Exhibition outside

Ikimono: Life with Animals in Edo Tokyo [held at The Japan Cultural Institute in Paris]

国際交流展「いきもの:江戸東京 動物たちとの暮らし展」メインビジュアル

The Maison de la Culture du Japon à Paris and the Edo-Tokyo Museum are pleased to jointly present the exhibition “Ikimono: Life with Animals in Edo Tokyo” to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Maison de la Culture du Japon à Paris.

During the Edo period (1603-1868), Japan enjoyed an extremely long period of peace, unprecedented in world history. Edo, the former name of present-day Tokyo, was the seat of the ruling shogunate and developed into a massive city with a population of 1 million by the early 18th century. However, not only humans lived in the city—a great diversity of animals was also present.

Some of these animals were intentionally bred, while others lived wild in nature, and Edo was truly a city rich in biodiversity. People of the time were said to treat animals like their companions.

Edward S. Morse, an American zoologist who came to Japan in 1877, was amazed at the kindness with which the Japanese treated animals. He wrote that townspeople passing by dogs and cats sitting in the street would avoid or step over them so as not to disturb them, and would add the honorific “san” to an animal’s name to express fondness. The French painter Georges Bigot, who lived in Japan for 17 years from 1882, left behind many paintings that conveyed the Japanese way of life, some of which humorously depict animals and people. In this way, from Edo to Tokyo, dogs, cats, cows, horses, birds, and other living creatures have been treated by people with affection, as members of the same urban community.

This exhibition introduces the history and culture of the lives of people and animals in Edo and Tokyo through the outstanding collection of the Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum. Through ukiyo-e woodblock prints depicting people enjoying their lives with animals, and items for daily use with images of animals worked into their designs, we hope that Parisians will appreciate the wonderful symbiosis between people and animals, and the importance of a rich natural environment as a prerequisite for such a symbiosis.


Exhibition Period November 9 (Wed.), 2022, to January 21 (Sat.), 2023

Exhibition Hall, Maison de la Culture du Japon à Paris

Museum Hours

Tuesday to Saturday 11 AM to 7 PM (Last admission at 6:15 PM. Please leave the exhibition space by 6:45 PM)

Thursdays only: 11 AM to 9 PM (Last admission at 8:15 PM. Please leave the exhibition space by 8:45 PM).

Museum Closures

The museum is closed on Sundays, Mondays, and during the year-end and New Year holidays.

Fee General admission 5€, discount admission 3€


Please click here to view more information about the exhibition. (French)