Monthly Archives: January 2008

Great Treasures of the Topkapi Palace

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     Last Saturday I went to Nagoya City Museum to see “The Exhibition of Great Treasures of the Topkapi Palace”. The Topkapi Palace is a palace in Istanbul, Turkey, but now is a museum transformed after the end of the Ottoman Empire.

     According to the explanation of the exhibition, the museum is one of the most famous places in Istanbul, and more than 2 million people from all over the world visit there every year, and there are more than 300 thousand collections.

     In the exhibition you can see 135 items of the collections and learn about their excellent art and culture of the Ottoman Empire which had flourished for about 600 years.

     The exhibition was separated into four, and the first one is entitled “Sultans who ruled over the world”. There are documents, paintings, and battle-gears and so on in the first room.

     Arabic character looks like beautiful patterns or music notes to me. The documents written by sultans have their signatures. I thought those resembled old Japanese generals’ ones in the age of wars, and the paintings also looked like traditional Japanese-style ones interestingly.

     The second room introduces the harem. You can see many of possessions of court ladies and furniture at the palace there. Each court lady had ramified occupation like coffee maker, room cleaner, and hairdresser and so on. I wonder what a woman who had to make only coffee all day thought about her life.

     I smelt of rose when I entered the third room. The museum wafts the scent of rose. You know, Turkey is one of the best producers of roses.

     There are many jewels in the room. Those luxurious swords, belts, furniture, goblets, ornaments etc are spectacular. They tell of glory of the Ottoman Empire.

     And the last one has a collection of china. Those ceramics are from China, but they don’t look like Chinese things, but they have airs of mixture east and west. I thought not only those ceramics but also other exhibits had mixed appearance and it was very interesting for me.

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Reunion

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     The time went so quickly before I know it. It’s almost a month since 2008 started.

      For the last three weeks, I edited my address book, finished reading the number six of Harry Potter at last, which had been left half-finished for more than one year, started reading the last one of the book, met some friends, and went some winter sales and so on.

     And the event worthy of special mention for me was meeting an Indian friend again.

     He and I met at Aichi Expo in 2005. I made friends with him there, but we hadn’t met each other for two and half years since the exposition finished because he went back to India.

     This time he had an opportunity to come to Japan on business and came to see some of my friends and I in spare moments from his work.

     Before meeting us, he visited some places remembered in connection with him: the site of the exposition, some stations, and the apartment building where he used to live.

     “My apartment was still there and looked unchanged, but a different name was on the doorplate,” he said in an expression that mingled happiness and sadness.

     We went to an Indian restaurant and renewed our old friendship over delicious food. It was transient, but I had a really good time.