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SASAKI Toru Professor

History and Area Studies / Northern Culture Studies
Specialized Field
(1) Museum Management (2) Cultural Anthropolog
Research Subject
(1) Performance Measurement System for museum, Renewal of museum exhibition
(2) Native peoples as Tourist Resources in Manchuria and Karafuto(Sakhalin)
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Lab. Letters: Messages from the Laboratory

Support the evaluation of museums, whose existence should be demanded by local communities and societies.

Have you paid a visit to a museum only to feel frustrated at the unintelligible exhibits? Following the global economic crisis triggered by economic powers, cultural programs have been targets of criticism, which means museums in Japan are facing a time in which they must reconsider their resources, attractions and appealing approaches.

My research has been focusing on activities to support the creation of a system for evaluating museums. The number of visitors to a museum is not the only factor necessary for evaluating it. Satisfaction with various aspects, such as the ease of viewing exhibits or the favorable impression of a restaurant, can be evaluated through questionnaire surveys and interviews. I strive to reconfirm the missions of museums in local communities and to formulate guidelines for the implementation of specific measures in collaboration with museums.

  • Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, designed by Tadao Ando: This museum was created as a symbol of cultural rebirth after the 1995 earthquake disaster.
  • Professor Sasaki (far right) and his students who participated in the renewal of exhibits and a workshop for creating exhibits at the Hokkaido University Museum

A research field serves as a platform for interaction among intellectuals: A hands-on approach is sure to be conducive to your further growth.

Students can make the most of the Hokkaido University Museum as a place for field research. Students in my seminar have taken part in renewing exhibits at the museum as part of practical exercises in graduate school, in which they’ve been on the front lines gaining experience derived only in the field. Communications and schedule management with teachers in other faculties who are kind enough to provide documents and artifacts, as well as with other persons involved in the renewal, such as exhibition agents: These are the skills that are needed in society, and they’re the very skills I’d like you to acquire.

A museum is a free platform where students can interact regardless of their chosen course. The dynamism that encourages you to participate in creating a museum where you can interact with those from all walks of life really serves as a driving force for my research, and it’s a force I’m keen to share with you all.

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