Japan railway company JR East recently caught my attention when it unveiled the expansion to their Exhibition Hall of History Accidents.” Yes. You heard that right. There is actually a museum dedicated in cataloguing train accidents. It may sound weird for such a museum to even exists, but it is really born out the need for introspection. Apparently, the exhibition hall was originally opened in 2002 to serve as a reminder of train accidents, and how it happened.
The permanent exhibition serves as an introspection of sort, so the company can learn what went wrong and hopefully, never to repeat the mistake(s) that lead to the accidents. It is an admirable spirit. It is no secret that Japanese and Japanese companies takes pride in their work and individuals and companies will feel apologetic if something does not go as planned. And when bad things happen, they will not be ashamed to publicly apologize for their mistakes.
Introspection is part of recognizing they did wrong and how not to repeat the same mistakes, and hence, the museum. According to JR East, it is important for employees to never forget the past accidents, so that the company can reflect on the incidents, and learn not to repeat them. It is crazy what some Japanese companies will do to upkeep standards. This wonderful culture is not limited to big corporations. If you have been to Japan, you will know service standards there are otherworldly (in a good way), right down to the individual manning a regular convenience store.
Anywho, the new exhibition hall, which was unveiled on October 9, features exhibits including video footage, slides, panels and digital signage, along with newspaper clippings, reports and various documentations of the record accidents. There’s even life-size replicas of trains of the accidents. Unfortunately, though, the museum is off limits to the public; it is only for JR East employees.
What JR East is doing reminds us of a heartwarming case of a train station in a remote location that stayed in operation for just one person.
Images: JR East/The Sankei Shimbun.
Source: Spoon & Tamago.