Outline of Exhibition

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. The "Saga-giku" with petals like a brush tip was a closely guarded treasure in Daikaku-jiTemple in Kyoto, and the "Ise-giku" with its drooping petals was cultivated in relation to the Ise Kokushi and the Ise Shrine. The chrysanthemum built a privileged status as a symbol of immortality that has been seen at banquets and in works of art among the ruling class.

The chrysanthemum was popularized in the middle of the early modern period when tiered displays of a variety of species and chrysanthemum handiworks 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 exhibits "Matsusaka-giku" introduced into the Garden last year for the first time, and also displays panels to explain about chrysanthemums seen in literary works from the early modern period to the modern period.

Period Nov 2 (Tue) - Nov 28 (Sun), 2010
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 8 (Mon), 15 (Mon)
Sponsor National Museum of Japanese History

Exhibition Lineup

Antique chrysanthemums (14 strains of Saga-giku, 13 strains of Ise-giku [including 3 strains of Matsusaka-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 10 strains of Oshu-giku that has been cultivated 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) for display around the Azuma-ya (arbor), and in greenhouses and the Yoshizu exhibition hall. In addition to the past panels that describe the features of antique chrysanthemums, the exhibition prepares panels in the arbor that explain about the theme of "Chrysanthemums Seen in Literary Works" from the early modern period to the modern period.

Saga-giku "Saga-no-tsuki"

Ise-giku "Gyoko"

Higo-giku "Matsu-no-yuki"

Edo-giku "Tomi-no-sakura"

Oshu-giku "Gokurakuden"

Choji-giku "Kishi-no-bandai"


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