Tōkyō Olympics 2020 – something is moving!

26. April 2017

Eine deutsche Version dieses Artikels finden Sie hier.
A German version of this posting you can find here.

Tōkyō National Stadium (東京国立競技場) (2 Jan. 2017)

Since the International Olympic Committee has decided that the summer Olympics and Paralympics of 2020 shall be held in Tōkyō, there have been repeated postings about Olympic locations in Japan’s capital during the course of the last few years.

Tōkyō Olympics 2020 vs. 1964 (国立競技場)
– Wo neue Großartigkeit entstehen soll, muss alte weichen

Tōkyō Olympics 2020 vs. 1964 (Olympiapark Komazawa / 駒沢オリンピック公園)
– 1964 der letzte Schrei – aber noch lange kein altes Eisen

Tōkyō Olympics 2020 vs. Kasumigaoka Appartements
– Und der Gewinner ist….?

And even just a bit more than a year ago, the place of the old olympic stadium wasn’t much more of a “great void”:

Alea iacta est – Tōkyō Olympics 2020
– From the great void to the big lesson…

However, in the meantime things are moving at the old/new construction site. Preparatory work for the erection of the new Olympic Stadium for the summer games of 2020 has reached a point, that changes in the terrain become visible to the bare eye – and it all happens in a fairly short period of time. Have a closer look (click to enlarge) at the two panoramic views below, captured in March 2017 and April 2017 – and compare them with the panorama see above, captured in January 2017!

Tōkyō National Stadium (東京国立競技場) (4 Mar. 2017)

Tōkyō National Stadium (東京国立競技場) (19 Apr. 2017)

Let’s be surprised how the new stadium will develop over the next two years!

Location of the event:


Tōkyō Olympics 2020 – es bewegt sich was!

20. April 2017

Eine englische Version dieses Artikels finden Sie hier.
An English version of this posting you can find here.

Tōkyō Nationalstadion (東京国立競技場) (2.1.2017)

In den vergangenen Jahren, seit das Internationale Olympische Komitee sich für die Vergabe der olympischen Sommerspiele und Paralympics nach Tōkyō entschieden hat, habe ich gelegentlich über olympische Spielstätten in Japans Hauptstadt berichtet.

Tōkyō Olympics 2020 vs. 1964 (国立競技場)
– Wo neue Großartigkeit entstehen soll, muss alte weichen

Tōkyō Olympics 2020 vs. 1964 (Olympiapark Komazawa / 駒沢オリンピック公園)
– 1964 der letzte Schrei – aber noch lange kein altes Eisen

Tōkyō Olympics 2020 vs. Kasumigaoka Appartements
– Und der Gewinner ist….?

Und noch vor einem guten Jahr gab es vom alten Nationalstadion nicht mehr als eine “Lehrstelle” zu berichten:

Alea iacta est – Tōkyō Olympics 2020
– Von der großen Leere zur großen Lehre…

Inzwischen haben die Arbeiten zur Errichtung des neuen Olympiastadions für die Sommerspiele 2020 ein Stadium erreicht, das selbst über einen kurzen Zeitraum verfolgt, sichtbare Veränderungen offenbart. Schauen Sie sich die beiden folgenden Panoramaaufnahmen vom März 2017 und vom April 2017 in der Vergrößerung an – und dann berücksichtigen Sie die Panoramaaufnahme oben, die im Januar 2017 entstand!

Tōkyō Nationalstadion (東京国立競技場) (4.3.2017)

Tōkyō Nationalstadion (東京国立競技場) (19.4.2017)

Lassen wir uns überraschen, wie sich der Stadionneubau in den kommenden beiden Jahren entwickelt!

Ort des Geschehens:


Tottori Folk Crafts Museum (鳥取民芸美術館)

5. March 2017

Have a look and be amazed – thanks to Shōya Yoshida

Tottori Mingei Bijutsukan (鳥取民芸美術館)

Tottori Mingei Bijutsukan (鳥取民芸美術館)

Eine deutsche Version dieses Artikels finden Sie hier.
A German version of this posting you can find here.

You don’t know Shōya Yoshida (吉田璋也 / よしだしょうや)? The term “folk crafts” doesn’t ring any bell? Well, with question marks like that on your minde you may not be in the best of companies, but you are just admitting to gaps in education that can easily and joyfully be closed by this little posting.

In order to really understand the Folk Crafts Museum of Tottori (鳥取民芸美術館 / とっとりみんげいびじゅつかん) and its more than 5,000 exhibits which is going to be introduced here, you need to know a bit about its “founding father”, Shōya Yoshida.

Yoshida, who was born on 17th January 1898 in the city of Tottori, the capital of the prefecture (he died on 13th September 1972), was a physician. In Japan he is regarded as one of the key figures when it comes to the “Folk Crafts” movement (民芸運動 / みんげいうんどう), that was developed in the late 20s and early 30s of the 20th century by Sōetsu (Muneyoshi) Yanagi (柳宗悦 / やなぎむねよし). The aim of this movement was to make the poeple aware of the beauty of traditional articles of daily use and to appreciate them beyond the prevailling taste of the time. Yanagi’s slogan was: objects created by average people rise above the criteria of “beauty” and “uglyness”.

The basic philosophy of the folk crafts movement is not entirely without a touch of a bad after taste, as it also encompasses also some nationalistic undertones that can neither be denied nor just explained with the main stream conception of society and history of its time.

