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A group of people participating in a virtual meeting.

The Oriental Museum held an event recently to renew Durham University’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Museum of Japanese History and celebrate the highly valued partnership.

Our Vice Chancellor joined colleagues from the University Library and Collections as well as the International Office at the Oriental Museum for the hybrid ceremony that involved curators in Japan and the USA as well as representatives from the Japanese Embassy. 

The renewal of the MOU is part of the university’s wider engagement strategy with Japan and is important to our relationships with the Japanese Embassy and Consulate-General, the Japan Foundation and local Japanese communities in the Northeast. 


Longstanding partnership 

Over the last six years, the partnership with the National Museum of Japanese History has already produced a number of important collaborations in knowledge sharing, staff training, postgraduate teaching and exhibitions. The most recent output of the partnership being the Monogatari exhibition – the art of storytelling in Japanese woodblock prints, which is open now and running until 15 May 2022. 

Rachel Barclay, Curator of the Oriental Museum, said: “We are grateful to the Japanese Embassy in London and Consulate-General in Edinburgh for the support across numerous initiatives, including the partnership with the National Museum of Japanese History.  

“Museums and Collections are one of Durham’s unique strengths and this partnership is a great example of how we can collaborate to internationalise the research, education and profiles of both our institutions.  

“We look forward to further developing our partnership over the next three years and we hope to be able to meet in person in the not-too-distant future!” 


The National Museum of Japanese History  

Known popularly in Japanese as Rekihaku, the National Museum of Japanese History is a general museum of Japanese history that houses and displays some 200,000 artefacts. Established in 1983, the museum is located in Sakura, Chiba prefecture, some 25 miles northeast of Tokyo. 

The University’s connection to Japan is long-standing, initially developed through many decades of teaching Japanese Studies (formerly as part of East Asian Studies) at Durham. This popular programme is underpinned by an exchange programme with ten leading Japanese universities, including Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. 


Find out more

Find out more about the Oriental Museum

Interested in studying Japanese Studies at Durham? Japanese Studies - Durham University 

For our Monogatari exhibit and booking tickets - Monogatari - Durham University