Treasure of Daimyo Tachibana

The collection of the Tachibana family, the successive lords of the Yanagawa domain, tells us the story of the daimyo family’s life with accuracy and plausibility.

Portrait of Tachibana Muneshige by UnknownTachibana Museum

The Arms and Armor of the First Lord Tachibana Muneshige

Matchlock named ‘Suminawa’ (16th-17th century, Momoyama period) by UnknownTachibana Museum

Matchlock named "Suminawa"

This matchlock gun was given to Muneshige from the lord of the Fukuoka domain. The name of the gun comes from the carpenter’s inking string, known as a Suminawa, used to draw a straight line. It is thought to have been named after the movement of the bullet of this matchlock.

Hotoke-marudo armour covered with nutbrown leather (16th century, Momoyama period) by UnknownTachibana Museum

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Hotoke-marudo armor covered with nutbrown leather

The first Lord Muneshige's suit of armor. The combination of colors, such as the nutbrown leather of the cuirass, the red-lacquered tassets hanging beneath the cuirass and silver foil of the thigh guards, reflects the splendor of the Warring States period.

Wakizashi sword, named Raikirimaru (13th-16th century, Kamakura~Muromachi period) by UnknownTachibana Museum

Wakizashi sword, named Raikirimaru

The legendary sword of Bekki Dousetsu, the founder of the Tachibana family. It is said that Dousetsu slashed lightning with this sword. Thereafter, the sword came to be called “Raikirimaru”  (the lighting cutter). It was later passed down to Muneshige, the 2nd head of the family.

Uchikake with nets and flower bouquets design (19th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum

The Life of the Tachibana Princesses

Uchikake is a formal outer kimono for women in the upper samurai class. It was worn over a short-sleeved kimono without tying it at the waist with a sash.

Uchikake with design of a palace, court carriage and garden gates (19th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum

Uchikake (outer kimono) with garden gate and court carriage

It is executed in embroidery and surihitta-dye (stenciled imitation of tie-dying) to express the palace quarters, garden gates and a court carriage on the crepe fabric. These motifs were typical designs of Uchikake, and were thought to imply some specific traditional literature.

Uchikake with design of lightning and rice sheaves (19th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum

Uchikake with design of lightning and rice sheaves

High-ranking samurai women changed their wardrobes seasonally and chose their kimonos with proper designs for the season. Figured satin uchikake was worn as a formal attire from 9th of September to the end of March yearly.

Writing paper box with maki-e design of Aoi crests and arabesque, Unknown, 19th century, Edo period, From the collection of: Tachibana Museum
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Inkstone box with maki-e design of Aoi crests and arabesque, Unknown, 19th century, Edo period, From the collection of: Tachibana Museum
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There pieces are  belongings of Princess Sumi, a wife of  the 12th lord of the Yanagawa domain. She came from one of the three privileged branches of the shogun family. The Aoi (hollyhock) designs represented on the pieces are Shogun Tokugawa family crest. 

Incense burner stand with maki-e design of Fujitomoe crest (18th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum

Incense burner stand with maki-e design of Fujitomoe crest

The 7th lord’s wife, Princess Kiyoko’s  bridal trousseau. She came from the Kuroda family, the lords of the Fukuoka domain. The swirl shaped wisteria in the center of the piece represents the Kuroda family’s crest. 

Tea bowl and stand with peony crest (17th-19th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum

Tea bowl and stand with peony crests

The flowering peony crests are engraved on the three places of the tin bowl in a sequence of fine lines. While the lid and stand are coated with gold nashiji lacquer, and two kinds of peony crests in hexagonal frames and pine needles are depicted in maki-e design.

Brush washer shape tea bowl (16th-17th century, Yi dynasty) by UnknownTachibana Museum

The Tea-ceremony Utensils

Water jar in the shape of bentwood receptacle, Bizen ware (17th-19th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum

Water jar in the shape of bentwood receptacle, Bizen ware

This ceramic jar was made to look like a wooden receptacle, circularly bended and bound at the edges in front. It is applied with iron glaze, and shows the scarlet color.

Water jar named Menpeki, red Raku ware (17th century, Edo period) by attributed to Donyu, the 3rd head of the Raku familyTachibana Museum

Water jar named Menpeki, red Raku ware

The name Menpeki was probably taken from its unique shape which reminds us of a figure of a Buddhist monk, Bodhidharma, in a Chinese legend ‘Menpeki-kunen (nine years of wall-gazing).’
From the seal of the jar, it is attributed to the third head of the Raku family, Donyu (1599-1656).

