SF’s Asian Art Museum

We took yesterday afternoon off and headed up to SF to visit the Asian Art Museum and check out the Lords of the Samurai exhibition. The exhibition itself followed the Hosokawa family from around 1300 through to present day. Photography was prohibited in the exhibit itself, but the Museum has posted some photos.

The exhibit has a number of amazing pieces including a short sword with ray skin handle and ray skin scabbard. The picture doesn’t do it justice. There armor was neat, and I was amazed by how strong the braided silk looked. Modern nylon has nothing on it.

After visiting the exhibit, we grabbed some food in the museum cafe. I had a yummy bowl of ramen and Steve had chicken donburi. Having grown up in DC where the museum food used to be horrible, I’m always kind of amazed when the cafes serve tasty food.

We decided to check out the rest of the museum. The exhibit started with stone carvings from around 300 BCE in what is now India. It moved through various times and various cultures.

I was amazed by the detailed, intricate stone carvings. They were amazing. I have a number of shots of the carvings.

Stone! carved with stone tools!

Stone! carved with stone tools!

The jade artifacts were astonishing, too.

Jade carving depicting a journey

Jade carving depicting a journey

On the photography level, this was one of the first times I relied on manual focus rather than trusting the auto focus. I am reasonably happy with the results. I don’t necessarily like the infrared markers for focus and am wondering if I can find a lens with the old fashioned focusing system as well as the new-fangled infrared. That’s probably something to go talk to the nice folks at the camera store about.

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