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Museum Overview

Museum Overview


The Kyoto National Museum was established to collect, house, and exhibit to the public tangible cultural properties as stipulated by the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties. The museum also conducts related research, surveys, and other projects in order to preserve and utilize these valuable national assets.


May 1889 A government system to establish the Imperial Museum of Kyoto and the Imperial Museum of Nara, also including the Imperial Museum (currently the Tokyo National Museum), is enacted.
October 1890 Decision made for the Imperial Museum of Kyoto to be built on the grounds of the Shichijō Imperial Estate.
June 1892 Construction begins on the Main Hall, designed by architect Katayama Tokuma.
October 1895 Construction of the Main Hall (today's Meiji Kotokan) is completed.
May 1897 The Museum opens its first exhibition.
June 1900 In accordance with government reforms, the museum name changes to the Imperial Household Museum of Kyoto.
February 1924 The Museum is donated to the City of Kyoto in commemoration of the marriage of the Crown Prince; name changes to Imperial Gift Museum of Kyoto.
April 1952 The Museum becomes a national institution and affiliate of the Committee for the Preservation of Cultural Properties (today Agency for Cultural Affairs). Name changes to the Kyoto National Museum.
March 1965 The New Exhibition Hall, designed by architect Morita Keiichi, is completed.
October 1966 Opening ceremony of the New Exhibition Hall and opening of commemorative exhibition in the New Exhibition Hall.
June 1968 Kyoto National Museum becomes an affiliated institution of the Agency of Cultural Affairs.
March 1969 The Main Hall, Main Gate, and Ticket Area are designated Cultural Properties of the former Imperial Museum of Kyoto.
July 1980 Conservation Center for Cultural Properties opens.
April 1981 Kyoto Center for the Research of Cultural Archives is established.
July 1984 Conservation Center for Cultural Properties becomes an affiliated institution of the Agency of Cultural Affairs.
April 1994 Collaboration and cooperation begins with the Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies of Kyoto University.
May 1994 1000th lecture of the Saturday Lecture Series is celebrated.
August 1994 New Ticket Entrance is constructed at the Main Gate.
October 1997 Museum celebrates its 100th Anniversary.
March 2001 The South Gate is renovated as part of the new construction project for a new exhibition hall. The former Higashiyama Ward Office is purchased and converted into the Museum Administrative Office during the construction project.
April 2001 Kyoto National Museum becomes an independent administrative institution as part of the new Japanese government reorganization plan.
March 2002 The construction of the East Storage Facility and Library begins in conjunction with the construction project of the new exhibition hall.
May 2002 Renovations on the Former Higashiyama Ward Office begin in conjunction with the construction project of the new exhibition hall.
October 2002 Teahouse Tan'an is restored and reopened.
April 2007 The Kyoto National Museum becomes part of the Independent Administrative Institution National Research Institute for Cultural Properties.
March 2009 Reconstruction begins on former exhibition hall.
August 2013 Heisei Chishinkan Wing is completed.
September 2014 Heisei Chishinkan Wing opens.
May 2017 Museum celebrates its 120th Anniversary.

Museum OrganizationAs of April 2022

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