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Exhibition Features

Learn more about the stories and themes behind the exhibition Japan: Courts and Culture. Select an article below to read on.

12 Materials in Japanese Art

A glossary of some of the most important substances in Japanese art

12 Symbols in Japanese Art

A guide to several recurring motifs found in Japanese art

Nature in Japanese Art

The natural world has been a central theme of Japanese art and culture for millennia

Crop of RCIN 2862260
Cherry Blossom

One of the most recognisable symbols of Japan

The Emperor Shōwa sent this rare and refined piece to Her Majesty The Queen as a Coronation gift in 1953 – just one year after Japanese-British relations had been normalised by the Treaty of San Francisco, signed in 1951 and brought into force in 1
A Coronation Gift for Queen Elizabeth II

Discover the story of the exceptional gift selected by the Japanese Emperor.

Winterhalter was born in the Black Forest where he was encouraged to draw at school. In 1818 he went to Freiburg to study under Karl Ludwig Schüler and then moved to Munich in 1823, where he attended the Academy and studied under Josef Stieler, a fas
The First Royal Visitor to Japan

Find out more about Queen Victoria's second son Prince Alfred visit to Japan in 1869.

Folding Screen Paintings

Restoring a rediscovered diplomatic gift from Japan

An image of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, holding a bowling ball
Royal Tattoos

Early royal visitors to Japan brought souvenirs back with them – and sometimes ON them

The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.