Tradition / Art

「悉皆業とは?」Kimono cleaning & maintenance workshop visit

Ever wondered how kimono are cleaned or maintained? A while back I had a pleasure to visit ANDO TAKASHI Dye Factory – a traditional company which does professional cleaning and restoring of kimono as well as new made to order kimono (“ANDO”). 少し前ですが、着物の洗い張りや修理及びオーダーメードの着物をしておられる安藤孝染工場(以下、安藤)さんにお話を伺いながら見学させていただきました。 Curious as to how such an operation may look from the inside I paid them a visit. The staff of ANDO showed me around and explained what they do. [Basically] Kimono (silk or other delicate fabrics) can’t be cleaned [...]

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「着物でスノボ」Snowboarding in kimono

When living in Germany I never got the chance to do any Wintersports apart from ice skating, but 3 years ago my husband taught my how to stand on the snowboard. We flew up to Hokkaido and went snowboarding for 3 days – in the beginning I kept falling on my knees and ass but on the 3rd day I had lots of fun! Since then time passed super fast and I got insecure if I could still do it. When [...]

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「浴衣の型紙」How to: Yukata Pt.1 / Traditional stencil cutting

For a long time I wanted to make my own design kimono or yukata the traditional way. In April I finally went onto a tiny journey to make this happen. 前から自分でデザインした着物が欲しかった。そして伝統的な技術を味わいながら作品を作る夢がありました。 そして、ついに今年の4月にその夢は現実になった! Here is my story. How to: Yukata Part 1 – Japanese stencil cutting 浴衣の作り方:パート1 ー 着物の型紙を彫る Before departing I found some information about a newly to be opened place where you can cut your own stencil the traditional way. In the old time, main supplier of stencils for all over Japan came from south of Nagoya. Ise-Katagami [...]

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「和裁」Wasai – The art of kimono sewing

Last year in October I started with Wasai (和裁) – traditional kimono sewing by hand. I am being taught by a sensei which has been a professional kimono tailor for over 50 years. My lessons are once every week for 5 hours to learn the art of kimono sewing. To be honest – it is quite tough! One wouldn’t think how many hours, days and week go into making a kimono from scratch. All hand sewn with partially and very time consuming [...]

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「築地の盆踊り」Bon Odori in Tsukiji

A week ago I went to a Bon Odori (Bon Dance) for the first time. Those traditional bon dance festivals are basically held in all bigger neighbourhoods, but I really wanted to see a big one, so I picked out the Tsukiji one in Tokyo. 始めて盆踊りに行ってきました。 日本へ引っ越してきてから5年以上経ちましたが、盆踊りに参加したことないです。ありえないでしょう? 盆踊りは何処にもあるはずですが、大きい祭りをみたいと思って築地の盆踊りを選んでみました。 I arrived a little before the scheduled start of the shows and dance but there were already quite some people enjoying a nice summer day with family and friends, munching away on the matsuri (festival) food [...]

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「黒船祭」Black Ship Festival 2016

Every year in May, a festival to celebrate the opening of Japan for trade in 1854 by American Matthew Perry is being held in Shimoda, Izu. 毎年5月が下田市(伊豆)の黒船祭です。 The foreign big ships with black colour and charcoal steam-powered were called “black ships” by Japanese. Those black ships landed in Yokosuka and also Shimoda and the first trade agreement between Japan and the US was signed and Shimoda used as a port for the US. To celebrate the friendship between the two countries the “kurofune [...]

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