(Recent Museum Visit)
The full report is available by clicking the following Title–
♣ Significance of JR Railway Museum in Omiya
Introducing Shows the Hitachi technology and a founder Odaira
― Looking for the roots of Japanese telecommunication and its technology developmentHaving keen interest to the recent development of information network , I visited the “NTT History Center of Technology” (Museum) recently in Mitaka, Tokyo last month. The museum was established in 2000 aiming to show the current technology an its development process in Japan. Now it displays a number of historical materials and equipment related to the telecommunication services and technology. The exhibition consists of “Tracing Development History” and “Searching Technology” corner, and the both are explaining how Japan has developed telecommunications, telephone services, and information equipment from the initial period until now. In particular, it focuses on the social impact in early days of telegraph and telephone systems, along with describing tele-graph/-phone mechanisms, technical background and functions of electronic devices. The museum is proud of quite rich treasury collection and sophisticated explanation on the technology background. The following is my visit record at that time. However, due to the time constrain and my limited knowledge, I couldn’t look much in the technology detail and mainly focused on the social background occurred in the historic process of Japan’s telecommunications .
— Amazing subway network in Metropolitan Tokyo and its developmentTokyo’s subway passengers are now swelling to more than 10 million a day that is almost the same with the population of Tokyo. And the routes count over 13 lines with more than 130 stations. This might be noted for unprecedented scale in the world. The subway now became an indispensable commuting means and crucial public transportation for the people in Tokyo area. How these scales of subway network has been created and formed in history? With this question, I visited Tokyo Metro’s “Subway Museum” in Tokyo this month. The museum is located just adjacent place to Kasai Station on the Tozai Subway Line. The museum which was founded in 1994 to introduce the development history of subway system in Japan, especially in Tokyo region. Now there now many real trains and railway equipment are exhibited aiming to publicize the activities of subway network of past and present. For example, the technology advancement of railway vehicle and drive systems, excavation technology in the underground construction work, and railway running operation and management. In the exhibition, real vehicles, moving devices, interactive models and various diorama are abundantly used. New subway operation and equipment methods, as well as previous history on the subway can be learned through the direct observation there. The following is a rough introduction to the museum and development process subway network in Tokyo.
Exhibit Firefight practice in Japan from the past to the presentThere’s a unique museum publicizing Japan’s firefighting history in Yotsuya-Shinjuku, Tokyo. It is called the “Fire Museum.” I visited this museum recently. It is known well that large fire incidents have repeatedly assaulted Japan’s big cities and plagued Japanese people’s life many times in history. Japan’s housing condition is quite prone to serious fire incident because of prevailing wooden buildings. So when looking at Edo and Tokyo town in the past, big fires many times burned down the entire cities claiming hundreds of thousands populations. A lot of measures have been taken to the problem in Japan, particularly in the metropolitan Edo and Tokyo for minimizing damages in the past. The museum deals with these fire and firefighting history, and it tries to show what kind of disaster prevention measures have been taken so far, what kind of firefighting system has established. A great number of exhibits are displayed to indicate this historic evidence in the museum by showing real vehicles and equipment, dioramas, photographs and pictures, etc. It would be one of the best facilities to probe the history of firefighting and disaster prevention measures in Japan, especially in Tokyo area.
— Wonderful world music journey in the Hamamatsu MuseumWhile traveling to Hamamatsu City of Shizuoka Prefecture, I had a chance to visit the “Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments” The Museum is famed for the collection of treasury historical music instruments. The facility exhibits more than 1500 instruments from all over the world from Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa, and Oceania with giving a good description on the history and features. It’s fun to be able to look into these world instruments, including various traditional folk instruments, not only Western modern instruments all together. The collection of Japanese instruments is also impressive. The piano collection is particularly significant as Hamamatsu, where the museum located, is renowned for a major production site of piano in the world.
