[Tokyo] Treasures from China’s rich cultures

Gold Mask: Jinsha site Chengdu, China Yin to Western Zhou dynasty, 12th–10th century BC Class-One National Treasure (as designated by the Chinese government)

[Exhibition] China: Grandeur of the Dynasties, Tokyo National Museum

China has a population of 1.3 billion people, and is a country with the fourth largest area of land in the world. With more than 50 ethnic races, the giant country has maintained a history of as long as six thousand years. Cultures and philosophies unique to this country have developed and been passed on in China, where a sophisticated civilization developed alongside the bounties of grand rivers such as the Yellow River and the Yangtze River. This tradition connects to the origin of the spirit and culture of Japan.

Sandstone pillar plinth with heavenly figure, dragon, tiger, and lotus blossom design Northern Wei dynasty, 484 This exhibition focuses on the capitals and central regions of the dynasties of China. Based on the latest accomplishments of excavation research, this exhibition looks at unique objects from the provinces, and aims to view Chinese civilization from a new perspective. As we introduce the appeal of the treasures, this exhibition also looks into their backgrounds and presents an overview of the dynamism and spread of Chinese civilization that has developed with multiple elements.

Comment from the Japan Times:

“Any exhibition on this scale that is entirely sourced from Chinese museums can only proceed with the express cooperation of the Chinese government, so it is a natural assumption that the Chinese government must have had some interest in the show’s message, especially in view of comments made last year by President Hu Jintao, which suggested China was becoming much more aware of issues of soft power.”

 

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