Director's Message


Director of Tribe mask petit gallery in Yamanashi
(アフリカ アンゴラ共和国ルチャジ族仮面装着)
(Wearing Luchaj mask, Republic of Angola, Africa)

 フランス、パリのエッフェル塔の近くに「ケ・ブランリー美術館」が有り、世界中の優れた民族製品、中でも仮面の圧倒的展示が有ります。また、メキシコに「San Miguel仮面ミュージアム」、スリランカの「アンバランゴダ仮面博物館」、米国オクラホマ州の「Second Faceオンラインミュージアム」等が有ります。日本では、千里万博公園の中に「国立民族学博物館」が有り、万博の際に世界から収集した仮面等が展示されています。日本ではこの他に、大学等でパプアニューギニア民族品の展示や民間でアフリカの民芸品の展示場が有ります。日本の仮面に特化した展示については、東伊豆町の伊豆急熱川駅付近の「日本仮面歴史館」や墨田区の能面博物館、福井県池田町能面美術館等が有ります。
 During the working period at the United Nations and other international organizations, I was fascinated by the masks of ethnic groups from around the world that I saw on the occasion of my visit to Asia, Africa, South America, etc., and I began collecting at the age after    50 years old.  I collected also a few traditional Japanese masks, so you can compare them with masks from all over the world.
 In Paris, “Que Branly Museum” near the Eiffel Tower exhibits many excellent valuable ethnic products including tribe masks found all over the world. There exist also “San Miguel Mask Museum” in Mexico, “Ambalangoda Mask Museum” in Sri Lanka, and “Second Face Online Museum” in Oklahoma, USA.
In Japan, “National Museum of Ethnology” in Senri Expo Park has a great number of collections of masks from all over the world . There are also in Japan other organizations such as universities and private sectors who gathers Papua New Guinean folk goods and/or African folk crafts.  If focused on only Japanese masks, there are "Japan Mask History Museum" in Higashi-izu Town, “Noh Mask Museum in Sumida Ward”, and “Noh Mask Museum” in Ikeda Town, Fukui Prefecture.
 Our exhibition hall next to the vineyards of Yamanashi is a small exhibition hall of my private collection, but it covers most of the world's ethnic masks and is displayed very closely to visitors so that it can be seen directly with the naked eye, not through glass barrier.
 Knowing the origin and meaning of masks is to know the route of the tribe people, the history, life, culture, and traditions of the past, and above all to think of the ancestors and the gods who are subject to the providence and faith of the natural world.
 Many people may think of Africa as an unexplored land, but in reality it is a treasure trove of masks in a historic land where the kingdom has prospered since ancient times. African tribes  had  wonderful good ancient traditions and well organized social order including social education schemes using masks.  
The mask producer required an excellent sensibility, and the unique African masks were actively bought by Picasso, Modigliani, etc. and decorated in their atelier, and contributed  for a new European culture creation.
 Japanese masks have world-class quality from the points of oldness, variety, and high artistry, but in the world there exist more unique and excellent outstanding masks.
 Our exhibition hall uses antique furniture to exhibit masks so that visitors feel masks under the different atmosphere from the daily life.
 The masks on our display are old masks used during rituals in villages, but through these masks, I hope that the people who visited the museum, especially the children, will have  tolerant and wide diverse international thinking going beyond the Japanese single culture border.