The National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) is a research center for ethnology and cultural anthropology.

Seminars, Symposia, and Academic Conferences

Thursday, February 11 ~Friday, February 12, 2016
《International Workshop》System Development for the Info-Forum Museum: Philosophy and Technique

  • Date: Thursday, February 11 – Friday, February 12, 2016
  • Venue: Conference Room 4, National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan
  • Language: English (with Japanese translation)
  • Hosted: National Museum of Ethnology
  • Supported: The Japanese Society of Cultural Anthropology
  • Cosponsored: National Museum of Ethnology: Info-Forum Museum for Cultural Resources of the World Project,
    JSPS Scientific Research (A): Museology for Museum Networking. Ken’ichi SUDO ,
    JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (A): Source Community Utilization of Ethnological Collections for Information Sharing in Japanese Museums. Atsunori ITO
  • Inquiries:10-1 Senri Expo-Park, Suita, Osaka 565-8511, Japan National Museum of Ethnology
    e-mail: ito[at]
    *Please replace 'at' with @


The purpose of this workshop is twofold: to examine a technical aspects of the system development and to discuss a basic idea called the creating of collaboration environment. Both of them will focus on the Project of Info-Forum Museum being implemented at the National Museum of Ethnology, Japan (Minpaku).
In the North America, some ethnological museums have already done collection reviews with source communities on their ethnographical objects and archive collections. They digitized obtained information respecting the cultural sensitivities, which should not opened to the public, and built one-of-a-kind database. For example, these are: “Alaska Native Collections: Sharing Knowledge” developed by the Arctic Studies Center, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, “Reciprocal Research Network” by UBC Museum of Anthropology, and “Amidolanne” created by the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center.
The idea of Info-Forum Museum was derived from the above-mentioned projects. Unfortunately, in case of Minpaku, the contents which were planned to be the key to its database system, such as collaboration characteristics, information generativity, security and the interface in the online environment, turned out relatively weak because the examinations were done only on separated and individual cases, neglecting to some extent the need for understanding an aspect of mutual cooperation between them.
In addition, looking globally, there are not many examples in the world to follow which enforce the multi-language information dispatch, the non-language information retrieval, and which expand the collaboration environment and its subsequent development of the educational programs. These capabilities are still hidden behind a wall of silence.
Therefore, Minpaku decided to invite experts from North America and Europe who take central roles in these collaborative activities to discuss challenges and possibilities of development and use which stand in front of the Info-Forum Museum.


Thursday, February 11
10:00 - 10:20 Opening Addresses
Ken’ichi Sudo (Director-General, National Museum of Ethnology)
10:20 - 11:20 Info-Forum Museum Project
Nobuhiro Kishigami (National Museum of Ethnology)
11:20 - 12:50 Sharing Knowledge
Aron Crowell (Arctic Studies Center)
12:50 - 13:50 Lunch
13:50 - 15:20 Reciprocal Research Network
Susan Rowley and Nicholas Jakobsen (UBC, MOA)
15:20 - 15:30 break
15:30 - 17:00 Collaborative Collection Review with Source Community
Cynthia Chavez-Lamar (National Museum of the American Indian)
17:00 - 18:00 General Discussion
Friday, February 12
10:00 - 11:20 Amidolanne
Jim Enote (A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center)
11:20 - 12:40 Database as Collaborative Environment
Robin Boast (University of Amsterdam)
12:40 - 13:40 Lunch
13:40 - 15:00 Hopi Collection Review Project in US and Japan
Kathy Dougherty (Burke Museum) and Atsunori Ito (National Museum of Ethnology)
15:00 - 15:10 break
15:10 - 16:30 Test Program of Info-Forum Museum
Yuzo Marukawa and Hirohumi Teramura (National Museum of Ethnology)
16:30 - 17:30 Comment from Museum Anthropology
Kelley Hays-Gilpin (Museum of Northern Arizona)
17:30 - 17:55 Concluding Discussion
17:55 - 18:00 Closing
Nobuhiro Kishigami (National Museum of Ethnology)