Describing the dramatic history of aviation industries in Japan and world
Looking into the evolution of Nissan’s automotive engines and the footprint of the companyNissan seems to be facing a sort of management challenges lately, but it’s sure to be playing a significant role in the Japanese automobile industry. In particular, Nissan is regarded to lead the advancement of automobile technology industry in history. In this mind, I visited the Nissan’s “Engine Museum” in Yokohama recently because I’ve heard there’s an unique museum showing the technological challenges of automobile, especially on their engines. There are many historical automobile engines exhibited in the museum with extensive commentary on their technology development process, as well as on the company history. And there installed many photographs and panels which indicates the technology foundation and development of Nissan Motors. Then, the visitors can easily trace the company’s turbulent footprints that had experienced countless technological challenges along with long history of the company. The exhibition seems to be quite instructive to understand the historical development of Japan’s automobile industry as a whole not only for the Nissan itself.
–Shows remarkable description of Isuzu’s historic evolution and technology development–Last month, I went to Motors Museum “Hino Plaza” last , then now I decided to visit Isuzu Motors in Fujisawa city, Kanagawa this time, since I’v heard there’s unique facility called “ISUZU Plaza” exhibiting historical auto products that was opened just two years ago in 2017. The Plaza is functioning well as a automobile museum in explaining the history of automobile and the related technology. That is displaying the most Isuzu’s vehicles they have produced since its beginning, including Isuzu’s latest brand trucks and buses, in addition to the history of Isuzu Motors itself, as well as its engines of Isuzu. The museum also exhibit its assembly processes of working vehicles and technology background. I’ve got impression that is a quite useful museum to examine the development of Japanese working commercial vehicle industry alongside with Hino’s Plaza..
-Explore to the Hino’s commercial vehicles and their technologyHino Motors, along with Isuzu Motors, is one of the leading commercial vehicle manufacturers in Japan. And it now holds a large market share in the truck and bus sector in the world. This Hino has opened the Hino Auto Plaza (Kodaira City, Tokyo) in 1997 as a specialized museum for exhibition of trucks and buses. I visited there in August with having some concern. The museum tries to show the company’s business and technology development in the exhibition with looking back the Hino’s 100-year history which has producing various historic trucks and buses. Under this background, the Museum has been ardently worked on collecting historical textile objects long time since the Meiji period, and tried to exhibit them to the public, including weaving machines, sericulture facilities, worm seed samples, various textile equipment, and now added a number of exhibits related to the recent chemical fiber technology products as well. It would be an excellent facility for the people who have interested in the textile industries, particularly regarding silk industry. The background was the recognition that the silk and silk products have been one of Japan’s most important export products and been playing a significant role in modernizing Japanese industry.
- Explore the roots of machine industries in Japan as seen in the Museum collection
- looking into the history of Japan’s space exploration by visit Space Center-
Here, I’ll report on the exhibition of “Automobile Pavilion” in theToyota Industrial Museum, following the last “Textile Pavilion.”. The “Automobile Pavilion” in the museum shows the Toyota’s historical development of technology and its initial business challenge, as well as its current conditions of automobile technology of Toyota. As we see the previous observation, Toyota has challenged to product automobiles using accumulated technology and capitals based on the textile machinery business from 1930s. The museum shows how Toyota could successfully transform its business from textile sector to automobile and how it expand its automobile technology and business to the current outstanding great position in the historical views and extensive technological analysis. .
Exploring the secret of Toyota initiative of textile initiativesWhen the meeting being held last year in Nagoya, I have visited the Toyota Museum of Industrial and Technology. Because I’ve been long interested in the role of automobile industries in Japan and Toyota’s unique position of technology development and businesses in it. Regarding the automobile industries, it looks lots of hot issues are popularly discussed these days, like future of automotive industry, environmental measures, technological shifting to electric vehicles, safety and autonomous driving cars, and so on. In this circumstance, visiting the Museum was really good chance to get some clues for me about the technology issues of automobile industry as a whole and its development history in Japan.
— Insight of the printing history with amazing exhibitsI’ve heard there’s a unique private museum on rare printing materials in near Tsukiji, Tokyo which is established by a printing company “Mizuno Pritech. ” So recently I visited there. The museum has exhibited a lot of historic printing machines and valuable printed products. There many Japanese and European historic printing works are observed, including the old European typographic books since Gutenberg, in addition to Japan’s ancient and medieval book prints, wood-curved products in Edo period, first letterpress prints in Meiji period. Beside printing goods, the museum exhibits valuable hand-press machines too. I’m really impressed on the quality and volume of exhibits in the museum though it’s never a big facility. I’ve tried to describe the feature of collection and its cultural significance here.
