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National Museum of Japanese History

Project Diary

We will be using this page to add regular updates on the progress of our joint project with the National Museum of Japanese History.

March 2017

Prof Yoshi Miki of the NMJH writes:

On 9th March 2017, I started working with my colleagues at Oriental Museum for a week. I do not remember how many times I have come to Durham since I came in 2013 for the first time. I often fly in Newcastle Airport, then take subway and train to get to Durham Station. I felt confortable as soon as I saw the tower of the Cathedral from the Station. I am back. You can walk to anywhere in down town. I sometimes get on the bus to get to the Museum which in on a top of hill. College students are everywhere. At the Oriental Museum, you will see young students, elementary school through high school almost everyday, which I really like.

I am currently working with my colleagues to develop a new display on Japanese Ceramics in the permanent gallery. It is scheduled to open in May. The Museum has a wonderful group of staff, curator, educator, registrar, admission desk, and office manager. They all are friendly and helpful. I can get information I need quickly. I like to gather all the information I need to develop the exhibition from visitors, educators, and collection managers. Here, everything is accessible.

People from other local organizations come to see me when they need information about Japan. I am gaining network in North England. We are here to assist any cultural organizations getting information on Japan. I am very fortunate to have a basecamp here in Durham. I am planning to visit other museums, castles, and country houses around the area to research Japanese artefacts they preserved over years so that we NMJH can provide newest information on their Collection. This time I had an opportunity to meet a curator from Newcastle. I am looking forward to have more opportunities like this.

I had a chance to give a lecture to graduate students of Museum Studies. My colleagues from NMJH joined me later to hold a seminar: Prof Kurushima, Director General, Prof Ohkubo, and Prof Harada. We had a chance to talk to the audience what we do at NMJH. People from the University and other organizations came to meet us. It was great to get to know people locally.

Across the street from the Museum, there is a building of Teikyo University of Japan in Durham. The Library, on the first floor in the building is surrounded by a collection of 30,000 books in Japanese. This is a wonderful resource on Japan. I often stop by to look for information. The librarian is very skillful and friendly.

Dr Kurushima meets Durham University staff during his visit