Museum History and Philosophy
        Okayama Orient Museum was constructed on the occasion when 1,947 Middle Eastern works of art were donated to the City of Okayama by the Okayama Gakuen Education Foundation (by the late chief director, Mr. Shinjiro Yasuhara). These works were passionately collected by Mr. Yasuhara under the guidance of the late professor emeritus, Namio Egami and the late professor Shinji Fukai of The University of Tokyo, both acquaintances of Mr. Yasuhara. Therefore, the collection is scholarly systematic and contains various kinds of materials which are indispensable in the understanding of the culture and history of the Orient.
        Since its establishment, the Museum has continued to enrich the collection and accepted grateful endowments and deposits from various collectors. As the result, more than 5,000 pieces are stored and exhibited at the Museum at present. Now, Okayama Orient Museum is striving to contribute to the researches and educations as a foundation for the studies of the Orient in western Japan and also as the excusive public museum in Japan specialized in Oriental culture.
        As part of its 25th anniversary celebrations, the Museum purchased the Assyrian relief of a protective spirit (Apkallu) in 2003. The art of Assyria, the first empire which unified Mesopotamia, is still glorious as a landmark achievement in the ancient Mesopotamian civilization. This is one of the greatest masterpieces in the Museum. H. I. H. Prince Takahito Mikasa, known as a scholar of the ancient Orient, became a honorary advisor of the Museum in 2004.
        It is certain that the further attention would be paid to the Orient hereafter as an evidence of human civilization and as a symbolic land of cultural interaction between Eastern and Western worlds. It would also yield valuable clues to think about the future of Japanese culture. Considering the significance of the Orient, we will endeavor to go on with various researches and educational activities at Okayama Orient Museum.
Main activities
Collecting, organizing and preserving of materials
Research and study activities on the Museum’s collections
Exhibitions
Permanent exhibition, “Orient, the Origin of Beauty”
Special exhibitions (Two/three times per year)
Small-scale temporary exhibitions
Educational programs
Museum lectures, Special lectures
Junior Orient Classes
Gallery discussions
Outreach events
Support to the Museum Associates, and cultural workshops
Publishing of catalogues of exhibitions, research proceedings, museum reports, etc.
Implementation of the Museum information service
Gallery concerts, SP records concerts
Facilities
The unique exterior of the Museum designed by the architect, Mr. Shinichi Okada, would suggest the Oriental architectures to the visitors.
The intricate inner walls and the statues of ancient Syria are illuminated by the sunlight coming through the large wells above the Central Hall and the Patio of the 2nd floor, which gives us the visual image of a long lapse of time.
Constructor The City of Okayama (Management: Board of Education, the City of Okayama)
Function Museum (No. 14, the Registered Museums in Okayama Prefecture)
Construction Reinforced concrete building
Floor space 1 basement and 3 floors (total floor space: 4,336,13m2)
Foundation April 6th, 1979
Architectural design Okada and Associates Co., Ltd.
Awards
1979
The Illumination Popularization Award, the Illuminating Engineering Institute of Japan
1981
The 22nd BCS Prize, Building Contractors Society
1988
Most Valuable Prize, Cultural Facilities Section, the 1st Public Buildings Award, Public Buildings Association
1999
Long Life Section, the 9th BELCA Award
2006
Grand Prix, General Building Section, the 6th JIA 25-Year Award
Opening Hours and closing days
Hours
9:00-17:00 (Entry permitted up to 16:30)
Closing days
Every Monday. (When a national holiday falls on a Monday, the Museum is closed on the following day instead)
From December 28th to January 4th for the year-end and New Year period
Days during exchange of exhibitions
Admission fees (permanent exhibition)
Adults High school, college and university students Elementary and junior high school students
Individual 300 yen 200 yen 100 yen
Groups (20 per. or more) 240 yen 160 yen 80 yen
Special exhibitions require the particular admission fee.
Admission is free for the following visitors: Physically, intellectually and mentally challenged persons plus one attendant for each person (Please show the challenged person’s pocket diary.) Senior citizens aged 65 or over (Please show a senior citizens pocket diary.) Groups of elementary school and junior high school students of Okayama City who are accompanied by their leaders on a field trip
Access information
Take a street car from the east exit of JR Okayama Station to “Higashiyama”, then after 5 minutes, get off at “Shiroshita”, and you can see the Museum on your left. Otherwise, it is a 15-minute walk from JR Okayama station.
There is no parking area in the Museum, but Tenjin-cho Municipal Parking Lot is close to the Museum. Discount tickets (100 yen for 1 car once) are issued at the reception of the Museum.
Number of collections
3,956 (Pottery 334, Clay objects190, Lithic601,Stone objects 347, Sculptures 106, Mosaics 16, Seals/Amulets 438, Glazed pottery/Faiences 372, Glasses 517, Gold and silver objects 21, Bronze objects 161, Coins 501, Accessories 93, Textiles 60, Paintings 22, Shell/Shell objects 177), Deposit in the Museum 986. Totally 4,942 as of end- March 2011.