The Center of the History of Japanese Industrial Technology collaborates with industry and academic conferences in various fields to discover where materials on the history of industrial technology (defined as any genuine artifacts that reveal part of the development of industrial technology) in Japan are held, and what condition they are in. The results are accumulated in a database and published online.
The Center of the History of Japanese Industrial Technology is preparing a history of technology in Japan by surveying and researching the paths and processes by which major industrial technologies developed in Japan, from their birth to the present day. In addition to this study of the history of technology, the Center is also conducting a survey of the epoch-making technological breakthroughs that occurred throughout that history. By carrying out this supplementary study to the Survey on the Whereabouts of Materials on the History of Industrial Technology, the Center seeks to clarify the significance of each material for the history of technology as a whole.
On the front lines of this research are seasoned veterans of engineering, who themselves developed many of the private-sector technologies we depend on today. Engineers who have proved themselves on the unforgiving shop floors of manufacturing are indelibly stamped by the experience, which is why their retelling of the events of the history of technology is so compelling. By telling the story of Japan's technological development in this way, these engineers offer precious insights into the possible shape of technological development in the 21st century, as well as a guiding light for countries still in earlier stages of development.
The National Museum of Nature and Science will select from among historical materials on science and technology those that have made "significant contribution in the development of science and technology and constitute an important heritage to the next generations," and "remarkable impact to people's lives, economy, society, and culture." These materials will be registered into the "Registry of Essential Historical Materials for Science and Technology."
The selected material will be added to the "Registry of Essential Historical Materials for Science and Technology" that will be maintained by the National Museum of Nature and Science, and the owner of the material will receive a certificate of registration and a commemorative plaque from the National Museum.
All changes to the state of the material, such as changes in location or damages to the material, will be notified to the National Museum of Nature and Science, who will keep the material's registry data as updated as possible. By regularly monitoring the state of the materials, the National Museum of Nature and Science will try to prevent loss of the registered materials.
The registry will be made public through the National Museum's website to allow public access to information on the materials.
Japan is richly blessed with enterprise-affiliated museums and archives, as well as museums dedicated to themes of industrial technology. These facilities house and display vital materials on the subject of the development of industrial technology in Japan. HITNET is a comprehensive database of representative specimens in these museums. Anyone interested is free to use the database to determine at a glance what materials are housed there and where.