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Kyushu National Museum

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A sign for the Kyushu National Museum, and the museum's gardens.
  • Established: 2005
  • Japanese: 九州国立博物館 (Kyuushuu kokuritsu hakubutsukan)

The Kyushu National Museum, located in Dazaifu (a short distance from Fukuoka), is one of four top-level national museums in Japan, along with those in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nara. With the other three having been founded in the Meiji period, the Kyushu National Museum is the first National Museum to be founded in Japan in over 100 years.

Unlike the other three National Museums, which maintain large collections and contain extensive exhibition space, the Kyushu National Museum devotes much of its space to conservation and research labs, including some of the best in the region. Public visitors to the museum are allowed to walk past and peer into some of these labs, gaining a glimpse into the kind of work that is done at museums.

The Kyushu National Museum is also unconventional in that its galleries are not strictly divided by country or culture, as one would find at many major museums around the world. In lieu of having separate galleries for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean art & artifacts, the Kyushu Museum organizes its exhibitions around themes of interaction and exchange, combining Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Dutch, Ainu, Southeast Asian, and other artworks & artifacts within the same spaces.

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