Mr. Steve Feld, Teacher
Students at Kennedy High School viewed the Video Museum on the Mountain and pose the following questions to our peers in Japan:
1. Do you think the Miho Museum itself is a work of art? Do you notice the museum if you are looking at the mountain, or is it completely hidden?Before viewing the video Museum on the Mountain:
2. How does it feel to be in the mountains? How cold is it up there in the mountain? Has anyone ever fallen off the mountain?
3. How deep is the museum buried? How tall are those stones? How big are the largest artifacts? How does their size make you feel in comparison to them? What is your favorite part of the museum? Why? Is there any part of the collection that you liked the most?
4. What is it like to live in Japan? What is your life like? What are your favorite foods? How often do you eat? How big is your school?
5. How many ancient cultures are represented in the museum collection? Is there any significance to the amount religious artifacts? How many religions are represented in the museum?
6. When the bell tower rings, are you at peace with yourself? How does it feel to stand in the museum's garden? What sounds do you hear? When you visited the museum for the first time, how did the wind feel on your skin?
7. What kind of aroma does the museum hold? Which part of the collection are you allowed to touch? How do these objects feel? How long did it take to get there? Is it a far walk to the museum? Is the visit to the museum worth the walk? Can you go up there at night?
8. Do you think you'll ever create any artwork that will be accepted to the museum collection? How does it feel to have such a unique museum in your country?
9. How much does it cost for a museum visit? Is it expensive? How many persons can the museum hold?
10. Are there guides in the museum to help you understand and explain what the artwork means? Is this place a big attraction for tourists?
Read the replies
If the site is only reachable by a bridge and tunnel, how would you link them into your design?
Design a graphic element, icon, or logo to represent our class to our Japanese peers?
If you were to draw a "nature preserve" paradise for yourself, how would it look, smell and sound?
After viewing the video:
Compare and contrast your designs with the I.M. Pei creation. How do they compare?
If the Museum had been built in an American nature preserve how would it be different? Why?
What if it were built by Latinos in the Dominican Republic or by African Americans in the US. In what ways would it be different?
What common themes or qualities or textures do you notice in the Egyptian, Greek and Roman Art on display?
In what ways to the ancient arts differ from one another? What type of art would you like to see more of?
Rent the video Lost Horizons or get James Hilton's book. What does
this have to do with the Miho Museum?
Do you think I. M. Pei read this book or saw the movie?
Here are questions from our students in the Social Studies Department
Mr. Israel Soto-Duprey, Teacher
1. For all of us the most intriguing aspect of the video was the eclecticism between the old and the new. How did I. M. Pei mix tradition with technology on his design? What do you think was his purpose?
2. In the video, we saw many different artifacts and art work from ancient civilizations. How is Japan represented in the museum? Is there any artifact or artwork from Latin America?
3. If you have the opportunity to visit our school and our city, What would you like to see the most? Why?
4. How do you think does Tokyo compare to New York City?
5. How are Americans portrayed in Japan?
6. Do you thing that the fact that Japan is a very religious society has anything to do with the development of the Miho Museum?
7. It was interesting seeing the respect that I. M. Pei, and all the construction crew had for the sacred mountains of Naghan. Was it difficult to convince the Japanese government and the religious authorities to allow construction of a museum in a sacred place? What was the rationale for it? Was the religious community offended? Why? or Why not?
8. We learn that Buddhism, Taoism, Shintoism, and Zen Buddhism are all religious philosophies extremely tied to natural order. How are these religious currents represented in the museum? If you practice either one of these religions, how do you feel when you visit the museum in the mountains?
9. What was the first impression you had when you first hear about the Miho Museum? why?
10. Is the Koyama family influential in Japanese politics? What is their social and economic status? What was the opinion of the Japanese people when it was made public the construction of a privately own museum in a national preserve?
11. Which topics, themes or characteristics could one find in the museum?
12. How does Japanese ancient culture differ from, or resemble to other ancient civilizations present in the museum?
13. What kind of art would you like to see more in the Miho?
14. In your opinion, how does the Miho Museum compare to any other museum you have visited?
15. If you have the opportunity to visit the United States what would you look forward to seeing? Why?
Why is the Mona Lisa Smiling? is a project created
by the students of the John F. Kennedy High School in collaboration with with a High School in Sweden. We invite you to visit our site and sign our guestbook with your comments when you visit. Thank you.
Shangri La @ JFK
Activities for ESL Students
The Anglo-Chinese School link to Da Vinci Art Exhibition
At the Singapore Art Museum -
Tower of English Project Gallery Japan Featured Link