Upcoming Exhibition Special Exhibition

Modern Images of Ancient Clay Figures



Special Exhibition Gallery (1st floor)

The image of Haniwa and Dogu excavated from ancient strata has permeated all over Japan, and they have now become established characters. Unearthed artifacts have generated cultural phenomena in various fields, ranging from arts and crafts to architecture, photography, film, theater, literature, traditional performing arts, thought, and even educational programs. The postwar episode of Okamoto Taro and Isamu Noguchi “discovering” the aesthetic value of excavated objects, which had previously been treated as archaeological materials, is now a legend. Why did unearthed objects attract attention only during a certain period of time? How did the evaluation of them spread? Why were artists so passionate about excavating artifacts? With a focus on art, this exhibition traces from the Meiji period (1868–1912) to the present day the genealogy of “motifs of unearthed objects” that have leaped onto the stage of cultural history to examine the changing gaze directed toward Haniwa, Jomon potteries, and Dogu.

Hours & Admissions


Special Exhibition Gallery (1st floor)


October 1–December 22, 2024


Mondays (except October 14 and November 4), October 15, November 5


10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. (Fridays and Saturdays open until 8:00 p.m.)

  • Last admission: 30 minutes before closing.

Adults ¥1,800 (¥1,600)
College/University students ¥1,200 (¥1,000)
High School students ¥700 (¥500)

  • All prices include tax.
  • Admission in the parentheses is for advance tickets and groups of 20 persons or more.
  • Admission is free for Junior High School students, under 15, and those with Disability Certificates and one caregiver accompanying each of them. Please present ID at the entrance.
  • Including the admission fee for MOMAT Collection.
Organized by

The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
NHK, NHK Promotions Inc., The Mainichi Newspapers

With the sponsorship of

East Japan Railway Company, MITSUMURA PRINTING Co., Ltd.


We do our best to make it possible for all visitors to enjoy the artwork at their leisure.

  • Available : 'Information at the reception desk' Information at the reception desk
  • Available : 'Loan wheelchairs and baby carriages' Loan wheelchairs and baby carriages
  • Available : 'Writing tablets' Writing tablets
  • Available : 'Photography in the galleries (use of flash is not allowed)However, photography may not be allowed for some exhibitions and artworks.' Photography in the galleries (use of flash is not allowed)However, photography may not be allowed for some exhibitions and artworks.
  • Available : 'Service dogs are allowed.' Service dogs are allowed.
  • Available : 'Coin lockers' Coin lockers
  • Available : 'Parking (exclusively for visitors with reduced mobility)' Parking (exclusively for visitors with reduced mobility)
  • Available : 'There are numerous seating areas inside the museum building.' There are numerous seating areas inside the museum building.
  • Available : 'Multi-purpose toilet' Multi-purpose toilet
  • Available : 'First-aid station' First-aid station
  • Available : 'Nursing room' Nursing room
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