Photos inside the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.

The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum is a cultural gem in downtown's small Chinatown.
The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum is a cultural gem in downtown’s small Chinatown.

I recently enjoyed a visit to the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. It’s located downtown in San Diego’s Asian Pacific Historic District. I was graciously allowed to take some photos of the indoor exhibits and the peaceful outdoor garden.

The museum might be small, but it overflows with an important slice of San Diego history. Its many colorful artifacts representing Chinese culture will fascinate your eyes at every turn! I recommend a visit!

Visitors enter the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum during the San Diego Architectural Foundation's OPEN HOUSE 2017.
Visitors enter the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum during the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s OPEN HOUSE 2017.
Many colorful sights await inside the historical and cultural museum.
Many colorful sights await inside the small historical and cultural museum.
Someone looks at old photos of San Diego and Chinese residents who helped to build and grow our city.
Someone looks at old photos of San Diego and Chinese residents who helped to build and grow our city.
The museum building was originally a mission, which was moved to its present location in San Diego’s Asian Pacific Historic District.
The museum building was originally a mission, which was moved to its present location in San Diego’s Asian Pacific Historic District.
Extensive archaeological work has been performed in this area, including the block south of the museum. Many artifacts from old Chinatown have been recovered.
Extensive archaeological work has been performed in this area, including the block south of the museum. Many artifacts from old Chinatown have been recovered.
Old photos show archaeological digs in the neighborhood.
Old photos show archaeological digs in the neighborhood.
Some of many artifacts recovered include glass bottles, ceramic bowls, utensils.
Some of many artifacts recovered include glass bottles, ceramic bowls, utensils.
Objects used in everyday life include a rubber ball, marbles, mahjong tile, Chinese dice and go pieces.
Objects used in everyday life include a rubber ball, marbles, mahjong tile, Chinese dice and go pieces.
Historical photograph of Chinese fishing junks anchored in San Diego Harbor around 1887.
Historical photograph of Chinese fishing junks anchored in San Diego Harbor around 1887.
Portrait of the Ah Quin family, one of the most prominent, influential early San Diego Chinese families.
Portrait of the Ah Quin family, one of the most prominent, influential early San Diego Chinese families.
Chinese laundries in San Diego utilized irons, counter bells, an abacus, and other useful objects.
Chinese laundries in San Diego utilized irons, counter bells, an abacus, and other useful objects.
A bridal carriage from the late 1800s made of rosewood, found in Yun Cheng.
A bridal carriage from the late 1800s made of rosewood, found in Yun Cheng.
The limestone Buddha head of the Northern Qi Dynasty, was originally carved into a cave in Shanxi Province.
The limestone Buddha head of the Northern Qi Dynasty, was originally carved into a cave in Shanxi Province.
A temple guardian, from Ming Dynasty. The carved wooden idol has a dragon headdress, robes, glass eyes and a real hear beard and mustache.
A temple guardian, from Ming Dynasty. The carved wooden idol has a dragon headdress, robes, glass eyes and a real hair beard and mustache.
A palm raincoat, called so yee, worn by fishermen and farmers for centuries in China.
A palm raincoat, called so yee, worn by fishermen and farmers for centuries in China.
Colorful woven art, and Chinese shoes and slippers for bound feet.
Colorful woven art, and Chinese shoes and slippers for bound feet.
Looking past the Buddha head at a fantastic, ornate alcove bed.
Looking past the Buddha head at a fantastic, ornate alcove bed.
The gilt red-lacquered alcove bed, or babu chuang, was made of southern elm in the Sichuan province in the late 19th century.
The gilt red-lacquered alcove bed, or babu chuang, was made of southern elm in the Sichuan province in the late 19th century.
Clay Chinese opera figurines represent different scenes. The characters are from local theatrical traditions, and utilize a complicated set of symbolic gestures.
Clay Chinese opera figurines represent different scenes. The characters are from local theatrical traditions, and utilize a complicated set of symbolic gestures.
Display case contains memories of military service.
Display case contains memories of military service.
Punching devices used for the Chinese Lottery of San Diego, which was popular in the Stingaree District and Chinatown. Technically illegal, the lottery was tolerated by the authorities.
Punching devices used for the Chinese Lottery of San Diego, which was popular in the red-light Stingaree District and Chinatown. Technically illegal, the lottery was tolerated by the authorities.
A scene from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The elaborate wood carving depicts the battle that Zhao Yun fought to save the sun of Liu Bei.
A scene from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The elaborate wood carving depicts the battle that Zhao Yun fought to save the sun of Liu Bei.
Manjusri altar table, from the late 19th century. Manjusri is the Bodhisattva of wisdom--he holds a sward that cuts through ignorance and illusion.
Manjusri altar table, from the late 19th century. Manjusri is the Bodhisattva of wisdom–he holds a sword that cuts through ignorance and illusion.
Terracotta horse and general are replicas from the Terracotta Army unearthed at Xian, China. They occupy a corner of the museum's outdoor Chuang Garden.
Terracotta horse and general are replicas from the Terracotta Army unearthed at Xian, China. They occupy a corner of the museum’s outdoor Chuang Garden.
Statue of Confucius, donated by the generosity of the Ministry of Education, Taiwan, Republic of China.
Statue of Confucius, donated by the generosity of the Ministry of Education, Taiwan, Republic of China.
A granite courtyard scene, 1800-1840. In this wall panel, three children representing prosperity, peer out at the street.
A granite courtyard scene, 1800-1840. In this wall panel, three children representing prosperity, peer out at the street.
A tranquil path runs beside water along the north side of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.
A tranquil path runs beside water along the north side of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.
Ornamental carving along the peaceful path.
Ornamental carving along the peaceful path.
Another warrior statue in the cool shade.
Another warrior statue in the cool shade.
Behind the horse is a tombstone made in 1796, the inaugural year of the Jia Qing Emperor. It lacks in inscription, perhaps expressing a power that no words can describe.
Behind the horse is a tombstone made in 1796, the inaugural year of the Jia Qing Emperor. It lacks in inscription, perhaps expressing a power that no words can describe.

