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Field trip to Food and Agriculture Museum

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Let’s explore other university museums! We’ve jumped from Keio University to one standout spot: the Tokyo University of Agriculture’s Food and Agriculture Museum. Watch the video to see what is in the museum!

Tokyo University of Agriculture’s Food and Agriculture Museum

Founded in 1891, Tokyo University of Agriculture specializes in agricultural studies. In 2004, to celebrate 110 years since its foundation, the Food and Agriculture Museum was established. As seen in the video, there’s a diverse range of exhibits from farming equipment to specimens, living displays, and the culture of alcohol related to agricultural studies.

The museum’s proximity to the university facilitates vibrant activities. Special exhibits introduce the university’s various departments and showcase recent faculty research and societal contributions. They also support educational activities by lending items for lectures and research.

Curator Mr. Masaru Nishijima explains the museum’s goal to connect with the local community.

Mr. Nishijima:
Masaru Nishijima

“The museum’s name includes ‘Food and Agriculture’. As you can imagine, it is related to eating and farming. Eating is an essential part of our lives. Though the museum’s name might seem vague, it allows for a variety of exhibitions and displays.”
Kids can get hands-on with worksheets to understand the exhibits better, making agriculture feel more relevant to their daily lives.

Biorium

There’s also a biorium showing rare plants and animals collected from academic trips, like those to Madagascar. Managed by the Research Institute of Evolutionary Biology, the lab showcases research specimens.
Mr. Akira Imaki, who runs the Biorium:
Akira Imaki
“Seeing research materials up close is rare. Anyone is free to visit. Local kids often drop by. If our primate (lemur) has a baby, some visitors come daily to watch it grow. It’s a unique museum and botanical garden in the city.”

Sake showcase by graduates and partners

There’s a collection made possible by alumni. The liquor showcase displays 280 bottles of alcohol made by graduates. Tokyo University of Agriculture has a thriving brewing science program. Since the brewing department’s inception in 1950, over half of Japan’s 1600 brewers are alumni, creating a lasting bond with the institution.
The museum introduced a “Commercial Box” system. Brewers partner with the museum to display and promote their products to visitors.
Mr. Teiji Matsumaru:
Matsumaru
“This system benefits both: it’s a PR spot for brewers and a revenue source for us. Using our space, brewers hold tastings and sales events. We want to support our graduates. For brewers, it’s a chance to boost their presence at their alma mater. It’s a win-win.”

Wrap-up at the Science Port

Let’s wrap up with a chat with the museum director, Ms. Kimura. She also introduces another collection displayed in the “Science Port”, a university research building. Let’s see how different the collection is displayed.

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

Video subtitles are provided in English. To display subtitles, please hover over the speech bubble icon in the video player, and choose from the options provided. You can also select ‘subtitles off’ here.
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Akichi in Collections Management: Perspectives from a Japanese University Museum

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