Mitsui Memorial Museum
>> List of Exhibits(PDF)
Nara's famous Saidai-ji temple was built in 765 (Tenpyo-jingo 1) by Empress Shotoku, the daughter of Emperor Shomu and Empress Komyo. It was founded to promote the doctrine of chingo-kokka, or protecting the state through Buddhism. It ranked alongside Todai-ji as one of the 'Nanto Shichi Daiji', the seven great state-sponsored temples established in Nara during the Nara period.
In the Kamakura period Saidai-ji was revived by Eison, an extraordinary Buddhist priest who had studied Shingon Esoteric Buddhism from an early age. After entering Saidai-ji, Eison turned the temple into a training center for his fusion of traditional Ritsu Buddhism and Esoteric Buddhism. In doing so, he established unique cultural practices that continue to this day, including the Ochamorishiki tea ceremony and the Mantra of Light (Shingon Komyo) ritual. Eison also poured his energy into relief work and his teachings spread across Japan through the activities of disciples like Ninsho. Eison also ordered the creation of numerous Buddhist statues. Many outstanding works of Buddhist art have been passed down to the present day through Saidai-ji.
This exhibition is being held to commemorate the 1,250th Anniversary of the founding of Saidai-ji temple. It features many outstanding treasures such as sculpture, painting and decorative objects from Saidai-ji and other affiliated temples.
Finally, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to all those who loaned their precious treasures for this exhibition and to everybody whose assistance made this exhibition possible. We would also like to thank our sponsors Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance, Daishinsha, Mitsui Fudosan and Iwatani Corporation (Osaka exhibition).
April, 2017 (Heisei 29)
■Hours: 10am to 5pm, entrance until 4:30pm
■Holidays: Mondays(except 5/1)
■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, 3 min walk from Mitsukoshimae Station
Tokyo Metro Subway Ginza-Tozai Lines: 4 min walk from Nihombashi station,Exit B9
Toei Subway Asakusa Line: 6 min walk from Nihombashi station,Exit B9
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-nihombashi Station
Metro Link Nihonbashi (Free bus service): Mitsui Memorial Museum bus stop
※Bring this coupon and you will get 100yen discount.(1 coupon per person)
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.