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A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE, EXPOSURE TO THE CITY OF MUSEUM, JAPAN

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) started training courses in 1994 to meet the needs of museum professionals from developing countries all over the world. Over the years, PNG’s National Museum and Arts Gallery (NMAG) has sent some of its officers for this training.

Gledisa Jacob, a senior research officer Music Division at the Institute of PNG Studies (IPNGS) were part of a contingent of 12 professional students (trainees) that attended training in Osaka City, Japan under the JICA scholarship program.Mr. Jacob works as an audiovisual archivist at the Music Archive of the Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies located in Boroko, Port Moresby.

The training started on 31st October and ended on 13th December 2022. I stayed at the JICA Kansai Centre at Kobe City and attended in-person lectures at the National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) in Osaka City. Sometimes, the other students and I would attend online lectures.

There were 12 students in total. Six from the 2021 online training, and six from the 2022 in-person training program. The students who were selected for this training comes from developing countries like Zambia, Eypt, Jordan, Iraq, Cambodia, Timor Leste, Kiribati and PNG was Ms. Jamina Haro from NMAG and Gledisa Jacob (IPNGS).


“Japan has over 4,000 museums which was quite fascinating. During the training, we visited, toured, and had lectures at some of them, such as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Hyogo Prefecture Museum of Art, Osaka Museum of History, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, Osaka Children’s Museum, Hirano Community-wide Museum (Eco-museum), Itsukushima shrine, and many other museums.”


The training covered 32 subjects relating to museum studies concerned topics such as museum evaluation methods, museum and tourism, cultural exhibitions, 3-dimensional records of museum artefacts, Japanese folk museums, community-wide museums, children and museums, and many other subjects.

“We considered the three types of cultural exhibitions; permanent, temporary, and special exhibitions,” he said.

Subjects relating to audiovisual archiving covered focus on the management of audiovisual materials and archives, database, accession and the documentation of recordings and the control of pests.


“We toured the Minpaku audiovisual archive. On another occasion, we discussed topics that included music research (ethnomusicology), such as, the Community Alliance of Minpaku, Research, and Education, and their work on the traditional music and culture of northeastern India. We toured the Minpaku audiovisual archive and went through their northeastern India research work to try out their traditional musical instruments and costumes.


Subjects of more general concern and relating to National Cultural Commission activities included; tangible and intangible cultural heritage conventions, intellectual property rights, ethnographic filmmaking, photographic documentation of cultural objects, and the Indigenous cultures of the Ainu people of Hokkaido. We made some short ethnographic films as group projects and attended an Ainu annual ritual.


The training has enhanced and broadened my knowledge in understanding my work, the organization I work in, and my country on an international level. Sharing knowledge, ideas, and work experiences with fellow professional museum students from other parts of the world and learning from them has really broadened my knowledge too.


“It was a great training experience, and I hope more NCC, IPNGS, NFI, and NPAT officers have the opportunity to take up such training for the benefit of NCC and PNG as a whole.


Such enhancement training can help officers advance in their job and increase their awareness with the necessary knowledge, skills, and information for the competitive world we are living in now.”


I would like to thank the Executive Director of the National Cultural Commission, Mr. Steven Enomb Kilanda, the Acting Director of the Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies, Mr. Christopher Puio, and JICA PNG for supporting me and giving me the opportunity to attend this short-term training in Japan.


BY GEDISA JACOB
IPNGS

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