The Museum of Imperial Collections, Sannomaru Shozokan, was established in 1989 when His Majesty the Emperor and Her Majesty the Empress Dowager donated to the nation their highly-valued collections of works of art and Applied Arts. The museum greets the fifth anniversary of its opening in November this year.
Ever since its opening, the museum has been showing, in a series of exhibitions, a number of works of art and Applied Arts in its collections, some well-known masterpieces already occupying exalted positions in the history of Japanese culture while they were still in Their Majesties' collections and others newly studied in full and put on public display for the first time.
As we greet the fifth anniversary of the opening of our museum, we are pleased to introduce, in the present catalogue, a total of 120 masterpieces from our collections; they have been selected from various considerations - their rarity, artistic value, ingenuity and other factors. Each of the chosen works represents the very best of its own period, while many of them have close connections with the Imperial Family.
Our sincere hope is that the readers of this catalogue will fully enjoy the unique specimens of the unparalleled collections the Imperial Household has graciously relegated to us. In the meantime, we are firmly determined to keep on closely scrutinizing our museum’s collections, a treasurehouse of art and craft of exceptional excellence and variety.