Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kyushu National Museum

Many moons ago (actually, just one moon, almost) Justin and I went to the Dazaifu Flea Market,
where the weather was hot as a certain location's proverbial hinges. At the peak of the day's heat and sun strength, from about 12:00 to about 3, we bailed on the outdoor market to take refuge in the Kyushu National Museum.

The museum is several sets of escalators and moving walkways away from the temple complex, and you actually have to go through a mountain to get there. This sort of thing is not so exciting to my Yinzer husband, because putting paths through things is practically a Western Pennsylvania regional pastime, but to an Ohioan, it's kind of wild. When you pop out, you get this neat view:

I love how the museum blends into the hillside and gives you a view of what you just came through. Very clever.

The ground floor is free. One of the first things we saw was this fellow, engaged in a life-or-death struggle with two poofy dragon puppets:

Action shot:

We also saw one of the wacky Kyushu festival floats, with the red fellow in front taking a swan dive.

Is it offensive to say "Banzai?" What about "Geronimo?"

Justin tried on a Hakata costume, sort of:

The upstairs of the museum had more local history but for an entry price. Since we were technically still matriculated Edinburgh students at the time, we were able to get in for the student rate, about 240 yen or $3.00,or maybe $30, these days. It was worth that price but I'm not sure the full price would have been worthwhile. There are some cool individual items, like a buried pot of copper coinage (apparently it was imported from China to help stabilize the economy, but so many people hoarded it and buried it that inflation spiraled out of control) but the curation is minimal. Items are presented in a typical Asian museum style, which is to say, in cabinets by type, with little context for usage. Even I can only look at so many glass cabinets full of pottery shards.

If you're at Dazaifu, it's a great place to beat the heat, with a cute little gift shop. But stick to the free floors; the others really aren't worth the price.

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