Tickets kopen Plan je bezoek

Cannabis Japonica

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

Explore the highlights of our exhibition Cannabis Japonica, on display from May 12, 2022 to February 26, 2023 in our museum in Barcelona.

samurai armor

© Floris Leeuwenberg


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

Haiku master Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902)

Chigusa no hana, Kono Bairei, 1890.

Cannabis Japonica

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.

Blijf op de hoogte


Schrijf je in voor onze nieuwsbrief en ontvang als eerste nieuws over het museum, tentoonstellingen en evenementen.