Satomi Kito, Head of Public Relations at the Tokyo National Museum. Photography © Courtesy of Tokyo National Museum

1.What is your museum about and what is your work there?

The Tokyo National Museum is the oldest institution of its kind in Japan. It collects, conserves, and exhibits cultural properties from Asia with a focus on those from Japan.

Job: Head of Public Relations, mainly supervising distributing information of museum’s curatorial activities.

2.How is your museum dealing with the coronavirus crisis?

Honkan, Japanese Gallery. © Courtesy of Tokyo National Museum

The museum was temporarily closed when the government declared a state of emergency, but was able to reopen on June 2.

3.What is the impact on your digital activity? Do you have tips to share with your colleagues?

First, the museum has provided laptops to its employees to enable them to work from home. For the public, the museum has added more digital content to the website, including virtual gallery tours and various activities, such as coloring sheets, which can be enjoyed at home.

4.Are you preparing yourself for the reopening or you are already opened? Tell us in what way.

We have already reopened. The number of visitors is limited, and admission is restricted to timed-entry reservations only. To ensure a safe viewing environment, we now ask visitors to wear masks and practice social distancing. We also regularly sanitize shared spaces and have added floor markings around exhibition cases to avoid crowding around the objects.

Interview by Fabio Pariante, journalist


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The collection of the Tokyo National Museum is comprised of tangible cultural properties from Asia, focusing mainly on Japan.

Most of the collection is pre-20th century objects. In total, the collection is made up of over 120,000 items, including 89 national treasures and 646 important cultural properties, as designated by the Japanese government.