Meguro Parasitological Museum

Meguro Parasitological Museum, originally uploaded by Coilhouse.

? Try to think about parasites without a feeling of fear, and take the time to learn about their wonderful world of the Parasites.? so states the official website of the world’s only parasite museum in Meguro – a relatively quiet neighborhood in Tokyo, Japan. Most of the Coil-staff was on a Tokyo adventure in September and paid individual visits to this wonderful place between fits of devouring strange candy and exhausting their funds in fancy boutiques.

Boasting 45,000 parasite specimens immersed in formaline, the museum is a privately-founded and now government-aided establishment. With its parasite-positive atmosphere the museum lives up to its slogan and is a popular date spot. It’s easy to see why! Milky white samples float peacefully on night sky-blue backdrops in neat, glass jar rows. Friendly interactive displays show diagrams of various relationships between animals and parasites which inhabit them. A long ribbon hangs near a case displaying an impressive tapeworm, nearby sign encouraging the visitor to play with the ribbon to understand the tapeworm’s length. Don’t fear – this is an educational adventure, friends!

The museum isn’t particularly large, and won’t take more than an hour to conquer. Admission is free and photography is allowed. I highly recommend you pay our little friends a visit, even if you’re only in Tokyo for a few days. You’ll be glad you tore yourself away from the hostess bars, gluttony and experimental toilets in favor of learning!

4-1-1, Shimomeguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-0064, JAPAN
Tel: +81-(0)3-3716-1264
You’ll find a catalog here.

3 Responses to “Meguro Parasitological Museum”

  1. the daniel Says:

    I was really surprised at the small size of the museum, but it is densely packed with information and gross-outs. Next time: must bring electronic dictionary that makes it easier to do kanji lookup so I can read more of the descriptions!

  2. Paul Komoda Says:

    As a small, exceedingly impressionable child, my father, in the interest of instilling an ethic of personal hygiene in me would regail me with graphic descriptions of the myriad squirming malignancies that would infest my body if I was in any way negligent.

    In a book on the animal kingdom, he showed me a black and white photograph of an adult tapeworm, an innocuous looking segmented ribbon to my eyes.He went on to inform me that these creatures coiled around the interior of one’s rib cage which was an apalling notion in itself, but he went on to descibe how their heads made their way up into the esophagus, cutting off entrance to the stomach and devouring whatever ammount food the hapless host ingested. The result was that the victim would painfully wither away into a shrink-wrapped skeleton(thank you Mr. Cave)while the worm grew monstrous within him, presumably keen for egress.

    One morning I awoke earlier than usual with all other family members asleep. I clearly recall the faint bluish grey light filtering in through the shades and being stricken with the notion that something was terribly wrong. My throat seemed to be in a state of constriction and I felt that I was suffocating. To my abject horror I felt the sharp sensation of something, very much like a finger, pressing repeatedly against my trachea from inside my throat.
    All that went through my mind at the time was,” This is it…I’ve got a Tapeworm living inside me!”
    I managed to scamper out of bed and down the hallway to my parent’s room where I frantically shook my father awake. After I had articulated my predicament with all the stammering exactitude a terrified child can muster, he groggily told me,” Paul…go back to bed. You don’t have a tapeworm.”

    True to his word, I was not in any way being parasitized by a rapacious segmented ribbon that day. Years later I can view as the result of an overactive imagination overlapping with frightening episodes of sleep paralysis I frequently endured at that age.
    My father always knew what he was doing as I believe he possessed a malicious sense of humor he most certainly would never admit to.


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