Appeal of the Tokugawa Art Museum
Experiencing the Atmosphere of Traditional Daimyō Culture
Upon entering the Tokugawaen Garden via the Kuromon (black gate) formerly the front gate of the Owari Tokugawa Family’s’ Nagoya villa, the first sight across the stone pavement is the facade of the Museum, surrounded by greenery. An attractive feature of the Museum and its surroundings is this relaxed atmosphere, which extends into the exhibition halls. Despite the modernity of the architecture, visitors can become immersed in the atmosphere of traditional Japanese culture. In November, 2004, the Tokugawaen Garden was refurbished, and the Nagoya City Hōsa Library, housing the Owari Tokugawa clan’s library of old books, was also reopened after renovation, and the Museum complex rejuvenated. The Tokugawa Art Museum and the Hōsa Library are now fully integrated, creating an historical culture center in which the grandeur of samurai lords can be experienced.
Nationally Designated Tangible Cultural Property (Old Main Hall)
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 Museums’ facilities, including the current Exhibition Rooms 7, 8 and 9 and the southern store house, are representative of early Showa Period architecture and are a nationally registered Tangible Cultural Property.
Art Objects are exhibited in the reproduced Original Rooms and Spaces
The Masterpieces Collection Galleries (Exhibition Rooms 1 to 5) introduce the lifestyle and culture of the Lords of the Owari daimyo family, reproducing portions of the living quarters within Nagoya Castle’s Ninomaru Goten (Second Palace). This permits visitors to better appreciate the collection through the traditional Japanese sense of beauty in composition, or beauty in combination, as the artworks are integrated with the space and surroundings in which they were used.
Graces of a Dynasty
The Tale of Genji Illustrated Scrolls (designated a National Treasure) are a signature item in the collection of the Museum. However, to preserve these fragile ancient scrolls, the originals can only be displayed for a limited period each year. To meet the expectations of visitors as much as possible, Exhibition Room 6 has been set up with video displays and replica scrolls.
Wide-ranging Exhibits and Special/Featured Exhibitions throughout a year
Various theme-focused exhibits are displayed throughout the year in the Old Main Hall Exhibition Rooms (Exhibition Rooms 7, 8 and 9). The Old Main Hall building is designated as a Tangible Cultural Property, and the atmosphere is quite different from that of the Masterpieces Collection Galleries (Exhibition Rooms 1 to 5). With this classical ambience in the background, the exhibits, based on specific themes, are designed to provide deeper understanding of a daimyō’s lifestyle and culture.
To commemorate your visit to the Tokugawa Art Museum various original products and souvenirs are available at the Museum Shop. Exhibition catalogues, DVDs and specialized publications are also available for those wanting further information and understanding.