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31 Aug 2017
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KU Museum hosts 4th donor appreciation day (3 July 2017)

On 3 July, a day of blistering summer heat, the fourth Kyoto University Fund (KUF) donor appreciation day took place at the Kyoto University Museum (KUM). With over 100 attending, the event was comprised of backyard tours, followed by a reception in the entrance hall. The event was the first to be held entirely within this facility.

The program opened with an address from President Juichi Yamagiwa. He shared his goals as the newly inaugurated president of the Japan Association of National Universities (JANU), his enthusiasm for Kyoto University's new vision, recently approved for government support under the Designated National University Corporation program, and his thoughts on the University's role in promoting Kyoto's "Power of Culture".

KUM director Naoko Iwasaki then outlined the history and features of the facility, before inviting all to join the three backyard tours organized for the occasion.

Guided by Museum faculty, the tours offered a rare, close look at precious materials kept in areas that are usually closed to the public. The Japanese history tour, led by Director Iwasaki, explored "Foreign Relations of Isolationist Japan", while Associate Professor Yumiko Murakami's archaeology tour and Program-Specific Professor Naohide Nakayama's ichthyology tour examined the "Beginnings of Japanese Archaeology" and "Biodiversity Research Infrastructure", respectively.

Participant feedback included, "The materials I saw today seemed to exude the passion of the researchers involved", and "It's incredible how much researchers can learn by studying each of those items."

Visitors were also welcome to freely tour the facility, viewing whatever intrigued them and listening to commentary from faculty in each room.

This was followed by a reception in the entrance hall, where attendees engaged in casual conversation with each other and with University executives, including President Yamagiwa.

This part of the program featured beer from a craft brewery, founded by a KU alumnus and community medicine practitioner in order to create jobs for people with disabilities. Colorful, aesthetically pleasing dishes inspired by the Museum's collection were presented as well. In addition, attendees were offered a jar of honey to take home as a souvenir, supplied by an apiculturist who had decided to keep Japanese honey bees after visiting a KUM exhibition. Referring to these items and their shared connection to Kyoto U, one attendee remarked, "They seem to reflect the depth and breadth of the University."

Meanwhile, the archaeology hall hosted an audio-visual art installation, comprised of overhead projections and the sounds of a handmade pipe organ with a special style of singing. Presented against the backdrop of stone coffins, the project created an otherworldly atmosphere that intrigued and mesmerized attendees.

Finally, Dr Yoshihiro Tokuga, vice-president for university fund administration and alumni affairs, closed the day by sharing his thoughts on the University's 125th anniversary in 2023.

Kyoto University intends to continue this event for years to come, as an opportunity to convey gratitude to supporters as well as to share its vision and spending plans. We appreciate your continued support of KUF.

President Yamagiwa thanking the donors

Director Iwasaki introducing the Museum

VP Tokuga delivering closing remarks

Japanese history tour led by Director Iwasaki

Archaeology tour led by Associate Professor Murakami

Ichthyology tour led by Program-Specific Assistant Professor Nakayama

Museum faculty (left) offering commentary on an item on display

President Yamagiwa (middle) conversing with attendees

Audio-visual art installation in the archaeology hall

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