Outline of Exhibition

Japanese Morning Glory


Petal-less morning glory discovered by Rekihaku
in 2005

The latter half of the Edo period saw the development of a gardening boom that produced a culture that enjoyed collecting rare specimens with unusual leaves and flowers. At the time, there was a particularly popular form of Japanese morning glory, a flower that is well known to most people today, that was shaped differently from today's variety that was called a mutant morning glory.

The morning glory is an annual, and its strain must be maintained through seed, so reliance on sudden mutations means that it takes tremendous effort to produce a mutant morning glory every year. It would appear that this know-how predates Mendel's discovery of the laws of heredity.

Since 1999, the National Museum of Japanese History ("Rekihaku") has collected morning glory strains that, with great difficulty, have been maintained since the latter half of the Edo period, and has held the special program, "Japanese Morning Glory - The Tradition". With the exception of a few genetic research centers, Rekihaku is the only museum in existence today that collects and maintains these strains. It holds exhibitions on a continual basis with the goal of promoting a deeper understanding of Japanese culture and history as pertains to Japanese morning glories.

This year, Rekihaku will exhibit six strains of mutant morning glories produced since 1989 and an apetalous (petal-less) morning glory discovered by Rekihaku in 2005. It will also exhibit masaki and demono strains that have been in existence since the latter half of the Edo period, large-blossomed ("tairin") morning glories, which are a type of masaki strain popular since the Meiji and Taisho periods, and morning glories cultivated in Europe for comparison.

Period Aug 8 (Tue) - Sept 3 (Sun), 2006
Venue The Botanical Garden of Everyday Life, The National Museum of Japanese History
Admissions JPY 100 for general admission (elementary school children on up)
JPY 50 for individuals in a group
Hours 9:30 to 16:30
(visitors admitted into Garden no later than 16:00)
Closed Aug 21 (Mon), 28 (Mon)
Sponsor National Museum of Japanese History