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

Information Zone

Information Zone
Information Zone
The Information Zone is located on the second floor, in the space surrounding the central patio, "Relics of the Future". The Information Zone is divided into three sections: "Introduction," where introductory information about the main exhibitions can be found; "Discovery Space," for those who want more details about Minpaku research; and "Videotheque," where video programs introduce lifeways and cultures from around the world. The Information Zone thus is a space in which information connects the exhibits at Minpaku with the vast outside world. Access to the Information Zone is free of charge.
Introduction Introduction

The exhibits in the Introduction section are designed to enable visitors to experience directly how anthropologists and ethnologists think and how Minpaku exhibits could be explored. Visitors who stop in front of the items displayed on the white stage are asked to consider questions such as, "What is this?" and "Are these similar...or different?" Through that experience, visitors will find themselves equipped with a valuable point of view from which to approach the world's diverse cultures. Here is where your global journey starts.

Minpaku Digital Guide (Free of charge)

[img]The Minpaku Digital Guide is a portable device that lets you select video and audio explanations of the exhibits you see while visiting the museum. The information provided by the Guide explains how the artifacts on display are used, where, and by whom.
The guide is free and available in Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean versions at the ticket counter on the second floor of the museum.


[img]The Videotheque system provides introductions to the lifeways, ceremonies, and arts of peoples from the many regions of the world. Programs can be selected by region or theme. The system includes 450 circa 15-minute videos, 100 longer videos edited for use as research material, and 40 multimedia programs combining text and photographs. Three hundred fifty of these programs are original material, shot and edited by Minpaku, based on fieldwork by Minpaku researchers.

Videotheque booth

The 28 Videotheque booths are positioned around the central patio. Three new open-format, easy-to-use booths are now available in the Introduction section.


Upcoming new Videotheque programs (17 November 2016) [in Japanese]
Search for Videotheque programs here. [in Japanese]

Multifunctional Terminal Room

[img]The Multifunctional Terminal Room has booths equipped with sofa seats to relax and enjoy longer programs, and terminals with mouse where visitors can easily enjoy interactive programs.

Dicovery Space

[img]In the Discovery Space, visitors may search for more information about exhibits at the Research Desk. Materials related to Minpaku researchers' projects can be found at Voices from the Field. Touch the World provides an opportunity to handle as well as see exhibit materials, to gain a deeper understanding of them. Visitors are invited to learn more about the artifacts on exhibit, to satisfy their curiosity about what Minpaku researchers are studying, and to experience artifacts directly.

Research Desk: Deepen your Knowledge

[img]Here you can find and compare information about the objects displayed in the main exhibition hall. Just touch the icon for the item you want to learn more about. The item's name, the region in which it is used, its location in the exhibition hall, titles of related books, journal articles, and videos, and digital guide contents will appear on the screen. Keywords can be used to make comparisons across regions.
Also available are books and Minpaku publications related to the subjects visitors are exploring. To research a subject in greater detail, please use the library, which is located on the third floor.

Voices from the Field: Connect to the World

[img]Minpaku research is not confined to the museum. Our researchers are active throughout the world, including Japan. The results of their research are the backbone of our exhibitions that connect visitors to Minpaku with people from many countries and regions. Here you can learn more about Minpaku researchers' projects.

Touch the World: Widen your Perspectives

[img]Touching objects enriches your understanding of them. This is a new approach to teaching and learning material culture in the museum. You can experience the world of objects that people have made and used, and feel the depth and richness of understanding objects through the sense of touch.


Stop and touch
Have a conversation with an artifact. Touch it, hold it, take your time, observe its form and texture. Handle it gently and think about what it tells you about the people who made it, their culture and society. This is where touching the world begins.

Look and touch
As you read the explanations, feel free to use both hands and eyes to explore the overall form, the structure of details, the relationship of inside to outside. Think about the materials used and how the object was made.

Don't look, just touch
What can you learn about form and details by touch alone? Try it. Investigate the difference between the senses of touch, sight, and hearing.