Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Japan Trip Day 3 - Museum

Day 3
The day started with a journey across the city in rush hour so I could get to Ueno Park to meet with Mr Takeshi Hayashi at the Tokyo University of the Arts. Mayumi came with me for half the journey - which was a great help during such a busy journey. We were crammed onto the train and changing lines was an amazing experience following along in the overwhelming flow of people.

Me and Takeshi had a lovely time chatting about work and dandelions and Yorkshire Sculpture Park (he has work in an exhibition there at present).

I then went to the Tokyo National Museum to see if I could spot dandelions in their collection. I'm getting good at scanning cabinets and object for dandelions - it means i look intensely at every object and exhibit and it can be quite obsessive.

It paid off though and I found a few dandelions - quite big, lovely clear ones too.

The first - pictured here - was on a screen. The label states:

'Female Peddlers of Ohara'
by Tsuchida Bakusen (1887 - 1936)

Colour on silk

1923 (Taisho 12)

Private collection

The screen the dandelion is on is made up of 6 panels with a female peddler sat on a log, with bamboo and the dandelions in the background. Lovely.

Dandelions were also featured on another screen (with birds), an exquisite scroll featuring lots of plants, a wall hanging showing a white dandelion and also very stylised ones on a dish.

I had lunch at the museum and sat beside a nice lady called Maggie who was also travelling in Japan and gave me great tips on where i might see dandelions in parks in Tokyo.

On leaving the Ueno Park I visited Toshogu Shrine and collected a couple of dandelion leaves for the dandelion diary. I then made my way home via Shibuya Station and as this was where I needed to change train lines I left the station to walk across Shibuya Crossing - a mass of swarming people, it was bright, busy and loud.

The evening was spent with Peter and Mayumi sampling Japanese sweets and enjoying a glass of wine. They made me so welcome in their family - it really was a wonderful start to my trip.

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