Thursday, June 27, 2013

Day 12 Tokyo Museums invasion!

Kiyokawa, Taito-ku
Had enough rest after exploring the Odaiba area last night, it was terrific sight! Since Ueno is the closest tourist spot from my hotel, i'm going to Ueno again to explore more of the museums over there. I think visiting museum is one of the best way to learn and observe about most of the things that has been going around Tokyo and Japan in a bigger picture. Beside visiting Gundam yesterday, Museum is also part of research that i need to do later for my project later.

Ueno Station
Living in Tokyo doesn't mean you can't have a break
Ueno Station Exit

Ueno park entrance
Steam locomotive in front of the National Museum of Nature and Science
After looked at the museums directory at Ueno, i'm planning to go not only to 1 museum, but 3 museums. The first one is Tokyo National Museum of Nature and Science, it tells you about not only Japanese Science but also all of things in the world from the birth of the earth to future space exploration. It is the oldest zoo in Japan, opened in 1882 and has continuously expanded to cover more than 35 acres and shelter almost 500 different species.

 The entrance fee is about 600 yen, and free for elderly and kids lower than high school. The Museum has 2 main gallery, Global Gallery which tells the history of Life on Earth and Japan Gallery tells about the environment on the japanese islands.

Japan Gallery

Japanese people in Edo era

Pictures of Edo people

The National Museum of Nature and Science has studied and showcased preserved human bones and mummies of people from Edo era (1603-1867). Although most explanations are in Nihonggo (japanese),but some of them have small translated descriptions and brochure in english. If you enter and look at the layout of the exhibitions, i think it is very well organized to help you understand the whole picture of the evolution of life in Japan and the world. 

Band of Samurai


Reconstructed head of man from Edo era
In 1721, Tokyo or originally known as Edo, is the world's largest city with an estimated population of 1.1 million. During Edo period, feudal class structure are divided into 4 levels. Unlike European feudal society which farmers were at the lowest, merchants are placed on the bottom of caste. As  they emphasized on the importance and productive members, farmers and fishermen had higher status than merchants. Above the farmers society, was the samurai class which consist only 10 percent of the population, then the Emperor sat as the highest of the society class.

Ceramic coffins for "Samurai"

The "samurai" people on the left
and "townsman" on the right
Children are buried inside coffins  
with their toys
Wooden coffins are for "Townsman"
Based on the skeletons that were found, Edo had 2 types of people; "Samurai" and the other is "Townsman". The "Samurai" people have rounder - narrow shape of skull and uneven teeth, while "Townsman" people are square shaped, have broad jaw and even teeth. These two types of faces later have evolved and became the modern people of Tokyo. 

 The Origins of Japanese people

Japanese paleolithic ancestors
Hunter-gatherers way of life
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A stuffed & mounted figure of Hachikō
On the Japanese breed dog section, you can find Akita breed "Hachikō", the famous loyal dog. The story began when Professor Hidesaburō Ueno, adopted Hachiko in 1924. Hachikō greeted him everyday after work at the nearby Shibuya Station, until one day the professor died and never return to the station where Hachikō was waiting. For 9 years Hachikō came everyday awaited his master to return, appearing precisely when the train was due at the station. Eventually, Hachikō's legendary faithfulness became a national symbol of loyalty, particularly to the person.

The evolution journey of Japanese people

Behind the Japan gallery, is where the Global gallery which contains about history in worldwide. There are just tons of interesting things to see in here. For me, half of the day is not enough to spend this museum tour.

Courtyard outside the exhibition
Futabasaurus, lived around 80.5 million years ago was the first elasmosaurus (extremely long neck reptile) found in Japan 

Welcome to Jurrasic Park
Skeletons found from Java, Indonesia

Trying out some mammoth tusks

A prehistoric house built with mammoth tusks

A real life size of blue whale outside the museum

The second museum that i went to is Tokyo National Museum. The building has some of the important national artifacts dated from ancient times to 19 century such as paintings, ceramics, sculptures, metalworks, and many more. What really brings me to see the museum is the swords and Samurai armors from Edo / Shogun period. 

The entrance of Honkan bulding, Tokyo National Museum
  I think now you might have already guess about what kind of work will i do later for the presentation. Let's see.. the clues are Robots - Gundam- Edo era - Samurai armor? If you guys guess Samurai robot, then the answer is yes! I'm going to make a Samurai style robot suit which combine modern technology and shogun style of armor. This museum has most of the information that i need for my Samurai robot.

The Anatomy of Katana Sword

Samurai most precious weapon, Katana Sword

Jinbaori (sleeveless coat worn over armor)

Saddle and stirrups with flower motives

Types of Kabuto (Samurai helmet)

Yoroi armor (side view)
Yoroi armor was mainly worn by samurai on horseback

Sword mounting of itomaki-tachi type, dated around 16 century

 After done collecting the materials from Tokyo National Museum, i saw an advertisement of Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition when i was walking around the museum area. Leonardo is one of my favorite artist, i have always admire his paintings and consistent sketches, he is also a great example of good combinations between science and art discipline. A gifted artist and inventor as well, artillery equipments now days such as helicopter, parachute, tanks, are things which came from his ideas.

So i went to the third museum,  I went to see the Leonardo exhibition, but i was quite disappointed because unfortunately they forbid any photography or recording. The other let down is only few artworks really Leonardo's works, while many of them are paintings of his disciples and artists before and after his era.

It's almost evening, so spent the rest of the day exploring other areas of Tokyo from Yoyogi, Shibuya and Shinjuku. I was planning to go to Tokyo Metropolitan Tower that located in Shinjuku, but it was already too late for me to go there, well maybe i will come back again to see the sky overview of Tokyo in some other time.

On friday night, you can spot many street musicans outside Shinjuku Station

Meet again with Hachikō statue at Shibuya Station
It feels like you're waiting for your "opponent" on the other side, just like the movie 300

This girl won't be late for meeting up thats for sure

Don't even think about stopping in the middle of crossing, you might got wiped out

The number of people crossing the Shibuya street is just crazy!

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