Sunday, April 27, 2008

Tokyo

As some of you probably know, the flight from Australia to the UK can involve spending between 20- 26 hours in the air! Avoiding jetlag and just general exhaustion has been a major concern for me in planning the trip. This is especially important, not just because it might take me longer than most to recover, but because jetlag specifically affects the same area of the brain as is a problem in cfs, stuffing up circadian rhythms, sleep cycles etc.

The route we decided on was Brisbane to Tokyo, stay 2 nights and then Tokyo to London. I have to confess I was absolutely over the moon when I found out we’d be stopping in Japan. I have wanted to go there for years and in particular I wanted to see some Jomon pottery.

Jomon pottery is prehistoric Japanese functional ware and represents the birth of pottery in Asia. The first pieces date back to 10,000 BC but Jomon ware continues on for about 9,000 years and not surprisingly goes through various stages of development, becoming quite baroque in the middle stages before refining into simpler designs again. As well as cooking pots, religious pieces in the form of “dogu” (figures) and masks were made.

My very favourite types are the so-called “flame pots” and I was thrilled to see that the Tokyo National Museum had on display the very one I’ve admired for so long. Back when I was studying ceramics, I did an assignment on Jomon ware and I was amazed to find that I recognized almost all the pots and figures on display at the Museum of Archeology. To see these works of art dating from before history was recorded, made me feel incredibly lucky.



Jomon "Flame" pot



Jomon Dogu figure

2 comments:

  1. Aren't these pots amazing. I also stopped over in Japan last time I came back from Europe.

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  2. Hi Wendy, Yeah - I love them! Did you see them when you were in Tokyo? I reckon this route to Europe (via Tokyo) is the best - really reduces the jetlag.
    Best Wishes!

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