Greetings from the Director
The Toyama Prefectural Koshi no Kuni Museum of Literature was officially opened on July 6, 2012. The name of the museum, Koshi no Kuni, is derived from the name that was given to Japan’s Hokuriku region in ancient times. Since Toyama Prefecture is located in the heart of this historic region, it has also been called “Etchu,” which means the center of Koshi no Kuni. With this in mind, the name was selected to deepen the connection between Toyama and the adjacent prefectures that made up the Koshi no Kuni region, and to honor their collective culture.
The term “Koshi” also appears in the Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters). While deeply respecting the tradition that it represents, our museum also hopes to be able to help people of Toyama to maintain the proud spirit that is reflected in this name.
The museum serves to collect and display literature that is associated with the Koshi no Kuni region. At the same time, however, it seeks to help restore the ability of people everywhere to express their true feelings by learning from the words of local authors. This is of utmost importance today, considering the fact that verbal communication skills, in general, have deteriorated.
By carefully selecting the proper words to express ourselves, we can draw on our true spirit and feel greater pride as individuals. It is our strong desire to learn life’s lessons through literary wisdom. Accordingly, when we speak of literature, we do not wish to limit the museum to certain genres, but to embrace all literature as a fundamental part of our culture.
As an example of this philosophy, one of the museum’s advisors, Masahiro Shinoda, a filmmaker, insists on the use of correct Japanese language in his films. In this way, images also take on the role of spoken words. Fortunately, Toyama Prefecture is home to so many authors, such as Yoshie Hotta, and has had a deep connection with so many artists, as exemplified by Shiko Munakata.
It is my sincere hope that all of our prefectural residents will learn from the museum’s displays as a kind of testament to their hometown, and that it may help people everywhere, from Japan and around the world, in their ongoing study of life’s lessons.
Susumu Nakanishi, Museum Director