Yamanashi Peace Museum (Japan)

(June 11, 2010)

by Tamotsu Asakawa, Director

The Yamanashi Peace Museum (Tanzan Ishibashi Memorial Museum) is a private museum that was founded by citizens as a result of their wish to establish a museum that would convey the records and memories of war. After ten years of conducting research and collecting data by the citizens' group "Network for War Ruins in Yamanashi Prefecture," the forerunner of the museum, the Yamanashi Peace Museum was realized with the financial support of about 800 citizens. It opened in May 2007.

The first floor of the museum focuses on the theme of war and peace. The floor relates the air raid on the city of Kofu in July 1945, displaying a panel with the names of all 1,127 people killed in the raid and describing the reality and history of the raid through an interaction between Hiroo Moroboshi, a former captain of Japan Airlines, and an airman of a U.S. B-29 bomber. The floor also introduces the history of strategic bombings in Guernica, Spain, and Chongqing, China, among other places, as well as the history of the Kofu regiment, which was almost annihilated in the Battle of Leyte in the Philippines. There is also a section to introduce the state of education and people's lives during the war through textbooks of the time and display panels.

The second floor makes this museum the first in Japan to introduce the life and thoughts of Tanzan Ishibashi (1884-1973), who was raised in Yamanashi Prefecture. The second floor, with photos and materials, reflects on Mr. Ishibashi's history of advocating peace, people's rights, and liberalism as a journalist and an opinion leader of the publisher Toyo Keizai Inc., and as prime minister after the war.

The museum houses more than 2,000 books and 170 videotapes. It also has "My Exhibition Section," where materials offered by citizens are placed. The museum also holds such monthly events as meetings to listen to those who have experienced war and lectures on war and peace. The museum is expanding its discovery, exchange, and network in order to become a participatory "Port for Peace" for citizens, where those who have experienced war and learners can bring records and other materials with them.

Address: 1-1-30, Asake, Kofu, Japan
Phone: +81-55-235-5659
Homepage: http://ypm-japan.jp/
Days Closed: Tuesday, Wednesday, and national holidays
Admission: 300 yen for adults; 200 yen for junior high, high school, and college students; free for children 12 and under

(Originally published on June 8, 2010)

Click on the photos below to enlarge the images.


Visitors look intently at the exhibit on the air raid of Kofu and other displays.

A portion of the exhibit conveying the history of the Kofu regiment

The exterior of the Yamanashi Peace Museum