This newly reinstalled gallery highlights more than 130 Japanese works dating from the fifth century through the present day, showcasing a range of paintings, textiles, and traditional and contemporary decorative arts.

Included are many works never before displayed at the MFA and recent acquisitions. “Art of the Rulers,” the first of five sections, explores both the arms and armor that were symbols of the samurai might, including three swords, and tea ceremony ceramics, screens, and Nō drama masks and robes, which were important indicators of their cultural legitimacy. “Art of the Town” examines the lively and somewhat irreverent artworks that were produced in Japan’s urban centers from the 17th through the 19th centuries, such as the banner of Shōki, the Demon Queller, by Katsushika Hokusai.  There are works of “Mingei (the Folk Art Aesthetic)” on view, and a section devoted to ink paintings by scholar-amateurs. Another section features contemporary works illustrating the cutting-edge designs and craftsmanship of today’s Japan’s ceramic, bamboo, and glass artists. 

Works of Art in the Gallery

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