Exhibition Schedule

Current Exhibition

The Esthetics of Cha no Yu

January 8 (Fri) – March 21 (Sun), 2021
*The museum is closed on Monday except January 11, 2021

It was from the late Heian to the early Kamakura period that the practice of drinking tea was introduced to Japan from China. As time passed by, the practice gained popularity among warlords as well as townspeople regardless of social class, establishing a distinctive culture of cha no yu. Numerous utensils were used and appreciated in cha no yu, becoming a form of “comprehensive art” which developed and crystallized in Japan. This exhibition will display masterpieces of tea ceramics from the Idemitsu collection will be selected for show, other related ceramics from Kyūshū will be displayed as well.

Current Exhibition

Exhibition Schedule

2021.4~2022.3

Tanomura Chikuden and the Bunjin-ga of Kyūshū

April 16 (Fri) —June 6 (Sun), 2021

Tanomura Chikuden and the Bunjin-ga of Kyūshū

Bunjin-ga (literati painting) was introduced to Japan from China during the Edo period, and it was developed by the intellectuals who admired the literati culture. Bunjin-ga flourished in the Bungo province (present day Oita prefecture), and the representative painter is Tanomura Chikuden (1777–1835). A Confucian scholar from the Oka domain (present-day Taketa city, Oita) and well-read in Chinese culture, Chikuden met and exchanged ideas with scholars from various regions, deepening his career as a painter. Through the masterpieces of Chikuden as well as the works of his successor Bungo painters, this exhibition will introduce the profound world of bunjin-ga, which also captured the heart of Idemitsu Sazo.

The Charm of Sancai, Three-color Glazed Ware — Treasures of the Silk Road

June 19 (Fri) —August 30 (Sun), 2020

The Charm of Sancai, Three-color Glazed Ware
— Treasures of the Silk Road

Sancai, or Tang three-color glazed ware, is characterized by a splendid decoration produced by brilliant multicolored glaze. It is one of the representative ceramic wares in China. Sancai ware were mainly burial goods of emperors and aristocrats of the Tang dynasty (618-907), but at the same time, they were valued as artistic items that symbolize cultural exchange between the East and the West along the Silk Road. This exhibition will introduce the world of beauty filled with international air, with sancai ware, as well as with lively figurines of people, animals such as horses and camels that travelled the desert, and vessels that received the influence of jewels, silver ware and gold ware brought in from East Asia.

Idemitsu Sazo and His Collection

October 1 (Fri) —December 12 (Sun), 2021

Idemitsu Sazo and His Collection

Idemitsu Sazo, the founder of Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd., is known to be a distinguished art collector. Beginning with “Hotei (Budai) Pointing at the Moon”, the very first item acquired by Sazo, he collected antique art items such as Japanese bunjin-ga and Chinese and Japanese ceramics, proceeding to more contemporary items created by Kosugi Hōan, Itaya Hazan and Georges Rouault. They formed the nucleus of one of the best art collections in Japan, in terms of both quality and quantity. Sazo is known to have to said, “My life has always been led by art,” and this exhibition will trace his collection through the masterpieces he acquired.

Introduction to Japanese Ceramics—Enjoying Color, Design and Form

January 14 (Fri) —March 21 (Sun), 2022

Introduction to Japanese Ceramics
—Enjoying Color, Design and Form

Japanese ceramics, which were born about 16,000 years ago, are around us everywhere now and have become an indispensable part of our daily lives. The long history, spanning from the creation of pottery to the development of earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain, shows the technical advancement of ceramics, but also the changes in esthetics of the Japanese people, what they felt beautiful and admired. Rich variety of ceramics colored the life of each period. This exhibition will unravel the history of beauty by taking an overview of Japanese ceramic history.