Showing amazing collection of bags and their diversity in the worldBags are essential goods for travel and expedition for long. So people tried to device a variety of tools for their social necessity since ancient times. Many items are used in this purpose, such as holding bags and sacks, box-shaped carrying equipment, handing purses, shoulder basket, large-scale woven containers, beside many other backpacks, suitcases, carrying goods. In this sense, the museum is quite knowledgeable for learning about history of carrying tools and their diversity because it is showing many exhibits classified by time and region in the world. I had a nice chance to visit this museum the other day and could learn much about bags. Such as, old Japanese bringing tools, European traveling equipment in 18th and 9th century, contemporary brand bags, etc. The museum also introduces the company history of Japan’s suitcase maker “ACE”. It was an enjoyable experience for me too.
– Explores development of printing world and society in history –The Toppan’s Printing Museum is located in the Koishi-kawa in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo. The Museum is famed for displaying the elaborate historic features of publishing culture in the world as well as Japan. Last month I could visit the Museum. In the museum, a wide range of exhibits describing printing culture and technology that influenced to human activities and its cultural advancement, such as development of the style of characters and drawing pictures, the way of printing technology. Many examples of historic evidence of printing from the ancient world to the present are exhibited, including Chinese text scripts, Japanese woodblock prints, in addition to the Western typographic printings works from Gutenberg, modern printing modes of Japan, etc.
– Explored the life and works of a “Pearl King” Mikimoto YukichiIn the Pearl Island, there is Mikimoto’s “Memorial Hall” besides the “Pearl Museum”. This Hall is showing the amazing works of Mikimoto Kokichi who has developed Japanese pearl industry. Kokichi is noted as an innovative entrepreneur producing cultured pearls for the first time in the world. In the Hall, the biographical story of Mikimoto Kokichi’s life and work is elaborately described, such as how he began the pearl business in his young age, and how he challenged and succeeded to produce “cultured pearl” in facing many difficulties and hardships. You’ll find a plenty of exhibits about Kokichi’s business life which is displayed by numerous photos, real products, memorials and documents, commentary panel and others.
– Explore the roots of writing and painting tools in history —There’s interesting museum displaying stationery instruments in Asakusa-bashi, Tokyo, so I visited there recently in my curiosity. Name of this museum is “Japan Stationary Museum”, where the variety of historic goods for the business and educational use are collected and exhibited in global scale. This facility is proud of huge collection of ancient writing tools and its historic documents, such as variety of Chinese and Japanese brushes and ink-stones, precious pencils old and new, fountain pens, and others.
A museum for deepening knowledge about paper’s cultureInvention of paper and its development have greatly benefited to the society in its lifestyle and cultivated the new frontier of cultural evolution in history. There’s a museum to make us feel like that. The “Paper Museum” in the Ohji district, Tokyo which established in 1998 is that. I encountered the fortune vising this museum lately. This museum was describing the global history of paper with its socio-cultural impact, and evolution of Japan’s “Washi” paper and other interesting subjects, including current trends of recent paper industry in Japan, features of papers used in our daily use. Here’s the my impression of visit. Footage of Technology Challenge in the 19 century of Japan and its destiny Last year, I’ve participated in a grand tour of the former ‘Yokosuka Ironworks site in Yokohama. Currently the Yokosuka port are mostly devoted to the military facilities like SDFJ and US Navy base and dominantly designated as offsite area. But the former dock sites and harbor facilities of the “Yokosuka Ironworks” can be observable from the Yokosuka’s coastal park beyond over the sea. And the “Verny Memorial Museum” and other monuments are facilitated to record the history of the Yokosuka Ironworks in the park. Among them, the museum now exhibits of machinery and equipment which were used in the Yokosuka Ironworks to commemorate their historical activities. They show the footage how Japan had been engaged in challenging work to master the modern technology in coping up with Western power at the end of the Tokugawa period and afterward. This is a visit record at this time.
