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(Bottom) The Attic Museum (about 1937)  A collection maintained by the Shibusawa Memorial Museum
Keizo Shibusawa関連写真
(Bottom) The Attic Museum (about 1937)  A collection maintained by the Shibusawa Memorial Museum
Keizo Shibusawa関連写真
(Bottom) The Attic Museum (about 1937) A collection maintained by the Shibusawa Memorial Museum

Keizo Shibusawa


  • Biography
1896-1963. Industrialist. Patron of folklore. Keizo was the son of the eldest son of Eiichi Shibusawa. Although Keizo pursued his path as a business leader to take over the family business, he continued to study folklore and biology, which he had begun before World War II, and established the Attic Museum in his home by collecting articles used daily by people throughout Japan. While he served as governor of the Bank of Japan and the Minister of Finance, he also served as chairman of the Nihon Minzokugaku Kyokai (Japan Folklore Association) and of the Anthropological Society of Nippon; throughout his work in these important positions, he contributed greatly to the development of Japanese folklore.

  • Association with Minato City
Shibusawa’s home in Mita was the base for his folklore collection

The Shibusawa house that Eiichi Shibusawa had built in Fukasawa was moved to Mita Tsuna-machi (now 2-chome Mita) in 1909. Keizo initially set up a display shelf in the attic of a storehouse built in the back garden where he displayed fossils and taxidermies that he and his friends had collected, as well as his collection of holiday souvenirs. He later formed an arts and science club called the Attic Museum Society in 1921 and began collecting folk toys.

In the early Showa era, he started to seriously collect and study folk articles, but not toys, and by 1930 he had built a two-story timber structure on the site of the storehouse, which had been torn down, and stored a valuable collection of folk items from throughout Japan. The name Attic Museum was later changed to “Institute for the Study of Japanese Folk Culture.” It turned out many brilliant researchers, such as Tsuneichi Miyamoto, and also became the prototype of the National Museum of Ethnology established in 1974.

References

Asahi Jinbutsu Jiten (Asahi Biographical Dictionary) (Asahi Shimbun)
Zusetsu: Taisho Showa kurashi no hakubutushi - Minzokugaku no chichi, Shibusawa Keizo to Attic Museum (Illustrated Natural History of Life in Taisho and Showa: The Father of Folklore, Keizo Shibusawa and the Attic Museum) (Kawade Shobo Shinsha)

  • Literary Works
Shibusawa Keizo Chosakushu (Collection of Writings by Keizo Shibusawa) (Heibonsha)
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  • Related Publications
Tabisuru Kyojin: Tsuneichi Miyamoto to Shibusawa Keizo (Traveling Giants: Tsuneichi Miyamoto & Keizo Shibusawa) (Shinichi Sano / Bungei Shunju)
Shibusawake Sandai (Three Generations of the Shibusawa Family) (Shinichi Sano / Bunshun Shinsho)
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