Tea bowl with arabesque design in underglaze blue, Unknown, 17th-19th century, Edo period, From the collection of: Tachibana Museum
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Red Oribe tea bowl with plum blossoms design, Unknown, 17th century, Edo period, From the collection of: Tachibana Museum
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Brush washer shape tea bowl, 16th-17th century, Yi dynasty  (left)  / Red Oribe tea bowl with plum blossoms design, 17th century (center)/  Tea bowl with arabesque design in underglaze blue, 17th-19th century (right)

Teaburi brazier, Kamachi ware, Ienaga Hikosaburo Houetsu, 1868, From the collection of: Tachibana Museum
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Wind furnace for tea ceremony, Kamachi ware, Ienaga Hikosaburou Houetsu, 1860, From the collection of: Tachibana Museum
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Kamachi ware were ceramics from an official kiln of the Yanagawa domain. The shiny and smooth surface is created by rubbing charcoal powder into the unglazed earthen ware and then polishing. The bright patchy pattern produces an elegant appearance.

Dinnerware set with wisteria design, blue and white (probably 1910, Meiji period) by KoranshaTachibana Museum

The Tableware in the Tachibana Count's Residence



Dinnerware with wisteria designThese tableware was ordered to make along with the completion of the Tachibana family's residence in 1910. Each piece has the Tachibana family crest, wisteria design and Koransha’s brand mark of Arita ware in underglaze blue.

Teacup and saucer with Gion-mamori crest design, Fukagawa-seiji, probably 1910, Meiji period, From the collection of: Tachibana Museum
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Teapot with Gionmamori crest design, Fukagawa-seiji, probably 1910, Meiji period, From the collection of: Tachibana Museum
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Sugar bowl with Gionmamori crest design, Fukagawa-seiji, probably 1910, Meiji period, From the collection of: Tachibana Museum
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These pieces are from a tea set which was ordered to make along with the completion of the Tachibana family’s residence in 1910. The color combination of blue family crest and gold patterns on the white porcelain gives a noble and refreshing impression.

Cosmetic box with maki-e design of Aoi crests (19th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum

The Sumptuous Wedding Trousseau of the Tachibana Princesses

Pair of Kaiawase matching shells, 18th-19th century, Edo period, From the collection of: Tachibana Museum
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Pair of Kaiawase matching shells, Unknown, 18th-19th century, Edo period, From the collection of: Tachibana Museum
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Miniature accoutrements for Hina dolls, pairs of Kaiawase matching shells, Edo Nanasawaya, 19th century, Edo period, From the collection of: Tachibana Museum
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In the Edo period (1600-1868), the Kaiawase shells were used for wedding ceremonies, because the idea that only a mated pair of shells could match is linked to the image of conjugal harmony. 

Chabento (portable tea set) (19th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum

Portable tea set with maki-e design of Aoi crests

This tea set is for having tea and food outdoors. It stores tea bowls, tea stands, tea caddies, boxes for food and a set of a silver water jar and heater. The two chests  were hung at both ends of a pole when they were carried by a servant.

Tachibana Museum by UnknownTachibana Museum

〜Permanent Exhibition〜

The Successive Arms and Armor of Daimyo TACHIBANA

Gilded peach-shaped helmet (16th century, Momoyama period) by UnknownTachibana Museum

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Gilded peach-shaped helmet【Audio guide 2】

These helmets are thought to have been prepared for the cavalry responsible for guarding the first Lord Muneshige on the battlefield. They were designed under the influence of a Western model. Each of the helmets had a tube on the back in which the black and white battle  flag was inserted.

Tatami armor with karuta plates (17th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum

Folding armor with karuta plates

This is the 2nd lord's spare armor brought to the Shimabara Rebellion (1637-38). The cuirass consists of karutagane (rectangle iron plates) connected by chains for folding.

Tatami armor with cherry blossom design (17th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum

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Tatami armor with cherry blossoms design【Audio guide 3】

This suit of armor was owned by the 3rd lord who lived in a peaceful period in the late 17th century. The cuirass is composed of iron plates linked together by chains and sewn onto the fabric backing to make the armor foldable. Each of the hexagonal plates has an openwork design of cherry blossoms. The bell-shaped helmet also shows a unique appearance.

Armor of two-piece cuirass embossed with a dragon (18th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum

Nimai-dō armor of two-piece cuirass embossed with a dragon

This suit of armor was owned by the 4th lord. The cuirass was constructed with two plates that are arranged vertically and fastened at either side of the body. All the metal parts were elaborately made with an alloy of copper and gold which produces beautiful purplish black sheen.

