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The 68th Annual Exhibition of Shōsō-in Treasures

The Exhibition of Shōsō-in Treasures, which is quickly becoming an integral part of the autumn scene in the old Nara capital, will see its sixty-eighth opening this year. A total of sixty-four items will be on display: ten from the North Section, twenty-nine from the Middle Section, twenty-two from the South Section, and three from the Shōgozō. Nine, including Nara-period currency with “wadō-kaichin” on the coins, have never been shown before.
  The Persian Style Lacquer Ewer with Birds, Beasts, and Flowers, well known as emblematic of East-West exchange via the Silk Road, was treasured by Emperor Shōmu (701-756) and is listed in the Kokka chinpō chō (Record of the Nation’s Rare Treasures). The surface of the ewer was coated with lacquer and then decorated using the heidatsu technique whereby the shapes of animals, birds, plants and mountains cut out of thin sheets of silver were imbedded in the lacquer. This year several other items decorated with the same heidatsu technique are on display, including the wind chambers of the Large Bamboo Mouth Organ (Wu), the Bamboo Mouth Organ (Shō) and the Ink Pot in the Shape of a Dragon-Headed Boat with Cut-out Silver Design, as well as the Inner Tray for a Box with Cut-out Silver Floral Motifs.
  For the first anniversary of Emperor Shōmu’s death, gorgeous large banners decorated the ceremonial grounds. The textiles on exhibit used for banners, their legs, their ornamental ends, and linings draw attention. Please imagine the grounds hung with huge banners of stunning beauty reaching a total of fifteen meters in size.
  In addition, a wide variety of treasures transmitting Nara-period culture and lifestyle are on display. These include three shaku (courtier’s tablets) of differing materials, two of which belonged to Emperor Shōmu, and personal adornments like ivory combs and a leather belt. Metalworks and bicolor ceramic dishes represent the utensils used variously in daily life and for religious offerings. Old documents relate the way of life, society, and productive activities of people in ancient times.

Persian Style Lacquered Ewer with Birds, Beasts, and Flowers (from the North Section)


October 22 (Sat.) – November 7 (Mon.), 2016
Open every day.


Nara National Museum New East wing and West wing

Open hours

9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
*Note that the exhibition hours will be extended until 8:00 PM on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and on Holidays (November 3).
*Last admission is 30 minutes before closing.
*Special Autumn Late Tickets for admission after 4:30 PM on Mondays through Thursdays and after 5:30 PM on Fridays Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays can be bought at the museum on that day starting at 3:30 PM on Mondays through Thursdays and at 4:30 PM on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
See Exhibition Calendar


Individual Advance Ticket / Group "Autumn Late"
General Admission ¥1,100 ¥1,000 ¥800
College/ High School Students ¥700 ¥600 ¥500
Junior High/ Elementary School Students ¥400 ¥300 ¥200
Campus Members ¥400

* Advance tickets are available from September 7 (Wed.) until October 21 (Fri.) and can be purchased at the ticket counter of Nara National Museum, at Major stations of Kintetsu Railway, at Kinki Nippon Tourist, at JR TOKAI TOURS, at JTB, at NIPPON TRAVEL AGENCY, at Lawson Ticket [L-Code 50006], at Seven-Eleven Ticket, at Ticket PIA [P-Code 767-842], at Community Network Play Guide, and at E-Plus (http://eplus.jp).
* ”Autumn Late” discount tickets are valid only from one-and-a-half hours before the closing time of the day. (You can purchase the tickets from two-and-a-half hours before the closing time at the ticket box of Nara National Museum.)
* Group sales apply to parties of 20 people or more, led by a group leader.
* Free of charge for persons with disability and the person’s caretaker.
* Discount parent-child pair tickets cover a set for an adult plus an elementary through junior high school child. They are only available as advance tickets sold exclusively at major play guide counters and convenience stores.
* The entrance fee covers the main exhibition plus the Nara Buddhist Sculpture Hall and the Ritual Bronzes Gallery.

Works on display

Total number of works: 64
*9 objects on exhibit for the first time ever.
>List of Exhibit [PDF,438KB]
>See some works (Japanese page)

Cultural Exchange Day for Foreign Students

November 1 (Tue.) , 2016
Free admission to “the 68th Annual Exhibition of Shōsō-in Treasures”.
*Please show your student ID card at the entrance.
>Further details


Nara National Museum


Iwatani Corporation, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone West Corporation, Canon Inc., Kyobi, Kintetsu Railway Co.,Ltd., Central Japan Railway Company, West Japan Railway Company, Daikin Industries, Ltd., Daiwa House Industry Co.,Ltd., Hakutsuru Sake Brewing Co.,Ltd., and Maruichi Steel Tube Ltd.

Special Cooperation

The Yomiuri Shimbun


NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) Nara Station, Nara Television Co.,Ltd., Nippon Kodo Co.,Ltd., Bukkyō Bijutsu Kyōkai (Buddhist Art Foundation), Minerva Shobō Ltd. and Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation


 (PDF, 1.5MB)

◆Extended hours go till 8:00 PM, not 7:00 PM, as indicated on the flyer.