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Professor Hiroaki Hamada wins Tanahashi Prize

Professor Hiroaki Hamada of J. F. Oberlin University’s College of Arts and Sciences has been chosen as the winner of this year’s Tanahashi Prize by the Japanese Association of Museums. He was presented with the prize on November 16 at the association’s annual conference in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture. Named after Gentaro Tanahashi, who founded the association in 1962, it is widely considered to be the most prestigious award in the world of Japanese museums.

The prize was in recognition of Professor Hamada’s paper, “Thoughts on Museum Curator Qualification Programs in Japanese Style,” which was published in the journal Museum Studies. The paper provided a comprehensive summary of recent discussions on Japan’s qualification system for museum curators and suggested directions for it to take in the future.

After graduating from university, Professor Hamada started his career at the Sagamihara City Museum. For 20 years, until coming to teach at J. F. Oberlin, he conducted research and honed his skills at smaller museums around the region. With major museums tending to monopolize discussions in the museum world, “I’d like to think that I’ve become an advocate for the regional museums,” says Professor Hamada.