Outline of Exhibition

Traditional Antique Chrysanthemum

The chrysanthemum is not a plant native to Japan, but it is one of the representative Japanese garden plants. In the Heian period, chrysanthemum flower parties were already in vogue at the Imperial Court, and it is considered that the chrysanthemum, along with other cultural items, was brought into Japan from China during the Ritsuryo period.

In the Heian and Kamakura periods, the flowers unique to Japan were created in the ruling class. The “Saga-giku” which has brush-like petals was cultivated exclusively in Daikakuji Temple in Kyoto, and the “Ise-giku” which has petals hanging down was cultivated in connection with the Kokushi (official) of Ise and Ise Grand Shrine. The chrysanthemum had gradually established its privileged position for parties in the ruling class, in fine arts and as a symbol of agelessness and immortality.

In the middle of the early modern ages and thereafter, the chrysanthemum became popularized among the general public, and flower gardens in which a variety of garden species of chrysanthemum were planted and exhibitions of chrysanthemum works became prevalent. Such popular trends were supported by the “Higo-giku” which has sparse petals and the “Edo-giku” which has petals that change after coming into bloom. The traditional medium flowered species including the above types of chrysanthemums and the “Choji-giku” which has a hemispherical ball of petals at the center of the flower are called “classical chrysanthemums”.

At the Botanical Garden of Everyday Life, these “classical chrysanthemums” have been collected and exhibited since 1999. This year, the methods of tailoring in the early modern ages are displayed, and additionally, the difference between tailoring in the early modern ages and that in the modern ages is introduced with panel displays. Also, the new seedling flowers that we have cultivated from seeds in the Botanical Garden will be exhibited.

Period Nov 6 (Tue) - Dec 2 (Sun), 2012
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 12 (Mon), 19 (Mon), 26 (Mon)
Sponsor National Museum of Japanese History

Exhibition Lineup

The classical chrysanthemums collected by/donated to and cultivated/bred at the Botanical Garden of Everyday Life (14 varieties of Saga-giku, 13 varieties of Ise-giku <including 3 varieties of Matsuzaka-giku>, 30 varieties of Higo-giku, 33 varieties of Edo-giku and 10 varieties of Choji-giku) and 10 varieties of Oshu-giku which were created around the middle of the early modern ages, as were Edo-giku and the Higo-giku, are planted in either size-7 or size-9 flower pots and exhibited around the arbor and in the greenhouse and the marsh-reed screen exhibition site in the Botanical Garden.

In addition to the panels explaining the characteristics of the classical chrysanthemums, panels showing the various shapes of chrysanthemum flowers based on the gardening books written in the Edo Period are prepared and displayed in the arbor.

Setsuzan (Ise-giku)

Gokurakuden (Oshu-giku)

Display of Edo-giku

Ebarashigyoku (Edo-giku)

Display of Saga-giku

Suzumushi (Saga-giku)

Kibomaru (Choji-giku)

Matsunoyuki (Higo-giku)

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