National Institutes the Humanities National Museum of Ethnology



Human beings have created a variety tools, ritual implements, structures, dances, songs and oral traditions around the world. However, with the rapid advancement of globalization since the 1980s, many of these things are disappearing or losing their vitality. A global approach is therefore required to the question of how to create and pass on ethnic culture as a cultural heritage of humanity. Over the half century since its foundation, the National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) has conducted extensive research into ethnic cultures around the world, collecting a wide range of ethnic materials and information about them. In 2014 Minpaku launched the Info-Forum Museum project and since 2016 has been working on a project entitled ‘An Info-Forum Museum for Cultural Resources of the World’ as part of the activities of the National Institutes for the Humanities. The aim of the project is to create a hub for sharing tangible and intangible materials, as well as information about them, with contemporary society, and for passing these ‘cultural resources of the world’ on to future generations.
This project, which began in 2022, builds on the results of these previous initiatives, further promoting the construction of the Info-Forum Archives for Cultural Resources of the World (multimedia digital archives with a multilingual forum function), and creating a secure means by which to share the over 1 million academic resources in Minpaku’s collection internationally, while preserving them for posterity. This will enable us to deepen our collaboration with domestic and overseas research institutes, universities and museums, as well as with the local communities who are the bearers of culture, promoting international joint research and forming a core hub for educational research activities.
The three key aspects of this project are: (1) Conducting international joint research on specific cultural resources and creating multilingual contents from the results; (2) Further developing the operational system created for the Info-Forum Museum; (3) Elucidating human culture around the world and exploring the future vision of human society. By collaborating with other institutions, this project will promote the sharing and joint utilization of materials on a global scale, and help build a collaborative humanities that will promote continuous research and education not only for researchers, but also for culture bearers and members of the general public. Our aim is to realize a human society where people can actively engage in the creation and inheritance of culture.


A Study of the Material Culture of Aboriginal Australians, with a Focus on the Minpaku Collection [Project leader: HIRANO Chikako]
Building of a comprehensive archive on Pacific collection by Japanese [Project leader: NIWA Norio]
Research based on Info-Forum Museum of Folk Performing Arts in Tokunoshima and Amamioshima and Production and Release of Multimedia Contents and Exhibitions [Project leader: SASAHARA Ryoji]
Construction of Archives of the First Synthetic Research of the Culture of Rice-cultivating Peoples in Southeast Asian Countries: Focusing on Photographs of Thailand [Project leader: HIRAI Kyonosuke]
Building an Integrated Digital Archive of Taiwan Studies [Project leader: NOBAYASHI Atsuhshi]
Publications and other results
Publications and other results
Info-Forum Museum Resources
Info-Forum Museum
View implemented Projects
Past projects