Exhibition Outlines

Special Exhibition No.3 Forms for Auspicious Events -A Special Exhibition in Commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the Enthronement of His Majesty the Emperor- (1999/8/7 - 1999/10/17)

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Forms for Auspicious Events

This is the 3rd of a series of special exhibitions at the Museum of Imperial Collections (Sannomaru Shozokan) to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the enthronement of His Majesty the Emperor, which introduces paintings of street decorations and flower trains made by the Japanese people to celebrate auspicious events of the Imperial family since the Meiji Era. It also introduces paintings and crafts with unique motifs or forms which were presented as gifts to the Imperial family.

For such decorations and gifts of art objects, motifs meaning congratulations such as cranes, bamboo, or Horai-san (Mt. Penglai) or Mt. Fuji, were often selected. Some of them were introduced in our special exhibition, “Art of Felicitations” held in January 1994. However, there are many pieces which have motifs which would only be used for auspicious events of the Imperial family, or have unordinary sizes or shapes. For example, a huge form of Futamigaura within the depiction of the street decorations throughout Tokyo in celebration for the 25th Imperial wedding anniversary of the Meiji Emperor in 1894, a ceramic clintonia, in a flower pot, or an intricate craft object with a dragon motif which bears a highly dignified regal image, or a pair of brilliant paintings with phoenix motifs, are typica1. These were all specially made with the maximum of techniques by the people of each era, transforming their congratulations towards auspicious Imperial events into ornate creativity.

This exhibition introduces these actual objects of unique celebratory formative art, which were rarely referred to before within the history of modern Japanese arts, crafts and design, and attempts to make it a chance to verify their historical values.