Botanical Garden of Everyday Life
Set in Sakura Castle Park, the Garden of Everyday Life is home to plants that have been a fundamental part of everyday living in Japan. The Garden aims at a deeper understanding of the relationship between people and plants. Garden plants have been divided thematically into six areas: Food; Textiles and Paper; Dyes; Medicines; Tools; and Fuels and Finishes.
The permanent galleries draw on the long course of Japanese history and culture to present topics of significance to contemporary society, with special emphasis on the history of everyday life. They begin with a prologue on the sea, symbol of the geographic conditions of the Japanese archipelago. This is followed in the first gallery with an introduction to prehistoric and early Japan and, in the second and third galleries respectively, a presentation of the medieval and early modern periods. In all, the first three galleries address a total of thirteen topics and three subtopics. The fourth gallery introduces six topics relating to the folk worlds of the Japanese people, while the fifth and final gallery includes three topics on modern and contemporary Japan.
Each of the exhibits seeks to offer a clear approach to the issues it raises. Each is grounded in research by scholars on the Rekihaku faculty, and in the field at large, and has been tailored to address each gallery's topics. In an effort to present each subject as concretely as possible, the exhibits supplement authentic artifacts with reproductions and models; they also rely on other explanatory aids such as graphic panels, descriptive commentary, and video.