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Chinese museum: Typing a language with no alphabet.

Outdoor display window near the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum asks: How do you type a language with no alphabet?
Outdoor display window near the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum asks: How do you type a language with no alphabet?

I was walking through San Diego’s small Chinatown yesterday morning when I spied something really interesting. In a window near the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum a special exhibit is being promoted. The exhibit is titled Radical Machines – Chinese in the Information Age.

How do you type a language with no alphabet? Good question!

I’ll probably check this exhibit out in the next couple months. It runs through April 16, 2017.

A special exhibit titled Radical Machines - Chinese in the Information Age is now running at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.
A special exhibit titled Radical Machines – Chinese in the Information Age can be seen at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.
Gazing past stone lions at the entrance of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.
Gazing past stone lions at the entrance of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.
A manual typewriter whose keys type Western Civilization's adopted Latin alphabet seems to magically produce sheets of paper containing Chinese characters.
A manual typewriter whose keys type Western Civilization’s adopted Latin alphabet seems to magically produce sheets of paper containing Chinese characters.

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Photos of Chinese warship visiting San Diego.

The Chinese frigate Yancheng, docked in San Diego at the Cruise Ship Terminal. It is part of a four day visit by ships of the People's Liberation Army Navy.
The Chinese frigate Yancheng, docked in San Diego at the Cruise Ship Terminal. It is part of a four day visit by ships of the People’s Liberation Army Navy.

This morning I got a few photos of a Chinese Navy warship that will be visiting San Diego for four days. The ship I saw docked at the Cruise Ship Terminal is the frigate Yancheng, which is part of the People’s Liberation Army Navy Surface Force. Two additional Chinese Navy ships arrived during the day. I saw them in the darkness after work during an evening walk along the Embarcadero. Those two other ships are the frigate Daqing and the oiler Tai Hu.

The intent of the visit is to foster trust and mutual understanding between two military powers–the United States and China. In addition to cultural exchanges, visiting Chinese and local American sailors will enjoy playing games of table tennis and basketball together. In a small, sometimes turbulent world, perhaps it is good to make friendships.

United States military personnel walk along the B Street Pier during a visit of the Chinese Navy to San Diego.
United States military personnel walk along the B Street Pier during a visit of the Chinese Navy to San Diego.
Another photo of the Chinese frigate Yancheng, docked in San Diego Bay on December 6, 2016.
Another photo of the Chinese frigate Yancheng, docked in San Diego Bay on December 6, 2016.

The once-mysterious origin of a U. S. Navy bronze plaque on display in San Diego has come to light. Learn more about this fascinating bit of San Diego and Navy history by checking out my blog post Creating a plaque: Navy history in San Diego revealed!

A wonderful Chinese Moon Festival in Balboa Park!

