ーThe museum reopened after renovations and its area was greatly expanded. How long did it take to renew and what kinds of changes were made?
The former Museum was opened in March 2008. Since the number of visitors has increased significantly since around 2015, we began to consider the relocation and expansion of the facility from 2017. The basic zoning plan for facility development in the area where the Museum is located was formulated in June 2018, and the new “Port of Humanity Tsuruga Museum” was completed at the end of 2019. Four buildings were restored in the new Museum, including the Tsuruga Port Station terminal and the customs office that stood there when the Siberian Children and Jewish refugees arrived in Japan.
We created a new training room and a special room for exhibitions. In order to make the exhibitions more accessible to young people, we have also installed multimedia animations. In addition, we’ve made it possible to view historical materials in a digital version and their reproductions.
ー As the director of the Museum, what do you think about such a large-scale renovation?
Looking back, I can see that so many people cooperated with this project. I would like to express my gratitude to all of them.
Our goal is to promote peace education and tourism. With the goal in mind, all employees will work together to create attractive facilities that are loved by a lot of people. I would like the people of Tsuruga, especially young people, to come to the Museum and learn something about the history of their hometown, and then spread the knowledge.
ー What did the people who attended the opening ceremony say?
We received favorable comments from all of them. It seems that the values conveyed by the Museum, such as the meaning of life and peace, are becoming increasingly important in today’s world. I think it is worth thinking about what each of us can learn from the Siberian Children and the Jewish refugees.
ーWhat are the highlights / special features of the renovated Siberian Children booth?
First of all, we broadened the exhibition of the fate of the children after their return to Poland, which was rarely explained in the old Museum. Mr. Teruo Matsumoto, a journalist living in Poland, and prof. Wiesław Theiss donated a large number of valuable historical materials collected through many years of research in conjunction with the reopening of the Museum. Some of these materials are displayed as new materials on the history of the Siberian Children. We’ll keep making every effort to find new materials.
We also have a ceramic bas relief of a group photo of the Siberian Children, which was donated by the Social Welfare Corporation Fukudenkai. Thanks to its advanced production technique, it reflects the facial expression of the children very well. Please take a look at it when you visit the Museum.
Port of Humanity Tsuruga Museum (Jindo no Minato Tsuruga Muzeum)
〒914-0072 Kanegasakicho23-1, Tusurga-shi, Fukui, Japan
Hours：9：00～17：00（last admission 16：30）
Closed on：Wednesdays (or the following weekday if Wednesday is a holiday) and new year holidays
Tickets: Adults ¥500, Children 4–12 years old: ¥300
For groups of 20 or more: Adults ¥400, Children 4–12 years old: ¥240
*Children under 4, people with disabilities, and their assistants (1 assistant for each person) admitted free