The Eisei-Bunko Museum is a museum adjacent to Higo-Hosokawa Garden in the Sekiguchi/Mejirodai neighborhood.

Eisei Bunko Warehouse
The treasure warehouse | Photo by Gregory Lane

Established in 1950 by Moritatsu Hosokawa—a twentieth century politician and descedent of the Higo-Hosokawa feudal dynasty—the collection is a mix of treasures passed down from feudal times as well as items acquired directly by Hosokawa.

Special Exhibition floor
Special exhibition floor | Photo by Gregory Lane

The museum collection contains an eclectic range of historical artefacts, including ancient Han Dynasty Chinese bronze objects, 19th and 20th century Japanese art, 16th century Peruvian pottery, ancient Egyptian statuettes, ancient Greek urns, and 16th century Korean tea vessels.

Only a small fraction of the 94,000 item collection is on display, with 58,000 items entrusted to Kumamoto University and 28,000 items in the safekeeping of Keio University.

Ancient Greek vase
Vase from Ancient Greece | Photo by Gregory Lane

While many of the objects are remarkable in their own right, the museum and the collection itself lack context. There is little explained of the history surrounding the objects and the presentation is quite dated. Overall the museum comes across as the collection of an opportunistic hoarder.

Korean tea vessels
Photo by Gregory Lane

If you’ve been enjoying some of the more urban and hectic attractions of Tokyo, the grounds of Eisei Bunko Museum and some of the surrounding attractions do offer a much calmer, greener contrast.

There is a lift in the building, but not all areas of the museum are accessible by wheelchair.

Admission is free for children of middle school age and younger.

Other Sekiguchi Attractions