Rediscover the Lord Muneshige
Portrait of Tachibana Muneshige (1654) by Unknown, inscription by Rankei SoueiTachibana Museum
Portrait of Tachibana Muneshige (1567-1642)
This portrait was painted for the thirteenth anniversary of the first Lord Tachibana Muneshige’s death in 1654. The inscription on the painting was written by the 152nd priest of the Daitoku-ji Temple in Kyoto. Among the existing portraits of Muneshige, this painting best depicts his features.
Peach-shaped helmet with Gachirin ring and feathers (16th-17th century, Momoyama-Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum
Peach-shaped helmet with Gachirin ring and feathers
The big ring and feathers are identical crests of the first lord's helmet, but the sophisticated shape of the helmet indicates that it was made in more recent years. Based on these, this helmet is considered to have been made during the time of the siege of Hara-jo castle in 1638 which both the first and second lords joined.
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, Kuroda Nagamasa. 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.
Six Tamagawa Rivers (19th century, Edo period) by Kano TanshinTachibana Museum
Six Tamagawa Rivers
The rivers in the painting are located in six different provinces and all of them are called “Tama-gawa”. They were often quoted in Japanese Waka poetry in the Heian period (8th-10th centuries), and were also a popular theme of the paintings in the Edo period (17th-19th centuries).
Sake cup with maki-e design of Fuji River (19th century, Edo period) by Shirai KakousaiTachibana Museum
Sake cup with maki-e design of Fuji River
This wine cup is considered to be one of the famous landscape series cups, received from the shogun family.
It depicts people being ferried across the Fuji River in hira maki-e (flat sprinkled metal decoration) on the vermilion lacquered interior surface. The Tokugawa shogunate didn’t allow to build bridges over the major rivers for military reasons in those days.
Sake cup with maki-e design of Sumida River (19th century, Edo period) by Shirai KakosaiTachibana Museum
Sake cup with maki-e design of Sumida River
On the vermillion lacquered surface, we see depicted the scene of a ferryboat crossing the Sumida River using flat and raised maki-e (sprinkled metal decoration). Above the ferry boat, Masaki Inari Shrine and Mt. Tsukuba are visible, to the right is Suda-zutumi bank.
Sake cup with maki-e design of Shinagawa (19th century, Edo period) by Kajikawa SchoolTachibana Museum
Sake cup with maki-e design of Shinagawa
Shinagawa coast was a famous place for shell-gathering. On the interior surface, a grand view of the Shinagawa coast is depicted in hira maki-e (flat sprinkled metal). Mt. Fuji and sailboats in the offing are visible in the distance. The Tokaido highway along the coast is lined with shops whose roofs are shining by kanagai (foil inlay).
Saddle with Chinese character ‘妙’ (1635) by Matsumura Sakunojo TametsuguTachibana Museum
Saddle with Chinese character ‘妙’
The graceful designs of the wooden saddle are executed in gold maki-e (sprinkled metal decoration): a big Chinese character ‘妙’ on the outer surface of the pommels, and water plantains with streams on the inner surface and the seat.
Tobacco tray with maki-e design of Yoro Waterfall (19th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum
Tobacco tray with maki-e design of Yoro Waterfall
This tobacco tray has two silver containers: one is for setting fire to charcoal, the other is for dropping ash.The motif of the tray represents the story of a legendary waterfall: a poor young man found a waterfall and offered the water to his ailing father; upon drinking it, the water turned into alcohol which his father was fond of and was revived. On the backside of the tray, it shows a brushwood, gourd, liquor cup and waterfall. All of them represent parts of the story.
Ohana Garden (20th century, Showa period) by UnknownTachibana Museum
The illustration depicting the Eastern garden of the Tachibana family in the 18th century. It was a Chisen Kaiyu style garden, which is a garden with a big pond surrounded with seasonal flowers that visitors can enjoy while strolling around it.
Nyoi-tei Garden (1882) by Hasegawa SetteiTachibana Museum
The Nyoi-tei was a real garden existed in the Yanagawa domain’s main residence in Shitaya, Edo (modern Taito Ward, Tokyo). In the painting, there are different seasonal flowers and leaves —cherry blossoms, azaleas, fresh green leaves and autumn leaves— in full bloom. It suggests that the painter Settei created an imaginary Nyoi-tei garden with the most beautiful moment in each season of the year.
Food container with flowers and birds design (19th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum
Food container with flowers and birds design
This tiered box is a portable food container with key. It is embellished with mother-of-pearl inlays of various shiny pieces and diamond shaped patterns. Each box has different motifs.
Amazing World of Miniatures
Netsuke, Amanohashidate (Bridge to Heaven) in the Clamshell (19th century, Edo-Meiji period) by Kaigyokusai MasatsuguTachibana Museum
Netsuke: Amanohashidate (Bridge to Heaven) in Clam Shell
Kaigyokusai Masatsugu (1813-1892) is known as one of the greatest craftsmen of netsuke ornaments.