Albeit, Shōya Yoshida is – among other things – still renowned in our days for his breathtaking designs that are modern and timeless at the same time. Some potters are still cultivating them. Probably the most famous of his pottery designs is the “ushinotoyaki”-(牛ノ戸焼 / うしのとやき) that still has such a modern touch that you might think it was invented just yesterday. Yoshidas perception of beautiful dishes for daily use is still living on, e.g. in the pottery workshops of the “Inshū Nakaigama” (因州中井窯 / いんしゅうなかいがま) in Nakai Kawaramachi, Tottori. The workshop’s head, Mr. Akira Sakamoto (坂本章 / さかもとあきら) in managing the place already in the third generation. The workshop’s kiln was built in 1945 by Toshiro Sakamoto (坂本俊郎 / さかもととしひろ) and became Shōya Yoshida’s official production site in 1952.

Here are some impressions from the pottery workshop::

If the visit to the folk crafts museum has put you in the right mood for shopping, just turn next door and pay the “Takumi Craft Shop” (たくみ工芸店 / たくみこうぎてん) a visit. There you can also buy the ceramic craft works coming from Akira Sakamoto’s workshop.

Address of the Museum:

Tottori Folk Crafts Museum
651 Sakaemachi, Tottori-shi,
Tottori-ken 〒680-0831

〒680-0831
鳥取県鳥取市栄町651
鳥取民芸美術館

Opening hours of the Museum:

Daily (except on Wednesdays): 10 am to 5 pm
Closed during the New Year holidays and during the installation of new exhibitions.

Admission fee:

Adults: 500 Yen
University students: 300 Yen (student ID necessary)
Seniors from 70 years of age and pupils: frei

Opening hours of the Takumi Craft Shop:

Daily (except on Wednesdays): 10 am to 6 pm
Closed during the New Year holidays.

Address of the pottery workshop and kiln “Inshū Nakaigama” (因州中井窯)

Inshū Nakaigama
Nakai 243-5
Kawaramachi, Tottori-shi
Tottori-ken, 〒680-1224
http://nakaigama.jp

因州中井窯
〒680-1224鳥取県鳥取市河原町243-5
http://nakaigama.jp

Further information about interesting places and venues in Tottori you can find here:

Kurayoshi (倉吉)
– The town of white walls and red roofs

Kotoura-chō (琴浦町)
– Stucco plasterers of the world – watch out!

Tottori Sand Museum (砂の美術館)
-Travel Around the World in Sand

Tottori: Wakasa (鳥取・若桜)
– A gem, hidden in the mountains

 


Tottori Volkskunst-Museum (鳥取民芸美術館)

3. March 2017

Schauen und Staunen dank Shōya Yoshida

Tottori Mingei Bijutsukan (鳥取民芸美術館)

Tottori Mingei Bijutsukan (鳥取民芸美術館)

Eine englische Version dieses Artikels finden Sie hier.
An English version of this posting you can find here.

Sie kennen Shōya Yoshida (吉田璋也 / よしだしょうや) nicht? Sie können mit dem Begriff „Volkskunst“ nichts anfangen? Damit befinden Sie sich zwar nicht unbedingt in guter Gesellschaft, aber Sie offenbaren damit nur Bildungslücken, die hiermit auf unterhaltsame Art und Weise geschlossen werden können.

Um das Volkskunst-Museum von Tottori (鳥取民芸美術館 / とっとりみんげいびじゅつかん), mit seinen über 5.000 Ausstellungsstücken, das hier vorgestellt werden soll, richtig zu verstehen, kommt man nicht ganz ohne Hintergrundwissen um seinen Gründervater Shōya Yoshida aus.


Yoshida, der am 17. Januar 1898 in der Stadt Tottori, der Hauptstadt der gleichnamigen Präfektur, geboren wurde (gestorben am 13. September 1972), war Arzt und gilt in Japan als eine der Schlüsselfiguren der „Volkskunst“-Bewegung (民芸運動 / みんげいうんどう), die in den späten 1920er und 1930er Jahren von Sōetsu (Muneyoshi) Yanagi (柳宗悦 / やなぎむねよし) entwickelt worden war. Diese Bewegung wollte die Schönheit von traditionellen Gebrauchsgegenständen bewusst machen und sie somit auch vom Zeitgeschmack losgelöst wertschätzen. Yanagis Motto war hierbei: Gegenstände, die von einfachen Leuten hergestellt werden, sind über die Maßstäbe von „Schönheit“ und „Hässlichkeit“ erhaben.

Die Philosophie der Volkskunst-Bewegung ist nicht gänzlich frei eines „Geschmäckles“, da in ihr auch nationalistische Untertöne mitschwingen, die nicht von der Hand zu weisen sind und nicht nur aus dem zeitlichen Zusammenhang ihres Entstehens zu erklären sind.

Dessen ungeachtet ist z.B. Shōya Yoshida heute noch berühmt und geachtet für seine atemberaubend modernen und doch zeitlos wirkenden Designs, die von einzelnen Töpfermeistern bis heute gepflegt werde. Am bekanntesten ist sicher sein wegweisendes „ushinotoyaki“-(牛ノ戸焼 / うしのとやき)-Design, das auch heute noch modern wirkt. Seine Vorstellungen von schönen Gebrauchs-Töpferwaren lebt z.B. in den Werkstätten des „Inshū Nakaigama“ (因州中井窯 / いんしゅうなかいがま) in Nakai Kawaramachi, Tottori, weiter, wo diese gepflegt werden. Die Töpferwerkstatt wird heute in dritter Generation von Herrn Akira Sakamoto (坂本章 / さかもとあきら) geführt. Der dortige Meiler für die Keramikproduktion wurde von Toshiro Sakamoto (坂本俊郎 / さかもととしひろ) im Jahre 1945 errichtet und 1952 von Shōya Yoshida zur offiziellen Produktionsstätte für sein Design erklärt.

