Monday, 4 June 2012

Encounter The Traditional Face of Japan

Well, that's what you'd read in Shikoku Mura's pamphlet. 

Immediately upon entering the open-air museum, the first showcase is the vine bridge of Iya Valley.
One of these vine bridges is still in use in the Iya Valley and was named as an Important Ethnic Cultural Property. The bridge is rebuilt with fresh vines every three years; a practice that's been followed until now.
The one you see in Shikoku Mura is however installed with steel cables but it was designed and built by the vine bridge builders of Iya Valley to ensure that the bridge is as authentic as possible as the one that can be found in the Valley.

then it's the Shodoshima Farmers' Kabuki Theater.
The kabuki theater is from Obu Village on Shodoshima. Farmers' Kabuki Theater were common throughout Shikoku and during festivals villagers could take a break and watched kabuki performances.
The theater is reed thatched, hipped ridge roof (kayabuki yosemune) with a section of light tiles (sangawara) over the stage area. The stage is 39 feet wide in the front area and 26 feet in the back. The revolving stage is 15 feet in diameter. On the right stage-front area are over and under spaces for singers and musicians.

After that, we saw several homes. First one is the Yamashita family home.
The home is a typical farmer's dwelling in the eastern area of Sanuki region (modern-day Kagawa Prefecture) during Edo period (1600-1867). The interior space is divided equally into work-storage space area and living-sleeping area. This style of house was once so common that its rough dimension became its name and it's called a "gururi bachiken" or around 48 feet around.
You know I can be crazy about a few stuff when in Japan. They are trains, manhole covers and toilets (among others). So... wanna guess what that photo above might be? heh heh

By the way, I checked. No, its not in working condition. Bwahaha

p.s. What did people of yesteryears wipe their behinds with, before the advent of tissue papers? We, the jungle people solve it by just making a dump at the river. Free-flowing supply of water. Kakaka

Anyways, three exhibits down. 30 more to go! Well, actually I might not do all 33, but brace for more posts on the exhibits of Shikoku Mura. I'm long winded, me. ^^

20 comments:

  1. I don't think I would be brave enough to lift that cover to see what it looked like. Didn't people used to use leaves? :P

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    1. I was curious. ^^

      Judging from what I read from the article Rurousha provided (see comment below), people used a heck lot of things to wipe their bottom. o.O

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  2. How about was the kabuki performance? I'm interested in watching it.
    I have never enjoyed it.

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    Replies
    1. Is there supposed to be performance shown there?

      Anyway, I have never seen a kabuki either. Maybe someday in future. :)

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    2. Oh, I thought that you have seen the kabuki there.
      If you'll see it, I would like to know your impression.

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    3. Well, I've not seen kabuki performance live... yet. But I've seen snippets if it where it is recorded and uploaded for all to see. It's interesting. :)

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    4. They do have performances in Shikoku Mura from time to time.
      Also, do you know that there is still a functioning Kabuki theater on Shodoshima? It's in the village of Nakayama in case you'd like to know more about it. :-)

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    5. Thanks for both info! :)

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  3. It looks really pretty, I'm looking forward to seeing more photos! I love old reconstructed villages. I like to play I really live there ^^

    PS - I hope you didn't test whether the toilet was working or no by using it...that'd be difficult to explain to the staff!!

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    1. Me too!

      It's fun to pretend that I'm a resident there. ^^

      Ahaha... tempting to test it, but I wasn't that desperate yet. I need modern plumbing! LOL

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  4. In the old days, my father's parents home (Mikan(mandarin) farmer) was such form.
    I couldn't go to the toilet at night because it looks likely that a ghost is inhabiting in the pit.
    But the room was cool in summer even if without an electric fan.

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    Replies
    1. I used to be scared going to the toilet at my grandma's old home too. It's located away from the house. Apart from ghosts,I was scared of creepy crawlies too! @.@

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  5. Shikoku Mura looks very interesting and a great way to learn about Japan's past. We have something similar in Aichi Prefecture called Meiji Mura (open air museum exhibiting Japanese architecture of the Meiji period).

    Japan Australia

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    Replies
    1. It's a great, fun way to learn history. :)

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  6. A real vine bridge might be more authentic and more beautiful, but I'd rather walk across its steel cousin!

    Modern squat toilets don't look half bad compared to that one! Maybe they used rice straw as toilet paper in the old days? I found this funny article. It doesn't mention Japan, but it's interesting nonetheless! ^^

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha... yeah, the steel ones would make me feel much safer. ;p

      Cool! Thanks for the link.

      That old toilet? I'm taking pity of the person in charge cleaning it!

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    2. Go the colonial route: get a servant to do it. ^^

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    3. I think we are still stuck with that colonial route thinking. We need maids like we need arms and legs here! o.O

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  7. It looks a bit scary crossing the bridge >u<

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    Replies
    1. The one in Shikoku Mura should put your mind at ease crossing it because it had steel cables installed! ;)

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