Crowdfunding Bonanza for Tokyo Science Museum

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Some of the stuffed animal specimens stored at the National Museum of Nature and Science’s Center for Collections in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture

A crowdfunding project by the National Museum of Nature and Science in Taito Ward, Tokyo, successfully raised its target amount of ¥100 million in just one day on Monday.

The museum started the project to pay for the rising cost of storing specimens and other materials in its collection due to soaring utility bills.

The museum is continuing to accept funds for the cause and has raised over ¥400 million as of Tuesday.

The museum has more than 5 million items in its collection, including specimens of animals, plants, minerals and fossils. Most of them are stored in the museum’s Center for Collections, a temperature- and humidity-controlled facility of about 7,000 square meters in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture. The museum’s energy-related expenses this fiscal year are expected to reach about ¥382 million, almost double the amount from two fiscal years ago, prompting the museum to resort to crowdfunding because it seemed impossible to cope with the situation only by saving energy and using government subsidies.

The crowdfunding started at 8 a.m. on Monday and had raised ¥100 million by 5:20 p.m. Supporters sent encouraging messages to the museum on the crowdfunding site. Some of them, using the museum’s nickname, said that they wished for their beloved “Kahaku” to last for a long time. The museum offered return gifts for the crowdfunding supporters, such as a meteorite accessory or participation in a stuffed specimen making workshop. The number of applicants for many of the gifts have already reached the upper limit.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Stuffed bear specimens are seen in the National Museum of Nature and Science’s Center for Collections in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture.