Skip main navigation

KeMCo’s activities and the akichi concept

Let's begin KeMCo's trials
some members are looking at an objects in akichi

Welcome to week 2. To begin with, let’s look at how KeMCo designed some exhibitions to implement akichi concept.

In the previous week, we focused on the activities of university museums and explored the challenges and approaches to community collections. How can we sustain the relationship between the community and its collection as the environment surrounding the community, as well as the community itself, changes? As one response to this question, we proposed using the akichi concept to place collections within human relationships and nurture them.

This week, we set three themes: “exhibitions”, “learning”, and “people who create spaces”. Under the akichi concept, we will look at what specific activities unfold and what discoveries are possible using KeMCo’s practices.

KeMCo’s activities

KeMCo’s activities are not particularly large-scale. The central activity is holding four exhibitions a year based on Keio University’s collection and hosting related workshops and other events. On the other hand, utilizing the facility’s characteristics, such as small exhibition rooms and corridors that can be used for exhibits, we also conduct agile projects — short-term exhibits and exhibits that demonstrate research and educational results creatively. Additionally, as a research institution, we offer courses for all faculties of the university and handle the development and management of a digital archive.

First topic – exhibitions

The first topic is “exhibitions”. As introduced in the previous week, at Keio University, the autonomy of community collections is very high, and it’s unclear where and what collections exist and what activities they undertake. Thus, at KeMCo, we decided to plan an exhibition aimed at “bringing collections to the akichi and showing them” as the first step. We will introduce two exhibitions that promote “sharing”.

The exhibitions

The first example is the 2021 exhibition, “Eight Perspectives on Reading Objects”, held in KeMCo’s inaugural year. In this exhibition, eight communities active in Keio University participated. By presenting documentation methods in each field of expertise along with works and materials, the exhibition attempted to highlight the connection between collections and specialized areas.

Eight Perspectives on Reading Objects

The second example is from the 2023 “KeMCo New Year Exhibition Where the Rabbits Are”. This exhibit, held every New Year, is a straightforward concept, gathering works and materials related to that year’s Chinese zodiac sign from various Keio campuses. While there are differences in complexity and experience, both exhibitions fundamentally aim to bring together and share collections.

Where the Rabbits Are

In the next steps, we will examine each exhibition and the discoveries made therein.

This article is from the free online

Akichi in Collections Management: Perspectives from a Japanese University Museum

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now