The Ryukyu Kingdom: A Treasure Chest of Beauty
In a nutshell
A rare opportunity to see textiles, paintings, royal clothing and other artifacts, and lacquerware from the Ryukyu Kingdom. The kingdom’s unique textiles, created by stenciled resist dyeing with motifs that meld elements from Japan and other parts of Eastern Asia, and lacquerware are unlike pieces created in other parts of Japan.
The Suntory Museum of Art is a beautifully designed smaller museum in Tokyo Midtown. The museum uses soft lighting, Japanese paper and flooring made from repurposed whisky cask wood (fitting for a Suntory museum).
English? (labels/audio guides/handouts)
The introductory and chapter information is in English but all the other historical and object information is in Japanese only. The English audio guide is very helpful in understanding the techniques and history of the art. The entrance to the museum is on the third floor but the audio guide is sold at the exhibition entrance on the fourth floor. If you put your things in a locker on the third floor, make sure you take the ¥550 with you to pay for it.
Photos are not allowed.
Because many of the Ryukyu Kingdom’s objects were destroyed during World War II, this is a rare opportunity to see this quality and quantity of art in one place.
Lovers of Japanese history will enjoy learning about the Ryukyu Kingdom. The colorful textiles and lacquerware are beautiful to behold.
How far out?
A ten minute walk from the Nogizaka Station on the Chiyoda Line.
How much time?
About 45-60 minutes with the audio guide.
How much money?
¥1,300 for general admission
September 2, 2018
Rating: make a special trip, see it if you’re in the area or have some free time, see it only if you like this specific type of art
See it if you’re in the area or have some free time.