Friday, January 29, 2010
Haiko! Snake Research Center (Part 2)
I thought the dinosaur cave was the end of our haikyo adventure. I wandered off into the venom exhibit, and when I came out, a pale faced Paul was waiting for me. "You've gotta see this!"
Like I mentioned before, about half of the Japan Snake Center is in ruins. The legit, open to the public part was practically a haikyo in itself. A few pathetic dioramas, about 30 or so snakes on display, and a plethora of preserved snakes. Needless to say, if you drove here from far far away because of a genuine interest in snakes, you would be greatly disappointed. The Ueno Zoo has a better snake exhibit, plus you can see monkeys throwing poop, which is what life is all about.
What looked like an empty shack, next to the fully functional snake art gallery, was indeed not empty. Are you ready?
This shack was full of dead snakes. Buckets of dead snakes.
Piles of snake skeletons on the floor.
Bottles of snake bits preserved in mystery liquid.
Tiny snake parts in prescription medicine bottles.
Snakes in print form.
And snakes in jars. My god, the snakes in jars.
Surely, someone would have emptied out these Tupperware containers. Any guess what's inside?
Death. Boxes of death.
Faded labels have forever forgotten the species inside.
Coiled in a vacuum, safe from decomposition, can anyone benefit from this snake's death?
And now... I rant!
What the fuck. You have an opportunity here to inspire young minds. Children are drawn to exotic animals, like snakes and insects. And snakes are literally one of the easiest animals to keep in captivity. Terrarium, heat, water, food. Growing up, my mom kept a variety of "creepy" animals like snakes, spiders, and bugs. She used them in her preschool. By the end of the year, the kids were forever cured of any fears that might develop towards such creatures. They could hold snakes, feed snakes, and care for snakes. The Japan Snake Center was visited by mostly families with young children. The only opportunity to touch a live snake was by paying $10 to take a picture with a boa. Utterly worthless, turning a chance to teach into a chance to make some money. The only "educational" thing was feeding time. And to top off the stupidity of this place, you must enter and exit through the gift shop, where you can buy snake wine and purses and belts made from snake skin. I have no problem with snake leather goods, just don't force people's first and last impression of snakes to be from a material point of view. I know that this is Japan, and most aspects of life are more materialistic here, but if you are claiming some sort of educational purpose, don't fucking phone that shit in. End of rant.