Kanagawa University Exhibition Hall
The Institute for the Study of Japanese Folk Culture has long placed emphasis on the importance of viewing Japanese culture in relation to oceans. Our Special Exhibition Section has been hosting “The Structures and Techniques of Traditional Japanese Vessels”. The ships’ features are explained through the use of models, reference materials and panels on the vessels and shipbuilding tools, with a focus on coastal trading ships called Bezaisen.
Kanagawa University Yokohama Campus Building 3; Kanagawa University Exhibition Hall
[Opening hours] *Closed
Monday - Saturday 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. *Please enter by 4:30 p.m.
Sundays, national holidays, days designated by the University, and Saturdays when classes are not held.
Exhibition Room of the Institute for the Study of
Japanese Folk Culture, Kanagawa University *Closed
This exhibition room introduces the history of the activities of ISJFC spanning over more than 90 years from 1921 when the Attic Museum Society was originally founded by Keizo Shibusawa and the prewar to postwar period when it was renamed the Institute for the Study of Japanese Folk Culture through to the present ISJFC as part of Kanagawa University.
The exhibition comprises various modes of display including panels, historical materials/publications and films recording the lives of common people across Japan.
Display cases for items in the collection
The display cases in this exhibition room introduce visitors to a selection of items from the institute’s collection. The exhibits change twice annually—in the first half and the second half of the year.
Exhibition of Institute Materials
“The Publications of the Attic Museum 1934–1945”
[Opening Period] April 1st, 2020 to April 7th, 2020
This exhibition was planned to be held from April 1, 2020, to the end of December, 2020. However, due to COVID-19 counter measures that prohibited entrance to the university campus beginning on April 8, 2020, the exhibition was only able to be opened for seven days, and there were hardly any visitors. However, we would like to document our plans and intentions for the project here.
This exhibition was titled the Exhibition of Institute Materials “The Publications of the Attic Museum 1934–1945.” The exhibition displayed publications published by the Attic Museum in the pre-war and wartime periods.
In order to carry out research on the lives and cultures of jomin (common people), the Attic Museum gathered materials using various methods, such as implementing joint research projects by researchers of different specialties, referencing photographs and videos for the records of studies, focusing on physical objects (such as mingu), and referencing ancient writings that record daily life.
In order to report these kinds of activities and the gathering of materials, effort was also poured into publication activities. As Keizo Shibusawa stated, “At Attic, we have plans to publish unsophisticated materials (no intention of publishing treatises), and we are currently working on two or three of these plans” (NOTE 1). A particularly large number of books were published during the pre-war and wartime periods. In fact, starting with “The History of the Rivers, Islands, Villages and Native Areas of Kamiina, Suitable for Elementary School Children” in 1934, the Attic Museum released close to 100 publications over a 15 year period. These included reports on specific regions, as well as research trip reports, extracts, and revised compilations of pre-modern records.
It is said that the publication activities of the Attic Museum were based on Shibusawa’s insistence on publishing books that could not be found in bookstores and the belief that people will do anything to search for the book that they want. Therefore, these publications were not actively sold; instead, about 300 copies were made to be published, and the price was equal to the direct manufacturing costs divided by the number of copies. These publications were inexpensive, even in those times, and although the bindings were simple, funds were spent on the contents of the publications, such as photographs, illustrations, and tables (NOTE 2).
This exhibition displayed the publications by classifying them according to the following themes.
Special Exhibition Room: Temporary Exhibition: “Wasen, Kanagawa MINATO, Yokohama KOU (Japanese Ships, the Port of Kanagawa, and the Port of Yokohama)” *Closed
Our previous exhibitions have primarily centered on the structure and sailing technologies of Japanese ships. However, we have substituted the sailing technologies exhibition panels near the entrance with panels displaying the relationship between Japanese ships and Yokohama. These new panels describe the Port of Kanagawa, in the early modern era, and then the Port of Yokohama as it was renamed in the modern era.
The Port of Yokohama was officially inaugurated in 1859 and has developed into Japan’s leading international port. Kanagawa was a vital port city even before this official “opening,” and even after the anchorage area for large ships moved to Shinagawa the Port of Kanagawa served as a link to the various regions of Japan.
The exhibition panels focus on photographs that depict the Port of Kanagawa in the early modern era, the arrival of Commodore Perry, the opening of Yokohama, and the Port of Yokohama’s development as an international trading port. The new display panels incorporate materials from the Yokohama Archives of History and Kanagawa University Library.
We have also replaced some exhibits to match the photo panels. Please enjoy this display along with the existing exhibits on traditional Higaki Kaisen cargo vessels, Chinese vessels, shipwrights, and the construction of Japanese ships.