Information on exhibitions

Permanent Exhibitions Permanent Exhibitions

In addition to learning about Minamata disease, visitors can learn facts about mercury, the substance that caused Minamata disease, including types and properties of mercury that exist in nature and the transit (circulation) of mercury. Also on display are the results of measurements, updated constantly, of the mercury concentration taken of the seawater and in the atmosphere of Minamata Bay. Other information being presented in the Archives includes findings from research conducted by the National Institute for Minamata Disease, as well as information on international cooperation activities for mercury pollution issues around the world and on the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

A sketch of Minamata disease (Exhibition A)

An exhibition that illustrates: by what mechanism Minamata diseases occurred; how methyl mercury, the substance that caused the disease, affects the brain; symptoms of Minamata disease; the process of how methyl mercury was generated and released to the ocean; typical meals that people were having around 1955 and; the mechanism behind the pathogenesis of Minamata disease and its characteristic symptoms. Oral testimonies about Minamata disease symptoms given by Minamata disease victims can be viewed in videos as well.

Exhibition items

❶ What Minamata disease is about / ❷ The cause: methyl mercury / ❸ Generation of methyl mercury and its release to the ocean / ❹ Mechanism of how mercury shifts from fish/shellfish and concentrates in the human body

Determination of the cause of Minamata disease (Exhibition B)

An exhibition on the studies and the development leading up to the determination of the cause of Minamata disease. Also on display is medical treatment at the onset and the chronic phase of Minamata disease, as well as videos showing rehabilitation sessions.

Exhibition items

❶ Determination of the cause / ❷ Epidemiology in the early days / ❸ Research conducted by Kumamoto University / ❹ Studies conducted internally by the Chisso Corporation / ❺ Treatment of Minamata disease / ❻ Pollution in Minamata Bay and restoration of its environment

Research on mercury (Exhibition C)

An exhibition on mercury as a substance, including: in what forms mercury exists; its circulation in the environment; concentration resulting from the food chain and; mercury analysis methods.

Exhibition items

❶ Mercury as a substance / ❷ How mercury is measured / ❸ Fish and methyl mercury / ❹ Mercury in the natural world

Mercury pollution incidents around the world (Exhibition D)

12 case examples of the work done by the National Institute for Minamata Disease to address mercury pollution incidents around the world can be viewed in video images, for example: incidents of pollution from mercury emitted in the course of gold mining or from an abandoned mine site and; efforts made to properly treat residual mercury on a former factory site.

Q&A station (Exhibition E)

A Q&A station designed to answer questions regarding Minamata disease or mercury, using a touch panel. Q&A is also presented on the website.

Messages from Minamata (Exhibition F)

An exhibition on the organization and research structure of the National Institute for Minamata Disease and an overview of its research work and facilities, along with a brief summary of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

Exhibition items

❶ National Institute for Minamata Disease of the Ministry of the Environment: its roles and activities / ❷ National Institute for Minamata Disease of the Ministry of the Environment [presentation of its research work] / ❸ A presentation on the Minamata Convention on Mercury

Video screening spot

Four videos themed on mercury or Minamata disease are screened: Our environment and mercury; Methyl Mercury in the human body and its impact on health; Methyl mercury contained in fish/shellfish and how it gets ingested and: Ocean of Minamata

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