Hier ein paar Impressionen aus der Töpferwerkstatt:

Wer sich im Volkskunst-Museum in die rechten Stimmung dazu gebracht hat, kann gleich nebenan im „Takumi Kunsthandwerks-Laden“ (たくみ工芸店 / たくみこうぎてん) die gewonnene Inspiration in Konsum umsetzen. U.a. können die oben erwähnten Keramiken aus den Werkstätten von Akira Sakamoto auch hier erworben werden.

Adresse des Museums:

Tottori Folk Crafts Museum
651 Sakaemachi, Tottori-shi,
Tottori-ken 〒680-0831

〒680-0831
鳥取県鳥取市栄町651
鳥取民芸美術館

Öffnungszeiten des Museums:

Täglich außer mittwochs: 10 Uhr bis 17 Uhr
Geschlossen während der Neujahrsfeiertage und während Ausstellungswechsel.

Eintrittsgebühr:

Erwachsene: 500 Yen
Studenten: 300 Yen (Studentenausweis erforderlich)
Senioren ab 70 Jahren und Schüler: frei

Öffnungszeiten des Takumi Kunsthandwerks-Ladens:

Täglich außer mittwochs von 10 Uhr bis 18 Uhr
Geschlossen an den Neujahrsfeiertagen.

Adresse der Töpferwerkstatt „Inshū Nakaigama“ (因州中井窯)

Inshū Nakaigama
Nakai 243-5
Kawaramachi, Tottori-shi
Tottori-ken, 〒680-1224
http://nakaigama.jp

因州中井窯
〒680-1224鳥取県鳥取市河原町243-5
http://nakaigama.jp

Weitere Artikel über Orte und Einrichtungen in Tottori finden Sie hier:

Kurayoshi (倉吉)
– Die Stadt der weißen Mauern und roten Dächer

Kotoura-chō (琴浦町)
– Bayerische Stuckmeister, aufgepasst!

Tottori Sand-Museum (砂の美術館)
– Eine Weltreise in Sand

Tottori: Wakasa (鳥取・若桜)
– Schmuckstück, versteckt in den Bergen


Die Meiji Maru (明治丸)

24. February 2017

Eisernes Sinnbild für die Modernisierung Japans

Meiji Maru (明治丸)

Meiji Maru (明治丸)

Aufgrund der großen Anzahl der verfügbaren englischsprachigen Quellen zu diesem Schiff, ist keine englischsprachige Version dieses Artikels vorgesehen.
Due to the numerous resources available in English about this ship, an English version of this posting is not planned (but let me know, should a translation make you happy…).

Die Meiji Maru (明治丸 / めいじまる) war ein in ihrer Zeit ungewöhnlich luxuriöses Schiff für die Versorgung von Leuchttürmen. Es war von der japanischen Regierung in Großbritannien in Auftrag gegeben worden, und im Jahr 1873 wurde ihr Kiel auf der Napier & Sons Werft in Govan (Glasgow) gelegt. Nach seiner Fertigstellung im November 1874 wurde es  1875 auf die Reise von Glasgow nach Yokohama geschickt, wo die Meiji Maru im Februar desselben Jahres ankam. Zum Zeitpunkt ihrer Fertigstellung war sie ein Zweimast-Toppsegelschoner von mehr als 1.000 Tonnen (brutto), einer Länge von 86,6 Metern und einer Breite von 9,1 Metern. Außerdem war sie ausgerüstet mit Doppelschiffsschrauben und zwei Dampfmaschinen mit 1.100 PS (ich habe auch Quellen gefunden, die von 1.530 PS sprechen), die das Schiff auf eine Geschwindigkeit von 11,5 Knoten brachten. Es war damals „state of the art“ und sollte auch auf den Meeren zeigen, dass Japan sich anschickte, sich zu einer modernen Nation zu entwickeln.

Meiji Maru (明治丸)

Meiji Maru (明治丸)

Meiji Maru (明治丸)

Meiji Maru (明治丸)

Der Meiji Tennō (Mutsuhito, 1852-1912) war an Bord des Schiffes, als es zu seiner Einweihungsfahrt von Yokosuka (横須賀 / よこすか) nach Yokohama (横浜 / よこはま) in See stach (die beiden Städte liegen ungefähr 40 km Luftlinie von einander entfernt). Seinen Namen trägt das Schiff aus gutem Grund: Ebenso modern, wie das Schiff, wollte sich auch der Monarch geben, der die Regentschaft der Shōgune beendet und das Heft der Macht wieder in die eigenen Hände genommen hatte.

Der Kaiser, den bisher kaum ein Mensch zu sehen bekommen hatte, tat alles, um seine neu gewonnene Macht zu festigen. Besuchsfahrten in alle Winkel seines Reiches gehörten dazu und steigerten seine Popularität ungemein.
Auf seiner Tour durch den Nordosten der japanischen Hauptinsel und Hokkaidō ging Kaiser Meiji in Aomori (青森 / あおもり), Nordjapan, 1876 an Bord der Meiji Maru und segelte mit ihr nach Hakodate (函館 / はこだて) in Hokkaidō (北海道 / ほっかいどう) – beide Städte werden nur von der hier etwa 120 km breiten die Tsugaru-Straße (津軽海峡 /  つがるかいきょう) getrennt. Seine Reise endete am 20. Juli 1876 mit seiner Ankunft in Yokohama in der Präfektur Kanagawa (神奈川県 / かながわけん). Dieser Tag wird bis auf den heutigen Tag als „Tag des Meeres“ (海の日 / うみのひ) als Nationalfeiertag begangen.

