Nezu Kaichiro Sr, a businessperson whose career included being the president of Tobu Railway, had a penchant for pre-modern Japanese and East Asian art. Founded in 1940 with his private collection, the museum now houses 7,400 exhibits spanning a wide range of genres.
Several Buddhist statues and ancient bronzes from China are on permanent display. On the other hand, the seven annual temporary exhibitions feature the rest of the museum’s collection – which includes paintings, calligraphy, sculptures, metalwork, ceramics, lacquerware, wooden and bamboo craft, and textiles – on a rotation basis according to the theme. The current building, a stunning mix of traditional and modern styles, was designed by architect Kengo Kuma and opened in 2009.