Current year Exhibitions

Noh and Kyogen
April 10, Sat. - May 23, Sun., 2004
Noh and Kyogen: The Beauty of Subtle Profundity and the World of Laughter
During the 14th and 15th centuries, two complementary performance arts developed in Japan: the noh drama based on dance and music and kyogen comedies based on verbal interaction and mime.   Despite such overt differences as one being a musical drama enacting legends, historical events and tragedies and the other being parodies and situational comedies, both noh and kyogen share the same unadorned stage and minimalistic approach.   Masks and costumes play an integral role in the establishment of character and the realization of a piece. Thus the choice of specific masks and combinations of garments for a given performance creates a stage effect inspired by the actor ' s interpretation of the piece. On display for this exhibition will be subtly expressive noh masks developed through years of refinement, humorous kyogen masks, elegantly refined noh costumes reflecting the height of the Japanese textile techniques, and kyogen costumes with various imaginative designs.

Small is Beautiful
May 29, Sat. - July 11, Sun., 2004
Small is Beautiful: The World of Miniature Objects
The character used in modern Japanese to write ? beauty ? used in the past to carry additional meanings of ? small and pretty ? and ? desirable. ?   When the 11th   century Japanese court lady Seishonagon in her collection of essays, The Pillow Book, stated, ? All small things are beautiful, ? she aptly expressed the universal view appreciated already by the Japanese of ancient times that tiny things hold a special attraction. Miniature objects are not merely reduced in size; their condensed form and enhanced elaboration lend them delicate refinement.   Made with precision and skill, small objects carry their own dignity and grace. Please join us in experiencing the attractions of the Small and Beautiful.

From Isolation to Open Doors
July 17, Sat. - September 26, Sun., 2004
From Isolation to Open Doors: Japan from 1853 to 1868.
In 1853 four huge black ships appeared in Uraga,Tokyo Bay.   The two that were steam ships, a recent invention, puffed out black smoke. Their captain, Commodore Perry, came with the express intention of breaking the isolationist policy that had denied foreigners access to Japan for over two hundred years and of thereby opening its doors to trade with the West. The Japanese response divided into two factions: those who maintained the isolationist position and wanted to kick out the foreigners, and those who wished to open up the country.   The two groups opposed each other ' s policies with arguments and swordplay. Ultimately, the country was opened and the Shogunate fell.   In 1868 when the Emperor became head of a constitutional monarchy, the Meiji Restoration was complete.   The exhibition will focus on important figures shaping the Japan's destiny in the period between the end of the Shogunate and the beginning of the Restoration.

Ino Tadataka's Maps of Japan
October 2, Sat. - November 7, Sun., 2004
Ino Tadataka's Maps of Japan: Accurate Surveying and Precise Delineation
At the age of 56 Ino Tadataka (1745-1818) began an eighteen-year long project of surveying the entire Japan coastline and creating a map known as ? The Great Map of the Japanese Coast, ? famed for its detailed accuracy.   This large-scale map (ozu) consists of 214 sheets, a complete set of which were discovered in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. It contains precious material, a portion of which has been unknown till now. The map sheets will return to Japan for a premier exhibition at the Tokugawa Museum, where eight sheets of the large-scale map, three sheets of small-scale maps and eight sheets of medium scale maps will be on display.   In addition many survey tools and related historical documents will give a concrete view of how Ino completed his maps so precisely and beautifully.

Daimyo Gardens
November 13, Sat. - December 19, Sun., 2004
Daimyo Gardens: Edo-period Wonderlands
The Edo-period daimyo created vast gardens inside their provincial castle grounds and at their residences in the capital city of Edo.   Many of these daimyo gardens were designed for strolling: they had rolling land representing mountains, valleys and plains surrounding a large pond representing the sea at the center. Such vast gardens were used for entertaining visits from the shogun (onari), for greeting other daimyo, and for conducting ceremonies. The daimyo took great pains to make all possible improvements and add small inventive touches so as to increase the attractions. In the eyes of the commoners, the results were a veritable wonderland.

[Special public presentation]
November 20, Sat. - November 28, Sun., 2004
Picture scrool of the Tale of Genji
Scene from the chapter of Hashihime and Yadorigi II
Picture scrool of The Tale of Genji: Scene from the chapter of Hashihime and Yadori II

Also Closed on December 20, 2004 - January 3, 2005.

1100th Anniversary of the Completion of the Kokin wakashu Poetry Anthology

January 4, Tues. - January 30, Sun., 2005
1100th Anniversary of the Completion of the Kokin wakashu Poetry Anthology: The Seed of Japanese Esthetics
Classical Japanese poems, waka, composed of a mere thirty-one syllables, capture deep-felt responses to nature as it changes through the seasons and to life experiences, like love. The year 2005 commemorates the 1100th anniversary of the first Imperial poetry anthology, the Kokin wakashu, compiled in 905. The world of Japanese beauty expressed in the Kokin wakashu had a strong influence on the waka of the succeeding generations and on narrative literature,like The Tale of Genji. Its poems have inspired paintings, calligraphy, and various decorative crafts. This exhibition traces the world of the Kokin wakashu and the works it has inspired.

Doll's Festival

February 5, Sat. - April 10, Sun., 2005
Doll’s Festival in the Owari Tokugawa Household
"Hina Matsuri "(Hina Doll's Festival), also known as "Momo no Sekku" (Peach Season Ceremony), cerebrates young girls and their growing up. Being a gay, friendly celebration, it is an appropriate announcement of the advent of spring. Various dolls are arranged on a multi-leveled stand covered with red felt: the prince and princess in the middle, flanked by ladies-in-waiting, five musicians, and a pair of servants. A row of miniature furnishings of various kinds adds lavish elegance. The Hina Matsuri sets owned by the Tokugawa Art Museum live up to what one would expect in the household of the greatest daimyô in the realm.

Tea Scoop named "Namida"

February 26, Sat. - March 6, Sun., 2005
Tea Scoop named "Namida" by Sen no Rikyu
"Namida" which Rikyu used for the last tea party




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