Now that over half a century has passed since the end of World War Ⅱ. Many would prefer to forget the horrors that war inflicted on the lives of millions of people. It must not be forgotten. However that beneath the surface of today's peace and prosperity lie the sacrifice and suffering of all those who experienced the war. It is up to us to learn from these tragic experiences and use this knowledge to help us create and preserve a peaceful world.With the passage of time, reminders of the war, such as personal terms and records, continue to be lost in order to preserve these memories for future generations. The Peace Museum of Saitama collects and exhibits these materials. In addition we record the personal testimonies of those who experienced war first-hand. We also conduct research into the war affected the lives of ordinary people and present lectures on topics related to war and peace.
GUIDE TO THE EXHIBITIONS
The permanent exhibit covers the period from the 1920s to the 1940s，focusing on the beginning of the period of the reign of Emperor Showa（1926－1989）to the end of World War Ⅱ．The exhibits are displayed in a way to show visitors the historical transition of the lives of Saitama people as a result of the war.Particular emphasis is given to explaining major incidents in Japan and the world which led to war from the point of view of the People of Saitama. Displays show various aspects of life at the time as seen through the eyes of ordinary people.
A moving walkway takes you through a time tunnel to the permanent exhibit room. As you move through the tunnel, monitors displaying images of the past give the feeling of traveling in a time slip from the present back to the mid 1920s.
●The Road to War
This section covers the time from the beginning of the Showa period in 1926 to the out break of the Pacific War in December 1941.
1 The Depression and the settling of Manchuria and Mongolia
2 Growing militarism，the February 26 incident and how soldiers from Saitama were involved
3 The war time system and its effects on daily lifeThese three displays deal with the period beginning with the Depression and the Manchurian incident in 1931，the resulting growth of militarism and the plunge into full scale war with China.
●The Pacific War
This section covers the period from the beginning of the Pacific war in 1941 to its conclusion in 1945.
1 Military facilities in Saitama
2 Children on the battle field
3 Citizens of Saitama on the battle field
4 Air raids in Saitama
These four displays show how people’s lives became even more austere as the war interested and military-Style controls dominated most aspects of every day life.
a A child stands among the burnt remains after the air raid on Kumagaya.
b A balloon bomb
c Pine oil purification equipment
d Soldiers bags for holding personal items
e Soldier figurines
f Paper fan
g Sake serving bottle and cup commemorating discharge from military service.
h May Day poster
In the space of 15 minutes, visitors can experience what a day might have been like during the war years. In a "citizen's school" classroom, visitors can sit in on a morals lesson, gaining an insight into the style of education practiced during the war.In the middle of the class, an air raid siren sounds, everyone runs to the air raid shelter and a simulator recreates some of the noise, lights and movement similar to what people experienced in wartime.
Life after the war was harsh, with food and materials in short supply. However, the democratic ideals Japan's the new constitution gradually began to take hold. And from the mid 1950s stability began to return to people’s lives.
Even in the post-war world conflict continues in a number of places across the globe. In this final display room, we are reminded of these on going conflicts and are united by our efforts and wishes for peace.
The Gallery is located in front of the Special Exhibition Room, and is for the presentation of small-scale exhibitions.
SPECIAL EXHIBITION ROOM
This exhibition room is for the display of recently collected materials or special materials.
(2009's special exhibition "The people's lives at the war")
This library provides facilities for people to freely research topics of interest. The library is equipped with a reference book collection, video viewing facilities and a materials search catalogue.
●Reference Book Collection
If you have any questions after seeing the exhibits, or there are topics that you would like to investigate further, you are welcome to make use of the library's Wide range of reference materials. The extensive holdings cover topics related to war and peace and can be browsed freely. Some materials are available in English.
●Video Viewing Corner
Videos dealing with the subjects of war, peace, and etc． are available for viewing.The library is equipped with two viewing booths, where you can watch historical news, documentaries, dramatic films, animation, and testimonies given by people who experienced the war.
CATALOGUED EXHIBITION SPACE
This is a special exhibition room which fulfils the dual purposes of both preserving and display collected materials. About 1,200 items are separated according to use and purpose, and visitors are free to pull out and examine any of the display drawers.
This is a multipurpose auditorium. Which can be used for lectures and presentations. Normally it is used as a 160-Seat theater for showing two animated movies made especially for the Peace Museum of Saitama. They are "The Last Air Raid in Kumagaya" and "The Story of the Blue-Eyed dolls". These films are shown regularly.
This area offers visitors a place to rest and reflect while looking out over the attractive gardens vending machines sell refreshments.
An elevator takes visitors up to a lookout tower 147.5m above sea level,providing sweeping views of the Kanto Plains. The Chichibu mountain ranges, Mt.Fuji, Mt.Asama, Mt.Akagi, and Mt.Tsukuba, are usually visible. On a clear day, you can see the Shinjuku City Center and Tokyo Sky Tree.
9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Every Monday (Open when Monday is a national holiday, and close on the following day), Year End and New Year holiday.
Get off at "Takasaka Station" (Tobu Tojo Line), take a bus bound for "Hatoyama new town" (Kawagoe Kanko Bus), get off at "Daito Bunka University bus stop" and walk approx 8 minutes.