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Cannabis Japonica

A fashionable journey through Japan’s cultural ties with the cannabis plant.


On display until 26/02/2023



samurai armor

© Floris Leeuwenberg


gentle rain in the city
carries sunset smell
and the hemp reaping”

Haiku master Masaoka Shiki, 1895.

Chigusa no hana, Kono Bairei, 1890.

Temporary exhibition

Cannabis Japonica

The highlight of the Barcelona Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum’s 10th anniversary celebrations will be the exhibition Cannabis Japonica. On view from May 12, 2022 to February 26, 2023, the presentation leads visitors on a fashionable and fascinating journey through Japan’s cultural ties with the cannabis plant.

A well-known Japanese children’s adventure story tells of a technique used by ninjas to improve their jumping skills. The student ninja plants a batch of hemp when he begins training and endeavours to leap over it every day. At first, this is no challenge, but every day the hemp grows quickly – and so must the ninja’s jumping ability. By the end of the growing season, the warrior can clear the 3 to 4-metre high hemp.

This children’s story is a testament to a time when cannabis was ‘big in Japan’. As spring approached, each rural household would plant four to five furrows of hemp seeds. The cultivated hemp was the family’s main source of fibre, used to weave cloth. It was also an important source of income, as city merchants would buy the finer hemp fibres. This silk-like hemp was used to create the most precious clothing, from summer kimonos to samurai attire and the garments of Shinto priests. Every aspect of work involving hemp, from planting to weaving, was women’s labour. This continued throughout the Meiji era, when Japan quickly became an industrialized empire.

Cannabis Japonica unveils Japan’s deeply-rooted ties with the cannabis plant, and its fundamental role in creating unique and beautiful outfits of great cultural importance.

Cannabis Japonica
May 12, 2022 – February 26, 2023
Opening: Thursday May 12, at 7.00 pm
Museum’s ground floor, free entry

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