Hands-on Japanese History Lesson

Not too long ago, the kids and I made a visit to one of our favorite museums in Utsunomiya — the Tochigi Prefectural Museum.  This museum’s exhibits focus on the history of our area and also on aspects of nature that we can see inside of our prefecture.  (A prefecture in Japan is like a state in America).  We always enjoy the permanent exhibits — dinosaur bones, looking at old artifacts that were found in our area, and drawers and drawers full of bug and other animal specimens — but this time there was a really fun and interesting exhibit on how the Japanese grandmas and grandpas of today grew up.  The museum had a room full of games, toys, clothes, and tools that the grandparents of today used with when they were kids.  The exhibit was especially neat because there were lots of things the kids could touch and even try putting on or using.  The kids really got into trying on old bamboo snowshoes and snow gear made of straw, carrying buckets across their shoulders, and wearing old-style shoes and hats.  Here are some photos of them enjoying the exhibit.

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Visiting the Tochigi Prefectural Museum

Last weekend, we took a family field trip to the Tochigi Prefectural Museum near our house.  (A prefecture in Japan is similar to a state in America).  It’s basically a natural history museum for our area of Japan.  We all had a great time!  What the kids liked most was seeing all the different animal and insect specimens that were on display.  One unique aspect of the museum that all three kids really enjoyed was that there were several rooms filled with drawers that visitors could freely open to take a peek at their contents.  We opened drawer after drawer of butterflies, rhinoceros beetles and other insects, shells, rocks, and various skeletons.  The kids couldn’t wait to see what treasures the next drawer held!  Here are some photos of the kids posing with their favorite specimens. 🙂

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The butterfly specimens were amazing — huge with beautiful coloring

Ethan was ecstatic to find specimens of his all-time favorite Rhinoceros Beetle -- the Hercules Beetle

Katie's favorite thing was opening and closing the drawers over and over again