Museum Featuring Antiques Exuding the Beauty of Japanese Culture and Exhibits of Suits of Armor on One of the Largest Scales in Japan
Until the end of the 19th century, Japan had few opportunities to interact with foreign countries, leading the development of its original samurai culture. The days of the samurai lasted from the Heian Period (from around the 12th century), which witnessed the rise of samurai who made their living by fighting, through the Warring States Period of rivalry between local warlords, to the Edo Period (17th to 19th century), when Tokugawa Ieyasu unified Japan and established peace throughout the country. Samurai culture was developed during this period. At the museum, we mainly exhibit arms and articles for daily use from the Edo Period, when a rich culture of samurai and common people flourished, on a regular basis. These exhibits have been carefully selected from more than 30,000 antiques collected by Watanabe Hajime, the founder of the museum and physician of Tottori, for 60 years from the early Showa Era. With some 100 suits of armor permanently on display, we have one of the largest collections of such exhibits of any museum in Japan. In addition, visitors can freely take photographs anywhere in the museum, an unusual feature in Japan. The museum is thus a perfect venue to experience samurai culture.