J-GLOBAL ID:200905066301569061   Organization code:A155005000 Update date: Jan. 21, 2020

National Museum of Ethnology

国立民族学博物館, コクリツミンゾクガクハクブツカン
Representive : Director-General, MATSUZONO Makio
Establishment year: 1974
Address: 10-1 Senri Expo Park, Suita-shi, Osaka 565-8511, Japan
Organization/Research department name (14):
  • Social Research:
  • Ethnological Dynamics,
  • Human Environment,
  • Social Systems,
  • Cultural Research:
Show all
Subordinate facility name  (3):
  • Center for Research Development,
  • Research Center for Cutural REsources,
  • The Japan Center for Area Studies
History (24):
  • 1935/01
    A plan to establish an ethnological museum of Japan as an incorporated Foundation is developed under the leadership of SHIBUSAWA Keizo and SHIRATORI Kurakichi.
  • 1964/01
    The Japanese Society of Ethnology, the Anthropological Society of Nippon,the Japanese Archaeological Association,the Folklore Society of Japan, and the Japanese Association of Ethnology jointly submit a request to establish a national ethnological research museum to the Minister of Education and other relevant authorities.
  • 1965/01
    The Science Council of Japan submits a recommendation to establish a National Ethnological Research Museum(tentative name)to the Prime Minister.
  • 1972/01
    A research council(chaired by KUWAHARA Takeo)conducts a feasibility study on the establishment of a National Ethnological Research Museum.A basic concept plan for the museum is submitted to the Minister of Education.
  • 1973/01
    A preparatory council for the establishment of a National Ethnological Research Museum(tentative name)and a preparation office are set up.
Purpose of establishment:
The National Museum of Ethnology was established,
following the amendment of part of the National
School Establishment Law (1974), as an Inter-University
Research Institute under the Ministry of Education,
Science, Sports and Culture (present Ministry of
Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)
and made a fresh start in April 2004 as a member of the
National Institutes for the Humanities,which is an Inter-
University Research Institute,under the National University
Corporation Law(2003) .
The general functions of Minpaku are ethnological and
anthropological research, colleting and conserving
ethnographic materials, and public exhibition.
The museum also organizes many research symposia and
joint research projects. With these activities, the
museum aims to promote a general understanding and
awareness of people, societies, and cultures throughout
the world.
Business overview:
○Research Institute
The Museum functions as a research institute equipped with
a museum. It serves as a research center for ethnology and
anthropology, providing information and research results
to academic communities and the general public through
publications and a variety of other forms.

○Joint Research
As an Inter-University Research Institute, the Museum supports
and organizes joint research projects with a number of
researchers from other academic institutions.The research
materials collected and stored in the Museum are widely
used by those researchers.

○Information Center
The Museum has collected and maintained ethnological
research materials over the years,including artifacts,
audio-visual materials,books and other forms of research
data. It is also a repository for HRAF(Human Relations
Area Files)and the British Parliamentary Papers.Information
about these materials is provided to researchers inside
and outside the Museum through computerized databases.

The research results of the Museum are open to the public
through exhibitions. The Museum has emphasized the close
linkage between research and exhibition as its basic policy
and the academic staff participate in the planning and
organizing of the exhibitions.The main hall consists of two
different types of exhibitions,each featuring regional and
cross-cultural galleries. While the former exhibits the
lives, cultures,and societies of peoples,arranged by major
regions such as Oceania,and the Americas,the latter
emphasizes cultural elements shared across human societies,
such as music and language, as well as some cross-regional
and modern cultural phenomena.In addition to these galleries,
the Museum presents temporary exhibitions on special topics
and systematically makes available its research results.

○Social Contributions
In order to present the latest research findings to the
public,the Museum offers lectures, performances,
workshops, and film showing.
An International Cooperation on Museology is offered in
collaboration with Lake Biwa Museum.

○Area Studies
The Japan Center for Area Studies is located within the
Museum. It is a facility for integrated studies of the
cultures and societies of major areas of the world in order
to elucidate the formation,present state,and future of
civilization in the areas concerned as well as their
locations in the world and their characteristics.The research
projects of the Center contribute to a basic understanding
of these areas.

○Graduate Program
The School of Cultural and Social Studies of the Graduate
University for Advanced Studies,based at the Inter-
University Research Institute,is located at the Museum.
It has two courses:Regional Cultural Studies and Comparative
Cultural Studies. These Departments offer research training
programs leading to the Ph.D. degree with the aim of producing
unique professional scholars.The Museum also cooperates with
other universities in training graduate students enrolled
in doctoral programs.
  • 2009: \ 2,999 (Million)
  • 2008: \ 3,324 (Million)
  • 2007: \ 3,121 (Million)
  • 2006: \ 3,395 (Million)
  • 2005: \ 2,495 (Million)
  • 2004: \ 2,417 (Million)
  • 2003: \ 4,004 (Million)
  • 2002: \ 4,887 (Million)
  • 2001: \ 4,761 (Million)
Parent Organization  (1):
Branch Organization  (5):

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