Archive told the fate of Ishikawajima society with IHI industrial development:
What’s Ishikawajima all about
I have visited “Ishikawajima Archive”（石川島資料館） just after observing the IHI’s” i-Muse”. This museum was established by IHI on the purpose to introduce IHI’s development since its beginning and the local history of Ishikawajima region from the Edo era to now. It has been titled like -“Area development from Ishikawajima shipyard to IHI Industry corporation “. The museum site is located in the corner of “River City 21″ complex along the Sumida River where’s transformed to the residential area after IHI had moved to the newly reclaimed island Toyosu, Tokyo. It’s never a big facility, but the exhibits are nice and attractive in contents which show well the evolving society of Ishikawajima area, as well as a history of shipbuilding industry in Japan. This short description is my impression of visit.
see HP of Ishikawajima Archive: http://www.ihi.co.jp/shiryoukan/
♣ Exhibition of Ishikawajima Archive of IHI
The Archive is divided into several zones. They are the corner of Ishikawajima community in Edo and its area’s involvement to ship building activity (“Ship building”), the corner of IHI’s business situation at the initial Tsukuda and Ishikawajima Plant (“Creating the Times”), the corner of Japan’s development of heavy industries (“Short story of beginning Heavy industry”), and the corner of “Factory Diary” zone that provides the daily appearance of operation in the Ishikawa shipbuilding factory of initial period. They are elaborately introduced in illustration panels, actual models such as a ship model, diorama exhibitions at factory facilities, and video materials.
The contents of them were as follows.
♣ Exhibition of “Ship building”
“Ishikawajima” island located at the estuary of the Sumida-gawa river was formally used as the residence space by the Ishikawa Samurai family for generations. After that, this land had transformed into the workplace of poor people in the Edo era, so called “Ninsoku-Yoseba”( 人足寄場：Special labor camp zone). However, the Edo Shogunate at that time had changed the fate of this island in 1853 because the Shogunate created a shipbuilding yard at this area in the end of the Tokugawa period due to the necessity of maritime protection.
After the Meiji Restoration, Hirano Tomiji, a founder of IHI, was handed over this shipyard for establishment of a private company “Ishikawa Hirano Shipyard”. Since then, this land began going developed as a cradles place of the heavy industry based on the shipbuilding industry by IHI. The archive deliberately introduces this process with various illustrations, panels, and documents. In the exhibition, the old armor of Ishikawa Shigetsugu, owner of the land in the Edo era, is displayed in the corner and make us to feel the oldness of history of this land.
Also, a miniature model of Japan’s first steamboat which built at the Hirano Shipyard is exhibited there too. These things will lively remind the appearance of the Ishikawajima shipbuilding factory, as well as the local society since its early time
♣ Exhibition of “Creating the Times”
This zone serves as a corner showing the chronological history chart of IHI from the beginning of the original Ishikawajima Shipyard in the Meiji era to the its Tsukuda factory in the Showa period, and further until the time of relocation of IHI to current Toyosu region and its business expansion. There, the exhibition shows many models and photographs concerning company’s memorable goods, and try to introduce the details of the technology development of IHI. For example, the model of the first screw type steam warship “Chokai” (鳥海1885), the model of the large hammerhead crane (1916), the miniature of the electric locomotive used in the Omi Railroad, and the picture of the Tokyo station building (1911), and others are broadly displayed.
Additionally, we can find many memorial photos there, like the portraits of founder Hirano Tomiji, Shibusawa Eiichi who helped the development of early time of the IHI, Ishikawajima shipbuilding, a portrait of Doko Toshio who led the merger with Harima Heavy Industries and consolidated the development of the current IHI.
♣ Exhibition of “Short Story of Heavy industry”
This is the exhibition zone highlighting the IHI’s technical achievement by showing the memorial pictures like Japan’s first iron bridge “Miyako-bashi” (都橋 Capita Bridge), powerful AC generator, domestic jet engine, tanker “Idemitsu Maru” （出光丸）, ”Ajia-Maru” （亜細亜丸）and so on. All these exhibitions looked symbolizing the development of heavy industries in Japan.
♣ Exhibition of “Factory Diary”
Among the exhibitions, the most attractive and characteristic one was this “Factory Diary” corner here for me. They are trying to describe the varety of scene on the daily workers’ lives and the appearance of factory operations at Ishikawajima and Tsukuda area where IHI’s factories were located, by the means of big illustration screen, beside expressing the daily movement of employees with a factory’s diorama model. Also, many audio videos are facilitated in the exhibition hall in order to live up the figures of workers and local people who were with the factories in Ishikawajima and Tsukuda factory area in the high-growth industrial period of Japan.
♣ After the Archive visit
Actually it was the time of visit of IHI’s “i-Muse”, when I was advised to visit this “Ishikawajima Archive “. However, in a sense, it has been looked very much attractive for me even more than IHI’s i-Muse itself. It was quite unique that the exhibition was arranged under the consistent concept makings together with the clear introduction of the history and culture of Ishikawa and Tsukuda community where the factory operation has been going.
Back then, IHI was called Ishikawajima Harima Heavy Industries, and the major production base was located at this Ishikawajima or Tsukuda region, but in 1979, the Tsukuda factory was closed caused by the move of IHI’s operation site. Since then, this area has been incorporated into the Sumida River Waterfront Development Program by Tokyo government, and transformed into “River City 21” for the residential and office buildings space in row. It seems that it is representing a moving pattern of relocation of production sites according to the transformation of the Japanese economy and society among the post-War evolvement, from the mass production and scale priority growth pattern to the more environmental and energy saving style, and the movement of production sites from the centralizing manufacturing in the urban area to the locally spreading development along with the urbanization and diverse relocation. In this meaning, it looked a valuable archive implicating how local communities have been changing along with Japan’s industrial development and social transforming too.
– 石川島資料館ホームページ： https://www.ihi.co.jp/shiryoukan/
– IHIの沿革・歩みHP: http://www.ihi.co.jp/ihi/company/history/
– 石川島資料館 中央区まちかど展示館 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NV9uhZfHRW0