Splendours of Japan was the first fruit of a significant cultural exchange project between Te Papa and the Tokyo National Museum, on display at Te Papa from 4 March to 30 April 2006. In 2007, an exhibition that introduces Māori art and culture was held in Tokyo. It is hoped that the sharing of treasures will enhance understanding and friendship between New Zealand and Japan.
Splendours of Japan showcased numerous important objects. They include pottery 5000 years old, burial ornaments, samurai swords and armour, and exquisite calligraphy and woodblock prints. The exhibits originate from realms as diverse as agriculture, science, theatre, and art.
Together, the works give a fascinating sampling of Japan’s history. They provide insights into its stone-age culture, its periods of imperial and military rule, and its interactions with the outside world and isolation from it. They also reveal the influence of religion and the pursuit of refinement.
Encompassing the everyday and the extraordinary, the treasures in this exhibition illuminate a world that is unfamiliar to many New Zealanders, offering them an experience of the beauty and elegance of Japanese life, art, and custom.
All images on this site are © Tokyo National Museum.
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