As the director of Tokyo National Museum, I would like to extend my greetings.
My name is Fujiwara Makoto, Director of Tokyo National Museum.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of Tokyo National Museum, which was established in 1872 as the Ministry of Education Museum, following a public exhibition held at the Yushima Confucian Shrine in Tokyo.
The Museum has held commemorative exhibitions and other events every ten years. The decade since our 140th anniversary in 2012 has been a period of particularly great change. The number of foreign visitors to Japan increased from 8.36 million per year in 2012 and reached a record high of 31.1 million in 2019. During this period, we worked hard to enhance multilingual support in our galleries for foreign visitors.
The regular exhibitions have been rotating more than 300 times a year so that visitors can see new artworks every time they visit the museum. Many have done so and visited our special exhibitions as well. The total number of visitors in Fiscal Year 2012 was 1.55 million, and in FY 2028, it reached a record high of 2.59 million. The number of visitors to the regular exhibitions more than doubled from 420,000 to over a million.
In preparation for the 150th anniversary of our founding in 1991, we also announced the TNM Plan for a New Era to solve existing issues and grow further as a national center.
As you are probably aware, it has been difficult to continue the museum's operations from early 2002 due to temporary closures, restrictions on the number of visitors, and voluntarily closing the exhibitions early at night to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The pandemic has transformed society and is leading to new lifestyles. At Tokyo National Museum we consider these social changes as an opportunity to think about the functions and purpose of the museum.
So, on the occasion of Tokyo National Museum’s 150th anniversary, we hope to take another step forward and make the museum accessible to everyone. We look forward to your visit and continued support in the future.
Tokyo National Museum