Friday, March 15, 2013

Final day in Tokyo

The day began with the team visiting the Edo-Tokyo Museum, a museum dedicated to the 400+ year history and culture of Edo-Tokyo.  The museum features both miniature and life size dioramas.

The dioramas depict the lifestyles of the Edo-Tokyo region over the series of a few decades, giving the team insight into the architecture, fashion, marketplace, and general interactions that the Japanese people experienced during that time.

"I really liked the replicas that the museum had," said junior Mallory Werth. "It was neat to see the differences and similarities between the home stays we had and the homes were like then. You can still see some of the connections but you can also see some of the improvements that they've made over time. Some of the similarities are the wooden floor mats and the fact that some things are still homemade."

"One of the exhibits that I thought was pretty interesting was the recreation of a theater production with the white paint and the different costumes," said senior Evan Shigaya. "Mr. Emmons was talking about how the productions in Japan and the operas in Europe all have the same basic elements of over exaggerated characters and costumes as well as similar plot lines. It was cool because, even though the two didn't have any contact with the other, it shows that both cultures were able to figure out a way to get people's attention."

The infamous "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" print.

After a brief time in the Edo-Tokyo Museum, the team was able to visit Sensō-ji, Tokyo's oldest Buddhist temple. It was founded in the 7th century and has since grown to become one of the world's most famous temples.

"The whole atmosphere was very rich and very energetic, and it felt very nice to be able to connect with the scene and the surroundings in a way that you wouldn't be able to in a city," said senior Thomas Kennedy.

"It was very inspiring and sobering to go in and see people actually taking part in their ritual. It was very open and inviting; I didn't feel like I was joining a club or going to something exclusive. I felt like I was going to a very public event and I felt welcome," said Kennedy.

The group had the opportunity to navigate their way between the swarms of people and various buildings found on location.

"There were a lot of tourists and people who were doing their prayers," said senior Jana Starks. "The architecture of the Shinto shrine and the Buddhist temple is very similar."

Senior Evan Shigaya partakes in a Buddhist ceremony involving the burning of incense
at the Sensō-ji temple.

After visiting Sensō-ji, the group enjoyed a tempura lunch. With a group almost completely composed of music students, some of the students were able to find a way to play music without their instruments.

The group spend the afternoon in Mirikan, Japan's national museum of emerging science and innovation.  There, they were able to view Honda's ASIMO robot perform a series of ticks, such as waving and talking to the crowd, kicking a soccer ball, walking, and dancing.

Students speak into microphones and watch as robots mimic their facial movements in a
technology-heavy conversation.
In addition to robots, students could learn more about the future of science in areas such as the environment, medicine, DNA structures, and space exploration.  They could also view sound and light rooms as well as learn about the practical application of extremely large numbers. There were many interactive stations so the group could learn more about the world at large, including the tidal affects of the March 2011 tsunami (below).


The team concluded their final evening by visiting a scenic point overlooking Tokyo's own Statue of Liberty. They then gave a quick debriefing speech about their participation on the Kizuna Project before heading back to the Keio Plaza for their final night halfway around the world.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you again, Hannah, for your coverage -- it was not only informative, but artistic and inspiring!