Sat, Dec 12, 2020

Japan’s historical wooden structures and modern buildings highlighted at 3 venues

"Japanese Architecture: Traditional Skills and Natural Materials"

1/10 scale model of Daisen-in temple main hall
(National Museum of Japanese History)

Japanese traditional architecture has undergone changes and diversification in accordance with the country’s natural and social conditions. Over time, styles and features unique to Japanese buildings — such as temples, shrines, castles and houses — have been developed, and there are many historical buildings that have survived to date.

Since 2018, the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan, has been working on the proposal of “Traditional skills, techniques and knowledge for the conservation and transmission of wooden architecture in Japan” for inscription on the Intangible Cultural Heritage list established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Workers set up the model of Toshodaiji’s Golden Hall at the Tokyo National Museum
(Photo / TSUMUGU staff)

The exhibition “Japanese Architecture: Traditional Skills and Natural Materials” features architectural models from the Tokyo National Museum’s exhibition of Japanese antiquities held on the occasion of Tokyo 1964 Olympics, as well as those created by the agency to examine the styles and skills employed in the historical buildings designated as national treasures or important cultural properties prior to their restoration, with the aim of transmitting the traditional craftsmanship.

At the Hyokeikan (literally, building to express joy) gallery, visitors will see a 1/10 scale model of Okinawa’s Shuri-jo castle main hall, which was destroyed in a fire in October last year, as well as a 1/20 scale model of Nagano’s Matsumoto Castle donjon, a designated national treasure. Some of the models can be split into multiple pieces, thereby allowing the viewer to take an intimate look at the interior of the wooden buildings.

1/10 scale model of Ichijoji temple’s three-storied pagoda
(National Museum of Japanese History)

The same exhibition is held simultaneously at the National Museum of Nature and Science (Ueno, Tokyo; -Jan. 11) and the National Archives of Modern Architecture (Yushima, Tokyo; Feb. 21) under different themes. The prior features Japan’s modern architecture, while the latter focuses on traditional carpentry. A total of 33 models will be showcased at the three venues.

1/200 scale model of the old main building of the Imperial Hotel
(Imperial Hotel)

Visitors can gain an overview of Japanese architecture from ancient to modern times through exquisite models of architectural masterpieces.

(From the Tokyo National Museum website and other sources)

The Japanese Architecture exhibition at the National Archives of Modern Architecture
(Photo / TSUMUGU staff)
Kanna (planes) on display at the National Archives of Modern Architecture
(Photo / TSUMUGU staff)

Outline of the event

Schedule

〜Sun, Feb 21, 2021

Venue

①Hyokeikan, Tokyo National Museum (Ueno, Tokyo)
 Dec 24 -Feb 21
②National Museum of Nature and Science (Ueno, Tokyo)
 Dec 8-Jan 11
③National Archives of Modern Architecture (Yushima, Tokyo)
 Dec 10-Feb 21

Admission

(Reservation required for ①②)
①Tokyo National Museum
Adults: 1500 yen
Univ. students: 1000 yen
High school students: 600 yen
Junior high school students or younger: Free
②National Museum of Nature and Science
Adults, Univ. students: 630 yen
High school students or younger, 65 years old or older: Free
③National Archives of Modern Architecture
Free

Closing day

①Tokyo National Museum: Mondays, Dec 26-Jan 1, Jan 12 (Open Jan 11)
②National Museum of Nature and Science: Mondays, Dec 28-Jan 1 (Open Jan 11)
③National Archives of Modern Architecture: Dec 29-Jan 3

Opening hours

①Tokyo National Museum: 9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
②National Museum of Nature and Science: 9:00 a.m.-5 p.m.
*Open until 6:00 p.m. on Jan 8 & Jan 9
③National Archives of Modern Architecture: 10:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Contact

Tel. 03-5777-8600 (Hello Dial)

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