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Collection Asian art East Asia Japan

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Our collection and displays present a distillation of uniquely Japanese cultural traditions – the samurai, the ‘floating world’, the literati, the tea ceremony – and aesthetic values shaped by the inspiration of nature, the appreciation of natural materials and Buddhist concepts of the transient.

Dating from the Jomon period more than 2000 years ago to the present, the Gallery’s collection of Japanese art is among the best in the country. Its strength and focus is on the art of the Edo period (1615–1868), particularly painting. The collection comprises folding screens, hanging scrolls, prints, ceramics, lacquer and other media, many pieces by well-known artists, including Tosa Mitsuoki; Maruyama Okyo, the Kyoto master of naturalism; the ‘Eccentric’ Soga Shohaku; potter Shiga Shigeo; and contemporary master Unryuan.