15 August 2011

Summer 2011 Part II: Tokyo National Museum 東京国立博物館

The Tokyo National Museum (東京国立博物館) is located at Ueno, an eastern district of Tokyo famous for Ueno park, national zoo as well as some museums and galleries too. Not to mention, one of the top art university, the Tokyo University of the Arts (東京藝術大学) is located here as well. So you can say that Ueno is a city boosting lots of cultural points in the terms of Civilization game series.
This is actually my first time visiting the national museum. Thanks for my university's effort, students now can enter the museum free of charge for normal exhibitions, and enjoys discount for special exhibitions.
Current special exhibition is Kukai's World: The Arts of Esoteric Buddhism (空海と密教美術展).
No further pictures taken as it's prohibited to take any pictures inside the exhibition. Wouldn't say that I enjoyed it even though I'm a Buddhist (verbally, though), I can't really appreciate those artifacts like statues, manuscripts or some other artworks. I can only appreciate them as a piece of historical artwork and not the religious meaning. Anyway, since Buddhism in Japan is different than the Buddhism I'm familiar of.
The special exhibition entrance fee cost 1,000 yen with university discount, while the normal entrance would set back 1,500 yen. However I think that the money could have been spent on something better.
Some other exhibitions.
I'm particularly interested in this Kofun era's Haniwa humanoid figures.
Presenting, the cute Haniwa (埴輪) figures.
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If you may have noticed, the "cuteness" factor of Japanese culture is rooted back in a millennium ago. No wonder even until today Japaneses are still obsessed with cute stuffs lol.
Saying this, sometimes I find them ridiculous to describe (almost) everything "kawaii!" (cute!) literally anything that they set on their eyes, from pet dog/cat to a model figure to person etc etc and so on. Most of the time they're exaggerating.
P/S: Haniwa is the inspiration of the character "Cactuar" from Final Fantasy series.
Some other interesting findings from the museum....
This clay figure appears in one of my favourite Doraemon movie.
The spirit of Samurai.
Some masks that you may've seen from various Japanese comics/animations.
Money grows on tree! 揺銭樹!
Super-comfortable sofa provided in the museum.
Mini library for visitors to refer on certain historical stuffs. It's a nice place to study too.
The museum's buildings are quite historical as well.
The main building which hosts Japanese artifacts.
Besides the main building is the Western influenced building which houses Asian artifacts.
The ultra modern Horyuji's Treasures Gallery (法隆寺宝物館).
There are some other buildings around but didn't took the pics, perhaps will fill in the blank again when I visit the museum again next time.
I like historical stuffs so I'm still OK when it comes to visiting museums. Of course, it'll be great if the exhibitions are something I'm interested in. I think I'll be coming again if there's interesting exhibitions going on in the future. :)

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