Armor with embossed design of a dragon (1754) by UnknownTachibana Museum

Ryobikiawase-dō armor with embossed design of a dragon

This suit of armor was owned by the 7th lord. The cuirass was constructed with five plates that are bound together vertically. It was worn wrapped around the body and fastened on either side. 

Mogami-do armor with light green lacing (1860) by Myochin KunisadaTachibana Museum

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Mogami-dō armor with light green lacing【Audio guide 4】

This suit of armor was owned by Akitomo, the 12th and last lord of the Yanagawa domain. It was created with scrupulously refined techniques by Myōchin Kunisada who was an armorer patronized by the Yanagawa domain. The horn-like ornament attached to the helmet was designed after the motif of the Tachibana family crest.

Palanquin with maki-e design of the Gionmamori crests (19th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum

The Wedding Trousseaus of Daimyo Families

A large number of luxurious wedding furniture was prepared for the wedding of a feudal lord’s daughter in the Edo period. Each piece was embellished with maki-e design representing the bride’s family crest.

Hasamibako chest with maki-e design of the Aoi crest (19th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum

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Hasamibako chest with Aoi crest【Audio Guide P5】

This lacquered chest is a piece of bridal trousseau of Princess Sumi, the wife of the 12th lord. She was a daughter of the Tayasu-Tokugawa family — one of the three privileged branches of the Shogun family. The three hollyhock leaves in a circle represents the Tokugawa family crest.

Nagamochi chest with maki-e design of the Aoi crest (19th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum

Nagamochi chest with the Aoi crest

Nagamochi is a large portable chest for storing kimonos. It was carried by bearers using a long pole which could be passed through the metal handles on both sides of the chest. This lacquered chest is a piece of the bridal trousseau of Princess Sumi, the wife of the 12th lord.

Palanquin with maki-e design of the Gionmamori crests (19th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum

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Palanquin with crest design of Gionmamori【Audio Guide P6】

This palanquin was exclusively intended for women of high social rank, possibly carried by four bearers; two at the front and two at the back. It is sprinkled with gold powder, depicting two styles of the Tachibana family crest and a plum blossom scroll on the black  lacquered surface.

Yūsoku-bina dolls (19th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum

Exquisite Dolls of the Tachibana Family

Dolls in the collection of the Tachibana family are characterized by the small size. Each of the tiny pieces is exquisitely crafted with impressive technique.

Yūsoku-bina dolls (19th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum

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Yūsoku-bina doll【Audio Guide P7】

A set of Hina dolls is displayed during the Doll Festival to celebrate the health and happiness of girls in Japan. Yūsoku-bina is one of the Hina dolls which appeared in Kyoto in the 18th century. They represent court nobles clad in exact replica of Imperial Court costume.

Miniature hina doll accessories (19th century, Edo period) by Edo NanasawayaTachibana Museum

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Miniature Hina doll accessories【Audio Guide P8】

These astonishing miniature accessories replicate a bridal trousseau of a feudal lord family in the Edo period. They were made by Nanasawa-ya, a doll shop in Edo, now Tokyo. The shop was renowned for its skillful craftsmanship that faithfully reproduced miniatures of the original.

Keshi-bina dolls (19th century, Edo period) by Edo NanasawayaTachibana Museum

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Keshi-bina doll【Audio Guide P9】

Keshi-bina is one of Hina dolls born in Edo, now Tokyo. ‘Keshi’ means ‘poppyseed’. There is a theory that tiny dolls became popular once the luxury goods were banned by sumptuary laws. This set of keshi-bina dolls was made by Nanasawa-ya, a famous doll shop in Edo.

Kamo dolls (19th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum

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Kamo doll【Audio Guide P10】

It is believed that the Kamo doll originated when an odd-job man of Kamigamo Shrine in Kyoto started making dolls using fabric tucked into a piece of wood. The characteristics of the dolls are their tiny size and warm smiles. Among them, smaller-sized dolls are roly-poly dolls with tiny weight in the round bottom. The smallest is only 5 mm in height.

Gosho doll (18th-19th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum

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Gosho doll【Audio Guide P11】

Gosho doll is one of the representative dolls of Japanese doll culture. Starting in the 18th century, the chubby infant doll with white glossy skin played a role as a court gift to feudal lords who had visited the Imperial Palace in Kyoto.

Saga doll (18th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum

Saga doll

Saga dolls were created preceding Gosho dolls. Among them, it is said that specifically the naked Saga dolls influenced the creation of Gosho dolls. So, they look almost the same, but the naked Saga dolls are distinguished by its slim body.

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