Tokyo Science Museum Raises ¥920 Mil. through Crowdfunding to Reward Donors with Illustrated Book

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The storage building for the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture

Some 57,000 people donated ¥920 million to a crowdfunding project by Tokyo’s National Museum of Nature and Science, which ran between August and Sunday and was aimed at raising funds to store specimens.

“It was a big success. We received far more support than we had expected,” said museum President Kenichi Shinoda on Monday at a press conference.

According to the crowdfunding site, the project scored both a record sum and a record number of supporters for projects in Japan.

The museum, in Taito Ward, announced Monday how it plans to use the funds: ¥440 million will go to collection and management of specimens, ¥160 million to joint exhibitions with regional museums and conservation of specimens damaged by natural disasters, and ¥320 million to producing an original illustrated book to reward donors.

The museum stores more than 5 million specimens — including plants, animals, minerals and fossils — under fixed temperatures and humidity. But soaring costs such as for utilities shrank the museum’s funds.

“It was an adventurous move. We were worried about whether we would be able to raise the money,” Shinoda said. He added that crowdfunding was a temporary fix and the museum would work to secure stable funding.