Archive of ‘Humanities 6’ category

National Museum Reflection

As part of our humanities class, we went on a field trip to the Tokyo National Museum. Earlier in the day we had gone to the zoo, but after lunch we walked over to the museum. Our unit in humanities class is about the silk road, so we were going to look at old Japanese artifacts to see if they had any connections to other countries. Unfortunately, only the Japanese exhibit was open, not the overall Asian one, so there weren’t very many connections. We had to take research notes on three to five exhibits, so I did four: a Tiered Stand, a flowered Dish, a Katana Sword, and an old Backgammon Board.

Out of those four, my favourite one was the sword. A man named Mr. Watanabe Seiichiro made the Katana Sword. It was made during the Kamakura – Nanbokucho period, 14th century, in a place called Soshu, which is now the Kanagawa Prefecture. By looking at the information in the museum, I think he might have been trying to impress his father, Masamune, because it said that it was so good it could have been made by him. Masamune was genius at sword making, his work including narrow and wide swords. The Katane Sword is one his best works, with a shining, slightly curved blade.

Katana Sword

This exhibit was one that didn’t connect to any other countries, probably because the style was completely Japanese. One of the reasons the sword attracted my attention was because it looked really interesting and stood out from the other exhibits. It’s also known as the Ki’ko Sadamune, because of the tortoise shell pattern engraved on the handle. Because it was one of the most amazing swords from it’s time, it was marked as a national treasure.

The Tiered Stand was made by Hon’ami Koetsu during the Edo period, in the 17th century. It looks like a stand with drawers and open spaces to store things. I chose to look at it because it was one of the first things I saw, and it was marked as and Important Cultural Property. The flowered Dish was donated to the museum by Dr. Yokogawa Tamisuke. It’s a flowered plant design plate with a blue underglaze and an enamel overglaze that was made during the Edo period in the 18th century. I noticed it because it didn’t look Japanese, which it wasn’t. It was actually based on a Chinese design that used to be really popular. The old Backgammon Board was made sometime during the 16th and 17th centuries. It’s a bit of a mystery, because bothe the creator and where it was made is unknown. I chose it because I recognised the game board. I noticed that the game is the same, but it looks a bit different. The places where there are now long triangles, there used to be rectangles instead.

Not many of the exhibits have connections to the silk road (as expected) but going to the museum was still a fun and interesting experience, because we hadn’t actually had any regular field trips this year until yesterday. I hope we can do something like this again soon!

Long-Lost Civilization Reflection

In humanities we just finished making our long-lost civilization magazine articles. We had to imagine that we had discovered a long-lost civilization, and write about it in a fake national geographic magazine. We had to have a title page, and one page for each of the seven main topics: writing and language, division of labor, class structure, art and architecture, government and laws, religion, and economy and trade. We also had to include different illustrations. Two types of maps: one of what the civilization looked like in the past, and one of a map of where it is now. We also needed to have an alphabet and drawings of some of the artifacts. One of the things I liked the most was making the alphabet, but I especially liked drawing the goddesses of my city, Hilania. It was also fun to design all of the ancient artifacts. Overall, I pretty much enjoyed the whole project, because it was like creating a whole new world, which it kind of was.

If I could do the project again, I would try to use a bit more of my knowledge about other civilizations. Before we started this project, we had to do research about other civilizations, like ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, ancient China, and the Indus river valley civilization. We had to do research on all four, but in the end we had to choose two to write reports about. At least one of them had to be Indus or China, because those are harder to write about. In the end I chose Egypt and Indus. In the reports we had to write about the same sections, so we could use similar information for some parts. I used quite a bit of information to connect the two, but in some sections I didn’t have very much information, so I should’ve used more knowledge from before.

I don’t think I would mind living in Hilania, but I would prefer to stay in the present time. Life wouldn’t really be bad, it would just be so different from the life I know now. Not to mention learning a whole new language (even though I created it). The lifestyle would be extremely different, from clothes to religion. It would be interesting to live there, though. Even though I created a lot of the information in my article, there are a lot of different things that I didn’t mention. If I lived in Hilania, most of my life would remain a mystery…