1. Conference theme
“Educational Cooperation between Museums for Humanities and Sciences - A message for creating new life through linkages -”
2. Schedule: December 9 (Mon) – December 13 (Fri), 2013
3. Venues: Marine World Uminonakamichi, 18-28 Saitozaki, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka The Luigans Spa & Resort, 18-25 Saitozaki, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka
4. Organizer: The Committee for “Educational Cooperation between Museums for Humanities and Sciences”
5. Jointly held by: The Japanese Zoo & Aquarium Educators Conference, the Japanese Association of Museums, the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Uminonakamichi Seaside Park
6. Sponsored by: The Museological Society of Japan, the Japan Museum Management Academy, the Japan Society for Exhibition Studies, the Fukuoka Prefectural Museum Association, the Fukuoka Board of Education, the Fukuoka Convention & Visitors Bureau
7. Supported by: Nomura Co. Ltd., Tanseisha Co. Ltd., Tsukasa Soken, Hada Kogeisha, A.I.R. Design Lab.
8. Total participants: 230 from 16 countries and regions (the United States, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Congo, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal, Bangladesh, Vietnam, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Japan)
December 9 (Mon) (62 participants)
● Registration (Marine World Uminonakamichi)
● Welcome Ice Breaker Social (The Luigans Spa & Resort)
A welcome ice breaker social was held at the reception venue. “The Grand Beach” of The Luigans. On the tables of the participants, materials, goods, and other small objects connected with various museums were laid out, based on which self-introductions were made and games were played under the direction of Mr. Hiroyuki Takahashi (Chiba Zoological Park) and Mr. Hideto Okuyama (Asahikawa Asahiyama Zoological Park). The social was held in a very relaxed atmosphere, in which people who were meeting for the first time engaged in friendly conversation regardless of nationality.
December 10 (Tue) (230 participants)
● Opening (The Luigans Spa & Resort)
A total of 230 people from 16 countries and regions participated in this international conference. As representatives from the organizer Committee for “Educational Cooperation between Museums for Humanities and Sciences,” Mr. Toshihiko Aramaki, the Director General of Kyushu Historical Museum, and Mr. Koji Takada, the Director General of Marine World Uminonakamichi greeted the participants, and the 5 day conference kicked off.
(* An interpretation booth was placed at the back of the venue so that participants could hear both Japanese and English through receivers in real time.)
● Keynote speech: Mr. Yuji Kurihara (Tokyo National Museum) and Mr. Dave Becker (Brookfield Zoo, United States)
Mr. Kurihara introduced legal systems related to Japanese museums and the current conditions of zoos and aquariums, and Mr. Becker introduced the importance of play in early childhood and zoological park programs that develop this type of experience.
● Traditional performing arts: Edoya Nekohachi and Edoya Koneko
We invited both Edoya Nekohachi and Edoya Koneko, parent-child mimics affiliated with Rakugo Kyokai (Rakugo association) and they performed their excellent routine: mimicking animal sounds and voices of the natural world. Their inspiring performance included dialogue in English as well as Japanese and the meticulous imagery of nature made a great impression on all participants.
● Taking a commemorative photo of all participants
On the second day when the number of participants was largest, a total of 230 assembled at the entrance steps of Marine World Uminonakamichi to take a commemorative photo. There was no other space possible for such a large contingent.
● Presentation session (oral presentations on 12 subjects)
Oral presentations on 25 subjects in total were divided into 6 sessions from related themes, and presentations on 12 subjects in 3 sessions were made on December 10. Presentations were made in turn on 5 subjects under the related theme of “Example of museum cooperation (1) / (2),” 3 subjects under the related theme of “Tool for conveying a message,” and 4 subjects under the theme of “Cooperation in protecting wildlife.” Ms. Yukari Sotohira (ITOZU NO MORI Zoological Park), Ms. Sayaka Jimbo (Fukuoka Art Museum), Ms. Rie Akami (Japan Monkey Centre), and Ms. Misako Namiki (Teikyo University of Science) chaired each theme. A commemorative photo of the presenters, who were given a commemorative gift, was taken with each chair from related themes.
● Welcome dinner (The Luigans Spa & Resort)
Following a welcome message given by Toshiaki Arata, the president of Marine World Uminonakamichi as representative of the venue, grand welcome reception was launched with a toast given by Mr. Kurihara from the Tokyo National Museum. Exchanges were made by a total of 140 participants from around Asia and Japan. During the latter half of the reception the heart-pounding, local Kin-in-daiko (gold seal drums) group from Shikanoshima Island, Fukuoka, performed for participants to add some traditional Japanese culture.
December 11 (Wed) (158 participants)
● Presentation session (oral presentations on 13 subjects)
In the same format as the previous day, presentations were made on 13 subjects in 3 sessions: 3 subjects under the theme of “Example of museum cooperation (3),” 5 subjects under the theme of “Program for protecting wildlife,” 2 subjects under the theme of “Message from Japan,” and 3 subjects under the theme of “Cooperation with citizens, etc.”
Mr. Takeshi Furukawa (Aquamarine Fukushima), Mr. Hiroyuki Takahashi (Chiba Zoological Park), and Mr. Yoichiro Asayama (Kyushu Historical Museum) chaired each theme.
