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Dōgo Giyaman Glass Museum

A fantastic collection of decorative glass in Dōgo.

Dōgo Giyaman Glass Museum

Up the hill from Dōgo Onsen Honkan is the Yamanote Garden Place, incorporating a bridal chapel, a café with a pleasant water feature, and the Giyaman Glass Museum.

‘Giyaman’ is a corruption of the word ‘diamond’, and the glass takes its name from the deeply cut glass that sparkles like a diamond. There are other types of glass too such as semi-opaque milky glass, deep blue glass with complex swirls of lighter blue, and vivid reds and greens.

The applications of the glass are amazing. There are glass tobacco pipes and smoking paraphernalia, a bird cage with tiny glass bars, insect cages for keeping chirping insects in summer, and even pillows of blue glass. Pity the person who has to rest their neck on glass, however skillfully it may be molded to suggest pillowy softness.

Of course, there are more typical glass products such as glasses, bowls, and plates, but every example is exquisite. There are extraordinarily thin, colored sake cups and gourd-shaped flasks for sake. In the old days when sake was really the only alcoholic beverage of the Japanese, the care lavished on its presentation was extreme.

Some of the other displays included the various types of glass used in Dōgo Onsen Honkan, most notably the red glass of its tower. There are also animals—chickens with their eggs, fish, and some cicadas clinging to what looks like a bong.

This glass, gathered from all over Japan, is from the Edo, Meiji and Taisho periods. Life in these times must have been austere in many ways, but the ‘giyaman’ glass shows that this austerity was tempered by fantastic elegance, for some people at least.

Fortunately, you’re allowed to take photos in the museum.

Information

Name in Japanese: 道後ぎやまんガラス美術館

Pronunciation: dōgo giyaman garasu hakubutsukan

Address: 459-1 Sagitanicho, Dōgo, Matsuyama, Ehime

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