Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery has been actively collecting since 1897 and has been open to visitors on its present site since 1910. The Museum has extensive and varied collections across its three curatorial departments: a considerable collection of fine and decorative Art; diverse Human History collections of local archaeology, social history and ethnography; and over 150,000 Natural History specimens with a significant natural history library and archive.
The Ethnography collection consists of around 3,700 objects and includes more than 120 Japanese artefacts. Objects range from weapons to chopsticks and include a 19th century origami book and a bamboo model of a Japanese house with 40 removable parts. In addition, the Art collection has a small collection of Japanese material which includes prints, ceramics and other decorative arts.