Exhibitions and Events

JAPANESE "TILE": A Century of Beauty and Utility
INAX MUSEUMS

JAPANESE "TILE": A Century of Beauty and Utility

April 9 (Sat) ~ August 30 (Tue), 2022

The flat ceramic pieces used to cover building walls and floors--"Let's call them all 'tiles.'"
One hundred years ago on April 12, 1922, tilers from all over Japan gathered in Tokyo in connection with the "Tokyo Exposition for Peace" in Ueno Park, Tokyo and decided to unify the names of ceramic wall and floor coverings all under one name. This they did to eliminate inconvenience, for more than 25 names were in use at the time. The year 1922 can be called a special year in Japanese tile history. Featured at the venue was a special pavilion exhibiting varieties of tiles, and tiles received great attention in Japan at this time.


Tiles are said to have originated in ancient Egyptian pyramids for the purpose of decorating underground spaces. Because they are fired at high temperatures, tiles are resistant to fire, water, and corrosion. They are also easy to clean. Due to their convenience, their use spread all over the world in the course of several millenniums. Tiles appeared in Japan along with the introduction of Buddhism in the 6th century, when flat pottery pieces began to be used on the floors and walls of shrines, temples, and storehouses. Centuries later, a major turning point came with the arrival of Western civilization and introduction of Western architecture using tiles, bricks, and terracotta. Using imported tile products as a model, the mass production of tiles got off the ground, and Japan's distinctive tile culture bloomed in response to urbanization and changing lifestyles, not to mention the dangers posed by earthquakes and infectious disease epidemics.


Tiles protect living spaces and impart rich color to living. Over the past century, they have become widely used in kitchens, toilets and washrooms, public baths and hot springs, buildings and universities, subway stations, and tobacco shops. This exhibition takes visitors through the 100-year history of "tiles" since the unification of the name, while recalling the diverse tile culture fostered in Japan during many centuries.
We invite you to rediscover the charm of tiles and ponder their potential.


INAX MUSEUMS

  • MOSAIC TILE MUSEUM Collection
  • Flyer
  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter3
  • Chapter3
  • Chapter3
  • Chapter3
  • Photo: Toshihide Kajihara
  • MOSAIC TILE MUSEUM Collection
    Photo: Toshihide Kajihara
  • Photo: Toshihide Kajihara
  • Flyer
    Flyer
  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter3
  • Chapter3
  • Chapter3
  • Chapter3
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