Tokyo’s Ueno Park’s north-eastern portion is home to the National Museum of Nature. A pre-Meiji scientific exhibition is on display in the museum. The taxidermied bodies of the fabled canines Taro, Jiro, and Hachiko are shown there. Outside, there are displays of a steam locomotive and a life-size blue whale model.
It was first established in 1871 and, as of 2007, went under several names, including the Ministry of Education Museum, Tokyo Museum, Tokyo Science Museum, National Science Museum of Japan, and National Museum of Nature and Science. It featured a wide range of natural history exhibitions and interactive scientific experiences and underwent renovation in the 1990s and 2000s.
As the centrepiece of the Tokyo Science Museum, it was finished in September 1931 as part of the recovery efforts following the Great Kanto Earthquake. Neo-Renaissance fashion Kenzo Akitani, an engineer at the Building Division of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, created the design.
The structure, which resembles an aeroplane from above, is Japan’s most popular museum. It also contains amenities, including an amphitheatre and a dome for astronomical observation in addition to the exhibition hall. It is claimed that there is no issue in light of the present Building Criteria Act standards because it is made to withstand earthquakes of the Great Kanto Earthquake class.
The Tokyo National Museum amasses, preserves, and exhibits a vast collection of artworks and artefacts from Asia, including Japan. The museum also performs research and analysis on its collection of fine art-related books, rubbings, and pictures and makes these materials available to scholars.
The Independent Administrative Institution National Institute for Cultural Property was formed on April 1, 2007, by the merger of the Independent Administrative Institution National Museum and the Independent Administrative Institution Research Institute of Cultural Properties. In order to preserve cultural properties more effectively and efficiently, the National Institutes for Cultural Heritage was formed.
The 150-year-old collection has been passed down and currently has roughly 120,000 objects. This collection is both qualitatively and quantitatively typical of Japan, with 648 of these being significant cultural properties and 89 of them being national treasures.
There are always 3,000 things on show at the “Comprehensive Cultural Exhibition,” which is primarily made up of these collections and entrusted items.
In one of the exhibition halls, the “Comprehensive Cultural Exhibition” of the Tokyo National Museum, exhibits are changed practically weekly. About 300 times a year are involved.
Every time you visit this museum, you can learn something new.
The Tokyo National Museum has six exhibition halls. Japanese art is displayed in the main structure, Japanese archaeology is displayed in the Heiseikan, Oriental art is displayed in the Toyokan, and treasures that have been presented to the Horyuji Temple are displayed in the Horyuji Treasure Gallery. Outside the building, there are other special exhibitions, the Hyokeikan Hall, a place for events, and the Kuroda Memorial Hall, which displays the paintings of Seiki Kuroda, a Western-style artist.
There are displays of historical artefacts and crafts from Japan.
The second floor’s theme, “Flow of Japanese Art,” charts the development of Japanese culture from the Jomon through the Edo eras. Suitable for newcomers. Additionally, you can run into works of art that you have only read about in books there.
Genre-specific displays and special exhibitions are located on the first level, where you may truly experience creations in each category, including sculpture, pottery, and swords.
The main structure is a prime example of the “Teikan-Yoshiki” style, characterised by concrete construction, a tiled roof, and a pronounced oriental influence. It was designed by Jin Watanabe, best known for Ginza Wako. In 2001, it was recognised as a significant cultural asset.
Heiseikan (Japanese Archeology And Special Exhibitions)
A chamber for archaeological exhibits is located on the first floor. On display are archaeological artefacts discovered in Japan, including pottery, clay figurines, bronze bells, and haniwa.
In contrast to the “flow of Japanese art” on the second floor of the main building, you can appreciate the history of Japan from the Paleolithic to the Edo periods from an archaeology-specific perspective.
Large-scale temporary exhibitions on a variety of fascinating topics are displayed on the second floor.
Exhibitions that showcase the art and cultures of various nations, in addition to Japanese and eastern art, are hosted.
Toyokan (Oriental Art)
The Toyokan displays Eastern arts, crafts, and antiquities from ancient sites.
“A trip via eastern art” is the idea. Visit the art of Asia from various eras, including Egypt and West Asia in the west, China and Korea in the east, India, Southeast Asia, and the Silk Road, and experience what it’s like to travel.
Museum Of Horyuji Treasures (Treasures Donated To Horyuji Temple)
The Horyuji Temple in Nara contributed several items to the imperial family during the Meiji period, including gigaku masks, embossed Buddhas, painted and written Buddhist texts, and altar fittings, which are now on display at the Museum of Horyuji Treasures.
It is a traditional Japanese culture treasure trove along with the Shosoin in the west and the Horyuji Treasure Museum in the east.
The Horyuji Treasure Museum, one generation older than the Shosoin Treasures, features several treasures from the 7th century, whereas the Shosoin Treasures are primarily composed of pieces from the 8th century.
Kuroda Memorial Hall (Work By Western-Style Painter Seiki Kuroda
The paintings created by Seiki Kuroda, a master of contemporary Western art, are on display in the Kuroda Memorial Museum.
Four of Kuroda’s most iconic pieces, “Reading,” “Maiko,” “Wisdom, Impression, Sentiment,” and “Lakeside,” will be on display in the special chamber three times a year for two weeks each time.
The Kuroda Memorial Room is an exhibition space that was created by those who were familiar with the deceased’s aesthetic preferences from the moment it was founded to pay tribute to Kuroda’s works. The artwork is still on display in its original location.
Hyokeikan (Special Exhibitions And Events)
The structure, which opened in 1909 as a memorial to Emperor Taisho’s marriage, was planned. It was recognised as an important cultural property in 1978 because it is a Western-style structure that exemplifies the Meiji era.
Along with dome roofs in the centre, left, and right, Hyokeikan, designed by Katayama Tokuma, who also worked on the Akasaka State Guest House, includes exterior walls decorated with musical instruments and drafting tool motifs, as well as diverse interior designs.
東京国立博物館｜納入先｜ピクチャーレール、絵画展示は世界標準のコレダーライン: Takiya タキヤ株式会社 (no date) ピクチャーレール、絵画展示は世界標準のコレダーライン | TAKIYA タキヤ株式会社. Available at: https://takiya.com/works/tokyonationalmuseum/index.html (Accessed: February 3, 2023).
東京国立博物館とは (no date) 東京国立博物館. Available at: https://www.tnm.jp/150th/about.html (Accessed: February 3, 2023).
The Japan Gallery: The National Museum of Nature and Science – Google Arts & Culture (no date) Google. Google. Available at: https://artsandculture.google.com/story/an-architectural-tour-of-ueno-forest-part-2-the-japan-gallery-national-museum-of-nature-and-science/CQUhphf-9-Tl5w (Accessed: February 3, 2023).
Quin, R. (2019) National Museum of Nature and Science, GaijinPot Travel. Available at: https://travel.gaijinpot.com/national-museum-nature-science/ (Accessed: February 3, 2023).