Director-General, National Museum of Japanese History
Inter-University Research Institute Corporation
National Institutes for the Humanities

The National Museum of Japanese History (NMJH, or known as "Rekihaku") is one of the six inter-university research institutes established under the National Institutes for the Humanities. Rekihaku has promoted research on the history and culture of Japan based on a contemporary standpoint and from the perspective of world history. The distinctive feature of Rekihaku is to promote interdisciplinary, scientific, and innovative research with Japanese and overseas researchers from universities and other institutes, through collaboration of archival history, archeology, folklore, natural sciences, and other related disciplines. In addition, since its opening in 1983, Rekihaku has taken the museum-based form with the goal of applying research achievements to permanent exhibitions or special exhibitions and making them available to society at large.

In 2007, Rekihaku redefined its position as a "museum-based inter-university research institute" and its mission was codified as "Rekihaku's Vision." To put it briefly, Rekihaku implements "museum-based research integration" as its unique research style to fully demonstrate its function as a museum and also plans for the "enriched potential for collaborative activities" to promote research activities that are built upon the strong ties between the society and its mission as an inter-university research institute. Not only do we collaborate with external researchers to conduct research projects or to hold exhibitions but we also work with the wide support of the academic community in collecting materials and in their utilization, presentation and transmission as research resources.

Today conflicts between nations, ethnic groups, and religions have occurred in many parts of the world and there are various wide disparities. We are also facing the crisis of the global environment. In a time like today when it is not easy for us to predict our future on a global scale, we need to learn about our history with self-consciousness. When the Great East Japan Earthquake hit on March 11, 2011, we saw many towns and villages, together with the lives of the people there, being instantly swallowed by the tsunami. The reconstruction work has been proceeding gradually. We have learned how important it is for people to inherit their local history and culture from seeing those trying to rebuild their lives in the places where they used to live or those who can no longer live there due to the nuclear accident and unable to pass on their local history and culture inherited from their ancestors. Under these circumstances, Rekihaku has strengthened its intention to develop a new base of research on Japanese history and culture and to communicate widely to the society in addition to the academic world, and contribute towards building a secure society that has a solid foundation of history and culture.

After 2008, we renewed Gallery 3 (Early Modern) in 2008, newly established Gallery 6 (Contemporary History) in 2010, and renewed Gallery 4 (Folklore) in 2013. Since then, Rekihaku has assumed an important role in Japan and internationally as the only institution exhibiting Japanese history and culture across all periods. We intend to respond properly and quickly to the advancement of academic studies as well as to social demands, and continually renew permanent exhibitions to keep providing new historical images. We are committed to sharing the achievements of "museum-based research integration" with greater number of people by continually improving the permanent exhibitions such as the renewal of Gallery I (Paleolithic Period and Ancient Times) currently in progress.

We are grateful for your continued support and cooperation.

April 2015

KURUSHIMA Hiroshi