Outline of Exhibition

Traditional Japanese Morning Glories

Morning glories have been cherished by many people since ancient times. Japan has experienced morning glory booms time and again, particularly since the Edo Period, such as in the Bunka, Bunsei, and Tempo eras (1804 - 1844), Kaei and Ansei eras (1848 - 1860), and Meiji and Taisho eras (1868 - 1926). Each boom has resulted in in the creation of new morning glory variations, with various changes and combinations made to leaves and flowers to be enjoyed. This practice – in modern genetics terms, discovering mutations and developing them into strains – was unique around the world, and a great many varieties were produced at the end of the Edo Period. However, some of these unfortunately fell victim to the popularity of the glamorous, large-blossomed morning glories and died out before much could be widely known about them. Others were carefully conserved by the efforts of some hobbyists, although they were not cultivated widely, and have survived even to this day.

Since 1999, the National Museum of Japanese History has exhibited these traditional morning glories produced using the original knowledge and technologies accumulated since the Edo Period as historical resources in an effort to increase people’s awareness and to make them think about the relationship between people and plants.

This year’s theme is Mutated Morning Glories Seen by Foreigners.  In this exhibition, through the use of descriptive panels, we will describe the mutated morning glories introduced overseas during the Meiji period (1868-1912), as well as those introduced in the Netherlands exhibition in 2000, in cooperation with the National Museum of Japanese History.


Period Aug 3 (Tue), 2021- Sep 5 (Sun), 2021
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 high school age and younger
Hours 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (no entrance after 4:00 p.m.)
* The Garden will open at 8:30 a.m. on Monday Aug. 9 to Sunday Aug. 15, 2020.
* Viewing is best in the early morning due to the special way in which the morning glory bloom.
Closed Aug.16 (Mon) ,23 (Mon), and 30 (Mon)
*The exhibition is opened on Aug. 10
Sponsor National Museum of Japanese History

Exhibition Lineup

●Mutant morning glories: 40 masaki strains, 25 demono strains
●About 25 strains of large-blossomed morning glories produced since the Meiji period
●About 10 strains closely related to morning glories, produced in Europe and North America 

A total of about 100 strains will be on display in some 700 pots.