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

Multiethnic Japan: The Life and History of Immigrants

Multiethnic Japan - Life and History of Immigrants-

Focusing the changing Japanese society with the rapidly increasing number of foreign residents in Japan, this special exhibition aims to explore the path to harmonious co-existence with them in the future.
Japan has seen kaleidoscopic changes over the past twenty years dubbed as the time of bubble boom or globalization. In hindsight, the fast-growing population of foreign residents in Japan has contributed to the remarkable changes in Japanese society. It has become quite common to happen to have friends, colleagues, neighbors, or family members from abroad in such living circumstance as schools or work places, let alone out on the streets and transport facilities.
Today, the number of foreign residents is 1.8 million, which is about double what it was fifteen years ago and it accounts for 1.5 percent of the total residents of Japan. Japanese society is undergoing a drastic change towards harmonious co-existence with immigrants on the initiative of local communities, governments and NGOs. There truly exist some social problems including conflicts or misunderstandings between the local Japanese and foreign residents. At the same time,however, activities of foreign residents have served to revitalize local economy and exerted refreshing cultural influences to people in the host communities.
While an idea of harmonious co-existence with foreign people has been gradually accepted along with the upsurge of immigrants to Japan, there still is the sense of discrimination or elimination against foreign people. To examine Japan's ongoing trends towards multiethnic society,particularly during the past fifteen years, this special exhibition traces back the history of the foreign population through their personal experiences and belongings, and speaks out the importance of tolerance, which is vital to get along well with others in the ethnically diversified society.