What kind of a place is a zoo for us human beings? What do we go there hoping to get, and what do we get that we take back with us?
The facility familiarly known today as a “zoo” (Zoological Garden), where various animals are raised and kept within enclosures for public exhibition, originated in Europe in the late 18th century. Japan’s first zoo was founded in 1882 in Ueno. The zoos founded thereafter in all parts of the country continue now to draw numerous visitors while changing and adapting to the times.
This exhibition displays zoo-related artworks and materials from the collections of the Tokyo Metropolitan museums, other organizations, and individuals with a focus on Japan’s oldest zoo, the Ueno Zoo next to the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum.
As you tour the exhibition, viewing fragments of the memories dwelling in zoos, we hope you will have opportunity to look afresh at the relationship developing between humans and animals in this place, the zoo, since early modern times.