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
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
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.
“Models of Small Traditional Japanese Boats”
We introduce works created by Tomoichiro Kondo, who was awarded the title of Contemporary Master Craftsman of traditional Japanese ship models. Kondo’s models are known for being faithful replicas of the original vessels, based on his unique research.
Here we mainly feature models of small vessels such as the Tenmasen, river boats and Peronsen. We hope you will also view the adjacent exhibition room where models of large vessels such as Bezaisen are displayed.
Special Exhibition Room: The Structures and Techniques of Traditional Japanese Vessels
During the Edo period, domestic freight was transported mainly by coastal trading vessels called Bezaisen and other cargo ships. Large Bezaisen with a capacity of 150 tons, or 1,000 koku, were called Sengoku-bune and became the most common type of the era. The structures of Japanese vessels were different from those of Chinese and Western counterparts, thus requiring unique shipbuilding techniques and tools. Bezaisen were characterized by large single sails whose strong motive power has been demonstrated in recent replica sailing.
In this exhibition, the unique features of traditional Japanese vessels, Bezaisen in particular, are explained in a comprehensible manner through model ships, reference materials and picture panels on shipbuilding tools. Moreover, a life-size partial Bezaisen replica with a capacity of 15 tons, or 100 koku, produced by Tomoichiro Kondo, is displayed in the lobby of the first floor of the basement.
A model of benzai-sen (traditional Japanese sailboat) is displayed on the first basement floor (built by Tomoichiro Kondo, weighs approx. 15 tons). Repair workshop, material room, and library and archives are on the second basement floor.