KASAI, Yoshinori and Atsushi Nakagawa, “A Collaboration on Folklore Research between a City Museum and a Private University”, ICOM-KYOTO CAMOC-DEMHIST Session, City and House Museums in the Context of Revising Museum Definition, Kyoto, Japan, 2019

  • ICOM: International Council of Museums
  • CAMOC: ICOM International Committee for the Collections and Activities of Mueum of Cities
  • DEMHIST: ICOM International Committee for Historic House Museums

I’m engaged in research on Sagicho in recent years as I wrote here many times. It is a folklore event seen through Japan to make the God of New Year to the celestial world by burning decorations for the season.

The research has been done collaborating with Ritto History Museum under the comprehensive partnership agreements between Ritto City (うますぎる栗東) and Ryukoku University, my former affiliation.

We published a book and held a symposium based on the research. And we’d like to review the process of our collaborative research. Fortunately, the general conference of ICOM (ICOM KYOTO 2019 Organising Committee), the international council of museums, was to be held in Kyoto this year. Then, we submitted an abstract to the session of CAMOC (CAMOC – Museums of Cities), the international committee for the collections and activities of museums of cities. The board accepted it as one of 10 presentations out of 90 entries.

Today, Mr. Atsushi Nakagawa (中川 敦之), a curator of the museum, and I had a presentation titled “A Collaboration on Folklore Research between a City Museum and a Private University.” It showed the process of research as a case and concluded that the museum is changing more for the communities, by playing a role as an open and public resource, collaborating with other institutions, and promoting the participation of residents. Especially on the participation was the key factor for our research.

Some presentations in the session emphasized globalization and insisted on the importance of cross-cultural exchange. Our case was not global, but cities always have cross-cultural exchanges between old residents and newcomers, and senior citizens and young. That’s why such collaborative, participatory research is very important not only as academic research but also to let residents exchange their experiences and opinions to make future communities.

We had little chance to communicate with participants, because the discussion was concise, and questions from the floor concentrated on a presentation regarding distinguished practices of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. But some gave comments to us; almost all they were about our presentation style like a dialogue. We hope to receive more comments on the content of our presentation rather than the style in the next chance.

Anyway, it was a valuable experience for us to have a presentation at the international conference. I’m now interested in the CAMOC conference next year in Krakow. If the theme and conditions match to me, I perhaps apply for it.

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