Hokkaido University Museum, Sapporo, Japan

Hokkaido University Museum is a museum established by the National University Corporation Hokkaido University. Hokkaido University has accumulated over 4 million samples / materials that have been collected, preserved, and studied since the time of Sapporo Agricultural School more than 130 years ago. It contains more than 10,000 valuable type specimens that are the basis for the discovery and certification of new species.

The museum at Hokkaido University originated in 1884 (Meiji 17), the era of Sapporo Agricultural School, when it took over the Botanical Garden Museum, which had been managed and operated by the pioneer. The Botanical Garden Museum is currently under the jurisdiction of the Hokkaido University Northern Biosphere Field Science Center, and is a separate organization from the General Museum.

The Hokkaido University Museum, which opened in the spring of 1999, conveys the various research traditions of Hokkaido University to the present, and displays and introduces cutting-edge research in various real-world materials and videos. The “things” in the museum tell the history and the future by being set as “words”, that is, information.

The purpose of the General Museum is to collect and manage academic specimens produced as research results over 140 years since the opening of Sapporo Agricultural School in good condition and to transmit information both inside and outside the university.

Sapporo Agricultural School, the predecessor of Hokkaido University, opened in 1876 (Meiji 9). The following year, Dr. Clark stated in the Sapporo Agricultural School 1st Annual Report that the foundations of a future natural history museum are steadily being established. In 1884 (Meiji 17), seven years after the doctor’s departure, Sapporo Agricultural School took over the botanical garden and the museum in the park from the pioneering envoy, and the attached museum was realized here.

As of 130 years of research since the opening of Sapporo Agricultural School, more than 4 million academic specimens are now on campus, including about 13,000 type specimens.

In order to centrally manage these valuable academic specimens in good condition and to transmit information both inside and outside the university, the establishment of a general museum has been considered since 1966. The concept of reusing the building of the main building of the Faculty of Science as a general museum and creating a total museum of about 9,000 m2 has been finalized, and was approved by the Ministry of Education in 1999 (1999). In 2001 (Heisei 13), as part of the 125th anniversary of the foundation of the university, the first phase of construction was renovated for 3,000m2, and a public exhibition was started. The renovation is still ongoing.

The role of the general museum has become increasingly important as a place to widely disclose the results of education and research at Hokkaido University to the general public, and as a place to organize, store and transmit valuable academic specimens.

In 2007, the Fisheries Science Museum of the Faculty of Fisheries Science became a branch of the General Museum as the Fisheries Science Museum.

The building of the main building of the Faculty of Science, which is currently used as the Hokkaido University Museum, is a modern Gothic-style building with brown-colored scratch tiles and terracotta-covered exterior walls. The building was completed in November 1929 and completed It presented a fresh landscape that tells the university the coming of the Showa New Era. This is the oldest full-scale reinforced concrete building on the premises of Hokkaido University, and was originally constructed based on a plan to establish the Faculty of Science. The next year’s long-cherished Faculty of Science opened in April 1930, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the Faculty of Science in April 2005.

When you enter from the front entrance of this building and spiral up the central stairs, you will see a dome with a white ceiling with a stairwell to the third floor. This place is nicknamed “Einstein Dome”. Surrounding the atrium, noticeably large ceramic bas-reliefs (87 cm inside diameter, brown edges 11 cm wide) set in a white wall near the ceiling on the third floor.

“Fruits”, “sunflowers”, “bats”, and “owls” are decorated on each of the four walls in the east-south-west-north. If you look closely, you will see [MATIN] below “Fruit”, [MIDI] for “Sunflower”, [SOIR] for “Bat”, and [NUIT] for “Owl”. “Morning”, “Day”, “Evening”, and “Night” are shown. Reliefs other than the “owl” are signed by a French potter (probably difficult to read) and probably engraved in 1929. The four bas-reliefs indicate that there is no day or night for research and education conducted in this building, all day or night, indicating the spirit and effort of the members of the Faculty of Science at the time of its establishment, and even the ideals. It is said that at the time of the establishment of the Faculty of Science, each researcher was lively and burned in the ideal of becoming a mecca for scientific research in the world.

It is said that this relief was invented by Atsushi Hagiwara, the chief of the repair department at the headquarters of Hokkaido University at that time, but it was unknown when and who named the Einstein Dome. (Nobel Prize in Physics, 1921). At the Tokyo Astronomical Observatory in Mitaka, Tokyo (currently the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan), the “Taiwan Photograph Room”, later called the “Einstein Tower of Mitaka”, was completed in 1930, the same time as the construction of the Faculty of Science. Takeo Hori, a professor of the Faculty of Science at Hokkaido Imperial University in 1935, visits the Einstein Tower (built in 1924), which was built to test Einstein’s general relativity in Potsdam, a suburb of Berlin. Its atrium structure and upper dome-shaped ceiling are similar to the “Einstein Dome”, and the design that the outside light coming in from the top illuminates the first floor is reminiscent of a tower telescope.

