I have become a fan of the Tokyo National Museum and the other museums that are found throughout Ueno Park – Japan’s first public city park that was founded in 1873. They regularly have exciting exhibitions that feature unique antique treasures and naturally they also have regular exhibitions which can be found at this webpage.
I like to use the experience of these visits to create “Let’s Talk Topics”, as they are of historical significance not only to Japan but to the world as a whole, for use at Smith’s School of English – Koenji.
Some time ago now I was thrilled to be able to view some ancient clay pottery (dogu) that dated as far back as the Initial Joman Period (7000 – 4000BC). The word dogu in romanji at first made me think that this exhibition was about dogs, which was of course wrong as the word, depending on how it is pronounced, and I assume written means a tool, an implement, an instrument or clay pottery of which the latter this exhibition was related to.
It was very popular with hundreds of people taking the opportunity, although it was slow going but well worthwhile, to view the sixty seven items on display many of which were ranked as a National Treasure, an Important Cultural Property and/or an Important Art Object.
I was interested in the shape of the numerous clay statues, in particular their facial features which in some cases had the appearance of an out of this world look, such as a Martian.
It was nice to see young and old alike discussing these amazing relics of bygone years. In numerous cases I noticed grandparents explaining the exhibits to their much younger grandchildren. It never ceases to amaze me how advanced the craftsmanship was so many many years ago.
I have subsequently seen two other exhibitions one of some Italian paintings and the most recent of some extremely old and valuable silk screens, which I’ll also write about and use as conversation items when teaching and coaching communicative confidence at my English Conversation School.
Ken Smith’s School of English Koenji