The Japanese collections at the Oriental Museum, mostly date from the Edo (1615-1868 CE) and Meiji (1868-1912 CE) periods, but with some objects from earlier periods such as the Muromachi (1336-1573 CE) and Momoyama (1573-1615 CE). There are also quite a few objects of 20th and increasingly, even 21st, century date.
In material terms, the collection is quite diverse though the best represented areas are textiles, arms and armour, ceramics, woodblock prints, inro, and netsuke. Other items include domestic shrines, furniture, lacquer ware of various types, paintings, dolls, statues, games and gaming pieces, bronze temple bells, coins, and lantern slides. Among the highlights of the Japanese collections are the Edo period ukiyo-e (floating world) woodblock prints whose images of actors, courtesans, and landscapes, by renowned artists such as Ando Hiroshige (1797-1858 CE) and Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849 CE). The Museum also has an exquisite album of woodblock prints ‘Shin Bijin’ by the Meiji period artist Toyohara Chikanobu (1838-1912). Other highlights include fine examples of swords and armour, finely embroidered silk kimono and exquisitely carved netsuke in wood and ivory, fine decorated inro, as well as imari ceramics of the 17th and 18th centuries.