Mitsui Memorial Museum
New Year in Nihonbashi begins with the National Treasure, “Pine Trees in the Snow” painted by Maruyama Ōkyo. Celebrating the New Year with this masterpiece depicting evergreen pine trees standing in clear crisp air and snow crystals shining in the bright sunlight is an annual pleasure at the Mitsui Memorial Museum. Along with Raku tea bowls, we display the screen “Jurakudai Castle” depicting central Kyoto in the Momoyama period. Jurakudai was completed in Kyoto in 1587 as the castle of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. It happens to coincide with the time when Chōjirō, the first generation of the Raku family was active.
It is considered that Raku tea bowls originated from Chōjirō, commissioned by Sen Rikyū(1522-1591) who perfected the aesthetics of Wabicha. Chōjirō’s tea bowls were not formed on a potter’s wheel but just by hand, a process called Tezukune, and fired in a kiln inside the Raku family house in Kyoto, which means that Raku ware was made in a unique manner compared to other glazed earthenware. Raku tea bowls are thought to have first been made in the middle of the Tenshō era(1573-1591) in the Momoyama period. Since then, consecutive heads of the Raku family in Kyoto have handed down the method up to the present day and the fifteenth head Mr. Raku Kichizaemon.
This exhibition features tea bowls made by successive heads of the Raku family donated from the Kita Mitsui family and Muromachi Mitsui family collections. In addition, Raku ware works fired in the garden of the second house of the Kishū Tokugawa family are on display.
■Hours: 10am to 5pm, entrance until 4:30pm
■Holidays: Mondays(except 12/23, 1/13), 12/24, 12/27〜1/3, 1/14
（If Monday is a national holiday, the museum will be open on Monday and closed the following day.)
■Address: Mitsui Main Building, 7th Floor, Nihonbashi Muromachi 2-1-1, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0022
■For inquiries: 03-5777-8600 (Japanese only)
Tokyo Metro Subway Ginza Line: Exit A7, 1 min walk from Mitsukoshimae Station
Tokyo Metro Subway Hanzomon Line: Exit A7, 4 min walk from Mitsukoshimae Station
Tokyo Metro Subway Ginza-Tozai Lines: 4 min walk from Nihonbashi station,Exit B11※
Toei Subway Asakusa Line: 6 min walk from Nihonbashi station,Exit B11※
※Exit B11 is temporarily closed. Please use COREDO NIHONBASHI elevator or escalator up to the ground floor.
JR Tokyo Station: 7 min walk from Nihonbashiguchi exit
JR Kanda Station: 6 min walk
JR Sobu Line Rapid Service: 4 min walk from Shin-nihonbashi Station
Metro Link Nihonbashi (Free bus service): Mitsui Memorial Museum bus stop
Mitsui Memorial Museum
The Mitsui Memorial Museum opened in October 2005 in Nihonbashi, a site closely related to the Mitsui Group. The collections from the Mitsui Bunko Museum in Nakano ward, with many treasures of Japanese and Asian art, will move to the new museum. Members of the Mitsui families have assembled the art works in the collection over the past three centuries and their preservation as a collection make these art works a preeminent element of Japanese cultural heritage.
The Mitsui Memorial Museum is located in the Mitsui Main Building. This important western-style structure created in the early Showa era has been designated an Important Cultural Property by the Japanese government. The entrance to the new museum is located in the neighboring super skyscraper the Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower Atrium.
The exhibition galleries will include a detailed reconstruction of the interior of the Joan tea ceremony room, a National Treasure tea ceremony room long related to the Mitsui family. Display of the "beauty of functionality" in the selection of tea ceremony utensils will be contrasted with the display of Japanese and Asian art works in a western architectural setting. These galleries will allow visitors to rediscover the "beauty of form." Viewers will be encouraged to explore the true meaning of art and culture.