It has come to my attention that my blog has been linked to Wichita State University’s Study Abroad Blog Page. International stardom here I come!!!
But seriously, those of you who have been poking around the blog so far might notice a strong lack of posts from Japan so far. This is because my transportation specialist has not left for Japan yet. His flight leaves early on Tuesday the 21st. In the meantime, I’ve been posting about things to see around the campus of Wichita State, as sort of a warm-up for posting from Japan. When we arrive in Japan on Wednesday night (You thought Daylight Savings Time was bad, try the International Date Line!!!) we will be crashing in the Hotel Nikko Narita, near the Narita Airport in Tokyo Japan. The next day Aoyama Gakuin University in Japan is providing a shuttle to get us from the airport to housing near the university.
Before we get there, however, we still have one more post to finish up in Wichita. For this trip, I conned my transportation specialist into getting us off of campus. We visited the Museum of World Treasures
one of many museums in downtown Wichita. Its focus is on being a gateway to a larger world that sparks a longtime interest in learning. Founded in 2001, the Museum of World Treasures moved to its current digs about two years later. While the museum is still relatively new and growing, it houses displays on Egyptian Mummies, Prehistoric Mexico, and Rome on the first floor. Of course, my transportation specialist didn’t get any pictures of me posing with any of that stuff. I mean, the mummy coffins kinda gave me the heebie-jeebies, but I would have done it. I’m a brave hippo like that.
No, with a one-track mind devotion, my transportation specialist insisted on focusing on the Transcend: Religious and Royal Art of Asia Exhibit. Primarily focusing on Buddhist sculpture from Burma, the exhibit showcases a number of marble statues from sites in Asia.
The first statue is of guardian lion, commonly known in the West as Foo Dogs. They are usually seen in pairs, one male, with a depiction of a globe under his paw, signifying dominion over the world, and one female, with a cub under it’s paw, representing dominion over nature. The one I’m next to is depicting a female. The second statue I’m posing with is a statue of a Buddhist monk. The third and fourth statues are both Burmese depictions of the Buddha, the former at the moment of enlightenment, and the second based on Chinese depictions of the future Buddha, representing good fortune. The final marble statue in this collection has similar pose to the third, also representing the moment of Buddha’s enlightenment, although in a much more ornate style. In Burma, the belief is that statues such as this were given as gifts to ruler that failed to follow Buddha’s teachings. Such stories are not known in tales of Buddha from India.
The Museum of World Treasures also has a small number of Dinosaur skeletons on display including a fearsome Tyrannosaurus Rex. I should be running away from them in these shots below, but honestly, with the number of pins through most of their joints, these guys aren’t going anywhere in a hurry.
The Museum also has extensive exhibits of the Civil War, including a display on the role of “Bleeding Kansas” in those events, as well as exhibits on WW II and Vietnam. Alas I have no pictures of them. Again, I blame the transportation specialist. This Museum will definitely deserve a return visit when we get back from Japan. I did find something in their Wild West exhibit that I could have used earlier.
And with that out of the way, I’ll be signing off. By this time next week, I should have safely landed in Japan, to begin this exciting adventure.
Until then, Hippo, Hippo!