Outline of Exhibition

Traditional Antique Chrysanthemum
Traditional Antique Chrysanthemum

The chrysanthemum is not native to Japan, but it is a cultivated plant that represents Japan. Because chrysanthemum flower banquets were already popular at the Imperial Court during the Heian period, it is believed that the chrysanthemum was brought from China along with the Ritsuryo culture.

The development of a unique Japanese aesthetic in the Heian and Kamakura periods saw the creation of unique flowers among the ruling class. The "Saga-giku" with petals like a brush tip was a closely guarded treasure in Daikaku-ji Temple in Kyoto, and the "Ise-giku" with its drooping petals was cultivated in relation to the Ise Kokushi and the Ise Shrine. They featured as a symbol of immortality at banquets and in works of art, and thus came to represent a privileged status. The chrysanthemum was popularized in the middle of the early modern period when tiered displays of a variety of different species and chrysanthemum work shows became fashionable. The "Higo-giku" with its sparse petals and the "Edo-giku" with petals that change after flowering contributed to such popularity of the chrysanthemum at this time. These traditional medium-sized chrysanthemums including the "Choji-giku" that flowers with its center raised are called “Koten-giku”, or "antique chrysanthemum."

The Botanical Garden of Everyday Life has collected and displayed them since 1999. This year's Special Program "Traditional Plants of the Seasons" presents "Cultivation and Pleasure" as a common theme. In this Special Program "Antique Chrysanthemum," panels are prepared for displaying the books on cultivating chrysanthemums classified according to the types to trace the history of the cultivation. As an example of "pleasure," the exhibition also shows how to make bouquets based on the traditional wrapping methods.

Period Nov 3 (Tue) - Nov 29 (Sun), 2009
Venue Botanical Garden of Everyday Life, National Museum of Japanese History
Admissions ¥100
Groups of 20 or more: ¥50 per person
* Free admission for children junior high school age and younger
* Free admission for high school students every Saturday
Hours 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (no entrance after 4:00 p.m.)
Closed Nov 9 (Mon), 16 (Mon), and 24 (Tue)
Sponsor National Museum of Japanese History

Exhibition Lineup

Antique chrysanthemums (10 strains of Saga-giku, 10 strains of Ise-giku, 30 strains of Higo-giku, 33 strains of Edo-giku, and 10 strains of Choji-giku) collected or donated, and cultivated and raised at the Botanical Garden of Everyday Life, and Oshu-giku that has been made since the middle of the early modern period like the Edo-giku and the Higo-giku are planted in two sizes of chrysanthemum pots (No.7 and No.9) to be on display around the Azuma-ya, and in greenhouses and the Yoshizu exhibition hall. The exhibition also displays panels that describe the features of antique chrysanthemums and other panels regarding the books on cultivating chrysanthemums and the wrapping methods based on the theme of "cultivation and pleasure."

Saga-giku "Kaori"

Ise-giku "Setsuzan"

Higo-giku "Benifudo"

Edo-giku "Shitaya Hanakawado"

Oshu-giku "Hoshizukiyo"

Choji-giku "Kibomaru"


Note: Please note that items in the exhibition are subject to change.