The museum was founded in 1879 in the city of Lyon, France by the industrialist Emil Etienne Jima, who received a mission from the French Minister of Education to collect findings from the Far East. The museum presented the items collected in Jima's travels and included 20,000 Chinese pottery and 11,000 Japanese artworks, sculptures, jewelry, paintings of various drawing styles, as well as artifacts from ancient Egypt, ancient Greece and the Roman Empire.
The museum includes several sections, halls and rooms for permanent exhibitions, but also for temporary exhibitions.
In a separate part of the museum you can visit a pleasant Japanese garden with a small waterfall.
It is also worth visiting the wood paneled library on the top floor.