When Prof. Hori arrived at Hokkaido University, the “Einstein Tower” probably appeared in the Japanese astronomy and physics community. Professor Hori, who has a strong interest in the “Einstein Tower” in relation to his own specialty and spectroscopy, and who has actually seen it, can take the lead and actively call it “Einstein Dome” It is considered highly likely.

Hokkaido University has about 4 million valuable academic specimens, and the General Museum holds about 3 million scientific specimens, including about 13,000 type (model) specimens.

Land plant (SAPS)
Its roots were the “Plant Collection Room” adjacent to the Sapporo Agricultural School Botanical Department in 1891. In 1903, Sapporo Agricultural School relocated to the current campus, and a two-story brick storehouse (specimen store) was opened on the south side of the fauna and flora auditorium. Dr. Miyabe loved the specimens like “my child”, and Dr. Tsutomu Tachiwaki, who succeeded him, worked to enhance it. However, this building was demolished in 1959, and room S172 in the main building of the Faculty of Agriculture became a specimen storage.

Following the establishment of a new general museum in 1999, the land specimens stored in the Faculty of Agriculture have been relocated to the general museum. During this time, Takahashi specimens (approximately 25,000 items) were transferred from the botanical garden, and the original collection (approximately 8,000 items) and the vascular plant specimens of the Faculty of Science (approximately 25,000 items) were added.

Currently, about 250,000 samples are used by an average of 50 to 100 researchers annually, and the number of samples is increasing at a rate of 1,000 to 3,000 sheets per year.

Fungi (SAPA)
Founded in 1876 (the same year as the establishment of Sapporo Agricultural School), it has a total of 177,000 specimens, including important collections by Kingo Miyabe (1860-1951), Seiya Ito (1883-1962), Daiki Murayama and others.

The basics of mycology at Hokkaido University was solidified by Sapporo Agricultural School’s second-year student Kingo Miyabe, and succeeded by Seiya Ito. Ito devoted his heart and blood to the publication of the Japanese Journal of Fungi, publishing Volume 1 (1935), Volume 2 Nos. 1-5 (1935-1959), and Volume 3 No. 1 (1964). Subsequently, Volume 3 No. 2 was published in 1988 by Yoshio Otani. Ito has also served as President of Hokkaido University for five years since 1945.

Seaweed (SAP)
SAP was established on the 1st floor of the Faculty of Science (part of the exhibition hall where the Hokkaido University History Exhibition of the General Museum is currently held) in 1931, following the establishment of the Faculty of Science (floor area: 144 m2). As the number of collected specimens increased, some of them became mezzanine. At the time of the relocation of the general museum in 1999, many specimens were stored in 120 wooden specimen shelves, but there was no suitable building, and especially valuable type specimens and the Okamura Kintaro collection were collected. Except for the collection, the specimens were temporarily stored in a prefabricated or old waste liquid treatment center warehouse, etc., and there was concern about deterioration of the specimen. After this situation lasted for several years, when the plant specimens from the Faculty of Agriculture were relocated to the General Museum in 2004, all the seaweed specimens in the fungal and algae specimen storage (SAPA) (including the kelp-type specimens of Kingo Miyabe) At the same time, SAP leaf specimens are temporarily stored in a part of the unrenovated part of the General Museum (floor area: 116m2), and are now jointly managed by the Graduate School of Science and the General Museum, and are currently up to date. (Note that the immersion specimens are still in temporary storage in the old nurse’s dormitory in a box, and officials are eager to understand the authorities.)

This specimen repository mainly holds seaweed specimens that have been studied by those involved in the Former Plant Taxonomy Department of the Faculty of Science. Not only the Japanese archipelago, but also the Aleutian Islands in the north, Micronesia in the south, and species that grow on the west coast of the North Pacific Ocean to Malaysia, as well as more than 120,000 leaf specimens, including foreign specimens from the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, etc. There are 20,000 immersion specimens. The specimen archive has an internationally registered abbreviation as SAP (the latest version of the public world herbal specimen index, Index Herbariorum, Part I: The Herbaria of the World, Eigth Edition, 1990, p. 203), The following seaweed specimens are kept.

