Archive for 'KIMONO' Category
Lots of events related to Hina-matsui (Girls’ Day’s festivals) were held nationwide in Japan on the March 3rd, the Girls’ Day. One of the popular events was the “Hyakudan Hina-matsuri”(/ hina doll decoration event on one hundred stairs ) at Meguro-gajoen in Tokyo (Jan.22-Mar.6).(http://www.megurogajoen.co.jp/event/hinamaturi/)
This year, for the first time traditional Hinadolls from three prefectures in Tohoku region, namely,Iwate,Miyagi,and Fukushima were decorated and exhibited.
“Jidai Matsuri”(/ the Festival of Ages) was held on this Oct.22 in Kyoto. (https://www.kyokanko.or.jp/jidai/)
This is one of the three greatest festivals of Kyoto held annually and about 2,000 people clad in costumes to represent people from various eras in Kyoto histroy paraded on the big street of 4.5 km from Kyoto Imperial Palace to Heian Shrine. The festival started in 1895 dedicated to Heian Shrine where Emperor Kanmu who established Kyoto as an ancient capital in 794 and Emperor Koumei who was the last emperor to reside in Kyoto are enshrined. The festival’s participants represent the changing ages when Kyot owas the capital of Japan.
“One Piece”, one of the most famour and popular Japanese manga is now dramatized as “Super Kabuki” play. (http://www.kabuki-bito.jp/theaters/shinbashi/2015/10/ii_1.html)
The play is performed at Shinbashi Enbujou, one of the major kabuki theaters in Tokyo Oct. 7- Nov.25. “Kabuki” is a traditional stage performance of Japan with more than 400 year history and most of its subjects have been tradtional stories or period dramas. However, these days, modern stories or even manga, anime works have become the plots. Thus happy fusion of old traditional arts and modern or contemporary culture are enhancing the both and attractions seem to be even progressing. For example, parents and children or grandparentens and their grand children go see the work together, as the older generations are fans of kabuki,while the younger generations are fans of One Piece or other manga works. Thus cultural fusion also work to connect different generations and broadens the cultural zones.
The “Hatsu-uri”(the first sale of the year) of manga, anime related items was hosted at Washimiya Shrine in Kuki city Saitama Dec.31,2014 -Jan.3,2015. (http://www.wasimiya.org/hatsu/)
That Shinto shrine is well known as a setting of a popular manga work “Raki-suta”(/LUCKY STAR) and relating items were sold. Special fortune-telling lotteries of the shrine featuring Raki-suta were available. Some other work’s related things were there as well. Local cafes and establishments provided special services for customers in style of collaboration with the first sale market of the subculture art works. As a destination of “hatsu-mode”(the first visit to a Shinto shrine or a Buddhist temple of the year), that shrine is also quite popular and more than 500,000 people visited there on the new year’s holidays.
Washi, the traditional Japanese paper officially registered as a UNESCO’s Intangible Cutural property
Washi, the traditional Japanese paper, and its crafting techniques were officially registered as a UNESCO’s Intangible Cutural Property at its committee meeting in Paris France on Nov.27th. As I wrote those were recommended last month here, they have been formally designated this time.
An artisan of washi, Mr. Nobushige Akiyama held special demonstrations of washi-making in Italy as a part of cross-cultural activities on Nov.29th. Italy has a long history of making artisan-based paper as well. This time’s designation is expected to hugely expand general recognition and interest of washi and paper culture in the international community.
“World Cosplay Summit 2014” is hosted by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other bodies Jul.26-Aug.3 in Nagoya. (http://www.worldcosplaysummit.jp/en/)
This WCS is the 12nd and this time representatives join the event from 22 countries or regions. The event includes several programs such as a coaplay parade, cosplay championship, visitations of the representatives to city offices and MFA, anime-song festival, and so forth. Six representatves of the event from China, Mexico, and Finland officially visited Seiji Kihara, the vice-minister at MOFA in Tokyo giving presentations over attaractions of cosplay. Kihawa made a speech saying, pop culture has power to bind countries together and expect the representatives to support strengthening rapport with Japan. The Chinese representative said cosplay had a role to enhance cultural exchange.
