ATTIC MUSIUM

神奈川大学
日本常民文化研究所
Institute for the Study of Japanese Folk Culture Kanagawa University

About the ISJFC

History of ISJFC


Attic Museum members “wearing” mingu

  The Attic Museum Society founded in 1921 was renamed Institute for the Study of Japanese Folk Culture during WWII. Later, it became part of Kanagawa University in 1982 and has collected materials from many sources on the history, culture, and everyday life of the ordinary people of Japan, achieving special note in fisheries history.

1921 Keizo Shibusawa founded the Attic Museum Society with his friends. They collected and exhibited biological specimen and mingu, such as local folk toys, in Shibusawa’s garden shed.
1925

The first ‘attic renaissance’ meeting was held and the organization was named ‘Attic Museum’
(Photo: Original record of “Omochabako
(Toy Box)”
 collection record of the Attic Museum

1935 Research groups were organized: Group I (study sessions held every Saturday); Group II (mingu research); research group on fishing history, group for compilation of historical documents of Uchiura (Izu),etc.
1936

Proposal to open a folk science museum in Hoya. The entire collection of the Attic Museum was donated to the Folk Science Association.
(Photo: Folk Science Museum opened in Hoya, Tokyo in 1939)

1942 Attic Museum was renamed Institute for the Study of Japanese Folk Culture
1949 ISJFC was commissioned by the Fisheries Agency for research and conservation of fishing-related documents and materials. Survey, collection, cataloging, and hand-copying of materials were carried out at a branch office located within the Tokai National Fisheries Research Institute in Tsukishima, Tokyo.
1950

Institute for the Study of Japanese Folk Culture became an incorporated foundation
(Photo: Sorting historical materials at the Tsukishima branch office of the ISJFC, then an incorporated foundation, circa 1952)

1955 Tsukishima Branch Office closed
1963 Keizo Shibusawa deceased in October
1964 Emakimono ni yoru Nihon Jomin Seikatsu Ebiki (Pictopedia of Everyday Life in Japan from Picture Scrolls, 5 volumes)” published as an annex to “Nihon Emakimono Zenshu. (Complete Collection of Japanese Picture Scrolls)” by Kadokawa Corporation
1968 Launch of first issue of “Mingu Monthly
1972 ISJFC moved to a condominium in Ninohashi, Mita, Tokyo
1981 A committee for incorporation of ISJFC was set up in Kanagawa University. Kanagawa University Institute for the Study of Japanese Folk Culture was established in July.
1982 ISJFC as an incorporated foundation was dissolved in March 31. Research started on historical materials of the Futagami Family of Ehime Prefecture.
1984 Research started on historical materials of the Tokikuni Family of Wajima City, Ishikawa Prefecture.
1986 Launch of “Rekishi to Minzoku (History and Folk Customs)” (Kanagawa University Institute for the Study of Japanese Folk Culture)
1992 Establishment and accreditation of Graduate School of History and Folklore Studies affiliated to ISJFC.
2003 “Systematization of Nonwritten Cultural Materials for the Study of Human Society” proposed by Kanagawa University was adopted as 21st Century COE Program by MEXT
2008 Research Center for Nonwritten Cultural Materials was opened to carry on the work of the COE Program. Launch of joint research project “History and Folklore of Setonaikai”
2009 International Center for Folk Culture Studies was launched as a joint usage / research center based on ISJFC
2011 ISJFC and the Graduate School of History and Folklore Studies jointly worked to salvage and conserve materials related to Kesennuma Oshima Fisheries Cooperative Association damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake
2013

ISJFC’s Exhibition Room opened in March in the Kanagawa University Exhibition Hall newly established in the university’s Building 3. The permanent exhibition opened and the first special exhibition titled “Shipwright Tomoichiro Kondo’s World of Japanese Boat Models” was held.
(Photo: Special Exhibition “Shipwright Tomoichiro Kondo’s World of Japanese Boat Models” )

2015 Launched a joint research project: Comprehensive Studies on the Landscape and History of Sea Areas and Seaside Communities
2016 Launched various joint research projects: The Development of Field Sciences Documented in the Institute for the Study of Japanese Folk Culture Archive, History and Folk Culture of Futagami Island with Particular Focus on the Futagami Family, Research and Analysis of the Fujii Family Papers, a Priest Clan of Rikyu-Hachimangu Shrine, Oyamazaki, Kyoto