Die Meiji Maru war für ungefähr 20 Jahre im Einsatz als Versorgungsschiff für Leuchttürme, bevor sie 1896 als Trainingsschiff für die Seefahrtsschule (東京商船学校 / とうきょうしょうせんがっこう) in Reiganjima ( 霊岸島 / れいがんじま), heute Shinkawa (新川 / しんかわ) im Tōkyōter Bezirk Chūō (中央区 / ちゅうおうく) vor Anker ging und schließlich bei der Verlegung der Schule nach Etchūjima (越中島 / えっちゅうじま) (1902) im Bezirk Kōtō (江東区 / こうとうく) dorthin umzog. Bereits 1897 war das Schiff ins Eigentum der Schule übergegangen und 1901 zu einem Dreimast-Vollschiff umgebaut worden, um von da an fest vor Anker zu verbleiben.
Die Seefahrtsschule wurde 1925 zur Seefahrts-Hochschule (東京高等商船学校 / とうきょうこうようしょうせんがっこう) und schließlich nach dem zweiten Weltkrieg (in Zwischenschritten) zum Etchūjima-Campus der heutigen Ozeanischen Hochschule Tōkyō (東京海洋大学 / とうきょうかいようだいがく).

Die Meiji Maru blieb „Klassenzimmer“ für die Ausbildung der jungen Seefahrer für ungefähr 50 Jahre bis 1945 und hat dabei über 5.000 junge Seeleute kommen und gehen sehen. Sie kenterte zweimal während verheerender Taifune (1911 und 1917), überstand aber das große Kantō-Erdbeben (1923) und die Luftangriffe der Alliierten im März 1945. Während beider Katastrophen diente das Schiff als Auffanglager für Opfer und hat sich dadurch einen besonderen Platz im Herzen der Einwohner des Kōtō-Bezirks (江東区 / こうとうく) gewonnen.

Nach dem 2. Weltkrieg wurden sowohl das Schiff, als auch die Schulgebäude von den Besatzungsmächten konfisziert. Das führte dazu, dass sich niemand mehr um die Meiji Maru kümmern konnte (andere Quellen sprechen davon, das Schiff sei von den Besatzungskräften als Kantine verwendet worden) und schließlich dazu, dass sie 1951 volllief und im Campus-See sank. Die Meiji Maru konnte aber geborgen werden und aus Anlass ihres 85. Jubiläums im Jahre 1960 wurde damit begonnen, sie zu restaurieren. Bei der Gelegenheit wurde sie auch an ihren heutigen Standort verbracht. Zu ihrem 100. Geburtstag im Jahre 1975 wurde erneut an der Wiederherstellung des Schiffes gearbeitet – unterstützt durch Spenden von Alumni der Hochschule und der Schiffsindustrie.

Die Meiji Maru ist das einzige Schiff Japans, das heute noch erhalten ist, das komplett aus Eisen hergestellt worden war (nicht, wie heute, aus Stahl). Seine Einzigartigkeit und seine historische Bedeutung schlugen sich im Mai 1978 in einer Anerkennung als wichtiges Kulturgut nieder.

Auch wenn das Schiff nach den letzten Renovierungsarbeiten (2015) schon von außen einen wirklich überwältigenden Eindruck macht, so ist doch sein Inneres von besonderem Interesse, denn es ist nicht nur das einzige Schiff, das über eine nur dem Kaiser vorbehaltene Kabine (schmückend „Thron / 御座所 / ごやしょ” genannt) verfügt, sondern auch über einen recht prächtig ausgestatteten Salon, der sicher nicht typisch für ein Versorgungsschiff gewesen sein mag.

Schauen Sie sich aber auch die historischen Gebäude auf dem Etchūjima-Campus der Ozeanischen Hochschule an. Das Hauptgebäude stammt aus dem Jahre 1932, als es ein ursprünglich hölzernes Schulgebäude ersetzte, das während des großen Kantō-Erdbebens niedergebrannt war. An diesem Campus sind die Abteilungen “Maritime Systems Engineering”, “Elektronik und Maschinenlehre” und “Logistics und Informatik” der Fakultät für Marine Ingenieurwissenschaften untergebracht.

Ozeanische Hochschule, Tōkyō (東京海洋大学)

Ozeanische Hochschule, Tōkyō (東京海洋大学)

Außerdem befinden sich auf dem Gelände der Universität zwei Sternwarten, die hier im Juni 1903 errichtet wurden. Das erste von beiden soll das fortschrittlichste Teleskop des Orients seiner Zeit sein Eigen genannt haben. Beide wurden im Dezember 1997 als Kulturgüter anerkannt.

Ozeanographische Hochschule, Tōkyō (東京海洋大学)

Ozeanographische Hochschule, Tōkyō (東京海洋大学)

Ozeanographische Hochschule, Tōkyō (東京海洋大学)

Ozeanographische Hochschule, Tōkyō (東京海洋大学)

Gleich nebenan befindet sich eine Gedenkstätte für Kapitän Genzaburō Kan (菅源三郎 / かんげんざぶろう) (1883-1942), der sich als Abgänger von dieser Hochschule und Kapitän der “Nagasaki Maru” einen Namen gemacht hat, als das Schiff im Jahre 1942 vor der Einfahrt in den Hafen von Nagasaki von Minen versenkt wurde und er tatsächlich erst als letzter Mann von Bord ging. Auch wenn man ihm seinerzeit keinerlei Schuld am Untergang der “Nagasaki Maru” geben konnte, fühlte er sich für den Tod von 13 getöteten und 26 vermissten Kameraden verantwortlich und brachte sich drei Tage später selbst um.

