Mudec East

The charm of Japan in 2 exhibitions and a series of events

Mudec - Museum of Cultures
Via Tortona 56

For the autumn of 2019 the Mudec - Museum of Cultures presents the Mudec East project: Japan is the great protagonist of the imaginary of the East that began to form in Europe as early as the late sixteenth century, to then spread as a true fascination for many European artists and intellectuals of the nineteenth century, attracted by the exotic suggestions of those distant lands.


"Mudec East" is divided into two exhibitions from 1 October to 2 February 2020 and a programme of initiatives to tell the facets of Japanese culture and the artistic-cultural encounter of Europe and Asia, and in particular of Italy and Japan.

In the first exhibit, the works exhibited come all from Japan, mostly from the Passalacqua Collection, and illustrate the first historical relations between Italy and Japan.

The second exhibition focuses on entrepreneurial adventures and artistic exchanges from the end of the 19th century: many European artists and intellectuals suffered the enchantment of Japanism, from De Nittis to Rodin, from Van Gogh to Gauguin, from Toulouse-Lautrec to Monet, from Galileo Chini to Giovanni Segantini and many others.


Below are the details.

Opening times

Opening times:

Mon:  14:30 - 19:30
Tue - Wed - Fri - Sun: 9:30 - 19:30
Thu - Sat: 9:30 - 22:30


Holidays and special openings
All Saints
November 1st 09:30-19:30
December 7th 09:30-22:30
Immaculate Conception
December 8th 09:30-19:30
Christmas' Eve
December 24th 09:30-14:00
December 25th 14:30-19:30
Santo Stefano
December 26th 09:30-22:30
New Year
January 1st 09:30-19:30
January 6th 09:30-19:30


Ticket office closes one hour before closing time

Ticket information

Ticket information:


Impressions of East exhibition

€ 14

Reduced price: € 12

Kids - from 3 to 5 years old: € 4 - from 6 to 13 years old: € 8

Open date ticket:  € 18

Family offer (2-5 adults)
€ 12,00 adult (1 or 2 adults)
€ 8,00 adult/second kid (6-13 years old)
€ 4,00 adult/second kid (3-5 years old)
Third kid free (3-13 years old)


Ticket office closes one hour before closing time


When Japan discovered Italy exhibition

Free exhibition


Buy online:





When Japan discovered Italy. Stories of encounters (1585-1890)

The first relations between Italy and the Land of the Rising Sun exhibited in the first section of the exhibition Ito Mancio and the Japanese Ambassadors 1585-1615 date back to the first curiosities and the first attempts to trace the maps of that land, with the mediation of Jesuit missionaries and their work of evangelization of "Cipango": this is the ancient name of Japan, so named by Marco Polo in Il Milione (The Travels of Marco Polo).


A growing number of objects arrived in cities such as Milano in the second part of the nineteenth century, also due to the strong relations with Asia by Lombard silk merchants; private museums of Japanese art are growing, including the one set up in the second half of the Nineteenth century by Count Passalacqua in his home on Lake Como. The second section, A Japanese Museum in Lombardy. The Collection of Count Giovanni Battista Lucini Passalacqua, collects important artifacts from this collection such as lacquers, porcelain, bronzes, fabrics and a splendid collection of parade weapons.

Impressions of East. Art and collecting between Europe and Japan

The exhibition illustrates the curiosity towards Japan that pervaded the artistic culture at the beginning of the 20th century, especially in France and Italy.

Over 170 works including paintings, prints, furnishing objects, sculptures and applied art from important Italian and European museums and private collectors.


At that time also in Japan, there was a great fascination with the West and modernity: you find works rarely exposed linked to Japanese artistic movements.

Other Events

The programme of initiatives dedicated to the meeting between Europe and Japan includes temporary exhibitions, workshops and activities for children and families, panels and meetings. The complete calendar is available on the Mudec official website.

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