Unraveling the
history of buttons.

Each button has its
own story to tell.

At IRIS, we have established the world’s only Button Museum to continuously nurture and spread the culture of buttons. Our Button Museum demonstrates our commitment to explore the cultural history of the world and Japan as seen through buttons. We collect not only historical buttons, but also the materials and literature related to buttons. We sincerely hope that our museum will help many people to develop an interest in buttons.

The origin of buttons

Buttons have a long history and were once considered to be an important status symbol. The earliest and most valuable buttons have been found in Egypt, Greece, and Persia, dating back to 4000 B.C.. These early buttons came in the form of a flower or a scarab, a type of golden insect symbolizing the sun god Khepera. These early buttons were not used to fasten clothing, but rather as talismans of protection, seals, or badges of authority.

Noble collections

The Button Museum has a collection of over 5,000 precious buttons from all over the world. About 1,600 of them are on display by material, design, age, and country. Visitors can watch a video introducing the history of buttons and browse through domestic and international publications on buttons in the adjoining salon.


1-11-8 Nihonbashi Hamacho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo The Parklex Nihonbashi Hamacho 2F

Tel: +81-3-3864-6537
Mail: muse@iris.co.jp

※ The Button Museum is open by appointment only.


    Hong Kong IRIS Co., Ltd.

    Flat A, 16th Floor, Legend Tower, 7 Shing Yip Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, HONG KONG