I’ve blogged about Tokyo Design Week, TDW, the big design oriented event taking place every year in Tokyo. Here’s some more photos of some of the fashion exhibitions I liked, three designer’s whose work is inspired by the 18th century painter Ito Jakuchu, and in particular his famous painting of birds. The first dress is by Tamae Hirokawa (廣川玉枝), White Phoenix, inspired by that famous Ito painting with the same name. The second exhibit is Yasuhiro Mihara (三原康広), Yakuchucamo, and is a camouflage pattern of fighting birds. Last but not least is Kosuke Tsumura (津村耕佑), Anima, a puzzle dress.
At the festival of the ages, the Jidai Matsuri in Kyoto my favorite procession by far was the ceremonial ox cart. I have been wanting to see this for years and finally I got the chance. I love how relaxed the old ox handler is, leaning on the ox when the procession is being halted to wait for the procession in front of it to get moving again. The ox was very kind, but it took some pulling to get it going after it found a nice spot in the shade and spent a few minutes resting! I met an old English lady once who remember seeing ox carts in ceremonial processions a long time ago, and she told me a funny story of a summer festival in Tokyo when the ox fainted from a bad heat stroke and had to dragged onto another ox cart and carried away into the shade to recover. Poor ox! At least this festival was not nearly as hot as some of the summer festivals can get. In the Heian period of Japan these ox carts were used to carry noble ladies who always traveled with a big retinue of warriors, ladies in waiting and young nobles that would attend the lady being carried, just as in this reenactment. In Japanese the word for ox cart, is gisha (牛車).
Among the 2000 participants of the Kyoto Jidai Matsuri, or the festival of the ages, there were quite a few beauties. I really wish I had been able to find a better angle for my photos, but at least I got a good place in the shade. Looking at these I feel a pang of regret at not having bought the accompanying pamphlet explaining the history behind all the wonderful costumes. Some of them are absolutely wonderful! More photos to come. Enjoy!
Having done my fair share of Tokyo festivals I spent last week in Kyoto in western Japan, to attend the annual Jidai Matsuri, or the festival of the ages (時代祭り). It is one of the big three festivals of Tokyo and it ties in with a few other amazing festivals that I didn’t have time to see, but all in all, October 22nd is a great day to be in the Kyoto area. 2000 people take part in this five hour long procession from The Imperial Palace to the Heian Shrine and thousands of people line the streets to see the costumes of long gone eras, starting from 1300 years ago and moving forward to the recent past. Naturally there’s a lot of palace costumes, seeing as Kyoto was for many centuries the home of the Emperor, but there’s also a few more common costumes and quite a few soldiers, entertainers and priests represented in the parade that show us how Kyoto has changed during the different eras. Kyoto is of course famous for the fantastic museum of fashion, so if you are interested in ancient and not so ancient costumes, a couple of days spent here is probably a very good idea. It was an unseasonably warm day in Kyoto without a cloud on the sky, and since this was the first time I could attend this festival I had no idea where to stand to get the best shots except to just try and stay out of the sun. I can only imagine how the poor people in these costumes and make up must have felt! Here’s a few of the costumes, but I will show more over this and next week. Enjoy!