SAP is a worldwide repository of almost all types of native seaweed species published by Japanese researchers and the total number of seaweed specimens held.

Insects (SEHU)
In 1873, Japan’s first entomology class was established at Sapporo Agricultural School by Matsunori Matsumura (1872-1960). Since then, specimens that have become the basis of Japanese entomology and insect taxonomy have been accumulated by successive instructors and students. Currently, the total number is about 2 million. In particular, there are more than 10,000 specimens used for the description of new species, new subspecies, and new types, and researchers from all over the world are still visiting for these “type specimens” to be used as criteria for determining scientific names. Incessant. In addition, specimens are frequently lent to major domestic and international insect taxonomy research institutes, which are the bases of insect specimen collections in the Asian region.

In recent years, a huge collection of specimens collected in the Far East Asia (Kurishima Islands International Survey), Southeast Asia (joint survey with Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Taiwan) and South Asia (India and Nepal Biological Survey) has been newly collected. I have. With more than 100 years of experience in specimen management and preservation, it is highly regarded as a collection organization for important classified specimens, and is often donated with valuable scientific specimens in Japan. 170,000 items accepted). The history and traditions of these collections, as well as their recent growth, are truly Japanese entomology and insect taxonomy.

Fish (HUMZ)
Since the establishment of the Faculty of Fisheries, fish specimens have been kept in researchers’ individual laboratories. Since the Fisheries Museum (now Fisheries Science Museum) opened in 1958, specimens have been kept at the museum. In 1971, Professor Emeritus Kunio Amagaoka was transferred to Hokkaido University, and the fish specimen collection was kept in the collection of the Zoology Course (HUMZ), Faculty of Fisheries, Hokkaido University. With the expansion of the Fisheries Science Museum into a general museum in 2007, they are now owned by the Hokkaido University General Museum and are now up to date.

Approximately 210,000 fish specimens are stored, making it one of the world’s leading collections. Another characteristic of this collection is the collection of many northern fish specimens collected from the seas near Tohoku and Hokkaido, the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, and the Bering Sea. There are about 1,050 type specimens. The collection of tissue fragments for DNA analysis is also being enhanced, with about 2,200 points. Fish specimens are compiled into a database by computer, and the number of registered fish is about 176,000.

Invertebrates (ICHUM)
Approximately 90,000 specimens of invertebrates (mostly marine), excluding insects, have been used for research and education since the establishment of the Faculty of Animal Science in 1930 (including about 2,000 type specimens). Consists of

ZIHU (Zoological Institute, Hokkaido University), which means the zoology department of the Faculty of Science, Hokkaido University, has been used as an acronym for the collection since around 1985. It was revealed in 2014 that it had been anticipated. In order to eliminate this foreign name, the acronym of the Invertebrate Collection of the Hokkaido University Museum has been renamed ICHUM and is still in use today.

The collection from the former zoological department includes approximately 80,000 items, including the Cidid Animal Collection and Mizunida Collection by Dr. Toru Uchida, the Polychaete Collection by Dr. Shiro Okuda, and the Echinoderm Collection by the US research vessel Albatros.

In addition, approximately 5,000 specimens of evidence used by faculty members and graduate students in the animal taxonomy department of the Faculty of Science since 1985 have been added, increasing by several tens of points a year.

Since the establishment of the Faculty of Science in 1930, specimens collected during field surveys by faculty members and students of the former mining classroom have been the main samples, as well as a large collection of earlier collections. At present, about 20,000 specimens are organized, including about 700 type specimens. There are many unsorted specimens, and it is expected that the number of registered specimens will increase further in the future. In recent years, replica specimens of dinosaurs have been increasing as research materials.

The most famous specimens are the original specimens of Nipponosaurus and Desmostillus. Both were excavated and studied from Sakhalin by Takumi Nagao, the first paleontology and stratigraphy professor in the Department of Geology and Mining. In the exhibition room, there is a restored skeleton made up of replicas, but actual specimens are kept in storage for research. Many invertebrates have been collected and studied by subsequent faculty members, and they are stored. A large number of specimens from the northern region such as Sakhalin and Hokkaido are stored, and it can be said that it is a base for paleontology in the northern region.

Rock, mineral, ore specimen
The Faculty of Science was established in 1983, and since the former Department of Geology and Mineralogy (now the Department of Natural History Sciences, Earth and Planetary Systems Science) was established, a huge number of specimens have been collected from both domestic and overseas by successive instructors and students.・ It has been accumulated. At present, the total number has reached about 70,000 or more, classified into rock, mineral and ore fields, respectively, and stored in the geological system (rock, mineral and ore) specimen storage of the General Museum. Although the sorting work is still ongoing, the sorted samples are stored on the sample shelves as needed and a database is being created. These stored specimens are widely open to relevant researchers in Japan and overseas, and are provided as specimens for experimental research, and are also used as display specimens in museums and educational specimens.