A beautiful dance on the Spreckels Organ Pavilion stage in Balboa Park during the 2016 Moon Festival.
A beautiful dance on the Spreckels Organ Pavilion stage in Balboa Park during the 2016 Moon Festival.

A truly wonderful Chinese Moon Festival is being held this evening in Balboa Park! I took photos before the sun set that provide a sense of how fantastic and entertaining this annual event is.

The Moon Festival is co-sponsored by the House of China in Balboa Park and the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. Every year, the festival seems to grow and grow!

A very large crowd turned out this year for the Chinese Moon Festival in Balboa Park. The benches in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion were packed.
A very large crowd turned out this year for the Chinese Moon Festival in Balboa Park. The benches in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion were packed.
Table provides info about the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. They co-sponsored the Moon Festival, along with the House of China in Balboa Park.
Table provides info about the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. They co-sponsored the Moon Festival, along with the House of China in Balboa Park.
The San Diego Chinese Historical Society and Museum was having a book sale!
The San Diego Chinese Historical Society and Museum was having a book sale!
Huge Chinese Crepes were being prepared near the entertainment.
Huge Chinese Crepes were being prepared near the entertainment.
A half moon hangs above the ornate colonnade of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Very appropriate!
A half moon hangs above the ornate colonnade of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Very appropriate!
The Moon Festival would provide lots of colorful entertainment into the evening. I took photos while the sun was still up.
The Moon Festival would provide lots of colorful entertainment into the evening. I took photos while the sun was still up.
Thunder drums!
Thunder drums!
Followed by youthful Chinese acrobats!
Followed by youthful Chinese acrobats!
These energetic acrobats were amazingly talented. They performed feats that seemed impossible.
These energetic acrobats were wonderfully talented. They performed feats that seemed impossible.
A fluid, colorful dance that mimics the motions of an exotic fish. Everyone in the audience seemed mesmerized.
A fluid, colorful dance that mimics the motions of an exotic fish. Everyone in the audience seemed mesmerized.
A truly fantastic Chinese dance in San Diego's Balboa Park during the 2016 Moon Festival!
A truly wonderful Chinese dance in San Diego’s Balboa Park during the 2016 Moon Festival!

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Carved stone Chinese lions unveiled in San Diego!

Founder of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum, Dr. Alexander Chuang, prepares one of two stone lions for their unveiling ceremony.
Founder of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum, Dr. Alexander Chuang, prepares one of two stone lions for their unveiling ceremony.

This morning a ceremony was held in front of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. Two large stone lions were unveiled at the intersection of J Street and Third Avenue. That’s in the very heart of downtown’s Asian Pacific Historic District.

I missed the unveiling, because I had a long-reserved ticket for another nearby event which took place at the exact same time. But I did get photos of the two amazing sculptures being prepared!

The founder of the Chinese Historical Museum, Dr. Alexander Chuang, had the two beautiful lions made in China then brought to the City of San Diego. It was a generous gift and a wonderful addition to our diverse city. I was told Dr. Chuang spent 7 or 8 years on this project. The lions are carved from stone taken from Mount Tai, which is said to be the holiest mountain in China. Now I have yet another reason to look forward to walks through this fascinating part of downtown San Diego!

I briefly spoke to Dr. Alexander Chuang while he prepared the statues, and to other members of the museum. They were so very gracious! One day I’ll venture into the museum–it’s on my list of things to do. When I do, I’ll definitely share the experience.

Plaque describes pair of large stone lions made of granite from Mount Tai, considered the holiest mountain in China. They will be a landmark of the Asian Pacific Historic District of San Diego.
Plaque describes pair of large stone lions made of granite from Mount Tai, considered the holiest mountain in China. They will be a landmark of the Asian Pacific Historic District of San Diego.
Final preparations are made about an hour before the unveiling. I got a sneak peek just by walking around with my camera!
Final preparations are made about an hour before the unveiling. I got a sneak peek just by walking around with my camera!
Members of the Chinese Historical Museum drape one of the two stone lions. I got my early photos just in time!
Members of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum drape one of the two stone lions. I got my early photos just in time!
On the opposite side of the street, the second lion stands guard. Another very cool sight has been added to the city of San Diego!
On the opposite side of Third Avenue, the second lion stands guard. Another very cool sight has been added to the city of San Diego!

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Lion dances and fun in downtown San Diego!

Lion dancer meets small visitor to the 34th Annual 2016 San Diego Chinese New Year Food and Cultural Fair.
Lion dancer meets small visitor to the 34th Annual 2016 San Diego Chinese New Year Food and Cultural Fair.