— Amazing Inuyama Castle and Karakuri ArtI got visited Inuyama city in Aichi Prefecture lately. The city is famous in a national treasure “Inuyama Castle” built in the 16th century, and to retain historical townscape of Edo period, as well as to organize tradition of the old ritual festivals. So I could observe these historical sites and see some memorial heritages and museums in the city. Among them, the most impressive facility was the “Doll Pavilion” which exhibited the “Karakuri” dolls which is showing the superiority of Japanese craftsmanship in doll makings. It was a short time, but it was quite experience to observe the “Karakuri” exhibition there. Below is an impression of my visit. Contact full page here!!
– Shows the Social Modernization and Development Industries in Meiji period, Japan–.There’s a unique theme park which is called “Meiji Mura Village” in Inuyama city near Nagoya . The purpose of Establishment of the park is to restore and display valuable historic building and facilities in the compound.. Last year I had a chance to visit this Park while traveling around Nagoya. These historic buildings visualize how Japan diligently learned the Western architecture and how fast developed its technology since Meiji period. This writing is my observation of Meiji Village at this time of visit.
– Find the culmination of weaving technology of artKawashima Textile (currently Kawashima Selkon Textiles) is a legendary Nishijin textile companies in Kyoto. This Kawashima established an artistic museum in 1990s, named “Textile Museum”, to explore the new form of weaving technology and to disseminate Japanese traditional textile-making craftsmanship in the world. The Museum now exhibits various historical fabric works in Japan as well as variety of textile products around the world. Especially, the exhibition of fine artistic woven textiles are glorious. I had a chance to stop by this museum and could observe its wonderful collections while traveling in Kyoto. I found there amazing fusion of modern textile industry and traditional artistic woven works which crystalized into the aesthetics world. This is a description of this visit.
- –Explore the history of monetary affairs and economic life of Japan
“Visit Hashino Iron Mine.” https://igsforum.com/Kamaishi-Hashino）
♥ see MHI Museum site: http://www.mhi.co.jp/museum/
Exhibit IHI works on shipbuilding to space equipmentI visit this “i-Muse” of IHI (formerly Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries) in the head office at Toyosu, Tokyo. IHI is proud of 150 year history since 1876, and now it holds a large share in the shipbuilding, heavy machinery, social and industrial infrastructure in Japan. The “i-Muse” is set up by the IHI to show the company’s technology achievements in 2006. The records and products are exhibited there from the initial shipbuilding work to the current IHI challenging engineering works. Then, the museum seems to be a valuable archive to convey the engineering technology of Japan. This is my visit record at that time.
Seiko Museum ticks the clock watch history nicely in the collectionI visited the Seiko Museum in Sumida ward, Tokyo last year. The Museum is placed along the Sumida River about 10 minute walk from the Mukoijima Station of Tobu line. The famous “Mukojima Hyakaen Garden”, an authentic Japanese style garden, is located near the museum. The “Seiko Museum” (formerly called Seiko Clock Museum) was set up in 1981 as a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Seiko Company. And it has done the major refurbishment in April 2012 and transformed to the full-fledged pubic industrial museum at that time. The main aim of the establishment is said to acknowledge the development history of clock and watches in Japan as well as in the world. So the museum is displaying huge number of various Japanese precious clocks, old and new, worldwide historical clocks, world famous watches beside Seiko’s own watches, as well as Seiko’s company history.
