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National Museum Of Modern Art

The National Museum of Modern Art,Tokyo was opened in 1952 as the first national museum of art in Japan.

The National Museum of Modern Art,Tokyo consists of the Museum and Crafts Gallery in Kitanomaru Koen,near the Imperial Palace,and the National Film Center in Kyobashi,which is next to Ginza. Activities are undertaken with the view of providing a systematic overview of modern Japanese art within the context of modern art all over the wThe First National Museum of Art in Japan.

As far back as the beginning of the Meiji period, there was a movement demanding the establishment of a museum to permanently display contemporary art. Although the petition was taken up several times in parliament, a national facility for the permanent display of modern art was never realized until the opening of this Museum. In 1952, the government purchased the premises of the former headquarters of Nikkatsu Corporation in Kyobashi, Chuo-ku. In June that year, The National Museum of Modern Art was established as an institution governed by the Ministry of Education. The architect Kunio Maekawa directed the refurbishment and the Museum was opened that December. On two later occasions, neighbouring premises were purchased and the Museum was further enlarged and reformed.

Due to the growth of the Museum Collection and the expansion of special exhibitions, the display of works gradually got restricted. Just when the Museum was considering possibilities of moving, Mr.Shojiro Ishibashi,who was a trustee from the founding of the Museum, offered to donate a new building. Thanks to this donation, it was decided that a new wing would be constructed in Kitanomar... [ Read all ]

 Permanent Collection Highlights (4)

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Permanent Collection

Permanent displays of the Museum Collection and special exhibitions take place in the Main Building.

The permanent exhibition entitled "Modern Japanese Art from the Museum Collection" consists of paintings, sculptures, prints, watercolors, drawings, photographs, and other works dating roughly from the beginning of the 20th century to the present and provides an overview of the history of modern art. Although the exhibits are changed several times a year, historic masterpieces remain on show for as long as possible

I. Art in the Meiji and Taisho periods
Around the launch of the Bunten

When we take a general view of modern Japanese art by means of our museum's collection, we first come across with works shown at the annual Bunten or Ministry of Education Exhibition which was launched in 1907. Established as a part of the Meiji Government's educational policy, the government-sponsored painting and sculpture competition had a great influence on subsequent developments in the Japanese art world. Western-style paintings shown at the Bunten, such as those by Nakazawa Hiromitsu and Wada Eisaku, followed the academism already established by Kuroda Seiki and his comrades, characterized by then fashionable brightness hence the school name Gaiko-ha (literally "outdoor daylight school"). Japanese-style paintings broke from the conventionalities in various aspects including shading, perspective, and color composition, establishing itself as a genre of arts to be publicly exhibited. In the 1910s, active introduction of European Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and Symbolism inspired many Western- and Japanese-style painters to pursue innovative expressions.

Humanism in th...+ [ Read all ]


Please see for details of current and forthcoming temporary exhibitions.


Adults 420 yen
University students 130 yen
High school students 70 yen

Children under 15 and seniors Free

Free on May 18, November 3 and on the first Sunday of each month
Different fees will be charged during major special exhibitions.

Opening hours

10:00a.m. - 5:00p.m. (Admission until 4:30p.m.)

Art Museum is open until 8:00 p.m. every Friday (Admission until 7:30p.m.)

Closed Mondays (open on holiday Mondays and close on the following days),
December 29 –January 1, with exceptions noted in the exhibition articles.

Getting there

Art Museum (Main Building)

3-1 Kitanomaru-koen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8322

3 minutes from Takebashi station (Subway Tozai Line)


Museum shop

Museum internal and external photos (4)

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