: Classifieds : MyJU :
Stories: Localbeat
Browse Localbeat Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

Okinawas rich culture intrigues Prefecture Museum visitors

By: Bill Charles

Date Posted: 2008-06-20

On the one hand, the Okinawa Prefecture Museum and Art Museum do exactly what museums are designed to do: expose a country or region’s customers, culture and history to visits.

On the other hand, the world’s great museums go a step or two further, taking that historical information, package it and present it to visitors in a way that opens their senses, letting them imagine themselves in the past. That’s what Okinawa’s Prefecture Museum and Art Museum have both been doing since opening last November, committing the facilities to clearly accenting this former island nation, now a Japanese Prefecture, as a key player in Asian development and history.

The co-located museums in Naha City’s Omoromachi area are spacious and modern, replacing the former Prefecture Museum in the Shuri area. From opening day, when nearly 10,000 turned out to get a glimpse of the new museums, to today, where crowds circulate through the permanent exhibitions depicting the Ryukyu Kingdoms, venture into the general exhibitions including ‘Bones’ in the Rotunda Exhibition, the Kogachibaru Shell Mounds and from the shell mound villages to the shores of an enlightened Ryukyu Kingdom.

The Museum chairman has been smiling since the throngs began arriving at the new complex late last year, is particularly excited about the New Acquisitions Exhibition which runs through June 23rd. Hirotaka Makino beams even brighter as he talks of the Dinosaur Museum 2008 exhibition that runs July 15th through September 17th, to be followed by the Zushi-Game Burial Jar Exhibition September 17th to October 3rd, and the Glory of the Ryukyu Kingdom Exhibition set for November 1st through December 21st.

The Prefecture Museum’s charter is to preserve, research and capture Okinawan natural assets, history and culture, then promote them to both Okinawans and foreigners, helping them understand how deeply Okinawan culture is rooted in the past. The diverse exhibits in the several show halls entice visitors on the illusionary journeys into the island kingdom’s past, and then sailing back to the present, where post-war tableaus capture the essence of a people rebounding from troubled times.

Within the Permanent exhibition room there are two sections, one filled with displays and the other division displays. A special stage has a floor bathed in blue light and illumination displays, imaging a coral lagoon island giving visitors the sense of stepping foot on Okinawa. The rotunda circle hall display traces the Ryukyui king dam generation and the battle for control by the Satsuma, through the island’s ravaging by the Battle of Okinawa, and on to modern-day Okinawa and a glimpse into the future.

There are regular live performances at the museum, including Okinawan dance, Okinawan classical music, and modern artistry, including Okinawa rock and indies bands.

The Art Museum, the first prefecture-run art museum, runs the gamut from pre- and post-war eras, from the Meiji period to modern-day Okinawa. Two main Art Museum focuses are on The Collection and Trends in Okinawan Art. Recognizing that Okinawan and Okinawa-related artists have often gotten short shrift from Japan’s art community, Okinawa Prefecture’s Art Museum goes out of its way to expose previously unknown Okinawa artists who display works ranging from the Ryukyu Kingdom and Japanese style through the Showa period.

It credits Morinosuke Yamamoto, the first graduate of the Tokyo School of Art Western Art Department, with opening Okinawa to western art in 1901, when he arrived in the prefecture. Okinawa native Keijo Higa, who became an art teacher at Number 2 Middle School, was inspired, and passed that inspiration to Aijun Nadoyama and Seikou Oomine, who both became art power figures through the post-World War II period. Their works are prominently displayed here.

Art is more than paintings, and this Art Museum divides its emphasis between plane surface pictorial art, which encompasses paintings, woodcut printing and design photography, and three-dimensional art, covering sculpture, objets d’art, designs, and also films and other image creations. Art is depicted in everything from traditional to Avant-Garde and Expressionism, living proof in a gallery that Okinawan artists are a force to be reckoned with.

The Prefecture Museum and Art Museum are open Sunday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with last entry at 5:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays the museums are open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., with last entry at 7:30 p.m. The Museum and Art Museum are closed on Mondays.

Parking is plentiful, with 140 car spaces, 10 bus slots and 25 places for bicycles and motorcycles. The museums are handicapped friendly, offering wheelchairs upon request, and providing for seeing eye dogs, nursery dogs and listening ear dogs.

Admission fees are separate for the Museum and Art Museum. Both offer one-time visitor tickets, as well as unlimited visit passes. Both museums also have group rates.

Entrance Fees – Museum Individual (Single Visit)
Adult -- ¥400
Over 15 ~ University students -- ¥250
Non-Okinawan elementary and junior high students -- ¥150
Okinawan elementary and junior high students – FREE


Entrance Fees – Museum Group (Single Visit)
Adult -- ¥320
Over 15 ~ University students -- ¥200
Non-Okinawan elementary and junior high students -- ¥120
Okinawan elementary and junior high students – FREE


Entrance Fees – Museum Individual (Unlimited)
Adult -- ¥1,200
Over 15 ~ University students -- ¥750
Non-Okinawan elementary and junior high students -- ¥450
Okinawan elementary and junior high students – FREE


Entrance Fees – Museum Group (Unlimited)
Adult -- ¥4,200
Over 15 ~ University students -- ¥2,600
Non-Okinawan elementary and junior high students -- ¥1,600
Okinawan elementary and junior high students – ¥1,150


Entrance Fees – Art Museum Individual (Single Visit)
Adult -- ¥300
Over 15 ~ University students -- ¥200
Non-Okinawan elementary and junior high students -- ¥100
Okinawan elementary and junior high students – FREE


Entrance Fees – Art Museum Group (Single Visit)
Adult -- ¥240
Over 15 ~ University students -- ¥160
Non-Okinawan elementary and junior high students -- ¥80
Okinawan elementary and junior high students – FREE


Entrance Fees – Art Museum Individual (Unlimited)
Adult -- ¥900
Over 15 ~ University students -- ¥600
Non-Okinawan elementary and junior high students -- ¥300
Okinawan elementary and junior high students – FREE


Entrance Fees – Art Museum Group (Unlimited)
Adult -- ¥3,900
Over 15 ~ University students -- ¥2,600
Non-Okinawan elementary and junior high students -- ¥1,300
Okinawan elementary and junior high students – ¥1,000


The Prefecture Museum and Art Museum are located next to Naha Main Place in Omoromachi. From central Okinawa, including Kadena Air Base and Camps Foster, Lester, Futenma, Kinser, take the bus to Omoromachi by Okinawa Bus, Ryukyu Bus or Naha Kotsu, and get off at Omoromachi bus stop. By vehicle, drive south on Highway 58, turning left at the traffic light next to the Ekka Hotel. Travel about one kilometer, and the museum is on the left, next to San-A Naha Main Place department store.

Browse Localbeat Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

weather currency health and beauty restaurants Yellowpages JU Blog

OkistyleOkistyleJU Facebook

Go to advertising PDF?||?|o?L?qAE?|?}?OA?N?ga`OkiStyle?A??q?qM?oeu^?I`??N?gX?<eth>?<ETH>?ni^?IWanted!!Golden Kings ScheduleOkiNightSeeker