● Poster presentations
A large hallway in The Luigans was used as an exhibition site, where presentations were made by posting 34 subjects in total. The presentation time period was divided into a first half specifically for the presenters of odd number assigned posters and the second half specifically for the presenters of even number assigned posters. Focusing on examples of cooperation and educational programs, various approaches were introduced, where a high level of awareness among the participants was seen in number and content. Although the placement of posters at the site was slightly cramped because there were many subjects and lighting varied depending on location, enthusiastic question and answer sessions took place until the end of the presentation time. After the end of the presentation time, comments were provided by Mr. Dave Becker, and a commemorative photo of all the presenters was taken.
●Aquarium dinner (Marine World Uminonakamichi)
Dinner was served at the restaurant of the aquarium “Marine World Uminonakamichi” located next to The Luigans. Unlike the hotel, the gathering was held in the aquarium-specific atmosphere, in which conference participants could watch dolphins while enjoying dinner.
December 12 (Thu) (59 participants)
● Tours of Marine World Uminonakamichi and Uminonakamichi Seaside Park & Animal Forest
Explanations were given and self-directed tours were conducted at the aquarium “Marine World Uminonakamichi” and the zoo “Uminonakamichi Seaside Park & Animal Forest” in the government-managed Uminonakamichi Seaside Park. A show using an underwater camera was presented and educational programs were introduced at the aquarium, and fence-free facilities and petting-learning display methods, etc., were introduced at the zoo. Because of the many participants involved in zoos and aquariums, the tours developed a deep interest in breeding exhibitions, shows, experience events, and facilities.
● Workshop 1
At Marine World Uminonakamichi, the workshop was conducted in three groups from respective themes.
- Mr. Dave Becker (Brookfield Zoo, the United States)
“Introduction to Nature Play for Zoos, Aquariums, and Museum Educators”
- Ms. Akemi Matsumoto (Institute of teaching materials for Animals, Pocket)
“Collaboration with School Education and Assessment of Its Educational Effect on Children”
- Ms. Kasumi Nagakura (Yokohama Greenery Foundation)
“How we actually do it? Create an activity with our AZEC friends! ”
In spite of some hardship in each group because of the language barrier, it was a great opportunity for people from various specialized background to hold discussions.
● Exchange with Shikanoshima Island Historical Society
The venue was moved to a national vacation village on Shikanoshima Island, where a picture-story show was performed and a presentation was given in association with the national treasure “gold seal (kin-in)” that was discovered on Shikanoshima Island. Following the story of the history of Shikanoshima Island told by Ms. Noriko Hirasawa, Gonnegi (a middle ranking Shinto priest) of Shikaumi Shrine, a picture-story show (English-subtitled) of the episode of discovery of the gold seal was performed by members of a local study group from the “Shikanoshima Island Historical Society.” Next, a presentation was given by Mr. Tadashi Nishitani, the Honorary Director of the Kyushu Historical Museum, regarding the gold seal-related relationship between the continent and Japan.
December 13 (Fri) (49 participants)
● Self-directed tours of ITOZU NO MORI Zoological Park and Kitakyushu Museum of Natural History & Human History
At ITOZU NO MORI Zoological Park, the park and its activities were introduced by Mr. Kazunari Ohyama and Ms. Yukari Sotohira. The history of regeneration as a civic zoo after closing due to financial troubles, and highlights of various programs were introduced. Then a self-directed tour was conducted.
At Kitakyushu Museum of Natural History & Human History, the museum was introduced by Mr. Akihiro Yamane, and a customer workshop was held with the inclusion of volunteer staff.
● Workshop 2 (The Luigans Spa & Resort)
The workshop was conducted under the direction of Mr. Yoichi Sadotomo (Nihondaira Zoo Guide volunteer). In small groups, new approaches were discussed and opinions were actively exchanged based on research presentations, tours of facilities and the constructed network of participants, etc.
● Closing session and closing ceremony
On behalf of Mr. Jo Shin-Il (Seoul Zoo) who could not participate this time, Mr. Hiroyuki Takahashi (Chiba Zoological Park) made a presentation of the facilities and activities of the Seoul Zoo, the venue of AZEC 2015, and a welcome speech.
A closing address was given by Mr. Koji Takada (Marine World Uminonakamichi), the chairperson of the committee. The word “O-Mo-Te-Na-Shi” having won a grand prize in a contest as the most frequently used buzzword at the end of the year, and “輪,” a Chinese character representing this year in Japan were introduced, and it was confirmed as closing remarks that cooperation and exchange between the parties concerned with museums had connections with these words.
● Farewell dinner (The Luigans Spa & Resort)
At the last event of the 5 day conference, an announcement was made by Ocean Park Hong Kong, the venue of IZE (International Zoo Educators Conference: AZEC’s parent conference) 2014 in Hong Kong. All events of AZEC 2013 ended and the conference curtain was brought down with a festive finale from Japanese participants singing a song of gratitude to foreign participants, and participants from various countries singing songs in their native tongue.
Director of Kyushu Historical Museum