Independent Administrative Institution National Museum of Art, is a central center for the promotion of art, with the mission of creating and developing artistic culture in Japan and fostering the aesthetic sensibility of the people. The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, National Crafts Museum, The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, National Film Archive of Japan, The National Museum of Western Art, The National Museum of Art, Osaka, and The National Art Center,Tokyo are established, and each museum is developing unique and diverse activities in line with its own characteristics.
The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
Located near the Imperial Palace, this is the first National Museum of Art in Japan. It holds over 13,000 works of modern and contemporary art, including 18 national important cultural properties by artists such as Yokoyama Taikan and Kishida Ryusei, with about 200 works exhibited at a time based on appropriate themes and perspectives. Visitors can trace in one sweep the current of Japanese art from the end of the 19th century to the present day. Don’t miss “A Room with a View,” a resting room overlooking the Imperial Palace and the Marunouchi area’s Buildings.
This museum specializing in modern and contemporary crafts and design was relocated and opened in the center of Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture. It houses a total of about 4,000 works collected in various fields including ceramics, glass works, lacqueware works, wood works, bamboo works, textiles, dolls, metal works, industrial design, and graphic design. It has an especially rich collection of works by holders of Important Intangible Cultural Property (Living National Treasures). The museum holds exhibitions based on specific themes. Its Western-style buildings from the late Meiji period (about early 20th century) —former army facilities designated as Nationally Registered Tangible Cultural Properties that have been relocated and restored—convey the history of modern times.
The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto
This art museum is located close to Heian Jingu Shrine. Focusing on western Japanese art centered on Kyoto, the museum has a wide range of crafts including ceramics, textiles, metalwork, wood and bamboo work, and jewelry, in addition to Japanese paintings, Western-style paintings, prints, sculptures, and photographs. The collection exhibits, which focus on and introduce artistic activities in western Japan, change almost entirely every season, so you can enjoy every visit.
National Film Archive of Japan
As the only national film institution in Japan, it collects, preserves, researches, and restores Japanese and foreign films and film-related materials. It also opens its collection to the public through special screenings, permanent exhibitions that convey the history of Japanese cinema, and special exhibitions that share film culture from various perspectives. It has a library and disseminates information as the center of the promotion of film culture, including serving as a base for education as well as international collaboration and cooperation related to film.
The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
This museum, located in Ueno Park, specializes in Western art. Based on the Matsukata Collection gifted and returned to Japan by the French government, the museum mainly houses Western paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings from the Renaissance to the early 20th century. It features many works by artists that everyone has heard of, such as Renoir and Picasso, giving visitors a view of the course of Western art. The 17 sites in the Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement, including the National Museum of Western Art, are registered as World Heritage Sites, and the restoration of the museum’s forecourt in April 2022 allows visitors to experience its original appearance.
The National Museum of Art, Osaka
Located on the waterfront of Nakanoshima, Osaka, this is a“ completely underground” museum, which is unusual anywhere in the world. At the entrance, visitors are greeted by a unique object inspired by bamboo. With around 8,000 works, its collection is one of the largest in Japan, with a focus on contemporary art from Japan and overseas since 1945. In the collection exhibition, artists and works that are important in talking about contemporary art are introduced in attractive themes with a new perspective for each exhibition change.
The National Art Center,Tokyo
The center opened in Roppongi, which is attracting attention as an art spot in Tokyo, with the concept for the building as “an Art Center surrounded by green spaces.” Instead of maintaining a permanent collection, it holds a variety of special exhibitions and provides venues for art groups, making the most of one of the largest exhibitions spaces in Japan, in its bright and open interior surrounded by glass, so that visitors can encounter new art at any time. It also serves creating and disseminating art and culture.
National Center for Art Research
With the credo of “connecting, deepening, and expanding art,” the National Center for Art Research serves as a new hub that links art museums, research institutions, and various stakeholders both in Japan and overseas, and not only conducts research in specialized fields, but also collects and disseminates information nationally and internationally, promotes the active use of art collections, builds interpersonal networks, enhances learning programs, supports artists and more.