In the Shinkansen Country: Life from Open-air Museums in Japan

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Abstract

Historical wooden buildings can be seen not only in Japanese open-air museums and in the Japanese countryside, but also in the largest metropolises. On the individual Japanese islands we can find almost ten open-air museums, all of a different character. They include local, regional and national museums - thereby presenting several areas at the same time. Most of them are rural buildings that are primarily related to agricultural subsistence, while some of them also exhibit urban life. In addition to exhibitions of real life and thematic exhibitions, the museums also prepare such programmes as traditional festivities and handicraft courses. Numerous information boards in the museums that are visited, however, are already obsolete in terms of their technical workmanship and their graphics while at the same time they display a lot of information, which also makes the exhibitions chaotic. An interesting concept for using historic buildings is The Art House Project, where endangered buildings were offered to leading Japanese artists and architects for their up-to-date adjustment. A brief encounter with Japanese architecture at the same time confirms that the practical implementation of basic needs to ensure living is similar across the world.

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