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About the Mito Arts Foundation

Purpose of Establishment

The Chinese characters making up the name "Mito" mean "water door." As the name implies, Mito was founded and grew in the midst of bountiful water resources. Even today, many rivers, lakes and ponds can be found within the municipal boundaries. The tributaries flowing into Mito's rivers have formed several verdant valleys, converging on Lake Senba and Kairakuen, one of Japan's most famous gardens. Mito thus offers one of the most scenic urban settings among all the cities in Japan.

In addition, many historical structures and sites are situated in the city of Mito, their history stretching back to the Tokugawa era, which started in the early 1600s. Especially well known by all Japanese are the Kairakuen, mentioned above, and the Kodo-kan, a series of buildings dating from 1841 that served as a school for samurai children. Mito is also renowned for the so-called Mito School, very influential in the history of Japanese thought, and the "Dai Nihon-shi" ("Grand History of Japan"), the compilation of which began in 1656 by Tokugawa Mitsukuni, the second daimyo of the Mito clan. At times, up to one-third of the Mito clan's budget was devoted to that grand project, which took some 250 years to finish, the last pages being written in the year 1906.

The city of Mito, with its bounteous natural setting and unique cultural development, celebrated the centennial of its designation as a "city" in 1989. To mark that anniversary in a way complementary to the culture bequeathed by our ancestors, it was decided to establish an arts foundation to add new elements to the city's individual character and fostering the arts and cultural activities. The foundation, consisting of a full-fledged concert hall, theater and art museum that can flexibly respond to future developments, aims to serve as the central facility for artistic and cultural activities for the people of Mito.

The institution shall serve as a facility to foster the development of local culture in the major arts fields of music, drama, and art. To that end, its role should not end with being a mere provider of didactic art -- a place for "art lessons," so to speak -- but it must carry out a diverse and complete range activities that contribute to stimulating the whole city through the learning and creative activities of its citizens.

In line with these goals, the art museum in Mito endeavors to carry out its operations and activities in a lively and smooth manner. To that end, it must be managed in a flexible and efficient way, actively seeking the cooperation of Mito citizens and a variety of sources, taking advantage of their ingenuity and management knowhow. From that viewpoint, the Mito Arts Foundation has been established to render services in promoting and development of local culture through activities consistent with these expectations.

In other words, the Mito Arts Foundation serves as a place for raising the artistic consciousness of the entire citizenry and for uplifting artistic culture in the city. Concurrently, a variety of activities designed to encourage artistic and cultural exchange -- such as carrying out various kinds of projects, educational programs, research studies, and collecting art works -- providing the people of Mito with meaningful cultural activities and giving them the place and opportunity to enjoy their free time. With all that said, the foundation aims to contribute to creating and promoting artistic culture for the people of the city of Mito.

About the Foundation

Name: Mito Arts Foundation
Founded: March 31, 1988
Address: 1chōme Goken-cho, Mito City, Ibaraki Prefecture
capitalization of ¥100 million


Various planning projects

Provides educational programs about art

Art Study

Works of art, collection and storage of materials

Contract management and maintenance of the facilities

Activities necessary to achieve the objectives of this Association and other