In this clam-shaped ivory netsuke with only 4 cm square, he recreated the view of Amanohashidate (Bridge to Heaven), one of the three most scenic spots in Japan, by engraving. This microscopic world changes its view according to a visual angle, showing pine trees with various shaped boughs and people enjoying sailing. In spite of the delicate carving, which is too small to be recognized everything with the naked eye, each motif perfectly holds its shape. This amazing work is just like a microcosm in the clamshell.
Miniature accoutrements for Hina dolls, Hyakunin Isshu card game set (19th century, Edo period) by Edo NanasawayaTachibana Museum
Hyakunin Isshu, Miniature accoutrement for Hina doll
These miniature cards replicate Japanese playing cards, ‘Hyakunin Isshu (One hundred waka poems by one hundred poets)’. The poem is accurately written on each card.
Miniature accoutrements for Hina dolls, set of shell-matching game (19th century, Edo period) by Edo NanasawayaTachibana Museum
Kaiawase, Miniature accoutrement for Hina doll
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. High-class families prepared lacquered boxes filled with beautifully decorated shells for their daughter as a bride’s household article. The boxes were made in pairs as well, and decorated with gold maki-e on the surface.
The Wabi-cha World, Rustic Simplicity in the Tea Ceremony
Tea leaf jar, called Luzon (15th-16th century, Ming dynasty) by UnknownTachibana Museum
Tea leaf jar, called Luzon
The possession of noted jars represented the high status of the ruler class samurai warriors. Among them were Luzon jars, which came from China via Luzon Island in the Philippines; they were the most valuable in the periods of the Unifiers, Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the 16th century.
This Luzon jar is said to have been bestowed to Muneshige, by Toyotomi Hideyoshi at Osaka castle. The shape of the mouth is unknown because it is still wrapped in paper and sealed.
Tea leaf jar, named Yoro (17th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum
Tea leaf jar, named Yōrō
This Seto ware jar was given to Muneshige by the 3rd Tokugawa Shogun, Iemitsu. This was during Iemitsu’s second visit to the tea ceremony held at the Yanagawa domain’s suburban residence in Edo (Tokyo) in 1639. Muneshige was seventy-three years old during this time.
Tea bowl with arabesque design in underglaze blue (17th-19th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum
Tea bowl with arabesque design in underglaze blue
Water jar of Mishima koyomi-de style, Karatsu ware (17th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum
Water jar of Mishima koyomi-de style, Karatsu ware
The rope curtain pattern of white inlay resembled the koyomi (calendars) distributed from Mishima-taisha Shrine. This came to be called the works of this pattern ‘Mishima konomi-de’.
Tea bowl with pine needle design, red Raku ware (17th century, Edo period) by attributed to the 3rd Raku DonyuTachibana Museum
Tea bowl with pine needle design, red Raku ware
The acute white lines of the pine needle give a sharp impression.
It has a seal of ‘楽 (Raku)’ inside the foot ring and a note of "By Nonkau, 3rd Raku" on the box for the tea bowl. Nonkau is another name of Donyu (1599-1656), an expert potter of the Raku family.
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).’
This work is attributed to the third head of the Raku family, Donyu (1599-1656).
Noh Masks and Costumes of The Tachibana Family
Noh mask Chujo (17th-18th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum
Noh mask Chujo
This mask represents Ariwara no Narihira, a young noble blessed with good looks and a legendary playboy in the 9th century. It is used for the role of ghosts of young court nobles including Narihira. The slightly wrinkled forehead diffuses a vague feeling of pathos on his elegant expression.
The Successive Arms and Armor of Daimyo TACHIBANA
Hotoke-marudo armour covered with nutbrown leather (16th century, Momoyama period) by UnknownTachibana Museum
Hotoke-marudō armor with chestnut leather【Audio Guide P1】
This suit of armor was owned by the first Lord Muneshige. It is thought to have been made just before the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600. The overall form is simple, making it fully functional for battle. On the other hand, the combination of colors, such as the nutbrown leather of the cuirass, the red-lacquered tasset and silver foil of the thigh guards, reflects the splendor of the Warring States period.
Gilded peach-shaped helmet (16th century, Momoyama period) by UnknownTachibana Museum
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
Black lacquered Tatami armour of mail and plates
This suit of armor is composed of iron plates linked together by chain which fold compactly to enable easy carrying. Each part of the armor, including the helmet, was stored in the compact box shown on the display. It is said that the second Lord Tadashige took it to the Shimabara War in 1637.
Tatami armor with cherry blossom design (17th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum
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.
Mogami-do armor with light green lacing (1860) by Myochin KunisadaTachibana Museum
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.
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
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 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 Aoi crest (19th century, Edo period) by UnknownTachibana Museum
Nagamochi chest with Aoi crest
Nagamochi is a large portable chest for storing kimono. 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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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 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.