General Information

Opening Hours
Free admission & parking

Monday (except Holiday Mondays)
Tuesday, only when Monday is a holiday

Spaces for up to 15 buses and 272 cars
*There is disabled person’s parking space.

53 Myojin Cho, Minamata City
Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan


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Museum Guide
Minamata Disease Museum
Our Mission
The aim of the Minamata Disease Municipal Museum is collecting and preserving valuable materials about Minamata disease which is considered as one of the earliest pollution problems in Japan, and handing down the lessons and experiences of Minamata disease to future generations so they do not fade away. Through displays and storytellers, we exhibit and tell the history and present situation of Minamata disease and the hard situations that patients experienced, such as the suffering and discrimination, in order to prevent the reoccurrence of disastrous pollution like Minamata disease.

Since its opening in January 1993, about 700,000 people from within Japan and from over 175 foreign countries visit us to learn about pollution, the environment and human rights.

Plan your visit
Through videos and panels, history of Minamata disease is explained. Thirteen television monitors and the video theater with wide screen are usable.

Since October in 1994, Minamata disease victims and their family started to act as “Kataribe”, storytellers, and share their experiences. *Appointment necessary

There are free parking spaces for 15 buses and 272 regular cars.

■Please refrain from eating or drinking within the Museum except when it is raining.
■Photography of exhibition is prohibited for copyright and the right of likeness.
■Pets are not to be brought into or through this building.
■Smoking is allowed only in a designated area.
■Please take all garbage back home with you.

1st Floor: Reading room, Stack room, Administrative office, Director’s office, Rest room
2nd Floor: Video theater room(wide screen of 150 in.), Exhibition room, Storyteller room, Lounge
●Visitors can tour the Museum freely.
●Videos through TV monitors and video theater are in English and Japanese.

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1st floor: Reading room, Stack room, Administrative office, Restroom
4,000 books
50,000 newspaper articles
Reading room
500 DVDs and videos are available to watch.
Watching video
2nd Floor: Video theater room, Permanent exhibition room, Special exhibition room, Storyteller room, Lounge
Permanent Exhibition Corner
(Japanese, and English)
Display room
Relief Map

Model map

Special Exhibition Corner
Photo gallery
Photos by
Kuwahara Shisei
Mr. Kuwabara's photos
Audio-visual room
150-inch screen
Taiwanese, and Korean)

Audio-visual room
Storyteller room
(100 capacity)
Oral historian room
Images of revived Shiranui sea which are on the left side wall of the entrance hall
Vivid images of ocean starting from the left of the entrance

Contents of the monitor TVs

1 Outline of Minamata disease Large screen 16min
2 The pristine scenery of Shiranui Sea monitor 6min 44sec
3 Industrialization and urbanization of Minamata monitor 3min 45sec

The circumstances leading up to the occurrence of Minamata disease

monitor 2min 15sec
5 Official Recognition and investigation into the cause monitor 4min 20sec
6 Events since the official government opinion was announced monitor 3min 10sec
7 Towards a resolution of Minamata Disease Issue monitor 5min 25sec
8 Generation of methylmercury in the factory monitor 2min 25sec
9 Mercury ingestion through fish monitor 2min 30sec
10 Cat experiments monitor 2min 07sec
11 Infantile and Adult Minamata disease monitor 1min 40sec
12 Congenital Minamata disease monitor 2min 15sec
Total 52min 36sec
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Minamata Memorial
Minamata Memorial was completed in October, 1996, the 40the anniversary of the official discovery of Minamata disease; 1) as a prayer and requiem for those sacrificed to Minamata disease 2) as a pledge, based on the experience of Minamata disease, to never allow the repetition of such disease; and 3) so as to pass on the lessons of Minamata disease to future generations.
From 1997 to 2005, the Minamata Disease Victims Memorial Service is held annually on the Memorial Site.
■Minamata Memorial is located on Museum's property.
【Minamata Memorial Square】 【Outline 】
・Ground area (3,000㎡)
This is a place where visitors can pause for a while to gather their thoughts, contemplate the past and the future, and pray for a fresh start for tomorrow.
【Praying fountain(Glass waterfall)】 【Prayer fountain(Glass fountain】
Looking through the clear water falling along the glass surface of the Prayer fountain, won't you turn your thoughts towards the past, the present, and the future?
<Height 5m, width 3m>
【Terrace】 【Terraces】
Terraces of differing levels form the entirety of Minamata Memorial. The color and texture of the terraces recalls a sandy beach.
【Memorial Ball】 【Memorial Spheres】
The stainless steel spheres scattered over the terraces appear something like the reflection of the souls of those sacrificed, and the reflection of the Shiraui's fishermen's lights.
<Diameter 40cm; There are 108 pieces of spheres.>

A design by Mr. Giuseppe Barone, an Italian designer, was chosen by Mr.Arata Isozaki, an architect, for the Minamata Memorial international competition held in 1995. There were 454 entries from within Japan and from 18 foreign countries.

◆Message from the designer, Mr. Giuseppe Barone◆
A privileged place or a hierarchy of spaces, signs and symbols does not definitely exist, but the whole plan stimulates the individual to take advantage of it by simply walking, resting, thinking or remembering.
The intention is to realize a “monument” that does not crush man, but that is a reflection the way he feels.
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Access map
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