Field Trip reflection
At May 8th 2012, we went on a field trip to Ueno zoo and the Tokyo National Museum. The field trip was unexpected so I don’t really know what the field trip was for. We went to the zoo by train and it took about one hour to go to the keno station. After we finished our trip to the zoo, we went to the Tokyo national museum by walk since it was quite close to the zoo. When we were coming back we went back to Ueno station and took the train from there which took us another hour.
At the Ueno zoo we split up into groups chosen by the teachers. In my group there were Mimi, Lucy, Tomoka and Kosuke. At the zoo we saw the Tiger, Seals, Polar Bears, Monkeys, Peacocks (which was extremely beautiful), Penguins, Dholes, Bats, and Okapis. To go to the eastern side of the zoo from the central part of the zoo, we took a monorail which only costed 80¥ (about US $1) so all together we only needed to spend 400¥. When we were coming back we just walked which was not that far. When we were at the eastern side of the zoo looking at the animals, we stopped by at a food store and bought some things we wanted to eat. Mimi and Kosuke had ice cream, Tomoka and Lucy had shaved ice and I had a melon soda float (which is just a big spoonful of ice cream floating on melon soda). Around the end we went to the souvenir store and just looked around at the things that were there. Mimi was the only one who bought something there which was a stuffed seal.
After that we went to the Toyko National Museum by walk since it was really close by. This is the important part of the blog post. The museum was quite big and they had more than one building. The building with foreign artifacts was closed so there were not so many foreign items placed there.
One of the foreign artifacts that I found interesting was a 2D lotus and a peacock’s feather matching the the width of the lotus surrounded by a wreath. On the peacock feather there was a symbol representing an ancient sanskrit religion. The whole artifact was of gilt bronze. I think that artifact was to share the ancient religion to the world, or it could have just been a really valuable decoration for a festival. However, this artifact expresses an ancient religion whatsoever. But we do not use that religion that was printed on the artifact. I think the artifact was used by the followers of the religion, mainly the priest (if they had one) or the most religious person. I chose this artifact because it had an obvious connection with my country. In humanities class, we are learning about the silk road. I think this artifact spread over the silk road thus increasing the followers of this religion.
There were Kosode’s in the museum. They are like kimono’s except Kosode’s have short sleeves. Kosode’s were active during the Edo period in japan. The material could have been made of either Chinese silk or a Japanese cotton. I think the design comes from China and the colour selection too. However the actual Kosode could have been invented in Japan. For Edo, a Kosode could be just a half-sleeve shirt. I think the Kosode had not so much relationship with the silk-road. However, it spread throughout all of Japan and might still be active but if it is, then there would only be only a couple of them. I think it is likely to not have any Kosodes in modern Japan.
Finally there was a statue of a god called Senju Kannon (also known as Saharasrabhuja Avalokitesvera) who has one thousand hands with weapons on some of them. They believed in this God since the Heian period in Japan. I guess only Japan believed in this God, but this God also looks like the Goddess Durga who has ten hands with a weapon in each hand. I guess they both were created for different reasons. Like the sanskrit artifact, I think this statue was to represent a religion and share it to the world. However now I don’t really think this god is too active at the moment.
I think that most of the artifacts in Japan could not be spread out so much in other countries because it could have been very hard to get to Japan since Japan is more of an island so you needed a boat to cross the ocean to Japan. And also during the Edo period, Only people around the Mongolian area can go in and out of Japan, so I think that could have also stopped many of the Japanese trade. After the Meiji period, where anyone could come In and go out, people could have set out in search of other artifacts. However it seemed that they were too late to have anything foreign active in Japan. Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more.