(Jan. 5, 2010)
by Tomohiko Takasugi, Director
The Kyoto Museum for World Peace opened at Ritsumeikan University in May 1992 as "the world's first peace museum founded by a university." After World War II, Ritsumeikan University reflected on its wartime experience and committed itself to an educational philosophy of "peace and democracy," alongside its founding ideal of "freedom and innovation." The museum was established in hopes of becoming a place that nurtures peace makers through education and research, learning and enlightenment, and exploration and discovery.
In a renovation that took place in April 2005, a room was added to present the peace activities pursued by citizens. Another recent addition is the Media Library which offers print information and audio/visual materials.
The exhibit rooms are located in the basement and on the second floor. Shown in the basement are the facts involving the perpetrators and victims of Japan's "Fifteen-Year War," the truth and war responsibility concerning the European Front, and the conflicts and peace processes from the post-World War II era to today's Iraq War. The second floor is devoted to showing ways of solving the human problems that hinder peace efforts as well as messages of peace from citizens and NGOs in the city of Kyoto, in Japan, and in other countries.
As the Kyoto annex of "The Silent Museum" in Ueda City, Nagano Prefecture, "The Studio of Life" displays part of the collection of works created by art students who died during World War II.
The Kyoto Museum for World Peace holds three to five special exhibitions a year. Besides its own exhibitions, it co-organizes exhibitions, movie screenings and lecture sessions with newspaper companies and other organizations. It is a member of the International Network of Museums for Peace and the Conference of Museums for Peace in Japan in order to collaborate with peace museums in Japan and abroad.
Address: 56-1 Kitamachi, Toji-in, Kita-ku, Kyoto
Days closed: Mondays (When Monday falls on a national holiday, the museum is closed the next Tuesday.); the days following national holidays; New Year's Eve and New Year's Day
Admission: Adults: 400 yen, Junior high and High school students: 300 yen, Elementary school students: 200 yen. Group discounts available.
(Originally published on December 21, 2009)
This section features contemporary wars. Explanation by volunteer guides available.
The exterior of the Kyoto Museum for World Peace
A museum staff member talks about the exhibits.