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

Life Culture through Daily-use Articles: Omura Shige’s Collection at the National Museum of Ethnology

Joint Research Coordinator YOKOGAWA Kimiko (Special Guest Researcher)

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The Omura Shige Collection at the National Museum of Ethnology is almost entirely lifestyle materials accumulated by the late Omura Shige during the course of daily living. For that reason, this collection represents valuable research materials that present an overall, systematic look at the lifestyle culture of a Japanese woman living in the twentieth century. This research seeks to understand and analyze from various angles the lifestyle goods in this collection, with the goal of shedding light on Omura Shige’s way of life as well as the period in which she lived.
During the three eras in which Omura Shige lived, namely the Taisho, Showa and Heisei, although some aspects of the traditional lifestyle endured, we have come to view the first half as being affected in every corner by war and the second half generally shaped by the mass consumption that followed from the industrialization and information proliferation in society. By observing lifestyle goods as not mere things connected to the conditions of those times, we can verify the appropriateness of our understanding. At the same time, through new forms that do not conform to our prior understanding, we can expect to show trends in society as seen from the dimension of these lifestyle goods.