Friday, October 5, 2007

Museum In The Forest

SEPTEMBER 12, 2007 - Part 1
It was our second day in Sapporo and we decided to go for something different. After going around the city center on our first day, we went for some place which offers peace and tranquility. 野幌森林公園 (Nopporo Forest Park) was just 15 minutes away by train from the city.
The first thing we did after reaching there was to grab a map from the station. One thing that made us save our time planning the day was that there were already a recommended walking course in that map. It was a 10-kilometer-walk which will take us around 2 hours to complete the whole course. So, what we had to do was basically follow it.
The first place was 百年記念塔 (Centennial Memorial Tower). This tower was built in 1970 to commemorate the 100th anniversary since the opening of the roadway in Hokkaido. From the observatory deck of this 100-meter tall tower, the city of Sapporo and the Nopporo Forest Park are visible.
Although there wasn't any admission fee charged to enter this tower, we didn't went into it as we reached there quite early and it has not open yet. So we continued our walk to the next location.
I know I have been to so many museums already up to this point during my Hokkaido trip, until I had lost count on how many museums I had gone to. The Historical Museum of Hokkaido added to the growing list of my visits to museums.
The museum opened on April 15, 1971 in the Nopporo Forest Park, as one of a series of projects commemorating the centennial of the Hokkaido. In 1992, the main Exhibition Hall was updated to reflect social changes and the results of research in the 20 years since the opening.
What you will expect once you enter a museum. Well, I was greeted with huge and tall trunks. They were so huge that the diameter of each trunk was easily more than 1 meter wide.
The Main Exhibition, divided into eight chronological themes, examines the lifestyles and cultures of Hokkaido, starting with basic survival by the ancestors in a harsh northern environment, right up to present Hokkaido.
In the first gallery, themed Island of Hokkaido, it was mentioned that present day nature has been formed throughout the Pleistocene Period covering the most recent part of geologic time, the last two million years. The first sign of human existence appeared dating back about 20,000 years.
From the Paleolithic stage through the Epi-Jomon stage, subsistence was by hunting, fishing and gathering wild vegetables.
I guess the bear was opening its mouth for a dental checkup.
The second gallery centers around Ainu Culture. The Ainu Culture, indigenous to Hokkaido, was flourishing long before Honshu, Japan's main island. Japanese moved to and began to settle on this northern island. It is said that the Ainu Culture, having the Satsumon Culture as its primary parent, was influenced by the cultures of Honshu and north-eastern Asia.
In the same gallery, a model of Ainu reed-thatched hut was displayed.
The kitchen is basically used as the living room as well.
At the backyard of the hut, there were dried corn and maize.
Ainu people use various kind of boat as a form of transportation. They have normal boat.
They have some sexy looking boat as well. Long and slim boat.
The next gallery was the Age of "Ezo". Beginning of the Middle Age, groups of ethnic Japanese began living in the southern part of Hokkaido which was then called "Ezo". Gradually uniting, they were antagonistic towards the native inhabitants.
Beginning of the 17th century, the Matsumae Clan was formed and became dominant over the local Ainu. In 1855, Hakodate was obliged to open a port through pressure from overseas.
It so happened that when we were in the museum on that day, there were a few groups of school children from the local primary schools were making their school trips to the museum as well. They stopped at almost every single corner and started jotting down short notes as well as making some simple sketches.
Theme 4 was the Early Modern Era. In 1869, the Japanese Government established the Colonial Department to officially develop the inland part of Hokkaido. The most immediate tasks of the Department were protecting immigrants to the island, and actively creating new industries by introducing western technologies.
Kaitakushi Sapporo Headquarters of the Colonization (1873)
In the next gallery, it was themed Progression of Colonization. The Hokkaido Prefectural Government, formed in 1886, altered the development policy for the island to make more use of civilian power. As a result, the number of settlers increased and local industries became more active.
This phase in the development of Hokkaido reached its peak during the period from around 1900 to the end of World War I.
The telephone set during that period was nothing unusual.
But the one that caught my eyes was the printer. It looked like a bread making machine. Compare it to the printer we have today.
Unlike the farmers in Malaysia who use cows for ploughing their paddy fields, the people in Hokkaido prefer horse.
Perhaps their horse is more attractive compared to the cows. Until it made me do this to that poor horse.
I wasn't molesting that horse. I was just tapping its butt body.
There was even a life-sized train model, complete with dummies. The dummies looked really scary. If that is not scary enough, there were some sound effect being replayed every few minutes. Being left alone in the dark in this museum is the last thing I would want from the visit here.
But that didn't stop me from making a short comic strip from it.
The visit to the museum continues to the next gallery - From Recession to World War II. After World War I, new industries arose. In 1927, the development plan was largely transformed, and its emphasis shifted to the eastern part of Hokkaido. Later in the period, the world's economy entered depression and nations again started going down the path towards war.
Theme 7 was The Postwar Period. The end of World War II in 1945 was followed by a time of serious social and economic confusion, with sharp inflation and shortages of food and goods.
As the nation was rebuilt and the economy grew rapidly, starting in the 1960's, the Japanese society was greatly changed and the lives of the people of Hokkaido too.
The final theme of the Main Exhibition was Tomorrow's Hokkaido. The heritage of Hokkaido, its noble tradition and spirit of cultural and economic independence was shown through dynamic visual images.
Besides the main hall of the museum, there was an exhibition on whales in another gallery too. But camera was prohibited inside the gallery. So, no photos from the whale exhibition. Anyway, they displayed skeletons of whales, the equipments for whale hunting and some short videos.
After spending more than an hour in the museum, we headed to the next location - 埋蔵文化財センター (Archaeological Operation Center). There were nothing much there, except I tired setting up fire using the traditional tool.
If my memory serves me well, the last time I had my hand on colour pencils and crayons was years ago. Obviously, I miss my colouring. So, I did some art as well - in the middle of the forest park.


Guess which one was my artwork.
Since there wasn't anything much to do there, we decided to go to the 自然ふりあい交流館 (Visitor's Center). It was a 2-kilometer-walk which took us about 20 minutes, which we felt like 20 hours. But the weather was kind to us. It was a cloudy day and we were walking along some fields full with yellow flowers.
Besides that, the signs that autumn has finally arrived began to show.


Literally, 自然ふりあい交流館 means Nature Touch Exchange Center. The name sound interesting that we thought that we might be able to get up-close to the animals and insects. That made us ignored the long walk to the centre, for us to find this in the end.
A center, full with posters.
~ End of Part 1 ~


mg said...

boat oso can be sexy? hmm something is wrong with u =P

ur drawing really small kid!! on the left?

Eehui said...

i cant stop laughing at ticket kanasai...

calvin said...

@ michelleg:
that was just a statement =)

that wasn't my drawing la. i just coloured it. and yes, mine is on the left ^.-

calvin said...

@ lasilasi:
i have never tried saying kanasai, instead of kudasai to the japanese so far. i might try it one day though. hehe =P