Throughout history, humans have produced a variety of tools, ceremonial artifacts, buildings, songs, dances, and oral traditions, among many other things. However, since the 1980s, many such cultural resources are on the verge of disappearance confronted by the phenomenon of rapid globalization. Protecting the continuation and ensuring creation of ethnic cultures, or the shared cultural assets of humanity, is a challenge that must be tackled from a global perspective.
Since its inception 40 years ago, Minpaku has been devoted to research on ethnic cultures, and to collecting ethno-cultural materials and information from around the world. Today, it is considered vital to share such information, embodied in physical objects as well as intangible information and practices, as a "cultural resources of the world," and to ensure that it is passed on to future generations.
The staff of Minpaku will be working collaboratively with other research institutes, universities, museums, and local societies, both in Japan and around the world, to conduct international collaborative research based on diverse cultural resources held by Minpaku and its partner organizations. The results of this research will be added to the basic information already organized for each cultural resource, and will be documented and recorded. Further, this enriched information will be disseminated via the Info Museum in the form of multilingual, multimedia-compatible, digital archives that will serve as a basis for forum discussions and examination.
There are two aspects to this project: One is the conduct international collaborative research projects on specific cultural resources and the turning of the results into a body of information with multilingual content. The other is to create the system for the Info Museum, and then ensure the operations.
As the project matures, global sharing and joint use of resources will become possible, based on an alliance of international partner organizations. The staff of Minpaku wishes to make this valuable resource available to researchers, culture-bearers and the general public, so that they all can put it to use for research, education, inter-generational transmission of culture, and the acquisition of information.
Project for Database Establishment (project period: max. 4 years)
- Building a Multilingual and Interactive Database for the Africa Collection (April, 2017 - March, 2020): IIDA Taku
- Material Culture in Central and North Asia: Ethno-Cultural Objects at the National Museum of Ethnology (April, 2018 - March, 2022): TERAMURA Hirofumi
- Maritime Adaptation and Material Culture in Maritime Asia-Based on the museum materials from Southeast Asia (April, 2019 - March, 2022): ONO Rintaro
【Projects in the Past】Project for Database Establishment
- Documenting and Sharing Information on Ethnological Materials: Working with Native American Tribes (June, 2014 - March, 2018): ITO Atsunori
- The ecological adaptation of material culture in Taiwan and neighboring islands (April, 2015 - March, 2019): NOBAYASHI Atsushi
- Re-examination and Documentation of the Ainu Collection at Minpaku (April, 2016 - March, 2019): SAITO Reiko
Project for Database Improvement (project period: max. 2 years)
- An Info-forum Database for Minpaku Micronesia Collections; Focusing on Materials Collected in the Early 20th Century (April, 2019 - March, 2021): HAYASHI Isao
- Information Disclosure Project for Jidai Gangu collection (April, 2019 - March, 2021): HIDAKA Shingo
- Cultural Heritage Sites Possessing Memories of Tsunamis: Database of Temples/Shrines and Stone Monuments: Enhancing the Database for the Info-Forum Museum（April, 2020 - March, 2022）：HIDAKA Shingo
- Information reinforcement based on video recordings of various ethnic cultures in Senegal（April, 2020 - March, 2022）：MISHIMA Teiko
- Internationalization and the Development of Interdisciplinary Studies on Database of “Yakihata (Swidden Fields) - The SASAKI Komei collection”（April, 2020 - March, 2022）：IKEYA Kazunobu
【Projects in the Past】Project for Database Improvement
- Building a platform for the Info-Forum Museum related to the culture of the Korean Peninsula (June, 2014 - March, 2016): ASAKURA Toshio
- Building an Info-Forum Museum for folk performing arts in Tokunoshima (June, 2014 - March, 2016): FUKUOKA Shota
- Building a comprehensive database for "The George Brown Collection" of the National Museum of Ethnology ("Minpaku") (June, 2014 - March, 2016): HAYASHI Isao
- A Study of Database Construction for the Cultural Resources of Indigenous Peoples in Northern North America, with a Focus on the Minpaku Collection (January, 2016 - December, 2017): KISHIGAMI Nobuhiro
- Building an Info-Forum Museum for Regional Cultures of China (April, 2016 - March, 2018): YOKOYAMA Hiroko
- Study and Publication of Historical Trails of the Japanese Society for Ethnology's Collection (April, 2016 - March, 2018): IIDA Taku
- Building an Info-Forum Museum for Musical Instruments (April, 2016 - March, 2018): FUKUOKA Shota
- Information Disclosure Project for Documents Related to the Japanese Culture Exhibition at Minpaku (April, 2016 - March, 2018): HIDAKA Shingo
- An Info-Forum Database for Popular Culture Collections from the Middle East (April, 2017 - March, 2019): NISHIO Tetsuo
- A Japan-US Joint Study to Enrich and Connect Korean Collections Databases (April, 2017 - March, 2020): Ota Shinpei
- Building an Info-Forum Database for Cultural Collections of Central and South America (April, 2018 - March, 2020): YAGI Yuriko
- Building an Info-Forum Database for the Asaeda Toshio Collection Focusing on his Oceania Ethnography (April, 2018 - March, 2020): NIWA Norio
- Building an Info-Forum Database for Audiovisual Records of the Gandharba Community, Nepal (April, 2018 - March, 2020): MINAMI Makito