Ozeanographische Hochschule, Tōkyō (東京海洋大学), Genzaburō Kan (菅源三郎)

Ozeanographische Hochschule, Tōkyō (東京海洋大学), Genzaburō Kan (菅源三郎)

Und wenn mir jetzt noch jemand erklären kann, warum japanische Schiffe immer “Maru” (丸 / まる) heißen, was ja eigentlich “Kreis” oder “Rund” bedeutet… Wikipedia bietet mehrere Erklärungen dafür, aber es wird ja hoffentlich auch eine richtige geben…

Adresse des Schiffes:

Meiji Maru
Etchūjima Campus of
Tōkyō University of Marine Science and Technology
2-1-6, Etchūjima, Koto-ku, Tōkyō

Telefon: 03-5245-7360

〒135-8533 東京都江東区越中島2-1-6
東京海洋大学 越中島キャンパス
明治丸

Öffnungszeiten:

Grundsätzlich dienstags und donnerstags, sowie an jedem ersten und dritten Samstag im Monat:
10 Uhr bis 16 Uhr (April bis September)
10 Uhr bis 15 Uhr (Oktober bis März)
Sonderöffnungen an zwei Sonntagen im November

Geschlossen vom 1. August bis 31. August.
Geschlossen vom 16. Dezember bis 15. Februar (gemäß Internetseite der Universität).

Für 2017 galten aber auch schon für die Monate Januar und Februar die oben genannte Regel grundsätzlich. Zusätzlich ist im März auch noch am Samstag, den 25.3, Sonntag, den 26.3 und Freitag, den 31.3. geöffnet.
Es wurde darauf hingewiesen, dass das Schiff von 10 Uhr bis 15 Uhr (letzter Einlass um 14.30 Uhr) besichtigt werden kann.

Während der Schließungszeiten im Winter kann das Schiff, solange der Campus geöffnet ist, von außen besichtigt werden. Für Gruppen von 10 und mehr Besuchern können aber auch in dieser Zeit Besichtigungen nach vorheriger Anmeldung durch geführt werden.

Eintritt frei

Ein weiteres historisches Schiff bei der Ozeanographischen Hochschule:

Wer noch mehr über historische Schiffe in Tōkyō erfahren möchte, für den ist der Shinagawa Campus der Ozeanografischen Universität Tōkyōs interessant, auf dessen Gelände sich z.B. auch die Unyō Maru (雲鷹丸 / うんようまる), ein in Japan gebautes Schulschiff aus dem Jahre 1909, befindet. Die Unyō Maru wurde über 20 Jahre auf 33 Fahrten in erster Linie für Seefangstudien eingesetz. Später diente es, wie die Meiji Maru, Trainingszwecken und wurde zuletzt von 2012 bis 2014 aufwändig restauriert.

Leider konnte ich keine Möglichkeit zur Besichtigung ausfindig machen. Hier ein paar optische Eindrück von dem Schiff, so wie es eben von außen gesehen werden kann:

Adresse:

Unyō Maru
Shinagawa-Campus of
Tōkyō University of Marine Science and Technology
4-5-7 Kōnan, Minato-ku
Tōkyō 108-0075

〒108-8477 東京都港区港南4-5-7
東京海洋大学品川キャンパス
雲鷹丸

Sie interessieren sich für Schiffe?

Dannn lohnt es sich natürlich immer, auch hier einmal vorbei zu schauen:

Yokohama: Hikawa Maru (氷川丸)
– Das bewegte Leben der „Königin des Pazifiks“


Saizeriya (サイゼリヤ) – updated

6. February 2017
gegrillte Miesmuscheln (399 Yen) (2017)

gegrillte Miesmuscheln / grilled mussels (399 Yen) 2017

Es sind manchmal die am wenigsten eindrucksvollen Beiträge auf dieser Seite, die die meisten “Klicks” erhalten. Mein Beitrag über die Restaurantkette “Saizeriya” gehört auf jeden Fall dazu. Das war mir Grund genug, den Artikel mit weiteren Beispielen der dort aufgetragenen Speisen und Getränke zu versehen. Schauen Sie doch mal wieder vorbei:

Saizeriya (サイゼリヤ) (German version)
– Italienische Küche für jedermann

It is sometimes the least impressive postings on this website that receive the most “clicks”. The one concerning the restaurant chain “Saizeriya” is one of those. Reason enough to review the posting and to add some further samples of the food and drinks that are being served there. Why don’t you have a look again:

Saizeriya (サイゼリヤ) (English version)
– Italian cuisine for everyone


Tottori Sand Museum (砂の美術館) (Engl.)

20. January 2017

Travel Around the World in Sand

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Eine deutsche Version dieses Artikels finden Sie hier.
A German version of this posting you can find here.

It is not entirely unlikely that you have heard of the Great Dunes of Tottori (and even if you have never heard of them, you may have read about them in one of my recent postings when I was mentioning Kaori Mizumori’s “Tottori Sakyū” – which just means “Tottori Dunes”). I am going to tell you more about them in the near future.

However, the “Sand Museum” right next the dunes seems to be less famous. And, I have to admit, when I first heard about this museum my image of it was a rather tacky and touristy one. How wrong I was! Believe it or not: The Sand Museum is quite something!

The Sand Museum (砂の美術館 / すなのびじゅつかん) of Tottori (鳥取 / とっとり) has its own slogan: “Travel Around the World in Sand”.  And it has abided by this motto since its foundation in 2006 (until 2012 it was housed in temporary buildings – and since then in the spacious hall that was built for it) in quite a variety of ways. The grand exhibitions of giant and yet delicate sand sculptures are changing every year and are usually devoted to one particular region on the globe. So far the following topics have been covered:

  • Italia/Renaissance (2006/2007)
  • World Heritage of Asia (2008)
  • Austria (2009)
  • Africa (2010)
  • United Kingdom (2012)
  • Southeast Asia (2013)
  • Russia (2014
  • Germany (2015).

