Japan

Room 45

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The V&A has been collecting Japanese art and design since it was founded in 1852 and now holds one of the world's most comprehensive collections, including ceramics, lacquer, arms and armour, woodwork, metalwork, textiles and dress, prints, paintings, sculpture and modern & contemporary studio crafts.

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With the exception of some early metalwork, ceramics and Buddhist sculpture, most objects date from the Edo (1615-1868) and Meiji (1868-1912) periods. Of particular interest is our collection of over 30,000 Edo-period ukiyo-e prints, paintings, drawings and albums. We also hold one of the finest and most complete collections of Japanese enamels in the world, as well as the earliest documented examples of this art form in any museum.

Exploring Japan

Photo of The Mazarin Chest, about 1640, Japan. Museum no. 412-1882. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
The Mazarin Chest, about 1640, Japan. Museum no. 412-1882. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Inro with fish and sea creature, Kakosai, 19th century, Japan. Museum nos. W.158:1-1922 to W.158:1-1922. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Inro with fish and sea creature, Kakosai, 19th century, Japan. Museum nos. W.158:1-1922 to W.158:1-1922. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Suit of armour in haramaki style, 1850, Japan. Museum nos. M.95:1-1955 to M.95:14-1955. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Suit of armour in haramaki style, 1850, Japan. Museum nos. M.95:1-1955 to M.95:14-1955. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Netsuke depicting Raiden, the god of wind, thunder and lightning, 19th century, Japan. Museum no. A.741-1910. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Netsuke depicting Raiden, the god of wind, thunder and lightning, 19th century, Japan. Museum no. A.741-1910. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Kimono for the Kabuki theatre, 1870-1890, Japan. Museum no. FE.73-2014. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Kimono for the Kabuki theatre, 1870-1890, Japan. Museum no. FE.73-2014. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of 'The Great Wave', print, Katsushika Hokusai, 1858, Japan. Museum no. E. 4823-1916. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
'The Great Wave', print, Katsushika Hokusai, 1858, Japan. Museum no. E. 4823-1916. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of 'Sweet Lolita by Baby, The Stars Shine Bright', designed by Akinori & Fumiyo Isobe, 2011, Japan. Museum nos. FE.305-313-2011 & FE.5-2012 & FE.11-2012. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
'Sweet Lolita by Baby, The Stars Shine Bright', designed by Akinori & Fumiyo Isobe, 2011, Japan. Museum nos. FE.305-313-2011 & FE.5-2012 & FE.11-2012. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of 'Covered Vessel no. 7', Gomi Kenji, 2012, Japan. Museum nos. FE.59:1-2012 to FE.59:2-2012. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
'Covered Vessel no. 7', Gomi Kenji, 2012, Japan. Museum nos. FE.59:1-2012 to FE.59:2-2012. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of 'AUN II, Basket', Tanabe Shochiku, 2014, Japan. Museum no. FE.36-2014. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
'AUN II, Basket', Tanabe Shochiku, 2014, Japan. Museum no. FE.36-2014. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of 'JVC Videosphere', JVC Ltd, about 1970, Japan. Museum no. W.661:1-2001. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
'JVC Videosphere', JVC Ltd, about 1970, Japan. Museum no. W.661:1-2001. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Bugaku mask, 18th century, Japan. Museum no. W.516-1922. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Bugaku mask, 18th century, Japan. Museum no. W.516-1922. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of 'OO-IX', Shigeki Hayashi, 2013, Japan. Museum no. FE.100-2013. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
'OO-IX', Shigeki Hayashi, 2013, Japan. Museum no. FE.100-2013. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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