Toward the next 100 years
Words and Photography | GoJim
Translation | Joyce Tsang
Design | Franco Au-Yeung

To celebrate for their upcoming 100th anniversary in the year 2017, Japan’s leading camera brand Nikon has established a brand dedicated museum inside of their Japan headquarter building in Shinagawa, Tokyo. Entitled as the NIKON MUSEUM, it will publicly display the technology and the traditions of Nikon, as well as the developments and innovations that they have contributed to the history of lighting technology in the past century.

Nikon was established on the 25th of July, 1917, with an aim to consolidate the Japanese Optical Industries, and to stay independent from European technology. (The company was originally called “Japan Optical Industries Ltd.” until 1946, when they officially opted for the brand name “Nikon”) From being initially focused on the design and the production of military optical instruments, to the engaging of the development for precise optical electronics and technologies; one of most important manufacturing systems by Nikon was the Synthetic Silica Glass Ingot, which represents as the core element for optical production technology. That is why visitors would see the world’s largest man-made synthetic quartz glass ingot once they enter into the exhibition.

NIKON MUSEUM is amongst the first museums to collect and exhibit a brand’s corporate history, to illustrate a brand’s development progress, and to showcase their products and technology. The 580 square meter large exhibition hall includes 11 zones, where the ‘Imagining’ zone is one of the most attractive exhibitions. Displaying 450 different cameras in the form of a “camera wall”, models such as the Nikon Model I from 1948; to the first single- lens reflex camera, the Nikon F from 1959; and even the classic digital D series “ancestor”, the D1, are included. At the same time, a lot of special lenses are also on display, such as the Aero- Nikkor from 1933, which was the first lens used for aerial photography, and the oversized fisheye lens, the Fisheye- Nikkor Auto 6mm f/2.8, just to name a few. Visitors can take their time in reading the development history and the technological evolution behind each of these products. As for the new digital cameras, microscopes, measuring instruments, and the many other innovative scientific and industrial products, they are also displayed in conjunction with the other historical products.

The ‘Lens Laboratory’, which is supervised by the famous Japanese photographer, Abe Hideyuki, allow visitors of any age to personally experience the characteristics of light and lens, whereby both children and adults can understand more about the design of the lens and learn about other interesting information. On top of that, the museum has also created zones such as the ‘Theater’, to display stories which have happened throughout the history of Nikon; the ‘Space’, to initiate interactive experiences between the visitors and the universe; and the popular souvenir shop, where the lens shaped memorial cup and the Nanoblock version of the Nikon F is available for sale.

It is by no means, an easy task to run a company for a hundred years, but the most important thing is how to sustain it for another century. NIKON MUSEUM was created to allow their current staff to look back at the brand, and to review the concepts that have kept it alive. This, in turn, should be able to motivate them to continue their efforts in the coming days, and to strive with the company for the next 100 year anniversary.

Location: Shinagawa Intercity Tower C, 2F, 2-15-3, Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-6290, Japan
Access: 7 minutes’ walk from the Konan Exit of JR Shinagawa Station or 10 minutes’ walk from Keikyu Shinagawa Station
Opening hours: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (last admission at 5:30 p.m.)
Closed: Sundays, Japanese national holidays, and other days determined by the Museum
Admission: Free
Contact number: +81-3-6433-3900
Inquiry: +81-3-6433-3900
Website: www.nikon.com/about/info/museum
Previously /