Built in 1926 as a way to share the story and accomplishments of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken with the next generations, Meiji Jingu Gaien is a history lesson and art exhibition rolled into one. The gallery houses 80 paintings in total, half in Japanese style, half in western style. Displayed chronologically the pieces retell the story of the Meiji period.
The gallery is divided into two—the east wing features the Japanese works and the west is home to the western style oil paintings. Each piece documents a key moment from the Emperor’s life, beginning with his birth in 1852 up to his passing in 1912.