at 16:00)
after November 3 / 9:00-15:45 (last admission at 15:30)
The Imperial Household Agency has a Mausolea and Tombs Division within the Archives and Mausolea Department, which is responsible for matters pertaining to the maintenance, investigation and study of the Imperial Mausolea and Tombs, such as of the successive Emperors and Empresses. This division possesses many superior artifacts such as the Female Head and Horse-Shaped Haniwa (clay figure) excavated from the mausoleum of Emperor Nintoku. Among them are various examples of superior ancient forms, such as the Gyobutsu Sekki (stone tools among the Imperial Treasures) with its unique form, the Ritual bell with design of flowing water, with beautiful and stylish flowing water patterns, and the Mirror with four buildings which is a traditional mirror with a three dimensional Japanese house of the time added as an original touch. These are important works of the fundamental period of Japanese culture, showing the brilliant expressions in forms during the ancient eras. The Museum of the Imperial Collections, Sannomaru Shozokan, which has succeeded the works past down as Gyobutsu (Imperial Treasures) until the era of Emperor Showa, possesses noteworthy pieces such as the Gilt bronze vase with four rings which is academically evaluated as important research material, and the Visorless keeled helmet made of gilt bronze layer applied to horizontal iron strips riveted together, of which there is no other similar example.
In this exhibition, we will introduce the pieces which retain their shapes since the era that they were used, focusing on their characteristics in form, with attention on materials such as stone, clay and metal, and their manufacturing techniques, among the archeological pieces within the collection of the Mausolea and Tombs Division and the Museum of the Imperial Collections, Sannomaru Shozokan.
The “forms of stone” include beautiful green Jade magatama (comma-shaped beads), marvelous shaped kuwagata-ishi (hoe-shaped stones) and sharin-seki (wheel-shaped stones) which show the features of a bracelet using shells from southern oceans. The “forms of clay” include haniwa (clay figures) which convey the magnanimous spirit of the ancient times, and Sue ware (unglazed vessels) which were skillfully created using a potter’s wheel. The “forms of metal” include bronze mirrors with leaping divine animals and complicated geometrical patterns, and personal adornments in shining gold. All of these show the prolific aesthetic sense and formative ability of the ancient Japanese people. We hope our visitors will take notice in the layers of history within Japanese culture, which has taken pride in its tradition of manufacturing, through the beauty of form created by the materials and techniques used in these objects on display.