Saturday, November 29, 2008

New Orleans 1885: Japanese Empire Exhibit.....

Located in the southern portion of the New Orleans exposition's Main Building, the Empire of Japan's large exhibit was exclusively a commercially-sponsored display. Many ornate and delicate articles were shown, such as vases, cloisonne work, carvings of ivory, bronzeware, detailed embroideries, and lacquered screens. The paper-making industry was well represented, as was the mining industry. An extensive educational exhibit occupied a large portion of Japan's space, and displayed methods of schooling from kindergarten through college. The Agricultural College presented an exhibit of seventy-two types of woods and twenty-five varieties of bamboo. Local New Orleans author, Lafcadio Hearn, was so entranced by the Japanese displays that he soon began a new phase of his career, and left Louisiana to travel extensively throughout Japan. Despite the variety and educational value of the exhibits contained within the Japanese section, most critics viewed it as overly commercial.

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