Displays on the history, folklore and archeology of the Chugoku mountain region.
As evidenced by the 3,000 ancient kofun burial mounds in the Fudoki-no-oka history park in which this museum is located, the Miyoshi basin has a history going back to ancient times and many archeological relics have been uncovered. The museum takes as its premise that lying at the heart of the Chugoku district, Miyoshi is the perfect place to draw together the history and culture of a region influenced by its connection via transportation routes with both the Seto Inland Sea and Japan Sea trade, the tatara iron manufacturing centers of the Chugoku mountains and further afield with the Asian continent.
The museum is quite compact, but the displays are really well presented and appear to be quite detailed. Although the English guidance up until you’ve paid your entrance fee is encouraging, once inside, there is only a perfunctory explanation of the exhibits, which basically says the region has a long history. To be fair, however, if you are studying Japanese, most of the display labels and explanations come with okurigana annotations so, if you are prepared to spend the time, you can read the displays without having to be able to read all the technical Japanese kanji characters. We weren’t lucky enough to get a guided tour like Amy Chavez, and though we made a valiant effort it was a bit of a struggle to understand everything and it did get a little frustrating.
That frustration stemmed, however, from the fact that there are some really impressive pieces on display. We were particularly intrigued by some glass beads that, along with other amazing finds, were found in the 3rd century Yatani burial mound which are thought to have found their way to Miyoshi all the way from the Roman Empire.
If you have kids who are going to Japanese school or have a high level of Japanese language skills, there are quite a few fun worksheet activities and quizzes to try. Fragments of the yokai hobgoblins which appear in the Edo-era Ino Mononoke Roku ghost story set in Miyoshi are also scattered around the museum – find them all and stamp your notebook with a special stamp.
We got a kick out of the “times gone by” room which had some funky old Japanese appliances as well as examples and explanations of vinyl records.
Opening hours: 09:00-17:00
Closed: Mondays (except national holidays)
- Adult ¥200
- College Students ¥150
- High school and younger: Free
Address: 122 Kodakou-machi, Miyoshi-shi, Hiroshima-ken
Address in Japanese: 〒729-6216 三次市小田幸町122