Post by washi on Apr 11, 2015 6:40:12 GMT
Kyoto offers visitors countless fascinating places to visit. One place of which most foreign guests seem unaware is the Kyoto Costume Museum. It is located close to Kyoto Station and across the street from Nishi Honganji temple, one of the city's most important landmarks, making it a convenient place to spend a spare hour or so.
The small museum is located on the fifth floor of a multipurpose building northeast of the temple. There is a small sign in English on the corner of the building, but anyone planning to visit there would be well advised to look at the location in Street View before they go.
The centerpiece of the museum is a large scale model of the mansion of Hikari Genji, the central character of Murasaki Shikibu's Heian Period masterpiece, The Tale of Genji. As I said in my post on the "grave" of the author, Genji Monogatari, if it is not the world's first novel, is at least the world's first bodice-ripper. The Shinning Prince is not only her idea of the perfect gentleman, but his home, Rokujō-in, is described as a place of many perfections, not the least of which is that it was four times as large as those of most Heian Period noblemen. As there are virtually no surviving examples of Heian Period domestic architecture, the model itself is well worth studying.
The elaborately costumed dolls that inhabit the model enact various scenes from the tale. The costumes are changed seasonally.
There are also a few costumed life-sized mannequins.
Finally, visitors are encouraged to visit a gallery where they can slip Heian Period garb over their clothes, and pose (if they are sufficiently bold) for a photo.
File last revised April 11, 2015.
Kyoto Costume Museum.kmz (2.49 KB)