During my visit to Tottori I had the chance to see the last exhibition that was dealing with the South American continent, its history, its nature and its culture (exhibition period: April 16, 2016 to January 31, 2017). I would like to get into a little more detail about this exhibition, while taking the official descriptions given for each exhibit into consideration.

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

The grand sculptures to be seen at the Sand Museum are actually (and really!) just made of sand and water – other substances (e.g. to increase stability) are not being used. A rough description of the process of preparing the sculptures can be seen on the picture below (click to enlarge).

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

And should you want to know the artists behind this magnificent works of art, have a look, here they are:

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

But let’s have a closer look at the exhibits. Click on the images to enlarge them and to enjoy them in greater detail – you’ll find out: They are really amazing!

1) Animals of the Amazon

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

The region of the Amazon forms the largest rain forest of the world. It covers an area that stretches from Brazil to nine countries and accounts for half of all the rain forests of the earth. With that the Amazon Basin is the “green lung” of the world, and might deliver as much as a third of our planet’s oxygen. The thick forests with their humid environment are the perfect habitat for all sorts of animals.
The aquatic and land animals of South America have adapted to their specific environments during the course of evolution. Top of the food circle is the jaguar – it is not only a fast hunter, but is also able to follow its prey up into the trees. The sand sculpture shows the sleek cat of prey, but also the exotic toco toucan with a beak so beautiful that it is even called “jewel”, and the colorful Macaw are drawing their circles in the sky. Also in our days there are still new species being discovered in the Amazon Basin – the treasure chest of the world’s living creatures.

2) Iguazú Falls and the Indios

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Since my first trip to South America the Falls of Iguazú are – for me – among the most impressive places on the face of this earth. They are also being considered the largest in the world. Have a look at a photo I took during that trip:

Iguazú Falls

Iguazú Falls

The Falls of Iguazú transport 65,000 tons of water – every second! These water masses are cascading gigantic walls of rocks and moisten the tropical rain forest in their area. Here is were Indios live together with their animals and plants. They have collected exquisit knowledge about life in these forests over hundreds of years and have adapted to the dangers that lurking from the jungle. The Idio’s hammocks are as much part of their “survival techniques” (as they protect them from insects living on the ground) as their weapons, e.g. bow and arrow.
The various tribes distinguish themselves by jewelry in their noses and ears, but also by characteristic folk costumes. Even though the Indio people were dramatically decreased during the “Age of Discovery” and its western invasions, there are tribes remaining until the present day. Recently Indios have continued to develop their original culture again, surrounded and influenced by the rich nature under the rainbows of the Falls of Iguazú.

3) Coffee Cultivation and Salto Ángel

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

During the first half of the 18th century coffee and its cultivation techniques were brought by the Europeans to South America, via the West Indies and the Carribean Islands. Before long coffee became one of the major economic factors for some of South America’s countries. Tropical areas with changing seasons with lots of rain and dry periods are the perfect environment for growing coffee. And coffee grown in the highlands is supposed to be of particularly high quality. The Guayana highlands stretch over six countries in the northern part of South America. One of the best known areas for coffee cultivation is the Salto Ángel in Venezuela. The sand sculpture shows coffee workers in the highlands with Salto Ángel in the background.

4) Modern Architecture in Brazil

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

The new capital of Brazil was founded 1960 in the Brazilian highland: Brasilia. The plan to relocate the capital actually dated back to the days of the Portuguese colonial period – but it took 200 years until it eventually was put into reality. While building this town from scratch, there was a strong will to sweep away old images and to create a new Brazil. Major buildings of the city like the National Congress Building or the Metropolitan Cathedral of Brasilia were designed by Oscar Niemeyer. The usage of curves and geometry is characteristic of the design. This neo-futuristic architecture expresses the thoughts of the people looking toward a new Brazil and a bright future.

5) Machu Picchu – City in the Sky

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Machu Picchu is located on the top of a mountain 2,430 metres above sea level over the Urubama valley in southeast Peru. The city had been lost (or unknown) for a long time – only about 100 years ago, it was re-discovered by the US-American archeologist Hiram Bingham when he was exploring this area (at least that’s the official version of Macchu Picchu’s discovery). Nowadays this mystical city is world famous. And since it cannot be seen from the foot of the mountain, but only from above, it is called “City in the Sky”.

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

It was part of the Inca empire that flourished in Cusco, Peru. The terraced fields that account for about the half of the five square kilometres large area were used as agricultural land, while the approximately 200 buildings were used as temples, palaces and residents. But since the Inca civilization did not have letters or other ways of documenting its culture and history, it is veiled in mystery when and for what purpose the buildings were constructed.

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

In present times, the city is a major tourism spot in South America and attracts crowds of tourists that search for its mysterious stone ruins and beautiful scenery. In 1983, Machu Picchu and the historic district of Cusco were registered as world heritage.

6) The Townscape of Cusco

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Cusco, the capital of the Inca empire, is located in a highland 3,400 metres above sea level – hence, 1,000 higher than Machu Picchu, the “City in the Sky”. It is said that the footprint of the city’s historic centre resembles the shape of a puma, if seen from above. The reddish brown of the roofs’ tiles dominate the city’s apprearance.
Together with the mighty walls built by the Inca they tell us about the city’s shape in those old days.

The Plaza de Armas (located in the centre of the city – as in most of the South American cities) and the Santo Domingo church that was built on the foundation of the Qurikancha Temple from the Inca period, let us feel the appearance during the Spanish colonization period.

