kimono roboto in kyoto :: Okan Arts
kimono roboto in kyoto

kimono roboto in kyoto


By Patricia Belyea

KYOTO JP  I’m telling you about this amazing exhibit, Kimono Roboto, with the fastest possible typing because it opened last night and closes in nine days. Yikes! To see the show, you would have to leave immediately, fly to Japan, train to Kyoto, and get to Nijo Castle.

The high-style show of nine impeccable kimonos, made by textile masters around the country, is mounted in the Nijo Castle Kitchen—itself a wonderful old edifice.

At the center of Kimono Roberto stands a gently moving robotic mannequin dressed in a superstar kimono and highlighted with a music video featuring Björk. The exhibit’s impact is heightened further with black tatami mats and dramatic lighting.

Here are five of the kimonos, full-size and up-close:

KAGA YUZEN
ICHIRO KAKIMOTO ISHIKAWA
AWA SHIJIRA ORI
TOTARO NAGAO
NANIWA HONSOME YUKATA
TAKAO KOMATSU, OSAKA
(This cotton kimono is chusen-dyed, just like the fabrics in Okan Arts shop!)
ARIMATSU NARUMI SHIBORI
HIROMI TAKEDA, AICHI
NISHIJIN ORI
HARUO MURAI, KYOTO
The show is so classy that gorgeous posters are available for visitors to pick up for free. Victoria took away a roll of four!

To use broad strokes on major cities in Japan: Kyoto is the Culture Center, Tokyo is the Fashion Center, and Osaka is the Culinary Center. So there’s no better place to seek out Japanese textiles than in Kyoto, the ancient capital.

Victoria and I saw many textile treats in Kyoto including
Some-Seiryukan Museum: Dedicated to the art of Japanese textile dyeing—excellent, beautifully curated; highly recommended although small. 300¥

Kyoto Shibori Museum: Focused on the ancient art of Japanese tie dyeing—the short workshops are interactive and fun; the English video taught me a few things; very friendly. 500¥ entry fee, workshops are additional

Nishijin Textile Center: Sponsored by an alliance of 700 regional textile companies—get to one of the 6 daily kimono shows and enjoy the 10-minute performance; big shop plus a used kimono store. Free

Aizen Kobo: Recognized as an important indigo-dyeing studio—in a traditional machiya; a small family business; full of desirable products to buy! Free

All in all, Kimono Roboto made our hearts beat faster as we saw the most magnificent examples of kimono. How cool that we were in town at just the right time!

Kimono Roboto
May 10 – May 20, 2018
Niji Castle, Kyoto
Sponsored by Melco

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18 comments to “kimono roboto in kyoto”

  1. Pm Weizenbaum says:

    I’m so glad that you are permitted to take photos! Thank you for sharing this bounty; it’s all so gorgeous.

    • Patricia Belyea says:

      Pm—I was surprised and pleased that I was able to take photos. Taking photos is a big part of the Japanese culture today so the policy matches contemporary interests. This exhibit was definitely designed to bridge the old and the new. PB

  2. Sherry Massey says:

    Another great post. Thanks!

  3. Carola S. De Pascuale says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and all the places you havevisited

    • Patricia Belyea says:

      Carola—For some reason, I love to go see things and meet people, and blog about it. Being a roving reporter matches my spirit. And no one can fire me because it’s my own blog! PB

  4. Ann Darling says:

    Didn’t you two just luck out! Wow! And thanks for sharing!

    • Patricia Belyea says:

      Ann—It was all serendipity. We visited Nijo Castle on April 10th and saw the big outdoor posters about the show. When we asked about it, we learned that Kimono Roboto opened that night but couldn’t make that timing. The next day we needed to leave Kyoto at noon. So we pushed ourselves to get organized and out early so we could squeeze in one more sight! As Victoria said (who is not an early riser), “It was well worth the effort.” PB

  5. Mary Jo says:

    These are such beautiful kimonos. Kyoto is a city of rich textures. Thank you for sharing.

    • Patricia Belyea says:

      Mary Jo—Yes, Kyoto is such a great place to see textiles. There is always more to see each time I visit. PB

  6. Andrea Bursaw says:

    What an amazing, generous (given the limited time you have for so many experiences) treat t!his is to read about your adventures! Thank you for all the postings from Japan…..they are exceptional.

    • Stacy Hurt says:

      Wow Patricia you guys were right place right time! What an amazing fusion of Japan’s past and future reflected in just five glorious works of art! How i do envy you! Thank you for sharing!

      • Patricia Belyea says:

        Stacy—You said it exactly—an amazing fusion of Japan’s past and future. Everything about the exhibit was top-notch and inspirational. PB

    • Patricia Belyea says:

      Thanks Andrea! My pleasure. PB

  7. PAULA MORGAN says:

    I was looking forward to reading of your travels, you did not disappoint!
    Thank you!!

    • Patricia Belyea says:

      Thank you so much, Paula. I’m glad that you enjoyed a little of Japan this spring! PB

  8. Mary Porter says:

    Patricia, your excellent photography shows the magnificence of the Japanese culture, the loveliness of the fabrics, up close and personal, and the meticulous care and cleanliness of the areas you visit. I am jealous! At 83, I will not be following your path for a visit. I love your blog!

    • Patricia Belyea says:

      Mary—Traveling is a more arduous pursuit than any one wants to admit. I think armchair travel is an excellent idea! Best, PB