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Exhibition National Museum of Scotland

Japanese Contemporary Design

6 May 2022 - 30 Jul 2023

Exhibition Gallery 3, Level 1


From striking statement jewellery to prints and porcelain vases, this display considers how Japanese contemporary makers have combined innovative and traditional art, craft and design elements over the past five decades.

A more diverse range of makers have emerged in Japan in recent years, with highly skilled women breaking into historically male-dominated artistic disciplines. This follows a move away from the traditional apprenticeship-based system and the long-established custom of the eldest son taking over from his father. Japanese Contemporary Design will include an equal number of works by female and male makers, shining a light on some remarkable artisans who have previously been overlooked.

A small white glass vase with a painted Japanese symbol on the front.

Opaque blown glass vase with calligraphy reading Heiwa (Peace), Japan, 2001. © Mitsushima Kazuko

A small square jewellery set with a broach, bangle, and ring.

Jewellery set comprising a brooch, a bangle and a ring, Japan, 1997. © Sato Yoko

A siler bowl with wavy markings.

Silver bowl hallmarked, London, 2006. © Suzuki Hiroshi

A rigid silver choker.

Rigid choker entitled Wound Around, Japan, 2014. © Taguchi Fumiki

The star object is Hitomi Hosono's A Large Pine Tree Pool, a sculptural porcelain bowl with complex hand-carving made and acquired in 2019. It is on display for the first time ever. Further highlights include Junko Mori’s intricate New Pinecone Silver Organism, and colourful body adornments by jeweller Suō Emiko’s adapted from metalworking and engraving techniques traditionally used in the making of Japanese sword fittings.

National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF

Map and directions

We want everyone who comes to our museums to enjoy their time with us and make the most of their visit. 


  • There is level access to the Museum via the main doors to the Entrance Hall on Chambers Street and the Tower entrance at the corner of Chambers Street and George IV Bridge. 
  • Lifts are available to all floors and accessible toilets are available on most floors, as well as a Changing Places (U) toilet in the Entrance Hall on Level 0.
  • There is an induction loop in the Auditorium.
  • Guide dogs, hearing dogs and other recognised assistance dogs are admitted.


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Header image: New Pinecone Silver Organism, 2007. © Junko Mori

Detail of A Large Pine Tree Pool, 2019. © Hitomi Hosono

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