Today, my husband and I went to Quebec to visit the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Our whole reason for going was to see the temporary exhibit, “Japan: Tradition. Innovation.” We’ve grown up with anime and manga, and are therefore enamored with that country. The exhibit was really well-organized. Basically, the designers included examples of design from the Edo and modern periods – each eras of prosperity – and examined the similarities. I learned a lot – especially about Edo-era robots!
The other exhibit I really enjoyed was dedicated to the Native Americans of the West Coast. I love the art and how animistic their beliefs were/are. I especially enjoyed reading about the shamans and religious beliefs. The ancestors were central to their spiritual practices and it was necessary to give animals the greatest respect. Hunters sang dirges upon killing an animal. There was also the belief that fish shared a similar pool of souls as humans and that, to throw the fish world out of balance, the human world would be impacted. The display actually said they believed schools of fish were tribes of people in the spirit world. There was also great reverence for the cedar trees because of their many uses. I noticed a lot of spiritual similarities between their beliefs and Druidism. Very interesting and moving.