Gallery Five is organized around three themes and spans the period between the late 19th century, when Japan's modernization began in earnest, and the 1920s. It turns its gaze to the "civilization and enlightenment" movement that captured the imagination of the general public and the Meiji government, and on the silk and iron industries that were the engines of economic growth, under slogans such as Shokusan Kogyo (Promoting Industry and Enterprise) and Fukoku Kyohei (Wealthy Nation, Strong Military). It also addresses the Japanese development of Hokkaido and its impact on the indigenous Ainu. The gallery also includes a video exhibit highlighting the terror of the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, a treatment of consumer culture from the perspective of women, and a silent film in the mini-theatre.

Civilization and EnlightenmentIndustrialization and Development of HokkaidoA New Urban Lifestyle

Civilization and Enlightenment

The reform movement for "civilization and enlightenment" which called for adoption of Western civilization was the government's ambitious attempt to transform Japan into a modern society. One unexpected outcome of this movement was that it awakened in commoners a desire to obtain freedom and rights for themselves.

Blossoming kaleidoscope
This installation uses twenty-four television monitors to show how aspects of commoners' lives greatly changed by the adoption of Western civilization and how some aspects hardly changed at all.
A Yamaba organ made in Japan in 1890 (Meiji 23)
The tradition of singing songs at school developed hand-in-hand with the popularization of the organ. Visitors can hear recorded organ music in this section of the gallery.

Industrialization and Development of Hokkaido

The Meiji government adopted a number of modernization policies. This display introduces the development of government policies for transportation maintenance, silk production and international trade, the beginning of steel manufacturing, the development of Hokkaido, and the suffering this development caused the Ainu people.

Silk and international trade
The silk industry was the main industry earning foreign currencies during the period between the Meiji era (1868-1911) and pre-World War years. This installation presents the various stages of silk production from silkworm farming to the export of finished products as viewed from the eye of a female employee.

A New Urban Lifestyle

Urbanization and commercial activity increased after the Meiji government's promotion of rapid modernization. During the 1920s, the population of Tokyo reached over 3 million. The Great Kanto Earthquake which flattened Tokyo and its suburbs in 1923 exposed long neglected needs in the areas of population, housing and transportation administration. At this corner, one can learn about the problems created by the Great Earthquake, as well as the consumerism and popular entertainment generated by the new capitalist economy.

Cultural residences
This display recreates a kitchen and living room from the Dojunkai apartment houses which were built for the middle class population after the Great Kanto Earthquake.
Life-size reproductions of streets in Asakusa (downtown Tokyo)
Popular entertainment during the Taisho period (1912-1925) was dominated by the silent movie. The movie theater on the left side of the street features four movies.
Cafe Ultra
This cabaret which was located on a narrow street corner of Asakusa facing the movie theater is thought to be where modern Japanese popular entertainment all began.