Kōgei 2020 – The Art of Crafting Beauty from Nature / Monday, September 21–Sunday, November 15, 2020 / Hyokeikan, Tokyo National Museum

Kōgei 2020 – The Art of Crafting Beauty from Nature

Japan's unique traditional craft arts, or kōgei, grew out of the close-knit spiritual sensibility and distinctive outlook on the living world born of existence in harmony with nature. One significant factor in this is the perspective on nature instilled throughout the long development of Japan's history and culture by the multiplicity of the country's natural environment, from the endlessly diverse landscape to the shifting seasons. This exhibition brings together examples of kōgei that showcase Japan's artistic culture to the world, with 82 stunning modern pieces created by 82 artists freely expressing their creative vision through a range of artistic techniques. Though based in long tradition, these works that reflect the connections between nature and beauty of form speak to the affection and awe in which the natural world is held by the Japanese people, while providing an expression of fresh perspectives on nature.

The four sections of the exhibition, "Gold Gleams with Eternal Light, Silver Gleams with Grandeur," "Black Absorbs All Colors, White Reflects All Light," "The Red of Life, The Spirit of Nature," and "The Green of Forests and Mountains Is the Breath of Life," convey four broad themes. These evoke the splendor of nature expressed throughout Japan's long history, the primal blacks and whites found in the natural world, and the colors that adorn organic craft materials and the natural landscape, all symbolic of the living world.

  • Section1 : Gold Gleams with Eternal Light, Silver Gleams with Grandeur
  • Section2 : Black Absorbs All Colors, White Reflects All Light
  • Section3 : The Red of Life, The Spirit of Nature
  • Section4 : The Blue of Water Surpasses Time and Space, The Green of Forests and Mountains is the Breath of Life

Japan Cultural Expo

Launched in November 2019 to coincide with the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, the Japan Cultural Expo aims to introduce 10,000 years of the arts of Japan--from the Jomon era to the present day--to the world, and to the next generation, under the overarching theme of Humanity and Nature in Japan. Led by the Agency for Cultural Affairs and the Japan Arts Council, and organized in cooperation with government ministries and agencies, cultural institutions, local governments, and private organizations, the initiative provides year-round opportunities to experience the arts of Japan in person, through a diverse, seasonal program of content including exhibitions, performing arts productions, and arts festivals.


The TSUMUGU Project was initiated in November 2018 by Japan's Agency for Cultural Affairs, Imperial Household Agency and The Yomiuri Shimbun (Tokyo) as a joint effort to promote the beauty of Japanese art across the nation and abroad.



Monday, September 21-Sunday, November 15, 2020


Hyokeikan, Tokyo National Museum

13-9 Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 110-8712, Japan



  • * Until 21:00 on Fridays and Saturdays


Mondays expect September 21, September 23