Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on October 2012

At a time when China is basing its territorial claims on ancient history, a closer look at the shifting borders of its storied dynasties could prove insightful. “Grandeur of the Dynasties” traces the giant’s early history from its roots on the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers 4 ,000 years ago through the medieval Song Dynasty. The journey is undertaken via exhibitions of recent findings from China’s artistic patrimony ranging from a remarkable phoenix drum from the 4th century BCE to superb examples of bronze, jade and gold craftsmanship.

Tokyo National Museum, until Dec 24