Search results

Start typing

This exhibition is in the past. View our current exhibitions.


By the early twentieth century, the royal and imperial families of Britain and Japan enjoyed a uniquely close relationship. The two nations saw themselves as ‘Island Empires’ of East and West. Exchanging honours and insignia became an important symbol of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance signed in 1902.

Exhibitions of Japanese art indicated a growing interest in Britain’s new ally and over 8 million people visited the 1910 Japan-British Exhibition in London. Among them was Queen Mary, consort of King George V, who was a devoted collector of Japanese art.

In this period, ancient rituals such as calligraphy and incense appreciation were maintained at the Japanese court. At the same time, painters, printmakers and photographers pioneered new styles combining European and Japanese techniques.

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.