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Day 2 started off early with a trip to Ueno Station for coffee, Starbucks as they seem to be everywhere, and a few fresh bakery items.  We decided to take a walk through Ueno Park and to spend the morning at the Tokyo National Museum.

Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo National Museum

The museum was having a special showing of Dogu. “Dogū (土偶?) are small humanoid and animal figurines made during the late Jōmon period (14,000 BC to 400 BC) of prehistoric Japan. Most of the humanoid figurines have the breasts, small waists, and wide hips of females and are considered by many to be representative of goddesses. Many have the large stomachs associated with pregnancy, suggesting that the Jomon considered them Mother Goddesses.  Made from clay, these figurines were never realistic, but, rather, were fashioned into fascinating shapes. The Dogū tend to have large faces, small arms and hands and compact bodies. Some appear to wear goggles or have ‘heart-shaped’ faces. Most have marks on the face, chest and shoulders, which suggest tattooing and probable incision with bamboo.”  [Cited from Wikipedia]

Dogu palms pressed together

Dogu palms pressed together

There were some 100 pieces shown in this collection of the known 15,000 that have been collected from Eastern Japan.  The one above is  one of three listed as National Treasures.

Dogu with Goggles

Dogu with Goggles

After viewing the Dogu pottery we continued to walk through this massive gallery and came upon two exquisitely carved wooden animals  The first a horse and then a pig.

Horse by Goto Sadayuki 1893

Horse by Goto Sadayuki 1893

I wish we had taken a closeup photo of the mane as it is stunning in texture and flow.  The horse was in remarkable shape being some 117 years old.

Wild Boar by Ishikawa Komei 1912

Wild Boar by Ishikawa Komei 1912

The carving of this boar is simply stunning.  If one can give life to wood this artist has achieved that goal. After leaving the museum, we decided to head to Ginza to visit Bonsai-S-Cube to have a bit of a bonsai fix.  The gallery has certainly been downsized from its prior state but it did have a few nice bonsai trees for sale.  Inside the shop were a mixture of stones, stands, pots, and small bronze huts and birds.

In the end, we passed on purchasing anything as we thought the prices a bit high compared to what we have previously seen at the green club.  However, if we can’t find a similar small bronze hut at the Green Club we might just head back there before we return home!

Well it was a long day and we must have  walked 4 or 5 miles in very strong winds which have left us with sore feet.  So we will make an early night of it and once again meet for coffee in the morning and figure out what we do with ourselves tomorrow.  We may head to Kamakura or visit other sites in Tokyo.  Check back to see where we go.

Post-note: We have had several emails about a major earthquake in Japan of which we were totally unaware.  It appears it have occurred some 1,100 miles south of Tokyo and there is little damage being reported.

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