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Boston Children’s Museum Launches The Japanese House Website

June 4, 2014
New Website Expands Access to Historic Museum Exhibit
BOSTON, MA – June 4, 2014 – Boston Children’s Museum has launched a new, information-rich website designed to complement and expand access to the Museum’s authentic century old Japanese House, the Kyo no Machiya, exhibit which has been part of the Museum since being donated by the city of Kyoto, Japan to the city of Boston in 1979. Formerly a merchant’s home in the silk-weaving district of Kyoto, the Japanese house was brought to the United States from Kyoto and rebuilt piece by piece in Boston Children’s Museum. Since 1980, Boston Children’s Museum has provided expert preservation and interpretation of the Japanese House. Increasingly rare even in Japan, the Japanese House is a form of mixed residential and commercial architecture unique to Kyoto.

The new web site,, has been designed to engage elementary, middle, and high school students, as well as undergraduate and graduate students, families and others interested in Japanese history, art, architecture and culture. Online users will find the website a dynamic way to virtually visit the house or a perfect preparation and follow up to their actual visit to the Japanese House exhibit at the Museum. The materials on the website are instructive and inspirational for users at all levels.

Generous funding from the Center for Global Partnership, the National Endowment for the Arts and the US-Japan Foundation made it possible for Boston Children’s Museum to provide world-wide access to this unique treasure, its history, its origin in Japan, and to multimedia curriculum resources for learning and teaching about Japan.

“I would like to extend my congratulations on the completion of the Japanese House website. It will be a wonderful contribution to the Boston-Kyoto sister city relationship, which will commemorate its 55th anniversary this year,” said New England’s Japanese Consul General Akira Muto. “I visited the Kyo No Machiya (Japanese House) and felt as if I had been invited as a guest by the owner of a house in Kyoto. I hope that visitors to this website will enjoy the experience and will be encouraged to learn more about Japan.”

The Japanese House website includes an exciting variety of resources that will enrich the study of Japan:
  • A searchable online catalog photographs and information about the more than 1,000 artifacts related to the house from Boston Children’s Museum’s Japanese collection;
  • Original videos about children’s lives and homes in contemporary Kyoto;
  • A virtual tour of the Japanese House;
  • Curriculum resources and activities designed to promote the study of Japan;
  • Excerpts from the film footage of the expert Japanese craftsmen rebuilding of the Japanese House in Boston;
  • An archive of documents about the international exchange negotiations, architectural drawings, information about the family that lived in the house, as well as information about the Nishijin - silk-weaving - section of Kyoto at the time;
  • An interactive timeline showcasing the archival documents related to the Japanese House;
  • Photographs documenting the history of the house both in Kyoto and in Boston, as well as of educational programs in the house since 1980;
  • Bibliographies and links to other resources for teaching and learning about Japan.

The new website will vastly expand the audience internationally via the web for the Japanese House, making it accessible to visitors of all ages, educators, architects, preservationists, and scholars in many disciplines. The publication of these unique and valuable documents creates an exciting narrative about a form of architecture that the Japanese are seeking to preserve. “In my position as a program director at Primary Source, I work closely with teachers to improve teaching and learning about Japan. The Japanese House website provides unique resources and innovative approaches to curriculum,” said Peter Gilmartin, Primary Source, Program Director. “This site provides a new opportunity for educators and students throughout the United States, and for that matter the world, to access the unique resources and expertise that Boston Children’s Museum brings to educating about Japan.” Information about the Japanese House, the website and additional materials may be found at

About Boston Children’s Museum
Boston Children’s Museum engages children and families in joyful discovery experiences that instill an appreciation of our world, develop foundational skills, and spark a lifelong love of learning. More information about Boston Children’s Museum can be found at Become a fan of the Museum on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Hours and Admission
The Museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Fridays until 9:00 p.m. Adults, $14, children (1-15) and senior citizens, $14; children under 12 months and Museum members are always free. Fridays 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., all visitors $1.

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