There are an insane amount of museums in Tokyo, let alone the whole of Japan. I’ve been reading up on all kind of museums from the Sumo and Old Edo Museums in Ryogoku to a Parasite museum in Meguro-ku. But yesterday, I set out for the Tokyo National Museum wanting to visit before it closed for the New Year holidays.
All through Primary school I wanted to work in museums, either as a paleontologist or a curator. I think there was even a point when I wanted to be the Big Cheese of the Queensland Museum. Needless to say, I can make a museum visit in to a full day trip. For 600 yen (about $6), I got entry in to three different museum buildings (one was closed for renovations to make it earthquake proof). Though many of my photos are of samurai armour and swords, I was suprised to see not only Japanese artefacts but pieces from Egypt, Iran, China, Korea and Germany.
All through school I was disappointed that the Queensland Museum didn’t have the cool artefacts from the Middle East or Europe like the big international museums did. Admittedly, it’s only in the last two years that I realised how controversial ownership of artefacts is. Many of the artefacts on display were gifts to the museum from other governments but there were other acquisitions from countries that, perhaps, should not have owned it in the first place.
Having said that, I was so excited to see this piece.
These are glass beads from a necklace of the Myceneaen culture of Ancient Greece. The Mycenaean’s took over from Minoan Crete (whether by force or mutual agreement to assist the Minoans lifestyle crippled by volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, no one knows). I just couldn’t believe that in the middle of Tokyo, I had been given a little reminder of my current project.