Past Exhibitions

Feature Exhibition; Puppies Galore: Celebrating the Year of the Dog
December 19, 2017 - January 21, 2018

2018 is the Year of the Dog according to the twelve-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. Dogs are sociable creatures closely interconnected with human life. In Japan, canine presence is particularly old in the realm of hunting. Records tell us that the ancient Emperor Ōjin (200–310 CE) had a hunting dog named Manashiro for which he constructed a special tomb after it died.
The other kind of canine long beloved in Japan is the toy-sized Chin, typically kept as an indoor pet. Today, the standardized Japanese Chin has a short nose, flat face, and long black and white fur. This breed did not actually originate in Japan, though its history in this country is in fact quite ancient. Short-nosed dogs originating in Tibet were brought to Japan by at least the Nara period (710–794). In the Edo period (1615–1868), the term Chin was used to refer not only to these small lapdogs but also to terriers with longer snouts.
We hope that dog lovers from around the world will enjoy to this exhibition exploring the age-old relationships between all kinds of Japanese canines and their humans. Here, as in countries all over the world, dogs have provided amusement and delight for centuries.

A Message to Museum Visitors

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