Mitsubishi Corporation to sponsor the Japanese galleries
at the British Museum

The British Museum and Mitsubishi Corporation are pleased to announce a 10 year partnership from January 2008 that sees Mitsubishi Corporation sponsoring the permanent galleries dedicated to Japanese culture in the Museum.

The Mitsubishi Corporation Japanese Galleries will feature objects from the Museum’s extensive Japanese collection, the most comprehensive in Europe. It includes art objects, antiquities, ethnographic and historical items dating from ancient prehistory to the present day.  The collection embodies the dynamic relationship between art, artefact and history in Japanese culture. These objects can tell many of the significant stories in the unfolding of that country’s past, encouraging us to enjoy a deeper engagement with its present and future.

The galleries have been recently refurbished, and the collection presented in a new way. They tell a chronological story highlighting the continuities of Japanese culture over the centuries, up to the most recent history. Star objects include the impressive Samurai lord’s clock, enigmatic haniwa tomb figures, medieval Buddhist statues, Samurai armour and swords, beautifully crafted contemporary ceramics, and even modern manga. The galleries have been accessible to the public in the past months but officially re-opened as the Mitsubishi Corporation Japanese Galleries this month.

The Museum greatly values its longstanding and substantial relations with Japan. The British Museum’s Japanese Galleries first opened in 1990 and have since staged more than forty exhibitions on Japanese themes.

Yukio Ueno, Senior Executive Vice President from Mitsubishi Corporation said "We are delighted to be partnering with the British Museum, an internationally renowned museum of truly global significance. Mitsubishi Corporation has had a business presence in London for many decades, and this opportunity has given us the chance to give something back to our host city by playing a part in bringing Japan and its history to London, together with one of the most famous institutions in the world."

Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum said "The new galleries provide an opportunity, unique outside Japan, to see the span of Japanese civilisation in one place, from ancient archaeological artefacts to modern manga. I am delighted that Mitsubishi Corporation has generously agreed to fund the galleries so the Museum can ensure five million visitors a year have an opportunity to deepen their understanding of Japanese culture”.

For further information, images or to view the gallery please contact Hannah Boulton on 020 7323 8522, hboulton@britishmuseum.org or Katrina Whenham on 020 7323 8583, kwhenham@britishmuseum.org

Notes to editors:

About Mitsubishi Corporation

Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) is Japan's largest general trading company (sogo shosha) with over 200 bases of operations in approximately 80 countries worldwide. Together with its over 500 group companies, MC employs a multinational workforce of approximately 55,000 people. MC has long been engaged in business with customers around the world in virtually every industry, including energy, metals, machinery, chemicals, food and general merchandise.

MC’s commitment to social responsibility is embodied in its corporate philosophy and demonstrated through its extensive programme of cultural, environmental and educational projects worldwide. 

www.mitsubishicorp.com