Museums

This section introduces museums, located in Japan and around the world, that house or display netsuke and other related objects such as inro, pipe cases, tobacco implements, yatate, and sword fittings.

Last updated on October 15, 2020

| Japan | North America | Europe | Middle East |

Japan

Tokyo

Tokyo National Museum

TIH Prince and Princess Takamado’s netsuke collection, primarily of contemporary pieces, has been donated to the Museum. Rotated 4 times a year, some 50 pieces from the collection are always on view at the Prince Takamado Collection Room on the 2nd floor of the main building.

The Museum also houses antique netsuke and inro mainly from Baron Go collection, and 15 netsuke are on permanent display.

Catalogs of netsuke and inro from the Museum are available.

Address: 13-9 Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-8712
Website: http://www.tnm.go.jp

Tobacco and Salt Museum

Collection of tobacco pouches assembled by the rakugo (comic story) teller Katsura Bunraku VIII.
The museum sometimes displays items such as netsuke and tobacco pouches. The museum was located in Shibuya, Tokyo, but it will re-open in Sumida-ku on April 25, 2015.
The Museum has published a number of tobacco-related catalogs, including those of netsuke and tobacco pouches.

Address: 1-16-3 Yokokawa, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 130-0003
Website: https://www.jti.co.jp/Culture/museum_e/index.html

Seikado Bunko Art Museum

The museum has inro and netsuke.
Published a catalog of their inro and netsuke to mark their first showing of those items.

Address: 2-23-1 Okamoto, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 157-0076
Website: http://www.seikado.or.jp

Nezu Museum

The museum houses inro and netsuke.

Address: 6-5-1 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0062
Website: http://www.nezu-muse.or.jp

The University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts

This institution has 72 pieces of antique netsuke and 38 works of contemporary netsuke.

Address: 12-8 Ueno Park, Taito-ku Tokyo 110-0007
Website: http://www.geidai.ac.jp/museum/

Asakura Museum of Sculpture

The Museum houses the netsuke and Chinese snuff bottles collected by the Japanese leading sculptor Asakura Fumio (1883-1964), who was active in the early to mid 20th century.

Address: 7-18-10 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 110-0001
Website: http://www.taitocity.net/zaidan/english/asakura/

Chiba prefecture

National Museum of Japanese History (REKIHAKU)

The museum houses inro and netsuke from Makino collection.

Address: 117 Jonai-cho, Sakura-shi, Chiba 285-8502
Website: http://www.rekihaku.ac.jp

Kanagawa prefecture (Yokohama)

Equine Museum of Japan

The museum has a number of horse netsuke.

ddress: 1-3 Negishidai, Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa 231-0853
Website: http://www.bajibunka.jrao.ne.jp/uma/

Shizuoka prefecture

Kakegawa Ninomaru Museum of Art

The museum houses Kinoshita collection of tobacco implements, and often put them on display. Catalogs available.

Address: 1142-1 Kakegawa, Kakegawa-shi, Shizuoka 436-0079
Website: http://www.city.kakegawa.shizuoka.jp/foreignlanguage/en/Spots.html

Nagano prefecture

Suzaka City Museum

The museum houses netsuke and inro (the late Prince Takamado saw the collection) .
They published a catalog of a special exhibition in which netsuke and inro from their collection was on view.
The colleciton in cludes a shoki netsuke which feels wonderful when held in hand (available for viewing on appointment).

Address: 2-4-1 Garyu, Suzaka-shi, Nagano 382-0028
Website: https://www.city.suzaka.nagano.jp/enjoy/shisetsu/hakubutsukan/

Aichi prefecture (Nagoya)

The Tokugawa Art Museum

The museum houses Owari-Tokugawa family’s collection of inro and netsuke.

Address: 1017 Tokugawa-cho, Higashi-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi 461-0023
Website: http://www.tokugawa-art-museum.jp

Osaka prefecture

Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts

The museum has the Casal collection of netsuke, inro, pipe cases and various lacquerware.
Netsuke are sometimes on view as part of their permanent display.
Casal collection catalog of netsuke and lacquerware is available.

Address: 1-82 Chausuyama-cho, Tennoji-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka 543-0063
Website: http://www.osaka-art-museum.jp

Osaka Museum of History

Housed in this Museum are ten works of excellent netsuke (including a piece by Yoshinura Shuzan) donated by Mr. Watanabe Masanori, a past president of Japan Netsuke Society, as well as Mr. Katsuya Shun’ichi’s collection of sword fittings (927 items including written materials).

