OLD&NEW

OLD&NEW

The British Antiques Museum in Kamakura (BAM Kamakura) is the first museum dedicated to showcasing antiques from the United Kingdom.

With much love and dedication for British craftsmanship, director Masaomi Dobashi opened the museum in September 2022 in Kamakura, the ancient capital of the Japanese samurai era, with the aim of passing on the stories and the beauty of artistry to future generations.

This museum, designed by renowned architect Kengo Kuma, features inspiring displays of Dobashi’s private collection collected over many years, arranged by theme over several floors. There’s a recreation of the room of much-loved fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, as well as the Black Cab Cafe on the ground floor.

Hours

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. (last admission at 4:30 p.m.)

Closed

Every Monday※ (open when a national holiday falls on a Monday / next day : close)

Ticket price

Adult (age 19 and over)1,300円
Junior High School / High School Student (Ages 13–18)1,000円
Elementary school student (Ages 7–12)500円

Floor Guide

INTERVIEW

Kengo Kuma

ArchitectKengo Kuma

A new perspective on antiques for a new generation

The cultural relationship between Japan and the UK runs deep. Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, among many others, found inspiration in minimalist Japanese design and later built his famous Ingram Street Tearooms.

These have now been fully restored as the Oak Room inside the V&A Dundee Museum, where I led the architect project in 2018. You can spot Mackintosh’s Japanese influences in this room.

From antique designs to modern electric vehicles, V&A Dundee harmonises old and new aesthetics, which creates a timeless experience.

My latest project, the British Antique Museum (BAM), is situated by the historic Dankazura shrine approach in Kamakura. The museum is filled with Director Dobashi’s exquisite antique collection, objects of beauty which have absorbed time, so to speak. To house these collections, I felt that the building should have the same qualities.

With this in mind, we eliminated the windows for a minimalistic effect and adopted a façade inspired by Kamakura-bori wood carvings, which symbolise the historic culture of Kamakura.

The BAM is situated close to ancient Oyatsu forest, which lies behind Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. The forest was saved by local conservation efforts inspired by the British National Trust back in the1960s.

We hope the museum will become a cultural hub, to be loved and passed on through the generations.

Masaomi Dobashi

DirectorMasaomi Dobashi

Experience patina, the beauty chiselled by time

Antiques are defined as objects of artistic and historical significance that are at least 100 years old. When we encounter the genuine craftsmanship embodied in antiques, we receive wisdom from the past. The timeless artistry of these objects that humankind once created fascinates people, and this should be passed on to future generations.

For me, the best way to convey this message of ‘passing wisdom on to the next generation’ is to have people enjoy antiques, and appreciate the objects which surround us.

The beauty of antiques lies in how much they have witnessed, endured and been cared for throughout all ages leading up to our time. Their surfaces have what we call ‘patina’, the old lustre created by the passing of time.

Interestingly, the younger generation are aware of that fact unconsciously, and are beginning to seek out this wonder by themselves. The goal of the British Antique Museum is to introduce visitors to the brilliance of classic craftsmanship.

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