Aoi Festival(/葵祭, Aoi-matsuri, Hollyhock Festival) ,which is one of the three great festivals of Kyoto was held in that city on May 15th. (http://www.kyokanko.or.jp/aoi/)
The festival is for two shrines of Kamikamo shrine and Shimokamo Shrine both of which are in Kyoto. The main part of the festival is a parade of more than 500 people clad in period costumes of traditional Japanese priests and nobles. The symbolic figure of the parade is Saio-dai(/斎王代, acting head priestess of the two shrines) and this time a 20- year-old female collage student was appointed as the 58th Saio-dai and showed up in the decorated float-sedan in the parade.
Other sacred events followed the parade and tea ceremonies were held for the visitors in the shrines.
This festival is for Kanda-myojin Shrine in Chiyoda-ward Tokyo, which is more than 1,300 years old. The festival itself has been held for more than hundreds of year as well. And it is one of the three great festivals in Tokyo and also one of the three great ones of Japan as a whole. The festival has been held every other year but the plan was suspended in 2011 due to the East Japan Earthquake, so this time it was held for the first time in the past four years.
The festival consists of several events and the climax are Shinko-sai(/神幸祭, gods parade festival) and Mikoshi-miyairi(/神輿宮入, moving shrines entering in the shrine’s place ), and the first is a parade of about 300 people clad in period costumes walking about 30 km in the shrines area of Kanda,Otemachi, Nihonbashi,marunouchi,and Akihabara. The latter one is peopel carry about 80 moving shrines to walk down in the town and latter on all one them come back to Kanda-myojin Shrine one after another.
Actually, I myself visited the shrine on the 12th when Mikoshi-miyairi was held and watched the great situations of huge passions and excitements of so many people there. Japanese traditional festivals are really splendid and even young people love and happily support them well.
On this March 27th, about 60 Kabuki stars joined a special event of celebrating the grand opening of the newly rebuilt Kabukiza (the main Kabuki theater in Higashi Ginza)planned to open on coming April 2nd in Ginza, Tokyo.
The event was called “Oneri”, which was a walking parade on the main street for about one hour 10:00-11:00. Tojuro Sakata, president of Japan Actors’ Association as well as a versed Kabuki actor made an opening speech, “A new chapter in the history of the 400- year old Kabuki is about to me marked. We sincerely ask you to support Kabuki and the new Kabukiza. “. Junichi Sakomoto, president of Shochiku that facilitate kabuki shows gave a sign to start the parade and banners were hung and kabuki actors such as Tokizo Nakamura, Ennosuke Ichikawa, Ebizo Ichikawa, Kankuro Nakamura, Schinosuke Nakamura, and other popular Kabuki stars showed up, clad in traditional Japanese clothing of Montsuki-hakama, and joined the parade, led by Japanese style acrobats. They waved their hands to excited spectators of about 20,000 and walked about 400m there.
IMF(International Monetary Fund) and WBG(World bank Group) Annual meetings were held in Tokyo for the first time in 48 years Oct.9-14.(http://www.imf-wb.2012tokyo.mof.go.jp/en/index.html)
Japan hosted such meetings 48 years ago which was the very same year that Japan hosted Tokyo Olympics, which was a remarkable symbolic event of Japan’s successful recovery form the economic recession due to the post war aftermaths of WW2. Now, the Japan’s economic, political, and social positions and international community’s situations have drastically changed as well. This time the second time’s phases have shown the historic exaltation of the country.
There were four venues of the event, namely, TIF(Tokyo International Forum),IM(Imperial Hotel),Hotel Okura, and TCCI (Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry), all of which are located in the very center of this capital of Japan . Totally official participants were from 187 countries and registered visitors and participants , their dependents amounted to about 20,000. Top economic leaders of the world got together and Tokyo soaked in the heat and excitement of the great festivity. On the 12th, the plenary and official banquet hosted by Noda, the prime minister of Japan were held.
There were about 20 official hotels designated as official accommodation for the participants and dependents and special hospitality programs were prepared which provided them with various short trips such as on-day visit to Yokohama, visiting Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo Sky Tree just built in this year, shopping at depachika (basement floors in department stores ),cultural experience tour such as a tea ceremony, learning how to wear kimono, and so forth. A lot of participants and other registered visitors enjoyed those short tours or traditional Japanese cultural experiencing events.
The local host of the Annual Meetings were MOF (Minister of Finance) and Bank of Japan, Tokyo Metropolitan Government ,and so many people including volunteer staffers, pro tour guides, escorts and others attended the visitors from all over the world. The hosts, the government, and others say more than 10 billion yen revenue can be expected from this greatly worldwide financial series of events. We hope this has influenced betterment of Japanese economy, tourism, and society as a whole.