Doctoral student Shiraiwa Shikoh

31000 €

Ideology of Heritage, Museum, Cultural Politics, and Construction of National Identity in Finland and Japan

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Yksivuotinen

The new permanent exhibition at the National Museum of Finland, "Otherland," reexamines what it means to be Finnish while critical debates continue among linguists, historians, and other scholars. The National Ainu Museum in Japan carries the burden of telling the nation's history of cultural genocide and forced assimilation, while many Ainu people are still haunted by the stigma of its dark past and discriminatory views held against them. ICOM voted for the new museum definition at the ICOM-Prague 2022 in August after the long debates evoked at the ICOM-Kyoto 2019. As the museums changes and broadens their functions to engage the needs of society, the museum definition requires constant evaluations and changes. This is an ongoing research project, "Ideology of Heritage, Museum, Cultural Politics, and Construction of National Identity in Finland and Japan", to pursue how the museum could contribute to achieving a culturally and socially sustainable society for all of us to co-exist. Through the extraordinary time in the past two years, my research has expanded into a broader philosophical and theoretical approach to studying the museums and their decolonising discourses through understanding the current world system as Ramón Grosfoguel (2011) described it, a 'Capitalist/Patriarchal Western-centric/Christian-centric Modern/Colonial World-System'. Museums inherently reflect this structure, but many institutions are trying to move away from it, seeking more just practices. Rather than placing any limitations or restrictions, I broadened my research twofold; comparative studies of the national museums in Finland and Japan as a case study, and decolonising museums, universities and knowledge as theoretical arguments and experiments. This is a transdisciplinary article-based project; four articles for the doctoral thesis study the national museums between Finland and Japan and three to four articles written on decolonising discourses outside my doctoral thesis.