The collection of rocks, minerals and ore specimens includes rare rocks, minerals and ore specimens from the Kuril Islands and North Korea, which are currently almost unavailable for various reasons. In addition, in Hokkaido, a geological specimen collection collected by graduates of Sapporo Agricultural School, etc., which is the second oldest after Lyman specimens, an obsidian specimen collected from all domestic production areas and complete with chemical analysis data of all samples, a Hokkaido specimen New minerals (type specimens) and ores are also stored. Also stored are ores and altered host rocks from each closed mine in Hokkaido, donated by the Faculty of Engineering. A large number of rare metal and rare earth ore specimens, which have recently become a hot topic internationally, are being stored and managed, and these specimens are expected to be used for research and education.

In the ancient days, the Okhotsk population, which had achieved advanced marine adaptation, lived on the northern tip of the Japanese archipelago, on the southwestern coast of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk. The General Museum mainly stores and displays materials on the Okhotsk culture of marines, which spread from the southern part of Sakhalin to the northern and eastern parts of Hokkaido and the southern Kuril Islands in the coastal zone around the 5-12th century AD.

This is mainly based on materials from Rebun Island Kafunai 1 Site and Motoji Site, Wakkanai City Onkoromanai Site, and Esashi Town Menindomari Site, where the Northern Culture Research Facility attached to the Faculty of Letters of Hokkaido University has been conducting continuous research.

Analyzing the materials of the relic inclusion layer of the Kasukaoi 1 archeological site formed over several hundred years, it captures the temporal change of this culture and presents a chronological framework centered on Hokkaido. In addition, the size and composition of the settlement are estimated based on the direction of the dumping of relics and the positional relationship of the dwellings. Furthermore, the seasonal nature of fishing and hunting is analyzed by analyzing animal bones, which are food residues, and the comparison with data from other archeological sites suggests the existence of a winter village-centered mother village such as the Kasukai 1 archeological site and the presence of summer-based camps. . We succeeded in grasping local groups that have these combined areas and local groups consisting of multiple local groups, that is, restoring social organizations. In addition, the understanding of animal religion and rituals centered on bears, and exchanges with continents and trade within the Japanese archipelago, etc., were advanced.

The museum is actively disseminating information using images and archiving video and audio materials left by researchers. This page displays video works planned and produced at the general museum, video works of students who studied video production at the museum, exhibition videos, as well as archived video and audio materials.

The Hokkaido University Museum is a cross-departmental organization similar to the Library. It is composed of the Steering Committee and the subcommittees, the Technical Committee, the Research Department, the Materials Department, and the Office.

Research Department
In order to effectively perform the functions of the general museum, we will conduct work on academic specimens and their academic information. The research department is made up of three research systems.

Basic Research Division
Along with basic research on academic specimens, we conduct research for interdisciplinary research use and educational use.

Material Development Research Division
We conduct research on the development of effective use of academic specimens as materials for education and research, and research on specimen restoration.

Museum Education and Media Studies
I am studying the relationship between museums and society, and how student education is unique to university museums. We are also working on the development of higher education programs using video and archiving of video data. This research in the fields of museum pedagogy and museum imaging has a short history in Japan, and this research system is attracting attention as a pioneer.

Data Department
In addition to supporting the work of the research department, we will coordinate with the departments on the provision of academic specimens and their research results to the museum (faculty members such as faculty, graduate school and research institute). At present, it is composed of experts in the fields of humanities and social sciences, natural sciences, science and technology, and the northern area comprehensive research.


The concept of the museum cafe plus on the first floor of the Hokkaido University Museum is “friendly to the body.” Everything is handmade, using as much as possible natural ingredients and Hokkaido ingredients that do not use fertilizers or pesticides.

After visiting the museum, why don’t you spend a relaxing time in the cafe while enjoying the lingering views? We look forward to your visit.

Museum shop
The museum shop on the first floor of the Hokkaido University Museum is designed with motifs such as Desmostill’s skeletal specimen, which attracts attention among many valuable specimens, Dr. Clark, the first principal of Sapporo Agricultural School, and a modern Gothic style museum building. In addition to the original products of the Museum Shop, we have a large selection of products related to the special exhibition held at this museum, as well as student-designed goods that were born as part of graduate school classes. Like the second exhibition room, you can see various products and select and enjoy them. We look forward to your visit.