Edo-Tokyo Museum Collection — Tokyo Through the Ages

■Exhibition Period:
June 25 (Sat.), 2022, to February 12 (Sun.), 2023
■Museum Hours:
9:30 AM to 5:30 PM(until Friday, September 30)
9:30 AM to 4:30 PM (from Saturday, October 1)
Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum Exhibition Room〈Getting here
■Museum Closures:
Every Monday *When Monday is a national holiday, closed on the following day. The Museum will be open on January 2 (Mon.), 2023
Year-end and New Year holidays *From December 25 (Sun.), 2022 to January 1 (Sun.), 2023
Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum
*The Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum admission fee applies for this exhibition.〈Admission
* To prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the number of people in the exhibition room may be limited.

Edo-Tokyo Museum Collection — Tokyo Through the Ages

 Since its opening on March 28, 1993, the Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum has dedicated itself to presenting the history of Tokyo from the Edo period (1603–1867) using a wealth of documents, materials, and models. The Museum's 9,000-square-meter permanent Exhibition Room features life-size reproductions of the Nihonbashi Bridge, a theater, and a newspaper office, as well as elaborately staged movable and interactive models that have delighted many visitors. The Edo-Tokyo Museum, with this dynamic exhibition space, has been closed for a long time since April 1, 2022, for large-scale renovations.
 The Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum, which opened at the same time as a branch of the Edo-Tokyo Museum, relocates and restores historical buildings that once existed in Edo-Tokyo, as well as holding special exhibitions on varied themes, such as architecture or the history of the Tama region, in its Exhibition Room. At this time, the permanent exhibition of the Edo-Tokyo Museum, which has been closed for so long, will be arranged in a more compact layout to offer a glimpse into the history of Tokyo, including the materials and models on display, in addition to the collection of the Musashino Folklore Museum, the predecessor of the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum.

Exhibition Overview

  • Chapter1: The Prehistory of Tokyo—From the Paleolithic Age to the Warring States Period

     In Tokyo, remains from the Paleolithic Age have been found dating from approximately 16,000 to 38,000 years ago. Ever since, Tokyo has been transforming itself, taking on various forms over the ages. This chapter introduces the flow of history from the Paleolithic Age to the Warring States Period, utilizing reproduction materials and models.

  • Chapter2: The Edo Period—260 Years of History and Culture

     Entering the Kanto region in 1590, Tokugawa Ieyasu made Edo his base of operations, and when he became shogun and commander-in-chief in 1603, he established the shogunate in this area. The events and the culture of the Edo period (1603–1867), which flourished for the next 260 years, are presented through a variety of materials.

  • Chapter3: Meiji, Taisho, Showa—The Course of Modernization

     In the Meiji era, the new government led the construction of a capital city befitting a modern nation. Knowledge and technology from the West were actively introduced to shape modern Tokyo. However, Tokyo was twice reduced to ashes by the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and the Tokyo Air Raid of 1945. This chapter reflects back on the history of modern Tokyo.

  • Chapter4: Escaping the Postwar Period—From US Occupation to Rapid Economic Growth

     Shortly after the war, the Japanese suffered from shortages of goods and food, but the domestic manufacturing industry recovered and entered a period of high economic growth from around 1955. Japan became economically prosperous, and as the wages of workers increased, household electrical appliances became widespread in a blink of an eye. Here, we introduce Tokyo’s period of rapid development.

Photographs of exhibits ① Sword-shaped Haniwa (terracotta tomb figurine), from Kannonzuka burial mound, Ota City, late Kofun period ② Josui Kosatsu (bulletin board detailing notes of caution about management of Tamagawa Josui), December 1739 ③ Sudden Shower over Shin-Ohashi Bridge and Atake (from the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo), September 1857, picture by Hiroshige Utagawa [Exhibition period: July 26 (Tue.) to August 28 (Sun.)] ④ Women's standard Work Pants (monpe), early Showa period [Exhibition period: June 25 (Sat.) to October 30 (Sun.)] ⑤ Picture postcard, "Entertainment District in Asakusa Park," 1919 ⑥ Miniature kitchen accessories, Meiji period ⑦ Electric Washing Machine (Agitator Type) , Toshiba P, 1954 ⑧ Blue and white porcelain water jar with a dragon design excavated from the site of Hachioji Castle (reproduction) ⑨ Illustrated Scroll of the Apartments for Retainers of the Kurume Domain on Duty in Edo (reproduction), 1840 ⑩ Transmit Support of Rokumeikan, 1883 ⑪ Woman Plowing the Field (Near Shinbashi/Yūrakucho), 1945 Photograph by G. Faillace, PPS News Agency
*①,②,⑧ from the collection of Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum / ③ to ⑦, ⑨ to ⑪ from the collection of Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum