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Pompeii Exhibition Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art 2022

124 Okazaki Enshojicho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, 606-8344

Kyoto Exhibition Dates April 21st to July 3rd, 2022

Pompeii ruins

Visiting the Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art for the first time

I saw on the news that the Kyocera Museum of Art was holding a Pompeii exhibition, so I went there on a weekday afternoon. There are several museums near the Heian Jingu Shrine, and among them, the Kyocera Museum of Art is the largest and most beautiful building. The Kyocera Museum of Art is a public museum, but the admission fee for special exhibitions is a little expensive. Permanent exhibitions are not included in the admission fee for special exhibitions.

Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of ART

Google Map information showed that it was "more crowded than usual", but it wasn't that crowded inside. A lot of school trip students around the museum building may have been counted.

Mount Vesuvius

Above is a picture of Mount Vesuvius today. Originally, had a beautiful shape shape like Mt. Fuji. The major eruption in AD 79 blew the top off. The tragic city of Pompeii is located near Napoli, Italy.

In 79 AD, Japan is in the Yayoi period. There are ruins from the late Yayoi period (around the 3rd century) in Kyushu region. I went and wrote articles it, so please read it. The atmosphere is so different.

Yoshinogari in Japan
Japan in the same period.

Relive the Pompeii tragedy.

I only saw a documentary about Pompeii on a TV program when I was a child, so all I remember was that it was a city buried in volcanic ash. One thing that left a strong impression were the mannequin-like objects that made out from plaster to represent the state of people when they died.

These were made by pouring plaster into the empty spaces created by the decomposition of the human body over time under the compressed volcano ashes. Since the bones are stronger and last a lot longer, there is probably a set of human bones in this piece.

Pompeii ruins

I'm not good at this sort of thing. It's so realistic and scary. But at the same time, I'm curious about it, so I can't stop looking at it. Surprisingly, this one was the only plaster human in this exhibition.

I'm trying to find out how many people actually died. Studies say approximately 2,000 people have died. Pompeii had a population of about 20,000, so one out of ten people was killed by this tragedy.

Pompeii ruins

A large amount of volcanic ash fell due to the eruption, so residents began to evacuate. The next day, a large-scale pyroclastic flow occurred, and the entire town was buried in ash in just 15 minutes. The only salvation is that people did not die in long suffering.

Those who could not evacuate immediately for some reason, servants and slaves who remained in the city must have been the victims. It seems that there were quite a few people who went back to town to help someone and died from suffocation.

Pompeii Exhibition is mainly focused on the times.

I went there without seeing the list of exhibits, so I didn't know what part of Pompeii this exhibition focused on.

As for the impression after the visit, I got an impression that mosaic paintings are the main thing. Since they were buried in volcanic ash, they are in a very good state of preservation.

Pompeii mosaic painting

No new city was built on top of the buried city. With tens of thousands of living witnesses, stories of the city there have been handed down from generation to generation.

Pompeii ruins

I thought, were there no people digging for gold and silver treasures left underground? It seems that it was not an event of a scale that people can just dig out something later. The modern power tools made it possible to find these remains.

Excavation began in earnest in the 18th century. It is truly a time capsule, buried in its original state for over 1,500 years. Even the bread and fruit on the table were still there.

Pompeii carbonized bread and food
A bread from 2000 years ago!

The cobblestone streets and brick buildings were also preserved from the elements. If you visit Napoli, you can walk through its streets as they were 2,000 years ago.

Pompeii Roman ruin

Admire the civilization of the Roman Empire

The Pompeian tragedy occurred at the beginning of the Roman Empire's heyday. The period of the Roman Empire is the middle of the Yayoi period in Japan. There were buildings and public infrastructure on a scale that was incomparable to Japan. Just by looking at the townscape, you can see how it has developed.

Italy Pompeii

Water came out from the faucet made of bronze. There are large public baths and entertainment. I can imagine their glamorous lives. Surgery tools and coins that are comparable to modern times have been excavated.

Ships traveled in the Mediterranean Sea, and it seems that they also traded with Egypt. The mosaic paintings with Nile animals as motifs were very lovely. A solitary island like Japan is safe, but on the other hand, it must have had the disadvantage of not being able to easily adopt the technology of other countries.

This was my first time to visit the Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art. It was just renovated a few years ago, and it's beautiful. If you have never been there, please do. You can also visit Heian Jingu Shrine nearby, and a new large Asian market has opened nearby.

This Pompeii special exhibition had quite a lot of souvenirs and goods corners. My recommendation is a hard cookie called biscotti. I recommend dipping it in coffee before eating. Also, a black dog mosaic cushion cover which you will see the actual one in the collection. It was so popular that almost sold out. (I bought one too)

This concludes my review of the Pompeii exhibition in Kyoto.

Pompeii Exhibition 2022 Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art Photo Gallery

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