Database of Japanese Exhibits at the Vienna World Exhibition of 1873

Big paper lanterns from Japan


Research Project: Japan at the Vienna World Exhibition 1873

The database about exhibits of the Imperial Japanese Government at the Vienna World Exposition (VWE) is part of the project In Commemoration of 150 Years of the 1873 Vienna World Exhibition (Expo) - Bridging Japan and Europe at the Weltmuseum Wien (KHM-Museumsverband). It was financially supported by the Japan World Exposition Commemorative Fund/Kansai Osaka 21st Century Association (JEC) and carried out from April 2022 to March 2024 on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Vienna World Exposition (1873-2023).


Link to the Database >>>

Description of the Japanese Exhibits at the World Exhibition >>>

Photo album with exhibits from the Japanese pavilion at the 1873 World's Fair

About the database

The database is dedicated to Japan's first official participation in a world exhibition.
It brings together the existing but fragmented historical material on objects sent to Vienna by the Japanese government in 1873. The information about individual objects is summarised from Japanese and German sources, compared to each other and thus made easier to find digitally. The aim is to enable further subsequent utilisation and research of the data in accordance with the FAIR principles. Object stories on Japan's economy, art and culture in exchange with the West will be added to the online database at a later date.
Part of the research project is to record objects that still exist today in museum collections in Vienna and around the world and to link them virtually with their historical catalogue information. 

The database is available in three languages: German, Japanese, English.
The Japanese source material (KMOJS) will be available in German and English.

Data will be continuously enriched in order to incorporate future research findings. The maximum information provided for each object depends on the current information status.The current status refers to March 2024.

Structure of the metadata fields

  • Catalogue entry of the CKJA1873
  • Catalogue entry of the KMOJS
  • Winner of the 1873 World Exhibition
  • Historical photographic material (photo album with exhibits from the Japanese pavilion at the 1873 World's Exhibition), identification of the object on the photograph
  • current location of the object: owning institution, inventory number, photograph and permalink to the online collection
  • Provenance information
  • Literature sources and archive material
  • Notes, information from the research project
KHM-Museumsverband, Weltmuseum Wien, Inv.-Nr.  117752 Model of a daimyō residence


If you have any questions about the project In Commemoration of 150 Years of the 1873 Vienna World Exhibition (Expo) - Bridging Japan and Europe, suggestions or additional information about objects, please let us know.

If you notice any incomplete or incorrect data despite extensive editing (please note the historical circumstances), please contact us. Send an e-mail to:


Project management: Dr Bettina Zorn, Curator of the East Asia Collection, Weltmuseum Wien
Research assistants: Agnes Schwanzer, BA; Alexandra Kobalt, BA; Sibylle Girmond, MA
Translation: Kana Totsuka, MA; Alexandra Kobalt, BA

Interns: Leonard Stiles, MA; Nicole Lorek, BA, BA; Hannah Außerdorfer, BSc; Alexandra Kobalt, BA; Elyar Najmehchi, MA; Julia Nussbaumer; Komari Fujio, BA; Theresa Forstenlehner, BA; Lara Deniz Ersoy, BA.

Data preparation: Agnes Schwanzer, BA
Goobi database system: Support from intranda GmbH
With the kind support of Mag. Hanna Schneck MSc, Director, KHM Museum Library

We would like to thank all colleagues from the museums and institutions who kindly assisted with the research and the provision of materials.


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