The National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) is a research center for ethnology and cultural anthropology.

Special Exhibition Beads in the World | Exhibition Guide

Exhibition Guide
1 – [1] Putting Together: Color/Shape/Size – the Segawa Collection

Lamp work glass beads from Taiwan, South America and Africa are introduced from the Segawa Collection, owned by the National Museum of Ethnology.

1 – [2] Putting Together: Diverse Materials
Necklace (Brazil) Necklace (Australia)

What do you imagine beads are made of?
Are they made of glass, some kind of metal or plastic?
In addition to these types, around the world beads made of stone, wood, nuts, eggs, shell, teeth, fangs, and other materials. These are introduced here

1 – [3] Putting it Together: History
Bead mask for a mummy (Egypt)

Since the very beginnings of beads, what kinds of items have people regarded as beads?
Let's trace the history of beads up until the present time. We'll use mainly shells, stones, and glass to do this.

1 – [4] Putting them Together: Process

How the beads mentioned above are made ; an audiovisual introduction.
(The tools used in the video are also displayed.)

2 Decorating with Beads
Handbag (USA) Bag (Botswana)

Bags, dolls, hats, masks, musical instruments, and others items using beads are exhibited.
Please watch carefully what types of beads are used, how they are used, and how many are used.

3 Display using Beads
Wedding dress using beads (South Africa)

About 20 bead costumes collected from various countries are displayed, along with human and animal figures made of beads.
What is your favorite among the world's cute, beautiful, or gorgeous costumes?

4 Around the World with a Bead Field Worker
Necklace (Hokkaido)

In this section beads from around the world are displayed by region together with photos of them. How they are used locally is shown from a field worker's research perspective.

5 Contemporary Bead Art

The latest trends in lamp work glass, bead bags, wire art, Swarovski, and paper beads are introduced as contemporary pieces of bead artwork.

6 Experience Space

At the end of the exhibition, an "experience space" is provided for visitors to touch beads.
You can make your own beads using natural materials like acorns, or participate in creating a giant piece of bead work.
Please enjoy making beads or decorating yourself with them, now that you have acquired a deeper understanding of their attractive features.

*The exhibits are subject to change.