As a reward for all the hard work Theo has put in learning to ride his bike, I decided to take the boys on a trip to the Fukuyama Auto and Clock Museum (FACM) on Shūbun no Hi, or Autumnal Equinox Day. The last time we went there was over 2 years ago (I can't believe how fast the time has gone!) and wrote a post about it here. I absolutely love this museum and could spend hours looking on every shelf, corner, nook, and cranny at the random assortment of antiques they contain.

The boys of course love being at a museum where they are actually allowed to touch most things and take the vehicles for a "drive".

And I discovered my dream car: a 1949 Jeepster. It was so comfortable inside and everything was just the right size. I also loved that you had to crawl over the side of the car into the back seat. 

My mother insists that collecting things is a sign of intelligence and that you can add one point to your IQ for every collection you own. If there is any scientific credibility to that at all, the person who owns the FACM must be a genius. I tried to take a photo of every collection he had on display until my camera ran out of batteries. I then switched to taking photos with my phone for the rest of the collections. Now looking at them I realize that there are just far too many to post here so instead here is a list:

Clock works
Old cars
Old motorcycles
Wax figures
Player pianos
Gravestone rubbings

Old optometry equipment
Children's party favours and prizes from the 1950's and 60's
Antique gas stoves 
Antique space heaters
Victrolas and Phonographs
Cylinder records
Light bulbs
Cash registers
Printing presses and mimeographs
Slide projectors and video recording equipment
Sewing machines
Pre war era metal lunch boxes, kitchen tins, and other kitchen goods
Tea pots
Carved and decorative light fixtures and lanterns
Oil lamps and gas lanterns
Rocking horses
Bullets and black powder pouches
Model railroad trains
Metal toy buses and other antique toys
World War II memorabilia and propaganda posters
State flags
License plates
Water wheels
Antique vacuum cleaners
Antique coal and electric kotatsu 

And a few photos so you can get a feel for how these things are crammed in willy-nilly into display cases, on walls, shelves, or just stuck into the back of some of the old pick up trucks. 

The man who owns this museum owns a lot of property and business in and around Fukuyama City. As far as I know, the museum is just a display of his hobby and obsession with collecting and preserving the past. Tucked into one corner of the museum is a model of an old Japanese house that you can explore.

A view of the toilet cubicles. There was a sliding door separating the urinal and sink room and the squat toilet.

A close up of the under toilet catch basin. The chute on the left hand side leads from the urinal in the next room. 

 The kitchen area

Next to the toilet room is a rocket stove built into the floor and wall.

set into the space behind the stove was a large metal basin. I am not sure if this was for clothes washing, bathing, or just storing warm water.

Next to that was a washing area with a sink, clothes wringer, and refrigerator.

And lastly, the extremely tiny, 4 tatami size family room.

I found this display especially fascinating. I loved walking through imagining what it would be like to live every day with my family in this tiny space, cooking on the wood stove and cleaning out the little pit under the toilet every day. I can't say I really relish the thought.

After three hours of exploring we left the museum only to spend another 30 minutes wandering around the parking lot where there was a bit of overflow of larger items, like a metal steam engine, a giant waterwheel and koi pond. 

I can't recommend this museum enough to anyone with even a slight love of history or any of the many, many collections that this museum houses. If you live in Fukuyama or ever come to Fukuyama make sure you check it out!

1 comment:

Carol said...

How fascinating! Some day you should visit Harold Warp's Pioneer Village in Minden, Nebraska. It's a huge place chock-full of all sorts of things that made life easier in the "modern age".