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小さな田舎町の誇りである
日本一古い円形校舎を蘇らせたい

 鳥取県倉吉市には、日本最古といわれる円形の校舎、旧明倫小学校円形校舎があります。円形校舎は、戦後のベビーブームで爆発的に増加した生徒数に対応するため、1955年前後に全国に建てられ、旧明倫小学校円形校舎も1955年竣工しました。
 しかし、その役割を終えて10年以上。外観はくすみ、窓ガラスは割れてベニヤ板が打ち付けられていました。ベランダの手すりは錆び、内部の床のタイルが割れていたり、天井に雨漏りのシミが出ているところもありました。町のシンボル的な存在であった旧明倫小学校円形校舎は、激しい老朽化によって一度は解体が決定しました。

旧明倫小学校円形校舎 外観

フィギュアミュージアムを通して
全国へ、そして世界に新しい文化を発信

 いざ解体が決まると、旧明倫小学校円形校舎の解体を惜しむ声が多くあがりました。そこにあるのがあたりまえだった円形校舎が無くなるということが、想像できなかったのです。少しずつ修繕し、元の姿を取り戻そうという気運が高まり署名活動が行われました。結果、約7,000名の署名が集まり、旧明倫小学校円形校舎は解体の危機を逃れることができました。

旧明倫小学校円形校舎 内観

旧明倫小学校円形校舎をきれいにし、町のシンボルとしてたんに保存するだけでは意味がありません。円形校舎はユニークな外観に加え、中央にらせん階段を配した構造、扇型の教室など他に類を見ないものです。この独特の空間を生かし、地元倉吉市に工場を持つフィギュア制作会社大手の(株)グッドスマイルカンパニー、さらに業界きっての老舗メーカー海洋堂、鳥取にある米子ガイナックスの協力のもとに、フィギュアの一大展示施設をオープンすることとしました。
 クールジャパンを象徴するフィギュアを展示することで、多くの方に円形校舎を「おもしろい」と感じていただけるのではないか。同時に、世界的にも高水準の造形力を持つフィギュアに目を向けるきっかけとなり、校舎とフィギュア双方に相乗効果を生むことができると考えます。将来、この町の子供たちが、「私の町には円形校舎とフィギュアミュージアムがあります!」と胸を張って言えるような施設にしていくつもりです。

旧明倫小学校円形校舎 外観

From the oldest round school building in Japan to the newest mecca of action figures in Japan

The museum is a place where visitors cannot only see the exhibited figures, but also connect with each other regardless of the age or nationality through learning the production process of figures and experiencing figure-making.
Let’s see what culture and dramas the place will produce.

The hope to revive the oldest round school building in Japan that has been the pride of the small town

The old building of Rinmei Elementary School, which is considered to be the oldest round school building in Japan, is located in Kurayoshi-city, Tottori. Round school buildings were built across the nation around 1955 to address the increasing number of school children caused by the baby boom after WWII. The construction of the old building of Meirin Elementary School was completed in 1955 as well.

Unfortunately, after more than 10 years since the building was closed, the exterior was dilapidated with broken windows replaced with plywood. You could also see rust on the veranda fence, broken floor tiles and water stains on the ceilings.
Due to significant deterioration, the old building of Meirin elementary school, the symbol of the town, was initially planned to be demolished.

旧明倫小学校円形校舎 外観

Suggestion of a new culture to the nation and the world through the figure museum

After the demolition of the school building was announced, there were many objections raised to it, as it was hard for local people to believe that the round school building, which had been a part of their town, would disappear. Some of them started to collect signatures for a petition to repair the building step by step and restore the original appearance. As a result, they managed to collect nearly 7,000 signatures and successfully stopped the old round building of Meirin Elementary School from being demolished.
Then there was another thing - just restoring and preserving the building as the symbol of the town didn’t seem enough to us. The building has one-of-a-kind architecture that features a spiral staircase in the center and fan-shaped classrooms as well as unique exterior. In order to make full use of it, we decided to turn it into a large-scale figure exhibition facility in collaboration with Good Smile Company Inc., a major figure manufacturer, Kiyodo Co., Ltd., one of the most established figure brands in the industry and Yonago Gianax Inc.

旧明倫小学校円形校舎 内観

At Enkei Gekijo, we are hoping that many people find the round school building “interesting” while enjoying the exhibition of figures that represent “Cool Japan”. At the same time, we are also hoping that visitors learn about Japan’s advanced figure production techniques at the exhibition. We believe that the figure museum is beneficial to both the school building and the figures. We intend to make the building a great facility so that, in the future, local kids can proudly say “There are a round school building and a figure museum in my town!”.

旧明倫小学校円形校舎 外観