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University museums in Japan

Let's look at the history and trends of university museums in Japan.

Let’s look at the history and trends of university museums in Japan.

In Japan, university-affiliated institutions similar to museums– collections rooms, specimen rooms, archives, and document rooms – have been around for a long time. “The Establishment of University Museums,” a report issued in 1996 by the Academic Resources Subcommittee of the Council for Science and Technology (then Ministry of Education), triggered the reorganization of these organizations under the concept of “university museums.”

Following this report, which advocated for the roles and necessity of university museums, the number of such museums in Japan has been increasing, with a national network also taking shape.

The Council of University Museums is a country-wide organisation in Japan, established in 1998 to exchange viewpoints on issues and activities faced by university museums, and to share practices through presentations and reports.

There are also networks of university museums in specific areas. The University Museum Association of Kyoto aims to promote the mutual stimulation of university museums in Kyoto. It also promotes tourism and regional development in Kyoto through each museum’s collections and exhibition activities.

Although there are no comprehensive surveys on the number of university museums in Japan, the Worldwide Database of University Museums and Collections lists over 100 museums.

Searching Japanese museums in the Worldwide Database of University Museums and Collections

Each museum has unique collections that relate to the communities in and around its home university. We have picked up some Japanese university museums that you can visit online. Please enjoy the museums that you are interested in, and share what of the museums attracted you.

What kind of university museums are there in your country?
If you can find it, please share university museum sites we can visit online.

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Akichi in Collections Management: Perspectives from a Japanese University Museum

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