Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on February 2010Storming off the Asian steppes to conquer the world, the Mongols were a brutal nation of nomadic plunderers. Or were they? A new blockbuster exhibition tells a different story. As the Mongols consolidated their far-flung empire in the 13th century, they brought sophisticated governance, portable housing, wagons, saddles and harnesses for horses, bows and arrows for hunting and fighting, musical instruments, and games like chess. When they absorbed empires from China in the east to present-day Turkey in the west, they also updated their Bronze Age techniques with gold and porcelain technologies. Coming soon after the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Mongol Empire, this first look at its treasures should change perceptions of Mongols in Japan—even if Asashoryu’s recent antics confirm them.
The Legacy of Genghis Khan and the Magnificent Mongol Empire. Various media. Until Apr 11, ¥650 (HS and under, 65 and over)/¥1,040 (univ)/¥1,300 (general). 1-4-1 Yokoami, Sumida-ku. Tel: 03-3626-9974. Open Tue-Sun 9:30am-5:30pm (Sat until 7:30pm), closed Mon & hols. Nearest: Ryogoku. www.edo-tokyo-museum.or.jp