Traditional Kōgei in Everyday Life

2017.12.16(Sat) - 2018.01.23(Tue)


Traditional kogei has developed against the background of Japan’s rich culture. Involving highly sophisticated skills in its making, traditional kogei today is, more often than not, shown at exhibitions in galleries. However, its original purpose is as objects for practical use, adding aesthetic depth to everyday situations. People would find peace of mind, or be delighted, to admire the work, and yet its beauty would at times serve as a focus of marvel.
The Museum offers an opportunity to rediscover this intrinsic nature of traditional kogei and appreciate its charm through an exhibition of ‘practical and beautiful’ works of traditional kogei by over 40 artists who are affiliated with Japan Kôgei Association. This association’s membership includes some of Japan’s officially-recognized holders of important intangible cultural properties (popularly known as ‘living national treasures’). The art represents a variety of art categories, including ceramics, textiles and urushi art. With a focus on utensils that accentuate everyday life, the exhibition has selected about 60 works of traditional kogei that can serve in a variety of settings in life, such as crockery, sake service ware, and tea implements. The exhibition invites viewers to revisit the virtues in this art to be integrated into our modern lifestyle and offers inspiration for the vanguard of fresh artistic awareness.


The exhibition presents works of eminent kogei artists including Japan’s holders of important intangible cultural properties.

 In addition to the crockery, sake service ware and tea implements, the exhibits include lifestyle-related artworks from olden times, such as a Rimpa writing cabinet, scrolls and kimono of the Edo period, and Shino and Oribe Ware porcelain from the Momoyama period.

[Special offering]
During the exhibition period, the Museum Shop offers works of participating artists, including the living national treasures, for purchase, a special opportunity to own genuine original articles at considerate prices.