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

It is assumed that the Inca empire with Cusco in the center was built by the Quechua, an indigenous people of the Andes with colorful folk costumes characteristic for them. Also the traditional folklore music is originated in the Andes and its representative song “El Condor Pasa” is probably the one almost everybody in the world knows.

7) Lake Titicaca and its Native People

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Lake Titicaca, the largest in South America, is located at the border between Peru and Bolivia. Almost at the centre of the Andes, up in a height of 3,812 metres, there is no higher place on earth where you can actually do shipping. Besides the “Island of the Sun”, the core of the legendary empire of the Inca, the lake has quite a number of islands that are home to different ethnic groups. One of those are the Uros who are living on floating islands made of a local kind of bulrush. Through the centuries the people learned to cultivate this kind of plants which were necessary for building and maintaining those islands. The blue of the sky and the water provides a lively contrast with the yellow of the islands and the blue and red  the traditional costumes of the Uros. If you look at them today, you might feel transported into a painting.

8) The Cathedral of Santiago de Chile

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

The cathedral of Santiago de Chile is not only the biggest, but also the main church of the Roman Catholic country. The grand neoclassic building melts perfectly into the historic scenery of the surrounding Plaza de Armas. Its present appearance is the result of various reconstructions which became necessary to heal damage done by earthquakes.

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

The sculptures in the cathedral, the tall columns and the gorgeously decorated ceiling stunned me when I visited Santiago de Chile in 1988. The grandeur of the church and its peacefully quiet interior form a breathtaking contrast to the lively atmosphere on the Plaza de Armas. For the people of Santiago this is a very special place.

You don’t know Santiago de Chile’s magnificent cathedral? Here it is – as seen back in 1988:

9) Discovery of the New World

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

The middle of the 15th century marks the beginning of the age of discoveries. Spices and other exotic goods were rather precious in Europe at that time, as the (mainly) Portugese had to ship them around Africa from Asia. The Spanish had the idea of looking for a short-cut in western direction – as suggested by Christopher Columbus. That, in the end, led to the fact that he and his men landed at the South American “West Indies” in 1492 – the “New World” was discovered. The Europeans colonised the largest parts of the American continent. One could say that this was the “turing point” in the history of America, that been populated by its native inhabitants only. The Spanish explored the South American continent and finally discovered the unknown world of the empire of the Inca.

10) The Inca Emprie

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

The Inca originated from a tribe of Quechua indios around the year 1200 AD. Step by step they conquered the neighbouring regions and countries – and by the middle of the 15th century their empire covered an area that is now occupied by Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile. During its “golden era” it was home to 80 different people and had a total population of about 16 million. The Inca worshipped the sun and their emperor was believed to be the incarnation of the sun – the supreme authority in all religious and political matters. With the death of the 13th emperor, Atahualpas, a steady decline of the empire began which, eventually, led to its complete collaps.

In recent years the old Inca ceremonies are being revived as folk festivals. Its events try to re-create the glory of the colourful life of the Inca.

11) The Search for Gold

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

The “Conquistadores” in the days of discovery had big dreams and phantasies of treasures of gold and silver, to be found on the bottom of lakes, of buildings and complete villages decorated with gold. Their hunger for gold was stronger than the dangers travel brought in those days. Without disclosing their true ambitions of conquest, they got in touch with the Indios.

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

For the Indios their first contact with people with white skin was quite a challenge. On the one hand they were cautious. On the other hand, the fact that their supreme divine being was of white skin as well, puzzled them. That may also explain why the invasions by the “Conquistadores”, led by Pizarro were so successful. Spanish soldiers with state-of-the-art weaponry followed. The Indio’s simple weapons were no match for them. The massacres that were committed during the course of the occupation of the continent are among the most horrible in the history of mankind.

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Virtually nothing of the Indio’s culture and civilisation remained. But Spain acquired the gold of the new continent, flourished under the influence of this huge fortune and developed into a superpower.

12) The Legendary Town of “El Dorado”

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

The myth, that there was a “land of gold on the other side of the ocean” had attracted both, explorers and adventurers alike. But there is an actual root to this myth – it is founded on secret ceremonies that were practiced until the 16th century in the mountainous region of the Andes.

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Deep in the valleys of the Andes in Colombia, at the lake Guatavita, the chief of the Indios used to cover his body with gold dust and took a ritual bath in the lake, in order to pray to the gods and to offer them treasures. Tales of treasures on the ground of the lake, of glittering dust of gold were passed on from generation to generation for centuries and turned in to the famous tale of “El Dorado”, the country of legendary gold.

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Later, when the Spanish conquerors came into the country, they were – of course – particularly keen in uncovering the treasure. In their imagination South America was a world full of gold, and they had a firm believe that they would get tremendously rich in no-time. No way was too long, no path to steep to stop them.

The tale of “El Dorado” that put everybody under its spell has become part of human history and is living on in numerous mysteries.

13) The Propagation of the Christan Faith

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

With Columbus’ discovery of the New World a chapter in human history was opened that was everything but beneficial to the indiginous people of the continent: the propagation of the Christian Faith. Order was given by the Pope in Rome in the 15th century to disseminate the Christian Belief and to regain power in such regions where it had been lost before. The missionaries from the “Old World” were driven by the eagerness and the belief that they not only had the right to spread their alleged superior culture, but were also obliged to convert non-Christians to their belief. Any refusal or resistance was deemed a declaration of war – even if the indigenous people could not even understand the language of this missionaries. Further, the missionary works were justified by preaching the teaching of Christianity to the converted people and pushing the colonization in the name of protection. Thus, Christianity spread over all parts of the continent and the number of the indigenous people decreased steadily. In present days, the westernization of South America has reached a proceeded state and 70% of the people are Christians.

