The Suntory's painting collection has followed the Museum's general theme of searching for "Beauty in Everyday Life." Today, the painting collection includes more than 300 works. Of these, five have been designated Important Cultural Properties and three have been designated Important Art Objects by the Japanese government. Most of the paintings in the collection are in two formats-folding screen paintings and handscrolls. The emphasis on folding screens reflects the fact that, more than acting simply as decorative paintings, screens functioned primarily as furnishings in the Japanese home. On festive occasions they were arranged to underscore the dramatic events taking place, while also serving as spatial dividers. Indeed, the folding screen is a remarkably handy piece of household furniture. On the other hand, handscroll format paintings, while lacking the functionality of folding screens, often show the details of ordinary life as a means of conveying a story line, and often these details provide invaluable information on the customs and habits of a specific period. Thus, both screen paintings and handscrolls are appropriate for the Museum's collection. In terms of subject matter, the Museum's painting collection can largely be divided into three groups, genre screen paintings, bird-and-flower screen paintings and traditional tale handscrolls .

Important Cultural Property
"Southern Barbarians"
Important Cultural Property
"Western Princes on Horseback"
"Hie Sanno Festival and Gion Festival" "Gion Festival" "Sightseeing Spots in Kyoto"
Southern Barbarians Western Princes on Horseback Hie Sanno Festival and Gion Festival Gion Festival Sightseeing Spots in Kyoto

"Outdoor Amusement" "Higashiyama; Cherry-blossom viewing at Yoshino" Important Art Object
"Cherry-blossom Viewing in Ueno; Kabuki Performance" "Kimono on Hanging Racks"
Outdoor Amusement Higashiyama; Cherry-blossom viewing at Yoshino Dancers Cherry-blossom Viewing in Ueno; Kabuki Performance Kimono on Hanging Racks

"Sumida River" "Scenes of Farming in the Four Seasons" "Scenes from the Tale of Ise" "The Tale of Genji: Sakaki" "The Tale of Genji"
Sumida River Scenes of Farming in the Four Seasons Scenes from the Tale of Ise The Tale of Genji: Sakaki The Tale of Genji