To celebrate the Chinese New Year, a special festival is being held this weekend in downtown San Diego, in the historic old Chinatown section, now known as the Asian Thematic District. The event is called the 34th Annual 2016 San Diego Chinese New Year Food and Cultural Fair, and it’s being put on by the San Diego Chinese Center (SDCC). You can find the fun on two blocks adjacent to the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. There are lion dances, drummers, temple dancers, story telling, a kung fu demonstration, and just lots and lots of cool sights.

I walked through the festival this morning around 10 o’clock and observed the opening ceremonies. Here are some colorful pics!

The CCBA Lucky Lion Dancers would soon be heading down the street through the crowd.
The CCBA Lucky Lion Dancers would soon be heading down the street through the crowd.
Tables in front of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum contained arts, crafts and many unique cultural objects.
Tables in front of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum contain arts, crafts and many unique cultural objects.
These funny faces were for sale in a vendor's booth. There was lots of Chinese food and a variety of colorful wares for visitors to purchase.
These funny faces were for sale in a vendor’s booth. There was a lot of Asian food and a variety of colorful wares for visitors to purchase.
Uniquely beautiful Asian art could be seen up and down the street during the San Diego Chinese New Year Food and Cultural Fair.
Uniquely beautiful art could be seen up and down the street during the San Diego Chinese New Year Food and Cultural Fair.
Anyone could have their name written in Chinese!
Anyone could have their name written in Chinese!
2016 is the Year of the Golden Monkey. Monkey is the ninth zodiac animal in the twelve year cycle of the Chinese calendar.
2016 is the Year of the Golden Monkey. Monkey is the ninth zodiac animal in the twelve year cycle of the Chinese calendar.
The opening ceremony included an elaborate lion dance, then the display of this banner by San Diego dignitaries.
The opening ceremony included an elaborate lion dance on stage, then the display of this banner by San Diego dignitaries.
The energetic, exciting lion dance resumed, and people fed the lions red envelopes full of money for good luck!
The energetic, exciting lion dance resumed, and people fed the lions red envelopes full of money for good luck!
An explosion of lettuce from the hungry lions during the dance was cleaned up on the stage afterward! Lettuce symbolizes a fresh start in a new year.
An explosion of lettuce from the hungry lions during the dance was cleaned up on the stage afterward! Lettuce symbolizes a fresh start in a new year.
A drummer helps spur the dancing lions, a Laughing Buddha and a monkey into action!
A drummer helps spur the dancing lions, a Laughing Buddha and a monkey into action!
A long Chinese dragon on display. I believe a dragon dance would take place later. One of many cool sights at the annual San Diego festival!
A long Chinese dragon on display. I believe a dragon dance would take place later. One of many cool sights at the annual San Diego festival!

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Photos of Chinese New Year celebration in Balboa Park.

A special House of China lawn program at Balboa Park's International Cottages celebrates the Chinese Lunar New Year with music and dance.
A special House of China lawn program at Balboa Park’s International Cottages celebrates the Chinese Lunar New Year with food, music and dance.

Today I headed to Balboa Park hoping to catch part of the House of China’s lawn program at the International Cottages. The cultural event celebrates the Chinese Lunar New Year, which occurs on February 8. It’s the Year of the Monkey!

I wasn’t the only one who thought of attending! An unusually big crowd turned out for the colorful festivities.

Here come a few cool pics!

Many displays were at the Chinese New Year event in Balboa Park. This gentleman wrote people's names using Mandarin characters.
Several fascinating displays were at the Chinese New Year event in Balboa Park. This gentleman wrote people’s names using Mandarin characters.
Lots of authentic Chinese food was being gobbled up, including these Green Onion Pancakes!
Lots of authentic Chinese food was being gobbled up, including these Green Onion Pancakes!
Many Balboa Park visitors were heading into the House of China cottage today.
Many Balboa Park visitors were heading into the House of China cottage today.
Fine exhibits inside the House of China include this interesting carp made of animal horn.
Fine exhibits inside the House of China include this interesting carp made of animal horn.
Kids look into a display case containing many porcelain dolls.
Kids look into a display case containing many porcelain dolls.
A colorful collection of beautiful porcelain dolls inside the House of China in San Diego's always wonderful Balboa Park!
A colorful collection of beautiful porcelain dolls inside the House of China in San Diego’s always wonderful Balboa Park!

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