The National Crafts Museum collects crafts and designs made in Japan and overseas from the Meiji period to the present day. The collection emphasizes post-World War II objects when development was particularly diverse. The collection comprises more than 4,000 items (as of April 1, 2022) from all fields including ceramics, glass, lacquerware, woodwork, bamboo crafts, dyeing and weaving, dolls, metalwork, industrial design, and graphic design.
In addition to Twelve Hawks by SUZUKI Chokichi, a designated Important Cultural Property, the collection traces the historical development of modern crafts through masterpieces by Living National Treasures such as MATSUDA Gonroku and TOMIMOTO Kenkichi, who were active before and after World War II, and recent works by artists who are exploring the nature of crafts today.
The museum also collects crafts and designs from other countries including pieces by the British ceramic artist Bernard Leach, who endorsed the Mingei movement, and industrial designs by the British designer Christopher Dresser. Japanese design is represented by the graphic designer SUGIURA Hisui’s posters and magazine covers.
Since few museums in Japan collect a broad range of modern crafts and designs, our collection is preeminent in Japan. In addition to the collection exhibitions at the National Crafts Museum, a part of the collection is also shown at the MOMAT Collection exhibitions at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. The museum also lends works to art museums across Japan to expand the opportunities for exposure to crafts in other parts of the country.