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Introduction to INMP members:


2: Kyoto Museum for Peace, Ritsumeikan University

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Ritsumeikan University

Ritsumeikan University which was founded in 1869 is one of the four leading private universities in Western Japan and has many exchange programs with different universities around the world. After World War II, Ritsumeikan adopted the educational philosophy of peace and democracy, faithful to the spirit of the Japanese Constitution and the Education Fundamental Law.



Helping to bring education to the public and emphasizing Ritsumeikan’s educational policy of “Peace and Democracy,” the Kyoto Museum for World Peace was created by Ritsumeikan university with the goal of contributing to world peace. The Peace Museum’s main objective is to convey the tragic realities of war; illustrating the efforts of those who oppose war, and to provide an understanding of the importance of establishing peace.


Why a Peace Museum in Kyoto? Why Ritsumeikan University?

In September 1931, Japan invaded northeastern China, initiating what is known in this country as "The Fifteen-Year War". Later Japan started the Pacific War in December of 1941, declaring war against the U.S., the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

As the war in China intensified, the government pressured ordinary people to help the front lines more and more. Thousands of men recruited into the military during wars in Japan were from Kyoto. Approximately 55,000 of them lost their lives during the Fifteen-Year War. Gradually college students had to stop studying and were sent to work in munitions factories or fight in the war.

Ritsumeikan University was deeply affected by the War and adopted a nationalistic curriculum as early as the 1920s. Later on the university established different military divisions.


An Overview of the Museum:

The basement exhibits of Kyoto peace museum focus on Japan's "Fifteen Year War" and conflicts since that time. By giving visitors a deeper understanding of what war is actually like, it tries to make people think about what can be done to create a peaceful world.

The first floor of the museum houses the Media Library for International Peace, which is designed to facilitate further investigation of subjects covered in the museum's exhibits.

The museum's second-floor exhibits examine obstacles that hinder the peace process and explore pathways that ordinary people can take to eliminate these types of structural violence. Also on this floor are a room featuring various types of peace messages from the people of Kyoto, the "Studio of Life", which exhibits the works and personal effects of art students who lost their lives in war, and the Peace Art Gallery, where art works and children’s books on the themes of war and peace are on display.

In Kyoto Museum for World Peace, the visitors have the chance to know more about "The Fifteen-Year War" from different aspects, including:

  • Soldiers and Armed Forces,

  • Kyoto and the War,

  • Mobilization of the Entire Nation: Systematically Forcing People to Cooperate, Day-to-Day Life in War,

  • Ritsumeikan University and the Fifteen-Year War,

  • Air Raids, The Battle of Okinawa and the Atomic Bombing,

  • Japanese Colonies and Occupied Territories: Territorial Expansion, Anti-Japanese Activities,

  • Pre-War Endeavors for Peace: Suppression of Freedom of Thoughts and Academic Pursuits, Japanese who Opposed the War, Determining Responsibility for War Crimes,

  • Modern Warfare: The Two World Wars and Subsequent Efforts to Prevent War, The cold War and the Postwar Independence of Former Colonies

For more information about Kyoto Museum for World Peace and Ritsumeikan University, you can visit their websites:

Few photos of the Museum:

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