The origins of the Manchester Museum lie in the nineteenth century. The first collections were acquired by the Manchester Society of Natural History, created in 1821, and taken over by Owen's College (now the University of Manchester) in 1867. The Manchester Museum was opened in 1885.
Today the Manchester Museum collections cover natural history, including palaeontology, botany and zoology, and the humanities - archaeology, Egyptology, and other disciplines including, ethnographic collections from across the world.
The most significant number of Japanese objects comes from the collection of R W Lloyd. This collection comprises some 1000 items of sword furniture, swords, woodcarvings, lacquer, ivories, metal work and pottery. The ��Living Cultures' gallery usually has Japanese objects such as armour, swords and fittings as well as netsuke on display. There is also a collection of archery-related material in the Simon Archery Collection, including a significant amount of Japanese material, generally with a small selection on display.