We have a good news for you if you love Harajuku ‘Kawaii’ fashion.
Harajuku just keeps getting cuter. Harajuku’s new landmark, Cute Cube Harajuku just open on September 6 !!
Harajuku, Takeshita-dori Street is known not only as a Mecca of teenage fashion revered by Japanese teenagers, but is now gaining attention worldwide as a cute trend disseminator spot.
In order to experience the teenage culture at its most extreme, visit Harajuku on a Sunday, when many young people gather around Harajuku Station and engage in cosplay (“costume play”), dressed up in excentric costumes to resemble anime characters, punk musicians, etc.
The slogan for Cute Cube is: “A spot for disseminating ‘Kawaii (cute) Culture’ — Where people, things and events converge.” A total line up of 10 shops are available for girls who possess trendy and high taste in fashion and for overseas visitors to enjoy. The new facility is dubbed “CUTE CUBE HARAJUKU” in line with its concept of becoming a treasure box filled with kawaii items for girls. These unique shops offer a rich variety of cute things that would excite every girl from apparel, jewelry, fancy goods, to sweets and gourmet dishes. These shops surely epitomize the concept of a new landmark building in Harajuku.
Ms. Uchiyama, who makes Kimono gown was coordinator of this event and played “Watering Girl” role !
There was a male Shitate-ya (仕立て屋), who is very rare nowadays.
His live sewing can be seen at YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/user/KimoKame
Male Kimono maker
The house was decorated with several Kimonos and fabrics.
Although, the events finished and there were no live exhibition of sewing now, the place is very nice to visit.
It is only 400 Yen to enter the Museum.
If you have a chance to visit the suburb of Tokyo, why don’ t you try ?
Tenugui is dyed cotton cloth. Japanese Tenugui possesses a very long history. Its origin is thought to go as far back as ancient Kofun era. In the Edo period (1592 – 1868) cotton began to be cultivated in various parts of Japan and TENUGUI became a necessary item for living. There are no rules in the way of using Tenugui. It can be used in a variety of ways as wiping cloth, headband, place mats or centerpieces, hand towel, wrapping cloth, interior decoration, or souvenir. Some are used exclusively for the traditional dancing.
For using as place mats or centerpieces
For using as room’s decorations
This motif of Todaya’s tenugui is 16 different usages of tenugui, especially in the kitchen and in play scenes.
In the Todaya shop, Tenugui makers in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, Tenugui is used as room’s decoration showing the feeling of the season.
Tenugui is very popular for long in Japan. You may have more useful ways of tenugui. First please check out below for our selections and get one and enjoy creating new idea of using Tenugui.
When you visit a Japanese garden, you often see a colorful koi(carp) and goldfish in the pond. Goldfish, also known as the Golden Carp was introduced into Japan from China in the sixteenth century where they were popular and kept only by the aristocracy and samurai as a rare pet.
Goldfish (called “kingyo” in Japanese) is a deeply enrooted into the art and everyday life of the Japanese people. Goldfish is one of the earliest fish to be domesticated, and is one of the most commonly kept aquarium fish.
One could easily find artifacts of goldfish in souvenir shops throughout Japan. All Japanese grows up with fond childhood memories of the traditional game of “kingyo sukui” (Goldfish Scooping). It reveals Goldfish both as an element of Japanese culture and as an influential design motif over the last 500 years. Goldfish is also popular as kimono motif in the summer.
In this summer, “Art Aquarium Exhibition ~ Edo, Coolest of Kingyo” is running from August 17th through September 24 in Tokyo. The exhibit consists of artfully arranged aquariums where, the stars of this display, the kingyo, or goldfish, swim around demonstrating their own beauty, as well as being part of an intricate art presentation never seen before.
On Sunday Aug. 25, Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel will be host to the spirit of traditional capital Kyoto and the previous life of Tokyo, when it was known as Edo. This show will feature classical dance performances by geiko and maiko from Kyoto, and geisha from Tokyo, a highly unusual combination of extraordinarily accomplished artists representing some of the nation’s most refined schools from its two most respected centers of Japanese dance.
Did you know that Maiko, Geiko and Geisha are different ?
The word Geisha literally translates to “arts person” or “one trained in arts” (gei = art, sha = person). It is also sometimes described as “women of arts, which is exactly what a Geisha is – a woman trained in the traditional arts of Japan such as dance, music, singing to name a few.
The word Maiko literally translates to “dancing child” (mai = dance,ko = child), but is also referred to as “dancing girl”. A Maiko is an apprentice Geisha who must must undergo a period of training that generally takes 5 years, where she learns the various “gei” (arts) such as dancing, singing, music etc before she becomes a Geisha.
The word Geiko is another way of saying Geisha. It is predominately used by Geisha of the Kyoto districts.
Now, you know the difference. Kyoto’s geiko and maiko at the Imperial are from Gionkobu, the largest entertainment district in the old capital, established at the end of the Edo Period. Tokyo’s geisha are from the Shimbashi district, an entertainment section of the city of Edo established in the Ansei Era between 1854 and 1860 and by the Meiji Era one of the new country’s most active cultural centers. The joint performances of Kyoto’s geiko and maiko and Tokyo’s geisha is a highly unusual opportunity to enjoy these two distinctive dance troupes at the same venue at the same time.