14) Statue of the Reedemer of Corcovado

For a long time, Brazil was a Portguese colony, until it became independent in 1822. Even in our days this is event of proud memories for the Brazilian people. To remember the cenentary of this happy event the erection of the statue of the Redeemer was commissioned and finally completed in 1931.

As the majority of the inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro are of Christian faith, most of them have a deep affection to the statue. With its “open arms” it is a symbol for the all-encompassing spirit of hospitality and togetherness of the people of the world.

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

The gigantic statue lends mental support to the people and is watching the city of Rio de Janeiro (one of the most beautiful locations for a city – at least to my mind) from the top of the Corcovado.

15) Carnival in Rio de Janeiro

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

The world famous Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is being celebrated every year, and it is said to date back to the year 1723. It was the Portuguese settlers that brought the carnival tradition from their home country. In Rio it melted with the Samba rhythms of the slave workers.
The Samba parade, the most important element of the carnival, is a competition. The best teams that made it through the semi-finals compete with each other..

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

The dancers are called “passista” – they wear gorgeous feather costumes and show lots of naked skin. As the dances are individual plays, the dancers need improvisational talent and expressive power. The showy and thrilling Carnival in Rio is an expression of the positive Brazilian traits and the passion of the people. This festival developed together with Brazil, that in 2016 finally was the hosting country of the first Olympic Summer Games on the South American continent.

16) Monoliths: God Statues Standing Beside the Ruins

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

This statue of a god, the original made from one single piece of rock, was – even though it wasn’t even the greatest in the exibition – the one that had the most tremendous impact on me. The original of the statue is located in the World Heritage of  Tiwanaku – where I personally got “acquainted” with it many years ago. The advanced civilization of Tiwanaku flourished in the highlands of Bolivia, near Lake Titicaca for more than 12 centuries from its foundation in the 3rd century BC.

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

The formidable techniques for stone-constructions led to such extraordinary buildings as the “Sun Gate” and the other buildings on the grounds of Tiwanaku – they even influenced the Inca culture that blossomed much later. The statues and walls of the ancient city are covered with displays of man-like creatures, symbols of cats, snakes, condors and geometric lines. One might actually think that the statues have guarded the temple’s ground for all those millennia.

Do you want to compare the sand sculpture with the “real thing”? I’ll give you the opportunity:
Below see the “original” made of stone as well as the original “Sun Gate” of Tiwanaku (or Tiahuanaku – depending on which kind of writing you prefer) mentioned above, as I saw them on the occasion of my visit in 1988.

17) Inca Trail and Andean Nature

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

The Inca trail was built during the time of the Inca empire. It starts at Cusco and, with a length of more then 40,000 km it reaches all the corners oft the gigantic empire. It actually was the “network” that made it possible for the Inca government to stay in touch with all regions and to impart information as well as orders. And as it also was the main route for the transportation of goods, it played a significant role in the development of the empire. Llamas, the symbol animal of the Andes, provided the major mode of transportation. These animals are just like made for this terrain: They are enduring, they can carry heavy loads and they are used to the thin air in great heights. The Andes are also the habitat for various other animals – just to mention the condor, the puma and the Andean mountain cat. The condor might be the one that plays the most important role among all those animals, as it was regarded a sacred animal in local myths. Also the condor might be called the symbol animal of the Andes.

Should the pictures of the sand sculptures have impressed you, please keep in mind: These grand works of art are by far more impressive in reality.
The first three months of this year will be needed to turn down the old sculptures and to build the new ones for the next exihibition. And that will be opened on April 15, 2017 under the motto of “United States of America”. You’ll be able to see this year’s exhibition until January 3, 2018. Don’t miss it!

Tottori Sand-Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Tottori Sand Museum (鳥取砂の美術館)

Address of the museum:

The Sand Museum
2083-17 Yuyama, Fukube-chō
Tottori 〒689-0105

鳥取砂丘 砂の美術館
〒689-0105 鳥取県鳥取市福部町湯山

Opening Hours:

Daily from 9 am to 6 pm (last entry. 5:30 pm)

Admission fee:

Adults: 600 Yen
Student (elementary school to high school): 300 Yen
(There are discounts for groups)

How to get there:

I’ll limit myself to a journey by train – those approaching the area by airplane will (most likely) land at the nearby airport of Tottori. And those who travel to Tottori by car, will be equipped with a navigation system.

From the Hiroshima (広島)/Okayama (岡山) Region

From Okayama station (岡山駅) take the “Super Inaba” Limited Express to Tottori Station (鳥取駅) and head for the Tottori Sand Dunes Information Center “Sandpal” there.
From Tottori city it’s about 20 minutes by taxi.

The train from Okayama takes about 2 hours.

From the Keihanshin (京阪神) (Kyōto-Ōsaka-Kōbe) Region

Take the “Super Hakuto” Limited Express to Tottori (鳥取) and head for the Tottori Sand Dunes Information Center “Sandpal” there.
From Tottori city it’s about 20 minutes by taxi.

The train from Ōsaka takes about 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Should you wish to learn more about the fascinating Tottori prefecture, why don’t you also have a look at the following:

Kurayoshi (倉吉)
– The town of white walls and red roofs

Kotoura-chō (琴浦町)
– Stucco plasterers of the world – watch out!

Tottori: Wakasa (鳥取・若桜)
– A gem, hidden in the mountains

Tottori Folk Crafts Museum (鳥取民芸美術館)
– Have a look and be amazed – thanks to Shōya Yoshida