Look into the logistics world now and past —
Museum Homepage： http://www.lmuse.or.jp/index.html
What’s about “Logistic Museum”
From ancient times, the “Transport of Goods” has been one of the most important activities for
mankind in history. People have made every effort to develop and improve the systems and tools seeking their social convenience. Starting with simple shoulder carrying tools, push carts, horse powers, then now we’ve got the sophisticated means of transport system, like trucks, railways, and cargo flight and others by application of recent technology.
There’s a unique museum in Shinagawa, Tokyo which explores this subject named the “Museum of Logistics.” There, we could find various historical materials that convey the evolution of transport and logistics technology from medieval time to the present time in Japan. I have visited this museum to get certain images and knowledge about development of transportation systems and technology in Japan.
This is a report describing the impression at that time.
♣ Outlook of the Museum
In this museum, the exhibition was
elaborately displayed many real transport goods and tools, their prototype models,
documents, panels, and others since Edo period (19c) to the present day. It has also abundant
video materials, diorama, game facilities, etc. were provided. These collections could make us feel the real figure of the transport and logistics system in the past and present.
This museum was based on the “Traffic Materials Archive” built by the Nippon Express in 1958 for
internal facilities. After that, he archive was opened as “Logistics Museum” for public in Shinagawa, Tokyo in 1998 as a unique two-story red brick building facility.
It is said that this museum holds about 6000 document materials, 1200 arts works and crafts, real logistics tools, 100 thousand photographs, and 200 pieces of pictures. And they have been displaying by rotation in row.
The exhibition rooms were divided into three sections. That is, at the first floor, there found exhibits tracing the history of transport system and logistics in Japan, the second floor showed the video materials, and the third basement room displayed the various equipment with showing images of the modern logistics in dioramas, panels and diagrams.
The appearance of exhibits was rather small and compact, but the way of exhibition was quite precise and nicely arranged, so the visitors could enjoy them and understand well about the development of logistics in a real image.
Let’s see the details of the exhibit.
♣ What exhibitions are there?
<Historical View of Logistics>
How have people developed the skills and technology to move heavy “Goods” from one place to the designated place since the old time of Edo period? This corner was purposed to answer that problem with real objects, documents, photographs, models, and artistic “Nishikie” (unique Japanese style color printed drawing) picture. The detailed chronological chart showing the history of logistics were also displayed there too, so we could see well the transition of means of logistics and its development.
There the exhibition of the transport system and equipment for it in the Edo period and Meiji era were quite vivid, such as carrying balance pole, bales, shoulder strap, wagon and oxcart, and other traditional tools. It was found there the Edo government trade certificate, old pictures of depo
and transport sites, 3D model of a delivery point and other interesting exhibits too.
There were abundant exhibits were also sighted which shows the process of the evolvement of transport systems led to the modern logistics, such as trucks and railway and modern shipment. There were also video-material (video) booths being able to enjoy.
<Exhibition of Modern Logistics Corner>
Here, it’s fabulous that the large diorama exhibition of contemporary transportation system were available with real moving action. The activated scenery of port, railroad, t
truck, air terminal, container base and other facilities, from morning till evening, were made vividly there. We could also view all sorts of data on the current logistics,
photos, videos etc. on demand style in this corner. In addition, there is an interesting board panel exhibition showing the latest logistics management system
applied computer and recent information systems.
. By seeing these exhibits, we could easily imagine how importance of logistics and transportation system in order to develop and how they have been supporting modern business system and social life as a whole.
＜Video Room and Library>
There are also specific rooms available for conducting lectures on the subject of transport logistics, and viewing video movies related historical subjects on the transportation by large screen. Today, VTRs such as “History of Logistics” and “Transportation and Transportation System of the Edo Era” were said to be available in this room. Although the scale of books in stock is not so large, but the library was provided with many documents and books on the logistics in the room and visitors can freely browse them at any time.
♣ Feature of Museum and Visit Impression
The problem of distribution and transportation have been one of the most important tasks for mankind, and its wisdom, ingenuity and progress of technology for development were crucial for total social life from the ancient times to now. Particularly it’s very important for the industrial development.
In the progressing globalization and the fast ICT development, the realization of efficient and convenient “logistics” “distribution “ system is noticeably important for modern industry and business. The construction of inexpensive and safety “supply chain” is the source of competitiveness for all the businesses.
In particular, it seems that the way of logistics has been essential for the Japanese economy which has been aiming to be competitive trading nation. I imagine we need to be much interest into these subjects and should acknowledge well to the matter. However, the facilities and museums being systematically introducing on this subject haven’t found many so far around us. In this regard, this “Logistics Museum” in Shinagawa seems to be a valuable facility. Originally it was a company archive in Nippon Express being less accessible, but it is quite fortunate the museum now became a public facility that treats with the problems of transportation and logistics in systematic way from old time to now.
More than ever, I hoped that many people will visit the museum and understand the origins and meanings of transport and logistics with concrete figure.