Visit Nagasaki-Dejima and Siebold Memorial Museum (part 1)Recently I visited the Nagasaki-Dejima to make a survey of the Japan’s foreign relation with Europe in the Edo period and its impact to Japanese modernization. It is known that Japan had closed diplomatic relationship with the Western countries over 200 years since 1600s, with the exception of Nagasaki-Dejima. However, the Western information and advanced science knowledge were continuously brought into Japan through the route of this small island. That has given a profound influence to the modernization of Japan afterwards. In recent years, the restoration project of Dejima was undergoing by the Nagasaki city government. When I visited the Dejima, the restoration project was at the final stage. Article here is my visit report of Dejima. As for the Dejima, the homepages are provide by bilingual way, so the further details are available by the following address:
¶ Home Page “Dejima” http://nagasakidejima.jp/ ¶ Home Page of Restration “Dejima” http://www.city.nagasaki.lg.jp/dejima/en/index.html
Historical sites of Miike Coal Mines (part 2) – Visit the “Omuta Coal Industrial Museum”(This section is continued section of the Part (1) Miike Coal Mines) While visiting the historic sites of the Miike Coal Mines, I’ve visited the Omuta Coal Industrial Museum. This museum used as one of the guiding facility for the visitors to the historical heritages of Miike coal mines in the northern Kyushu, since they were registered as a world cultural heritage in July 2015, The museum is comprehensively exhibiting the historic materials related to the advancement of coal industries, particularly associated with the Miike coal mines. It seemed the museum was established to utilize this facility as a core promotion spot for the tourism industries around the Omuta area, as well as to remind people about the social background and technology challenges of the coal industry around the area. In the museum, we can see a lot of learning materials which are displayed in the hall regarding the coal mining measures, products, and the developed technology by historical chart, dioramas and pictures, remodeling scenes, real working tools and equipment. The contents and visit report were as follows. 大牟田の近代化産業遺産ホームページ https://www.miikecoalmines.jp/outline.html
Historical sites of Miike Coal Mines (1) — The rise and fall of coal mining industry around Omuta, KyushuThe “Miike Coal Mine” was established around1899 in Omuta, northern Kyushu area. This mining site had equipped with modern facilities being unusual at that time, and yielded a massive chunk of coal in order to respond to the huge demand generated by the rapid industrial growth in the middle of Meiji era (1900s). And this mining project is renowned for the contribution a lot to build the foundation of industrial success in the early time of Japan. With this historical value, the former Miike Coal mines sites were designated as one of the “World Industrial Heritage” in 2015 by Unesco. I’ve recently had a chance to visit these Miike coal mines while traveling in Kyushu, such as Miyanohara coal pit, Miike port, railroad track of Miike mines, as well as the “Coal Industry Science Museum in Omuta”. This is a small record at that time. Access to the Coal Mines sites
大牟田の近代化産業遺産ホームページ (Omuta’s modernized industrial heritage website ) https://www.miikecoalmines.jp/outline.html
— Look into the logistics world now and past —There’s a unique museum in Shinagawa, Tokyo which explores the Japanese transportation systems named the “Museum of Logistics.” There, we could find various historical materials that show the evolution of transport and logistics technology and tools from medieval time to the present time in Japan. I have visited this museum to get certain images and knowledge about development of transportation systems and technology in Japan. This is a report describing my impression when I visited.
– A Historical Heritages ‘Yahata” as a Landmark of Japan’s Industrial Development-—八幡製鉄所と東田第一高炉跡などを巡る― It is said that one of the industrial development strategies after the Meiji restoration in 19c was the building up strong steel industry in Japan among others. The landmark policy was the establishment of the government-run “Yawata Steel Works” (“Imperial Steel Works”) in 1901. After that Japan’s steel-making industry has made remarkable progress owing much to the success of Yawata Steel. This contribution was widely recognized in the world, and the sites of the former Yawata Steel were designated as a UNESCO’s “World Industrial Heritage” in 2015. So I have visited these sites to try to find history of Yahata Steel there. This small report was made to describe the impression at that time.
♣ Museum OutlookI visited the “Chiba Museum of Science and Industry” located in the Ichikawa City, Chiba, which is introducing the latest science & technology and the industrial development, particularly in the metropolitan area of Chiba. The museum was established in 1992. It exhibits various scientific goods and devices related recent achievement of technology in the field of petrochemical, iron & and steel, and electric industries. It is said that more than five million visitors have already visited since its launching. This report is my short description on my visit. The museum would surely give us a precious opportunity to learn about the origins of current science and technology,
–Touch the Tire’s Engineering Technology and Entrepreneurshipブリヂストン博物館訪問 - ゴムとタイヤの科学が学べる博物館 — It is a rarely told but famous story that the global tire maker “Bridgestone” was born from a small firm “Shima-Ya” which had been producing Japanese socks “Tabi” in Kurume, Kyushu in the Meiji period. This Bridgestone has established the “Bridgestone TODAY” Museum in March 2001 to promote the company’s products and developed technology in commemoration of its 70 years anniversary. There huge number of tire related exhibits are displayed In the museum to show their tire products, high-tech tires, rubber technology as well as company’s own history and its R&D efforts.