Even most of Japanese never have a chance to see Maiko dance nor Geisha dance. How much does the ticket cost ? Well, including dinner and dance performance, 32,000yen (400 USD)per person. That makes sense that I never had a chance to see that.
Thanks to the Hollywood movie like ’The Last Samurai’ starring by Tom Cruise and Keanu Reeves upcoming movie’47 Ronin’ , “katana” sword has now become an extremely popular sword in the world. Katana is one of the traditional Japanese swords worn by the samurai. From the medieval period to the modern, the Samurai sword has evoked fascination amongst warriors and laymen alike and was believed by the Samurai to be joined to his soul.
One of the greatest swordsmiths in Japan is Masamune(千子 村正） . Masamune is almost legendary in Japan. Most of his work was done during the 13th and 14th century. He created swords and daggers in the Soshu tradition.
Sword at Tokyo National Museum
Japanese Katana – National Treasure
To make the swords requires a great amount of technical skill and craftsmanship making them not only weapons of note, but also works of art in their own right. This did not only apply to the blades, the hilt and scabbard were sometimes carved from ivory and depicted a story from Japanese mythology and along with the hand guard, were often embedded with silver or gold.
Traditional swords are still making in Japan and recently MEXT (The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology), Japan created the making video of Japanese sword by traditional swordsmithing.
The authentic Japanese sword is made from a specialized Japanese steel called “Tamahagane” which consist of combinations of hard, high carbon steel and tough, low carbon steel. High-carbon steel is harder and able to hold a sharper edge than low-carbon steel but it is more brittle and may break in combat. Forgers use these details when making a sword.
When the rough blade is completed, the swordsmith turns the blade over to a polisher called a togishi, whose job it is to refine the shape of a blade and improve its aesthetic value. The entire process takes considerable time, in some cases easily up to several weeks. Early polishers used three types of stone, whereas a modern polisher generally uses seven. The polishing process almost always takes longer than even crafting, and a good polish can greatly improve the beauty of a blade, while a bad one can ruin the best of blades. More importantly, inexperienced polishers can permanently ruin a blade by badly disrupting its geometry or wearing down too much steel, both of which effectively destroy the sword’s monetary, historic, artistic, and functional value.
In addition to folding the steel, high quality Japanese swords are also composed of various distinct sections of different types of steel.
After the blade is finished it is passed on to a mountings-maker, or sayashi (literally “Sheath Maker” l). Sword mountings vary in their exact nature depending on the era, but generally consist of the same general idea, with the variation being in the components used and in the wrapping style. The obvious part of the hilt consists of a metal or wooden grip called a tsuka, which can also be used to refer to the entire hilt. The hand guard, or tsuba, on Japanese swords (except for certain twentieth century sabers which emulate Western navies’) is small and round, made of metal, and often very ornate.
The handguard piece, often intricately designed as an individual work of art — especially in later years of the Edo period — was called the tsuba. Other aspects of the mountings (koshirae), such as the menuki (decorative grip swells), habaki (blade collar and scabbard wedge), fuchi and kashira (handle collar and cap), kozuka (small utility knife handle), kogai (decorative skewer-like implement), saya lacquer, and tsuka-ito (professional handle wrap, also named emaki), received similar levels of artistry.
The obvious part of the hilt consists of a metal or wooden grip called a tsuka, which can also be used to refer to the entire hilt. The hand guard, or tsuba, on Japanese swords is small and round, made of metal, and often very ornate.
Almost all blades are decorated, although not all blades are decorated on the visible part of the blade. Once the blade is cool, and the mud is scraped off, the blade has designs and grooves cut into it. One of the most important markings on the sword is performed here: the file markings. These are cut into the tang, or the hilt-section of the blade, where they will be covered by a hilt later.
Martial artists see that a katana sword is more than just a weapon. It’s a sword with concept, philosophies, and symbol. When a person is starting to learn about the Japanese sword martial art, they will not only learn the techniques, but also the philosophies behind it.
In your country, how do you cerebrate for you to welcome into adulthood ?
In Japan, a person’s at age 20 is considered their welcome into adulthood. Since 1948, Coming-of-age ceremonies, known as seijin-siki are held on the second Monday of January. At the ceremony, all of the men and women participating are brought to a government building and listen to many speakers, similar to a graduation ceremony.
Turning age 20 has some legal effects. You can have the right to smoke, drink, and vote. As a matter fact, drinking and smoking age is technically at age 20, actual age I should not disclose it here. Big difference between age above 20 and below is when (and if) you commit crime (I hope this will never happen to you and myself), Juvenile law is not applicable from the birthday of age 20. Well I have never committed crime and I am not a lawyer, so I cannot tell about it in details.
But I can tell you about the fashion on the day of coming of age. Women often wear furisode, a traditional Japanese formal kimono with long sleeves. At the end of ceremony, many of them go to shrine to pray for their transition from childhood to adulthood successfully.
In the day of Coming age, when I go out, I saw a lots of young girls who were wearing Furisode. When they are wearing those. they all look so pretty !!
They look like ‘Yamato-Nadeshiko (大和撫子）- an idealized Japanese woman’, but they live in the modern world same as like you ! When I tuned into 20, I was a collage student in the United States, so unfortunately, I did not have an experience of wearing Furisode and going to the ceremony. I really, really missed that !