Gifu Museums 岐阜の博物館
The wider Gifu Prefecture also has several worthwhile museums.
See a listing of museums in Gifu.
Gifu City Museum of History
Gifu City Museum of History was established in 1985 and completely revamped in 2005. The museum presents the history of Gifu Prefecture from the Jomon Period to the present day. The main exhibits are located on the second floor of the building. The Gifu City Museum of History is on two floors and is divided into various themes. These include the early history and archaeology of Gifu Prefecture, the Sengoku (Warring States) period with a focus on the warlords Saito Dosan and Oda Nobunaga, a collection of the traditional arts and crafts of Gifu, which include its high quality paper umbrellas and paper lanterns and the modern period from the beginning of the Meiji Period through World War II, when Gifu was heavily bombed, to the Showa era.
Nawa Insect Museum
The Nawa Insect Museum was opened by the local Gifu Prefecture-born entomologist Yasushi Nawa (1857-1926), who discovered the Japanese luehdorfia japonica butterfly (Gifu butterfly) in 1883. Nawa Insect Museum, founded by Nawa in 1919, is Japan's oldest insect museum and now has over 300,000 specimens from around 12,000 species. Previously in 1896, Nawa had established the Nawa Insect Research Center to research the preservation of beneficial insects, the eradication of harmful species and the control of termites, an insect that is the cause of widespread problems among the many wooden buildings in Japan. Since its founding, the Nawa Insect Museum has been run by a member of the Nawa family.
Kato Eizo-Toichi Memorial Art Museum
The Eizo and Toichi Kato Memorial Art Museum was established in 1991 and is dedicated to the work of the local nihonga-style painters Eizo (1906-1972) and Toichi Kato (1916-1996). The brothers, the third and fifth sons of a local lacquerware worker, both studied at the Tokyo Fine Arts School in Ueno, Tokyo, before going on to have successful careers as painters. Both drew inspiration for their work from flowers and also the wildlife and nature of Gifu Prefecture, in particular the cormorants of the Nagara River and Mt. Kinka.
Nagaragawa Ukai Museum
The Nagaragawa Ukai Museum is located on the north bank of the Nagara River in the historic cormorant fishermens' quarter in Gifu city. The modern museum opened in 2012 and is recommended for visitors who are going to participate in the ukai (cormorant fishing) after dark on the Nagara River, in order to learn something of the history, traditions and techniques of the experience. The modern, spacious, hi-tech Nagaragawa Ukai Museum is dedicated to the tradition of ukai (鵜飼) - fishing for ayu sweetfish with trained cormorants in the waters of the Nagara River in Gifu. The tradition of cormorant fishing is believed to arrived from China and has a history of around 1,300 years in Gifu.
Museum of Fine Arts Gifu
The Museum of Fine Arts Gifu is located near Nishi Gifu Station, one stop west of JR Gifu Station. The museum exhibits work by artists from Gifu Prefecture and overseas and also hosts temporary exhibitions. The core collection is mainly contemporary painting, sculpture and crafts with works by both Japanese and foreign artists including Joan Miro, Paul Gauguin, Susumu Koshimizu and Hikaru Yamada.
Gifu City Science Museum
Gifu City Science Museum is north of Yatsukusa Park from the Museum of Fine Arts Gifu. The museum includes a planetarium and hands-on exhibits related to local nature, science and technology, space and meteorology. On the roof is a large telescope.
Gifu Castle, on top of Mt. Kinka, displays exhibits of Edo Period armor, photographs, paintings and samurai weapons. There are explanations in both English and Japanese. A small museum below the castle the Gifu Castle Archives Museum, to your left as you walk down, contains musical instruments and other period artifacts and is included in the price of admission. The building is a modern reconstruction of an original weapon and food storage turret.
Gifu Peace Museum
The Gifu Peace Museum (Gifu Peace Room) is housed in JR Gifu Station and is dedicated to the World War II bombing that devastated much of Gifu city on July 9, 1949 and left over 900 people dead and 70% of the existing city destroyed. Exhibits include photographs of the damage inflicted on the town, Japanese army and civil defense uniforms of the time and numerous documents relating to that terrible night.
The free Water Museum in Gifu Koen opened in 2002 and is dedicated to water supply. The museum is housed in an old pumping station that dates from the 1930's and was built with stone from the nearby Nagaragawa River. On display are historic pumps and flow meters.
Moriya Tadashi Art Museum
The Moriya Tadashi Art Museum is located in Ogaki in Gifu Prefecture, close to Ogaki Castle, and just a short walk from Ogaki Station. The Moriya Tadashi Art Museum showcases the art of locally born Moriya Tadashi (1912-2003). The Moriya Tadashi Art Museum was founded in 2001 and houses hundreds of exhibits donated by the artist himself. The paintings are classified according to theme with the artist's larger, more famous works on the first floor with his sketches from his war-time experience in China, paintings on traditional Japanese fans and his paintings of Ogaki city on the second floor.
Chiune Sugihara Memorial Museum
The Chiune Sugihara Memorial Museum, located in the deep countryside of Yaotsu, is a museum dedicated to the life and good deeds of this small town's most famous son, known as the "Japanese Schindler" for helping to save the lives of thousands of Jews during World War II. Sugihara's actions of issuing valid transit visas as vice-consul at the Japanese Consulate in Kaunas, Lithuania, are thought to have saved the lives of around 6,000 Jews, who fled across Russia to Vladivostok and then on to Japan to escape the concentration camps. Sugihara continued issuing visas even as his train was leaving the railway station in Lithuania, when the consulate was closed down in 1940, and he departed for a new posting in Berlin.
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