About traditional Japanese dresses.
Kimono and yukata are traditional Japanese clothing.
Kimono are made of silk and are usually very expensive. Nowadays they are worn at formal or traditional occasions such as funerals, weddings or tea ceremonies. Only rarely kimono can still be seen in everyday life.
Kimono differ in style and color dependingon the occasion on which it is worn and the age and marital status of the person wearing it. To put on a kimono needs some practice. Especially tying the belt (obi) alone is difficult so that many people require assistance. Wearing a kimono properly includes proper hair style, traditional shoes, socks, underwear, and a small handbag for women.
The yukata, on the other hand, is more of aninformal leisure clothing. It is a comfortable dress on summer days or after a hot bath. Yukata are relatively inexpensive and made of cotton. While staying at a ryokan, you will be provided with a yukata.
About the ritual way of preparing and drinking tea.
The tea ceremony (sado: "the way of the tea") is a ceremonial way of preparing and drinking tea. The custom has been stronglyinfluenced by Zen Buddhism.
Nowadays, the tea ceremony is a relatively popular hobby. Many Japanese, who are interested in their own culture, take tea ceremony lessons. Tea ceremonies are held in traditional Japanese rooms in cultural community centers or private houses.
The ceremony itself consists of many rituals that have to be learned by heart. Almost each hand movement is prescribed.Basically, the tea is first prepared by the host, and then drunk by the guests. The tea is bitter matcha green tea made of powdered tea leaves.
Tea ceremony equipment:
Some of the most important instruments.
(Chasen: bamboo brush for tea preparation)
About entertainers performing traditional Japanese arts.
Geisha are professional female entertainers who perform traditional Japanese arts atbanquets. Girls who wish to become a geisha, have to go through a rigid apprenticeship during which they learn various traditional arts such as playing instruments, singing, dancing, but also conversation and other social skills. In Kyoto, geisha apprentices are called "maiko". Geisha are dressed in a kimono, and their faces are made up very pale. As a regular tourist, you may be able to spot a maikoin some districts of Kyoto, such as Gion and Pontocho or in Kanazawa's Higashi Geisha District. | |
About Japanese gardens.
Garden design has been an important Japanese art for many centuries. Traditional Japanese landscape gardens can be broadly categorized into three types, Tsukiyama Gardens (hill gardens), Karesansui Gardens (dry gardens) and Chaniwa Gardens (tea gardens).Tsukiyama (Suizenji Koen, Kumamoto) | Karesansui (Nanzenji, Kyoto) |
Ponds, streams, hills, stones, trees, flowers, bridges and paths are used to create a miniature reproduction of a natural scenery which is often a famous landscape in China or Japan. The name Tsukiyama refers to the creation of artificial hills.
Tsukiyama gardens vary in size and in the way they are viewed.Smaller gardens are usually enjoyed from a single viewpoint, such as the veranda of a temple, while many larger gardens are best experienced by following a circular scrolling path.
Karesansui gardens reproduce natural landscapes in a more abstract way by using stones, gravel, sand and sometimes a few patches of moss for representing mountains, islands, boats, seas andrivers. Karesansui gardens are strongly influenced by Zen Buddhism and used for meditation.
Chaniwa gardens are built for the tea ceremony. They contain a tea house where the actual ceremony is held and are designed in aesthetic simplicity according to the concepts of sado (tea ceremony). Chaniwa gardens typically feature stepping stones that lead towards the tea house, stone...