Address: 1-32-4 Otemae, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka 540-0008
Website: http://www.mus-his.city.osaka.jp/eng/index.html

Kyoto prefecture

Kiyomizu Sannenzaka Museum

The museum has netsuke and inro, and displays them and other artistic crafts from the end of Edo through Meiji periods as permanent or special exhibition. Netsuke are sometimes on view.

Address: 337-1 Kiyomizu-sanchome, Sanneizaka Kita-iru, Kiyomizudera-monzen, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 605-0862
Website: http://www.sannenzaka-museum.co.jp

Kyoto Seishu Netsuke Art Museum

About 400 works of netsuke, mostly contemporary, are displayed in the only existing samurai residence in the city of Kyoto. Since the opening in September 2007, this museum was available for viewing during four periods in a year. From 2015 on, the museum is open throughout the year (except a few closing periods).

Address: 46-1 Mibukayogosho-cho, Chukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 604-8811
Website: http://www.netsukekan.jp/en/

Gifu prefecture (Hida Takayama)

Kusakabe Heritage House

Several netsuke (mostly by Hida artists) from the Kusakabe family collection are always on display.

Address: 1-52 Oshinmachi, Takayama-shi, Gifu 506-0816
Website: http://www.kusakabe-mingeikan.com

Inro Museum

Closed.

Iwate prefecture

Iwate Prefectural Museum

The museum houses a large number of sword fittings (the Chida collection of 1,072 tsuba (sword guards), the Motomochi collection of 768 tsuba, and 10 more tsuba, as well as some fuchi-kashira and kozuka).

Address: 34 Aza Matsuyashiki, Ueda, Morioka-shi, Iwate 020-0102
Website: http://www2.pref.iwate.jp/~hp0910/en/guide/index.html

North America

California

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

The museum houses approximately 830 works of netsuke, mainly from Bushell collection.
They have a rotating display of about 150 netsuke always on view.
Published a large catalog of Bushell collection in 2003.
Database of the museum collection including netsuke can be viewed on the internet.
On appointment, the Japanese pavilion’s library makes available the large collection of netsuke-related publications assembled by Mr. Cornelius V. S. Roosevelt.

Address: 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA
Website: http://www.lacma.org

The Cantor Art Center, Stanford University

The art center houses some 1,000 works of netsuke.

Address: Standford Campus at 328 Lomita Drive and Museum Way (Off Palm Drive), Standford California, USA
Website: http://cantorcollections.stanford.edu

Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

The museum houses netsuke and inro from the Avery Brundage collection.

Address: 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
Website: http://www.asianart.org

Massachusetts

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Permanent display of netsuke available.
Catalog was published to accompany the exhibition in 2001.

Address: Avenue of Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115-5597, USA
Website: http://www.mfa.org

Peabody Essex Museum

The museum houses netsuke.

Address: East India Square, 161 Essex Street, Salem, MA 01970-3783, USA
Website: http://pem.org

New York

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The museum has about 600 inro and 2,500 netsuke.

Address: 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028-0198, USA
Website: http://www.metmuseum.org

Ohio

Toledo Museum of Art

The museum has netsuke mainly from Richard Silverman collection.
Published a netsuke catalog.
The museum received the donation of a part of netsuke-related publications assembled by Norman Sandfield who complied The Ultimate Netsuke Bibliography, making the books and their database available for public use.

Address: Grove Place, Toledo, OH 43620, USA
Website: http://www.toledomuseum.org

Europe

United Kingdom

The British Museum

The museum has more than 2,000 netsuke mostly from Mrs. Anne Hull Grundy collection.
Netsuke on permanent display.

Address: Great Russell Street, London WC1 B 3DG, UK
Website: http://www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk

Victoria and Albert Museum

The museum housese inro and over 1,000 netsuke.
There are 72 netsuke and 37 inro on show.
A book on their inro and another book on netsuke have been published.

Address: Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL, UK
Website: http://www.vam.ac.uk

The Fitzwilliam Museum

The museum houses more than 500 netsuke from the 17th to 20th centuries.

Address: Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1RB, UK
Website: http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

National Museums Liverpool

The museum has netsuke. Among them, 128 netsuke from the collection of the late Mr. Jonas Goro Gadelius (1926 – 2003) were donated by his widow Gabita. The donated pieces include works by Mitsuhiro, Soko, Kokusai, as well as contemporary works by Masatoshi, Birch, and Ryushi.
Public display of netsuke began on June 2, 2009, and the display is refreshed each year. The installation of the first display can be seen at the following blog and its related link.
Blog: http://blog.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/WhyHelenStandsOutFromTheCrowd.aspx
Related link (Flickr): http://www.flickr.com/photos/nationalmuseumsliverpool/sets/72157618955622974/

Address: William Brown Street, Liverpool L3 8EN, UK
Website: http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk

Chester Beatty Library

This Library in Dublin houses the late Mr. Chester Beatty’s (1875-1968) collection of artistic crafts, as well as books, prints, manuscripts, and paintings from the West, Islamic countries, and East Asia.
As for Japanese art, the collection includes hundreds of ukiyoe, tsuba (sword guards), netsuke, and inro. Twenty to thirty works of netsuke are on permanent display (on rotation). The Library also houses 900 pieces of Chinese snuff bottles.

