Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sept 14, 2008

Dear Family & Friends,Kon ban wa (good evening)We have had a good week with our every-6-week interview with Pres. Hill on Monday, plus a great weekly Staff Meeting, a Zone Conference Training on Wed., and just trying to keep up with the regular office work the rest of the week.
Saturday we had a dai bo-oken to Ueno Park. It is a huge park that has a large lake, one half of it filled with the huge leaves of the lotus flower. It has some statues—one we thought was neat was of a Samurai warrior taking his dog for a walk, showing the daily life of such a warrior. It has some neat temples and pagodas, a zoo, a small amusement park, a big baseball field with two separate diamonds, and a number of museums.
On this day we went into three of the museums.The first one is the Shitamachi Museum: It has several displays that show what buildings and residences were like in the Edo era (@1868) and the Taisho and Meiji period (@ 1926). It was very fascinating seeing such authentic portrayal of how they used to live in Tokyo during those times.
One of the displays was a fortune-telling stand. You take a long stick out of a box with a small hole. On the stick is some Kanji. You go to the big box with lots of little drawers that have Kanji letters on them and find the one that has your Kanji on it. You take a paper out of the drawer and read what your fortune is. Thank heavens, they have a translation for it. Mine said, “Good Fortune. You are just on the way of improving your fortune. Don’t be impatient and take your sufficient time in doing work. Lost articles can be found. It’s good all for starting trip, moving house, and others. Keep in mind that ‘Virtue triumphs over vice’.”
The second floor of the museum was a special display of children’s toys, a lot of which we recognized. I don’t know who originated a lot of them, Japan or America, but it was so fun to see their versions of things. There were paper dolls that were smaller and with much more detail, balsam wood airplanes that were painted really nice, various wood toys and games, Chinese Checkers, dolls of all sizes and shapes, different kinds of cards, a pogo stick, stilts, a tricycle, a rocking horse on wheels, a model of a ship, and much, much more. It was so fun to see!The second one is the Tokyo National Museum, which includes 5 buildings, of which we saw three:
The main building was built in 1937. It is call Honkan, and is the display of Japanese history, art, and archaeology. The two main floors were filled with displays of such things as: sculpture, metal art, ceramics, lacquerware (did you know that the name for lacquerware used to be “Japan” just like the name for porcelain is “China”?), swords, Buddhism, Zen & Ink paintings, attire of the military elite, folding screen paintings, Noh and Kabuki costumes and art, etc. We had such fun looking at all the stuff they had!!
The second building was adjoining the first one and was called Heiseikan. Built in 1999, it has Japanese Archaeology, including stuff it says dates back to 4,000 BC and even a few things to10,000 BC. It was all amazing stuff.
The third building was the Toyokan Asian Gallery. It had stuff from every country that you would consider Middle East Asia and Far East Asia. This included such countries as Egypt, Pakistan, Iran, Thailand, all over China, and Korea, and Japan. It was laid out so you traveled in a circle, going from floor to floor, always going up. Pretty neat stuff. The Egyptian stuff was like what they have in the Cairo Museum, only there were just a few things. By the time we were done, we were sooooo tired, but we felt it was a great day.
Hope you can enjoy the photos on our blog when we finally get them posted!!Our thought for the day is: “Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11Love,Jim & Pat

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