In 1868, Edo changed its name to Tokyo.
In the "Old and new Tokyo" zone,
the old Japanese daily nessecities collected
by an American zoologist Edward S. Morse
are interesting. He came to Japan in 1877
and is well-known to us as the discoverer
of the Oomori shell mound. He was surprised
to find cheap daily goods made with Japanese
craftsmanship, and started collecting them.
He kept a journal while staying in Japan
(published as "Japan day by day"
in 1917), and it tells us how much he liked
Japan and the people. We wish a copy to be
displayed in this section.
In the "World War II" zone, the
display of some stuffed animals may seem
out of place among those burnt telepoles
or bent steel frames caused by the Tokyo
Air Raid in 1945. But they are there to commemorate
the 27 zoo animals killed with poison in
August and September 1943. Why?, because
the governor of Tokyo at that time (Shigeo
Oodate by name) was afraid that if an expected
air raid should destroy the zoo, the fierce
animals such as lions and elephants might
get free and attack people.
|The burnt electric pole
||The animals which killed with poison
||The tusk of the starved elephant John.
The explanation for the tusk reads:
"There were three elephants kept then
in the Ueno Zoo named John (male), Tonky
and Wang Lee (females). Tonky was everybody's
favorite because it was cute, clever, well-tamed
and did many tricks. And since Tonky didn't
eat any poisoned potato given, they decided
to kill it by starving. Then it started doing
tricks whenever the keeper appeared.
After all, John died on August 29, 18 days
after they stopped feeding, while Wang Lee
and Tonky lived a little longer untill September
11 and 23 (accordingly), for the keeper coudn't
help feeding occasionally against the order.
Soon after the War, all the Japanese elementary
students who heard this sad story on the
radio cried. It makes us cry now and surely
will do in the future.
In the "After War" zone, we can
watch Riki-Dozan (a Japanese pro-wrestler
born in Korea) beating American wrestlers
on the TV set which used to be placed on
the street for public showing around 50 years
ago. Of couse its picture tube and other
electronic parts have been replaced with
new high-tech ones, and only the cabinet
is 50 years old.
||It may take a day if you precisely look around
Edo-Tokyo Museum. The admission ticket is
good for the day, so you can come in and
out for eating snacks or shopping at a souvenir
shop on the basement.
The staff of the museum are very kind and
friendly. They will instantly answer our
questions with 120% smile on their faces.
At a foot of the Nihonbashi Bridge (for instance)
near the entrance, there is a cute woman
guide waiting for us saying "Welcome!,
please enjoy your visit...", and she
will be keeping her eye on us untill we get
out of her sight. But it's no use thinking
"Is she interested in me?....".
||A woman guide seen behind Muga.
||A security guard who might have been watching
us. This is a shot taken when we turned around
near the exit.
||Some people may be able to daydream about
being "a spy from the cold country"
in a situation like this. But we have to
make sure that we are not complaining about
the Museum staff.
Bad news!, we couldn't find those stuffed
animals in the next time we visited it in
January 2001. They only said the exhibition
was a subject to change, so ask the museum
for the newest information.
If you want to make believe that you are
a spy, you should visit it on weekdays because
the museum is too crowded on weekends to
feel like being eyed and tailed anytime anywhere.
|Fukagawa Edo Museum
||Location: 3 minutes from the "A3"
exit of Kiyosumi-Shirakawa station on the
subway O-edo line.
Admission: 300 yen, and 50 yen for elementary
and junior high students.
Some typical streets and houses
Fukagawa in theEdo period have been
in the museum. English brochure is
If you walk for 3 minutes from "A3"
exit of Shirakawa-Kiyosumi station (to opposite
direction for the museum), you can find Kiyosumi
Garden. It's worth a visit if the weather
Admission: 150 yen. Free for elementary students
and whom over 65 yeas old.
Closed around new years days(12/29〜1/3).