Address: Dublin Castle, Dublin 2, Ireland
Website: http://www.cbl.ie

National Museum of Scotland

This Museum houses many netsuke and inro.

Address: Chambers Street, Scotland, EH1 1JF, UK
Website: https://www.nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-scotland/

France

Musee d’Ennery

This Museum possesses and partially displays the collections of Mrs. Clemence d’Ennery, who gathered more than 1700 netsuke during the height of Japonisme in the second half of the 19th century.
The Museum itself was built at her own expense, and a reservation is required for a visit (please check the Museum’s website below for details).

Address: 59 Avenue Foch, 75116 Paris, France
Website: https://www.guimet.fr/musee-dennery/informations-pratiques-6/

Germany

Linden-Museum Stuttgart

The museum houses netsuke from Anna and Christian Trumpf collection.
Catalogs available.

Address: Hegelplatz 1, D-70174 Stuttgart, Germany
Website: http://www.lindenmuseum.de

Hungary

Ferenc Hopp Museum of Eastern Asiatic Arts

The museum houses netsuke. Catalog available.

Address: 103 Andrassy Avenue, Budapest, Hungary
Website: http://hoppmuseum.hu/hopp_ferenc_en/

Russia

The State Hermitage Museum

The museum displays a part of their netsuke collection.
Their netsuke can be viewed on the internet.

Address: 2, Dvortsovaya Ploshchad (Dvortsovaya Square), 190000, St Petersburg, Russia
Website: http://www.hermitagemuseum.org

State Museum of Oriental Art

The museum displays netsuke.

Address: 119019, Moscow, Nikitsky Bulw., 12-a, Russia
Website: http://www.orientalart.ru

Home Museum of Gorky

The museum has netsuke.

Address: 121069, Moscow, Povarskaya ul., 25а, Russia (5 minutes’ walk from the State Museum of Oriental Art)
電話:+7 (095) 290-5130

Switzerland

Baur Foundation, Museum of Far Eastern Art

The museum houses many netsuke. Catalog was published (now out of print).

Address: 8 rue Munier-Romilly, 1206 Geneva, Switzerland
Website: http://www.fondation-baur.ch

The Netherlands

National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden

The museum has netsuke, tobacco pouches, and inro from the collections of Philipp Franz von Siebold and others. Some of the pieces are on permanent display.

Address: Steenstraat 1, Postbus 212, 2300 AE Leiden, the Netherlands
Website: http://www.rmv.nl

Sweden

Etnografiska museet

The museum houses netsuke.

Address: Djurgardsbrunnsvagen 34, Box 27140, 102 52 Stockholm, Sweden
Website: http://www.varldskulturmuseerna.se/en/etnografiskamuseet/

Ukraine

The Bohdan and Varvara Khanenko Museum of Arts

The museum has more than 100 netsuke.

Address: 01004, Kiev – 4, Tereshchenkivska St. 15-17, Ukraine
Website: http://khanenkomuseum.kiev.ua

Museo Poldi Pezzoli

In 2005 this museum in Milan received some 400 netsuke collected by the Mr. Giacinto Lanfranchi (1889-1971), a part of which is on display (as of October 2013).

Their website posts the images and descriptions of the collection (it is in progress) through the efforts of Mr. Giovanni Rimondi (click on “English” on the upper right, then click on “Collections” on the left, and then click on “Netsuke”).

Address: Via Manzoni 12 – 20121 Milano, Italy
Website: http://www.museopoldipezzoli.it

Middle East

Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art

The museum has inro and netsuke.

Address: 89 Hanassi Ave., Haifa, 34529, Israel
Website: http://www.tmja.org.il/eng

| Japan | North America | Europe | Middle East |

Sources

Bessatsu Taiyo, Kotto-wo Tanoshimu 4, Inro to Netsuke [Taiyo Special Edition, Appreciation of Antiques 4, Inro and Netsuke] 1995.
International Netsuke Society Journal.
Netsuke Kenkyukai Study Journal.
Sandfield, Norman. The Ultimate Netsuke Bibliography. 1999.
Euronetsuke.
… as well as leaflets and personal communications, for which I am very grateful!