We are temporarily closed due to the global spread of COVID-19. [FOR DETAILS]


In the central part of the second floor, the museum organizes special exhibitions three times a year. Themes are taken from both Japanese folk art (mingei) and archaeological fields.

● Temporary CLOCED  April - December, 2021

*We will be hosting online events.


● REOPEN  January - March, 2022


● Memories of Ritual Prayer on Miyako Island: The Photographs of Uwai Sachiko and Higa Yasuo
April 14 (Tue) - July 3 (Fri), 2020 CANCELLED

Unique religious rituals have been practiced and handed down for hundreds of years on the islands of the Ryukyu Arc located at the southwestern end of the Japanese Archipelago. In many of these rituals, women, as shamans, play a major role. Some rituals are forbidden to be seen, either by outsiders, or by anyone even within the community.

Two photographers, Uwai Sachiko (1934–2011) and Higa Yasuo (1938–2000), frequented these islands from the 1970s, taking photographs of secret religious practices preserved by local people and passed down generation to generation, even during the turbulent years of war and occupation in the 1940s and 1950s. The oldest form of these religious rituals can be found on the island of Miyako, located about 300 km south of Okinawa. The photographs provide unique and detailed evidence of the island’s distinctive spiritual culture. This exhibition is a joint project of Dr. Sachiyo Fujita-Round (Visiting Associate Professor, ICU) and the Yuasa Museum, made possible with full cooperation of the Mabuigumi Committee that has been hosting exhibitions of the two photographers since 2018. It will be the first exhibition juxtaposing the works of Uwai and Higa outside of Okinawa prefecture.

Today, the spiritual world of the Ryukyu Arc is changing; rituals have become simplified and some even lost due to a lack of successors. We hope that these rare visual records, captured by the photographers each with their own particular focus, will help to preserve the collective memories of the community, and offer important keys to understanding the now-endangered spiritual origins of the islands of the Ryukyu Arc.

◆ Exhibition Guide
  1. Booklet (PDF, in Japanese and English)
◆ Movies
  1. Trailer movie
  2. Gallery Tour Vol.1 (1/3)
  3. Gallery Tour Vol.2 (2/3)
  4. Gallery Tour Vol.3 (3/3)
  5. Live Talk Session (June 13, 2020)
◆ Online Event
  • ● “Memories of Ritual Prayer on Miyako Island” Live Talk Session
  • Panelists:
    Dr. Sachiyo Fujita-Round, Visiting Associate Professor, International Christian University
    Dr. Robert Eskildsen, Director of Yuasa Museum, Professor, International Christian University
  • Date:June 13 (Sat), 2020 14:00~14:45
  • Location: Online via ZOOM Webinar
  • Talk will be in Japanese.
  • Admission Free, but registration is required.

● Japanese Lacquerware from the Yuasa Museum Collection  
September 23 (Wed) - November 13 (Fri), 2020 POSTPONED

This special exhibition has been postponed.

*Open lecture related to this special exhibition was cancelled, but we hosted a webinar instead.


Katagami—Japanese Paper Stencil Techniques
January 12 (Tue) - March 19 (Fri), 2021 POSTPONED

This special exhibition has been postponed.

*Open lecture related to this special exhibition was cancelled, but we will be hosting a webinar instead.