Museum celebrating Bhutanese culture of happiness opens in Japan’s Fukui Prefecture

Kyodo

A museum about traditional Bhutanese culture has opened in Fukui Prefecture, seeking to raise the profile of a country famous for adopting a gross national happiness index to measure its inhabitants’ quality of life.

The museum, which opened its doors Saturday, was established by the Kofukunokuni Co. nonprofit organization to encourage residents of Fukui, rated Japan’s happiest prefecture last year in a university study, to rethink their concept of happiness.

It is exhibiting objects selected from some 400 items from Bhutan, including traditional clothes and musical instruments, as well as thousands of scenic photographs of the tiny Himalayan country. It also plans to host concerts related to Bhutan.

“We want to make it a museum where people can interact casually through (the theme of) Bhutan,” said Genji Nosaka, the NPO’s 75-year-old leader.

Nosaka also helped set up an academic society devoted to the research of happiness based in the museum, to allow experts from numerous fields to hold study sessions.