Davao Museum presents DAVAO KUO: The Abaca, the Japanese and the Making of Davao!

Starting May 17, the Davao Museum of History and Ethnography (DMHE) will exhibit DAVAO KUO: The Abaca, the Japanese and the Making of Davao. This six-month exhibit will be held in cooperation with the Consular Office of Japan in Davao (COJD) and sponsored by the Embassy of Japan in Manila (EOJ).  The exhibit looks into Davao society’s Japanese heritage during the development of the abaca plantation industry in the early 1900s and the historic rise in Japanese migration to the province that accompanied it.

In 1939, there were around 29,000 Japanese in the Philippines and of this number more than 17,000 Japanese were in Davao working in various enterprises including in the abaca plantation in Mintal and Toril.

The exhibit is also very timely since Davao City recently celebrated its 75th founding anniversary. According to some historians, one of the major reasons why Davao was made into a chartered city in 1936 was due to the socio-economic progress brought in part by the Japanese investors who established wide commercial interests such as copra, timber, fishing and import-export trading. The Japanese also shared their knowledge on how to improve cultivation and this has led agriculture to become the core of the province’s economic prosperity at that time.

Japanese Consul Kazuhiko Anzai, Director of the COJD, said that he is delighted to cooperate with the DMHE in holding the historical exhibit that will run until October 2012.  Consul Anzai said that he hopes that the exhibit will further strengthen the mutual understanding between Japanese and Filipinos through the pictures and artifacts from the period.  He also enjoined the Japanese residents here and the Davaoeños to work and collaborate with each other to further develop this beautiful city with a renewed bilateral relationship as equal partners.

The Davao Museum of History and Ethnography is located at Insular Village, Phase 1, Lanang, Davao City. Those with inquiries or who are interested for tour reservations may contact the Davao Museum of History and Ethnography at (082) 233-1734.

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