A mystery solved – the Taitokuin model returns home

Taitokuin MausoleumJust over a year ago I did a post on the Japan-British exhibition of 1910, tracking where the exhibits ended up when the exhibition was over. The one that interested me the most was the one-tenth scale model of the Taitokuin Mausoleum, the memorial to the second Tokugawa Shogun in Zojo-ji Temple in Shiba. It was presented to the then King, George V, and remained for many years in the Royal Collection in dismantled form. But then what happened? I’ve only just found out. Continue reading

The 1910 Japan-British Exhibition – what’s left?

Season ticket to the Japan-British Exhibition 1910

© Museum of London

You thought the London Olympics were big, right? Eight and a half million tickets sold. Spectacular. But in 1910 another event did just as well, and it wasn’t a sporting event but a cultural initiative. It was the Japan-British Exhibition at White City, visited by 8,350,000 people, with 460,000 people passing through its gates in a single day (Japanese Gala Day). Okay, I admit it did go on longer than the Olympic Games – nearly six months, from 14 May 1910 to 29 October 1910.  But what was it for and what did it leave behind?  Continue reading

Hammersmith Park Japanese Garden

Hammersmith Park Japanese Garden

There are two well-known Japanese Gardens in London – the Kyoto Garden in Holland Park and the Japanese Landscape, with the Chokushi-mon at its centre, in Kew Gardens. I’ve written about both of them before, but today I want to tell you about a third one that you’ve probably never heard of – the Hammersmith Park Japanese Garden, which has some unusual features. Continue reading

A Japanese autumn at Kew Gardens

Japanese stone lantern at KewKew Gardens! It’s been years since I last went there. In fact it’s so long ago it might even have been back in the days when you put a penny in the turnstile to get in, (on second thoughts, it wasn’t THAT long ago), days which are unfortunately a distant memory as nowadays Kew has to turn more than a penny to fund its work as an internationally recognised research and education institution with the worlds largest collection of living plants.

What drew me there? Well, once again it’s thanks to the Japan Society which arranged a brilliant tour of the herbarium which I’ll tell you about in my next post.

For the moment I’m going to focus on the Gardens themselves as autumn is a lovely time of year to visit; the trees with their red and gold leaves are picture-perfect – as you can see: Continue reading