Special Exhibition, Panasonic Museum: Osaka Expo '70—Reviving the Matsushita Pavilion and the Future Vision of the Expo; Saturday, July 14 to Saturday, September 1, 2018

Konosuke Matsushita Museum Osaka Expo '70—Reviving the Matsushita Pavilion and the Future Vision of the Expo

Valuing the Spirit of Harmony: Messages Left by Konosuke Matsushita

Dates: Saturday, July 14 to Saturday, September 1, 2018

The Japan World Exposition was held in Osaka in 1970, taking Progress and Harmony for Mankind as its theme.
In the October 1970 edition of PHP, published immediately after the exposition, Konosuke penned a column entitled Valuing the Spirit of Harmony. Touching on the differences at the exposition between the Soviet Union's pavilion and Japan's pavilion, he lamented Japan's neglect of its own traditions and spirit.
Konosuke referenced the first article from the Seventeen-Article Constitution of Prince Shotoku, which stated that harmony is of utmost importance. Konosuke believed that the Japanese were a people of peace, and as the 1970s began, he felt that Japan must lead the world in contributing to world peace and prosperity.

"Renewing our awareness"

When the decision had been reached to host an international exposition, all of Japan was caught up in the excitement of it. At the previous such exposition, however, in Montreal (Expo '67, Canada), the Japan Pavilion was ranked second from bottom.

At the time, the exposition was considered to be little more than an advanced trade fair. Konosuke, however, proclaimed it imperative to exert every effort into an advanced display, and for it to have no connection to commerce.

Entering into a display agreement

In October 1968, a concrete proposal for the Matsushita Pavilion was submitted to the Japan Association for the 1970 World Exposition.

The structure and its contents were based on Konosuke's ideas. The architectural style harkened back to Japan's Tempyo period, in the eighth century, and included a time capsule display, as well as a tea room where visitors could experience some moments of peace and quiet.

Tradition and Development: To People 5,000 Years in the Future

The traditions inherited from our forebears are an asset that we can take pride in before the world, and we must convey those traditions to future generations. Simultaneously, however, while rooted in those traditions, we must also strive to develop scientific technologies that will open the door to a new future for the sake of social and cultural advancement.

It is the interplay of old and new, of quiet and frenetic, that has brought forth the prosperity and progress of today's society.
This state of affairs is eternal. Based on these ideas, therefore, the Matsushita Pavilion represented a harmonious melding of the beauty of ancient Japanese traditions and the might of technological prowess.

The message from Konosuke

"As we meet the new era of the 1970s, we Japanese must bring forth a delightful sense of self that blends the material and the spiritual. From that basis we can then proceed to contribute to true peace and prosperity for the peoples of the world. This is a great responsibility that we shall carry out.

To do so, each and every one of us must correctly understand our own history, and must be correctly aware of the spirit of harmony that lies as the basis of Japan's traditional essence. It is therefore critical that we use that awareness for the benefit of the present and the future."

Related Links

Panasonic Museum