Exhibition Outline

Chanoyu - The Arts of Tea Ceremony, The Essence of Japan

The new tea drinking practices of the Song Dynasty were learned by Japanese Zen monks studying in China around the 12th century and then spread among Zen temples, samurai families, and other members of Japanese high society. These people displayed their status by decorating tea rooms and serving tea with exquisite Chinese artworks called karamono. During the Azuchi-Momoyama period in the 16th century, Sen no Rikyu perfected a new style of tea called wabicha in which Chinese artworks were used together with humble utensils from everyday life, and the tea ceremony spread from the elite of society to lesser lords and townspeople. In this manner, the tea ceremony developed over hundreds of years into a prominent and unique aspect of Japanese culture.

This major exhibition will focus on how the arts of the tea ceremony evolved from the Muromachi period to modernity. This will be the largest exhibition of its kind since Arts of the Tea Ceremony, which was held at Tokyo National Museum in 1980. We hope that visitors, by witnessing masterpieces of the tea ceremony from various historical periods, and attuning themselves to the sensibilities of the people who used them, will be able to experience the “Essence of Japan.”

List of Works

Exhibition Information


Tuesday, April 11–Sunday, June 4, 2017


9:30–17:00; Fridays and Saturdays until 20:00; Sundays, May 3 and 4 until 18:00
*Last entry 30 minutes before closing


Mondays (Except for Monday, May 1)


Tokyo National Museum,NHK,NHK Promotions Inc.,The Mainichi Newspapers

With the Special Cooperation of

OMOTESENKE Fushin'an, URASENKE Konnichian, MUSHAKOUJISENKE Kankyuan, YABUNOUCHI Ennan, Enshusadosoke, Edosenke souke rengean, Edosenke, DAI NIHON CHADO GAKKAI, Sohenryu-Fushin'an

With the Sponsorship of

Nissha Printing Co., Ltd.
Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co., Ltd.

With the Cooperation for Display of


General Inquiries

03-5777-8600 (Hello Dial)

Press Related Inquiries

Chanoyu - The Arts of Tea Ceremony, The Essence of Japan
P.R. Executive Office (located inside MUSE PR Company)

Admission(tax included)


1600 (1400/1300) yen

University students

1200 (1000/900) yen

High school students

900 (700/600) yen

Junior high school students and under


* Prices shown in parentheses indicate advance / group (more than 20 persons) discount tickets.
* Persons with disabilities are admitted free with one accompanying person each (please present an ID at the ticket booth).
* Advance tickets will be on sale at the museum ticket booths (during museum opening hours excluding the last 30 minutes) and other major ticketing agencies to April 10, 2017.

* Purchasing pages are in Japanese, supported in English.
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