立命館大学国際平和ミュージアム館長 モンテ・カセム

  A quarter of a century of endeavour is indeed a time for celebration. Established in 1992 as the world’s first university-based dedicated peace museum, Ritsumeikan University’s Kyoto Museum of World Peace was the result of a collaboration between the citizens of Kyoto and the Kansai (Western Japan) area and the university. A generous donation by Dr. Nobuo Nakano contributed to Ritsumeikan University’s own commitment to construct Academia Ristumeikan, which houses the museum today. Many war veterans, their families and ordinary citizens enmeshed in war have contributed to the museum collection’s 40,000 odd artifacts and have also helped guide museum visitors. They are, however, an ageing demographic. Recording their experiences and oral histories are a challenge the museum faces today. It could build-up on the successful Volunteer Museum Guide Training Programme, and add value to the digital archive of the museum collection which has just been completed in 2016.
  The museum’s original permanent collection is dedicated to ensuring that we never forget the horrors of war. Facing resolutely the truths that led to the tragic events, it depicts the two faces of Japan as both aggressor and victim, hoping that the portrayal will forever contribute to the rejection of violent aggression as a means of resolving disputes among nations and peoples. In addition to portraying the memories of war, many temporary exhibitions, which attract over 30,000 visitors, are planned around peace building in the post-Second World War period. They illustrate a multitude of facets that lead us into troubled times and pose threats to life. The latter aspect was targeted in the second decade of the museum’s existence as part of its display renewal.
  However, 25 years is also a landmark for reflecting on how we might further strengthen the institution. With over two-thirds of its roughly 50,000 annual visitors to the permanent collection being school groups, the museum needs to ask itself whether it needs to diversify this metric and how it might enhance the visitor experience. Toward this end, the museum has just established its Peace Education and Research Center in December 2016, with several dedicated research projects. It is also currently discussing the next renewal of its display in the context of the latter half of the university’s long-term plan, “Beyond Borders”. Concomitant to this last, a review of its collections policy is under way by a dedicated task force and a regular study group programme too has been recently launched.
  Temporary exhibitions have also been building up to attract new visitor groups. The Mini-Exhibitions, proposed by student groups with the museum’s curatorial support, have become increasingly sophisticated over the years. In addition to the World Press Photographic exhibition, the museum also co-hosts the Kyotographie photo exhibition. Such initiatives have helped extend the museum’s visitor catchment in new directions beyond school groups. However, much work remains to be done in this regard.
  The museum’s host institution, Ritsumeikan Trust, which manages Ritsumeikan University, has also changed dramatically in the past quarter century. With its student population more than doubling to around 47,000 today, the Academy now has two universities (Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, APU, was established in 2000), three senior and junior high schools and a primary school. Its campuses extend from northern Hokkaido to southern Kyushu in Japan. Thus, the museum’s programmes will now be required to actively engage in serving this larger mandate of the Trust’s diverse institutions and its growing international outreach, where its alumni now come from over 130 countries
  For this, the museum must build on its past contributions, which have led to the founding of the International Network of Museums for Peace, as well as through new initiatives. Reflective of the latter is a post-graduate summer school, called the PAX School, which was launched in Kyoto in 2015. This was conducted in collaboration with RENKEI, a consortium of twelve British and Japanese universities and the International Slavery Museum in the U.K. and will continue this year as well in Liverpool. It may be seen as an exercise in transmitting creative transferrable skills to programme participants through an interactive engagement in the portrayal of peace using modalities of the imaging arts and sciences. Considering that this program reached out beyond the disciplines of history, law and international relations, it could show the way towards further educational outreach.
  In 2015, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, the museum co-hosted with a group of concerned scientists an affiliate program of the International Pugwash Conference on nuclear disarmament and weapons proliferation control. Perhaps there is a case for resurrecting the second- and third-track diplomatic initiatives on peace-building that the museum hosted in the past in collaboration with United Nations institutions. Such avenues too need to be explored further and the museum needs to reflect change as it looks towards the future.
  The challenges posed to peace today by non-state actors and the rise of populism, clothed in the cloak of democracy, are worrying. Post-truth politics, cyber leaks timed to taint democratic processes and the deliberate perversion of social network systems are other emerging concerns. What is common to all of this, however, is a deep-rooted sense of alienation and hopelessness. These disaffected communities are not seen just in theatres of uncertainty but even in some of the wealthiest countries in the world, with global implications for all.
  Thus, the museum faces a challenging task as it looks towards the next quarter century of its existence. Being located in a university environment, reflecting that university’s values and commitment to peace, the Kyoto Museum of World Peace has the environment to nurture the values and methodologies of peaceful engagement across the world. To become such an institution of intellectual stature, it needs the active support of all of its stakeholders. I wish to use this occasion to express the museum’s heartfelt gratitude to all individuals and institutions who have supported us with their steadfast commitment and request their continued commitment as the museum strides towards the future. Thank you.

   Monte Cassim,
   (19 May 2017)

Monte CASSIM(モンテ カセム)のプロフィール

現  職 : 立命館サスティナビリティー学研究センター教授
       学校法人立命館 評議員
       学校法人立命館 理事補佐
学  歴:
1970年8月 スリランカ大学建築学科卒業
1972年9月 大阪外国語大学日本語プログラム修了
1973年3月 横浜国立大学大学院工学系研究科研究生修了    
1974年3月 東京大学大学院工学系研究科研究生修了
1976年3月 東京大学大学院工学系研究科修士課程都市工学専攻修了
1982年3月 東京大学大学院工学系研究科博士課程都市工学専攻単位取得
職  歴:
1972年1月 スリランカ工学技術公団デザインコンサルタント部(建築士)
1976年4月 マレーシア工科大学居住・建築・計画学部常勤講師
1980年4月 三井建設設計部(建築士)
1981年1月 AUR都市建築コンサルタント(地域開発計画)
1985年2月 国際連合地域開発センター(UNCRD)主任研究員
1994年4月 立命館大学国際関係学部教授
1996年4月 立命館大学政策科学部教授(~2004年3月)
2000年4月 立命館大学国際教育・研究推進機構長(~2004年3月)
2004年4月 立命館アジア太平洋大学長 立命館アジア太平洋大学教授 学校法人立命館副総長
2010年1月 学校法人立命館 副総長(国際担当)(~2012年12月)
2012年4月 立命館大学国際平和ミュージアム館長(現在に至る)
2013年1月 学校法人立命館 総長特別補佐(~2014年12月)
2014年4月 学校法人立命館 評議員(現在に至る)
2015年3月 学校法人立命館 理事補佐 (現在に至る)