— Showing Toilet Revolution and its Impact to Social LifeThe TOTO Co., a leading manufacturer of sanitary ware, has established a memorial museum named “TOTO museum” in 2015, as a commemoration of its 100 anniversary event. It was intended to spread the company’s history and products, and its technology. However, the museum is not only to exhibit the products of TOTO, but purposed to disseminate the knowledge about the sanitary wares in Japan as whole, and it tried to indicate how these sanitary goods have improved the social life of people by the rich exhibition. I visited this museum in this summer. The visit was quite satisfactory so as to excellent exhibition and good guidance. I could learn a lot about the evolution and technology of sanitary ware in Japan..Then I wrote a report of visit here to remind my memory. (日本語エディションは 「九州・小倉のTOTOミュージアムを訪ねる」 でアクセス） and also refer to Museum web site of ” TOTO Museum” http://www.toto.co.jp/museum/
♠ Nagasaki Shipyard — Making Dawn of shipbuilding in JapanIt is widely known that the “Nagasaki Shipyard ” and its related facilities have played the pivotal role in the development of shipbuilding industries in Japan, and designated as a “World Heritage” to be valued its contribution.Then, I have visited these industrial sites in this summer, particularly Nagasaki Shipyard”Archives” （史料館）sites,to know the foundation of shipbuilding industry in Kyushu and Japan. Unfortunately, some areas were inaccessible because the Shipyard is still running and couldn’t step in to the certain places. This article is an small notes at this time of visit even though having some limitation. View More!!!!!!! Full Text is available by click the above title: このサイトは、筆者が長崎の産業遺跡、特に、三菱重工長崎造船所を訪れたときの記録で、日本の初期の造船技術の吸収と開発の経過を記してみたものである。日本の産業近代化過程で最も重要な部門の一つであった造船業が長崎、また、他の地域で胃らに展開されてきたかを記している。 (日本語エディションは 長崎造船と関連施設訪問の記録訪問 でアクセス）
♠ Visit the “Shoko Shuseikan” and World Heritage in KagoshimaWalking around the Kyushu/Yamaguchi “Industrial Heritage” (2)
♣ Charm of Kagoshima’s World Industrial HeritageThe Satsuma’s Daimyo (Feudal lorthed), Nariakira Shimazu（島津斉彬）, began a great operation regarding modernization of the military and industry, called the “Shuseikan”（集成館）Project in the 1850s. This Project had pursued the building of industry adopting Western technology, including the Iron casting, large western style shipbuilding, as well as cotton spinning engineering.These vestiges still remains in the Kagoshima area, and they were registered as the “World Industrial Heritage” by UNESCO in 2015 as a primary model of Japan’s industrial revolution.These historic sites are scattered around the “Sengan-En”（仙巌園）Park in the Iso district of Kagoshima City now, for example, the historic ruins of reverberatory furnace, blast furnace, shipyard, spinning plants, and others. Particularly, the “Shoko Shuseikan” （尚古集成館）is a most valuable historical archives to illustrate the whole picture of the “Shuseikan Project”. I have visited the “Shoko Shuseikan” archive and other industrial sites this summer. The following ascription is this visit record of that time. ＋＋＋＋＋＋＋＋＋＋＋＋＋＋
♣ Touch on the Sony’s Spirit by visiting Archives
ソニー歴史資料館を訪ねるSony is well known as an electronic pioneering company representing the postwar Japanese industry which based on the innovative technology. The Sony Archives, located in Shinagawa, Tokyo, is the museum showing the Sony’s significant footprints. I have visited this Archives with my friend in this summer. The facility was not so big, but it exhibited number of Sony’s memorial products (over 250 specs) in the hall. It seems they showed the challenging history and technology of Sony. It also indicated the landmark and vestiges of the electrical and electronic industry in the post-war Japan as a whole. I felt this Archives was a valuable facility to be able to examine the Japanese electric industrial development and technology. The following is a small note describing the impression during this visit. (Note: The pictures in the articles were used in the Sony’s web and brochures, because photograph was not allowed in the archive)
See TUS Science Museum HP: URL: https://www.tus.ac.jp/info/setubi/museum/