Museum General Information

Hakodate City Museum of Northern Peoples

Hakodate City, Hokkaido
Shop Impediment removal Support in English

* English pamphlets are available.
* Wheelchairs/strollers are allowed (some are available for loan). Guide dogs are allowed.

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Facility Outline:
The museum exhibits materials related to northern peoples

External viewPeoples with deep roots in the natural features of northern frontiers have unique traditional cultures. Among a limited body of materials on the world’s northern peoples, the resources formerly held by the Hakodate City Museum and those collected by Dr. Osamu Baba (a Hakodate-born authority on anthropology, archaeology and ethnology) and Dr. Sakuzaemon Kodama are known extensively in Japan and beyond as gems that highlight the characteristics of northern cultures.

This museum showcases Hakodate’s world-class materials on northern peoples as a tribute to the many years of surveying and research conducted by Dr. Baba and Dr. Kodama. The museum building was constructed in 1926 as the former Hakodate Branch of the Bank of Japan.

Permanent Exhibition:
There are a number of valuable materials on display including those related to the Ainu

Resources formerly held by the Hakodate City Museum

Resources formerly held by the Hakodate City MuseumThese resources were collected by volunteers and the Kaitakushi (the Hokkaido Development Commission) from 1879 to 1886, and attract attention as some of the few remaining artifacts of their kind anywhere in the world.

Baba Collection

Baba CollectionDr. Osamu Baba, a world-recognized authority on the study of northern peoples, extensively collected materials from Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands and Hokkaido around 1935. The pieces he gathered are known widely in Japan and elsewhere as the Baba collection. The Ainu artifacts in the collection were designated as an Important Tangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan in 1959 in recognition of their high global academic value.

Kodama Collection

Kodama CollectionWhen a pressing need for more knowledge of the Ainu arose around the time of World War II, former Hokkaido University Professor Emeritus Dr. Sakuzaemon Kodama focused on collecting Ainu artifacts at his own expense to enable their study and prevent them from being taken abroad and lost. Known as the Kodama collection, these pieces now represent valuable resources that form the foundation of Ainu studies in Japan. The collection has been studied by Dr. Kodama and members of his family who are also researchers, and the results have been extensively published by research institutions.

Recommended Activities:
Experience the culture of northern peoples!

Hands-on learning program: mukkur creation and playing

mukkurParticipants learn to make and play a traditional Ainu mouth harp called a mukkur.

Fee: 500 yen, Period: 60 – 90 min. (reservations required)

Hands-on learning program: paper cutting craft for northern designs

Participants learn how to cut beautiful paper designs handed down in Ainu, Uilta and other northern communities.

Fee: free, Period: 15 – 30 min.

Exhibitions Information

No information now.

Basic Information

Facility nameHakodate City Museum of Northern Peoples
AddressSuehiro-cho 21-7, Hakodate, Hokkaido
Hours9:00 – 19:00 (April 1 – October 31), 9:00 – 17:00 (November 1 – March 31)
ClosedDecember 31 – January 3 and on other occasional days
Admission feeAdults: 300 yen; students: 150 yen; preschoolers: free
Access1 min. on foot from Suehiro-cho streetcar stop, which is8 min. on the streetcar bound for Hakodate Dock from JR Hakodate Station
Display the Hakodate City Museum of Northern Peoples on an enlarged map.
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