The path is designed like a timeline as you make your way from past to present with the exhibits getting increasingly more impressive as you go. Starting from educational reform where western science was prioritized and new units of measurement were developed (which includes some fascinating posters, original books, and rulers), the path leads you to the invention of computers, basic robots, and seismic design to protect against future disasters. Suddenly you find yourself reliving the history of Japan and the many changes it went through.
Towards the end of the exhibit, you’ll find things like a Walkman and VHS players which clearly look like they belong in a museum despite you having probably owned one seemingly not so long ago (ouch).
What is great about the exhibit?
Some of the many highlights of the exhibition include vintage cars from Meiji Era Japan (these are beautiful!), the presence of a penny, farthing, which I had never seen before, and a display of home electrical devices which wouldn’t look out of place in a retro sci-fi movie.
Electricity is one of the big themes in the exhibition as we go from when electricity wasn’t available in most homes to the age of convenience that we’re familiar with.
Another massive part of the Japanese history presented in this exhibition is the silk industry. Visitors are introduced to a range of original machinery and equipment used during the modernization of the silk industry, and a fascinating video of the processes they used. This is followed up later in the exhibit where we see the impact Japan has had on the fashion world with their designs and materials.
I particularly enjoyed learning about the rise of female scientists, although honestly, I wish there had been more about them. In Japan, the Tohoku Imperial University admitted women to enroll for the first time in 1913. Some names to note were Raku Makita of the department of maths, Chika Kuroda and Ume Tange of the Department of Chemistry. All three of these women went on to do great things in Science and it was nice to see them recognized here.
Know before you go
Although this exhibition is wonderful from start to end, there are some things to bear in mind. Luckily, it’s a highly visual journey but the information is only in Japanese (apart from some introduction posts dotted around). For guests who speak other languages, you can scan the QR codes they provide dotted around the museum.
This does mean you need to have a smartphone with you that has a QR code scanner (they have free Wi-Fi so I quickly downloaded one) and it also means you’re