About the Tokugawa Art Museum

Appeal of the Tokugawa Art Museum

The Old Main Hall is registered as a Tangible Cultural Property by the Japanese government.

Construction of the Tokugawa Art Museum commenced in 1932, with the exterior design selected through public invitation, and was completed in the spring of 1935, opening six months later. It was introduced to the European architectural community as an innovative museum, equipped with the most advanced facilities for the period.

The Only Museum Housing the Treasures Inherited by the Ancestors of the Owari Tokugawa Lords

The Tokugawa Art Museum is the only museum of its kind in Japan, with a large collection of treasures and artwork inherited by the family of the daimyō class in the late Edo period. It can furnish answers to the questions, “What kinds of items were used in a Daimyō household?” and “What was a Daimyō in the late Edo period really like?”

Exhibits that can be be enjoyed throughout the year

Exhibits on a variety of themes are held throughout the year in Exhibition Rooms 7, 8 and 9 in the Old Main Hall, designated as a Tangible Cultural Property.

History of the Museum

History of the Tokugawa Art Museum

The Tokugawa Art Museum is a private art museum opened in 1935, and operated by the Tokugawa Reimeikai Foundation (a publically incorporated foundation). It was established in 1931 through the donations of the Marquis Yoshichika Tokugawa...

About the Owari Tokugawa Family

About the Owari Tokugawa Family

Fine works of classic Eastern art were often possessed and inherited within the families of court nobles, warrior lords and wealthy merchants. The Tokugawa Shogun and the three main Tokugawa branch houses occupied the pinnacle of those classes in the Edo period...

A Message from the Director

A Message from the Director

The Tokugawa Art Museum is Japan’s fourth oldest private museum, opened in 1935 at Ozone, Nagoya, at the site of the retirement villa of the second Lord of Owari, Mitsutomo Tokugawa. It is also the first museum to be established by an actual ancestral Daimyō family through the donation of the family’s private collection of artwork, and the first museum to be registered in Aichi Prefecture. The founder of this museum was my great grandfather, the 19th head of the Owari Tokugawa Family, Yoshichika Tokugawa. Amidst the unstable social conditions following the Great Kantō Earthquake in 1923 and the ongoing wars of the Taishō period (1912-1926 ) and early part of the Shōwa period (1926-1989), he created a foundation at his own expense and established this museum to prevent the dissolution of this priceless cultural heritage, and to pass down the treasures of daimyō culture to future generations...

Collection Highlights

The Tokugawa Art Museum houses over 10,000 artifacts, with the bequests of Ieyasu Tokugawa comprising the core, and holds daimyō family treasures collected and inherited by many generations of the Lords of Owari, starting with Ieyasu’s ninth son, Yoshinao Tokugawa. The collection includes 9 National Treasures, including the Tale of Genji Illustrated Scrolls, and 59 items designated as Important Cultural Properties. The museum takes great pride in the rich variety, quality and level of preservation of its collection.

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Membership System & Activity Support Funding

The Tokugawa Art Museum is actively seeking to raise supporting funds to maintain, develop and further enhance museum activities. Various membership systems are also in place to cultivate members’ knowledge and appreciation of art and artworks, regularly offering seminars, courses, research presentations, gallery concerts and more.

Supporter’s Association Membership

The Supporter’s Association Membership System aims to maintain and further develop the museum’s activities, as well as to cultivate knowledge and appreciation of art and history among the members, through exhibitions, seminars, research presentations, courses, gallery concerts, and other events and activities.

“Friends of the Museum” Membership

The purpose of the “Friends of the Museum” Membership System is to enhance members’ appreciation of art and artwork through repeated visits to the Museum.

Volunteer Activities

The Tokugawa Art Museum Volunteers Association was established along with the opening of the Museum’s new wing in October, 1987. The association aims to enhance the Museum’s activities, offering free volunteer guide services for visitors, while concurrently deepening understanding and appreciation of art and culture among the volunteers themselves. Volunteers conduct their activities on a rotational basis once or twice monthly.

Guide to Activity Supporting Funding

The Tokugawa Reimeikai Foundation (a publically incorporated foundation) was established in 1931 by the 19th head of the Owari Tokugawa Family, Yoshichika Tokugawa, and operates the Tokugawa Art Museum. It also operates the Tokugawa Institute for the History of Forestry, which conducts education and research, as well as engaging in work for preservation, exhibition and publication concerning the treasures and documents inherited from generation to generation in the Owari Tokugawa Family.