Outline of Exhibition

Traditional Antique Chrysanthemum

The chrysanthemum is a representative Japanese garden plant. It is not a plant native to Japan, but 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, special flowers were cultivated by the ruling class due to the aesthetics unique to Japan. 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 2000.The theme is “All that went into creating a chrysanthemum garden” and a panel display will attempt to answer the question of when ichimatsu-shoji paper screens came to be used as the rain cover screens (ameyoke-shoji) that were essential to growing chrysanthemums in the Edo period (1603-1868). Reference materials in the display include pictorial materials such as ukiyo-e paintings and illustrated growing manuals, and literature such as growing manuals and the diaries of those engaged in chrysanthemum cultivation. There will also be a presentation using ukiyo-e regarding changes in the palings and roughly woven magaki fences used when exhibiting chrysanthemums.

Period Oct. 31 (Tue) - Nov. 26 (Sun), 2017
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. 6 (Mon) , 13 (Mon) , and 20 (Mon)
Sponsor National Museum of Japanese History

Exhibition Lineup

The classical chrysanthemums collected and cultivated/bred at the Botanical Garden of Everyday Life (17 varieties of Saga-giku, 12 varieties of Ise-giku <including 3 varieties of Matsuzaka-giku> , 32 varieties of Higo-giku, 35 varieties of Edo-giku, and 10 varieties of Choji-giku) and 9 varieties of Oshu-giku which were created around the middle of the early modern ages, as were Edo-giku and the Higo-giku, and also about 50 varieties of the new seedling flowers that were cultivated from seeds at the Botanical Garden are cultivated 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.

There will also be a panel display on the theme of “All that went into creating a chrysanthemum garden” and an explanation, using ukiyo-e, of changes in the palings and roughly woven magaki fences used when exhibiting chrysanthemums.

- Exhibited varieties: 165 varieties in total (including about 50 varieties of original Rekihaku)
- Exhibited pots: About 300 pots





(Rekihaku original)











Ise-giku (including Matsuzaka-giku)















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