From Japan, with love...

MERGING BOUNDARIES

It’s that time of the year again when the Japanese people in the City will come together to bond with each other and their Indian friends.

Rhythmic : Tomoko Matsuda during the shamisen recital.

Celebrating 60 years of Indo-Japanese diplomatic relations, the ‘7th Annual Japan Habba’ promises to be bigger and better this year. Scheduled to be held on February 19 at the Jn­a­na Jyothi Auditorium, so­me of the Japanese women got toge­ther recently to give everyone a sneak peek into the habba.

Staying true to their tradition, the women started with the draping of the kimono, the traditional form of Japanese clothing. The very art of draping itself takes a lot of practice, said Kanako, a housewife who was helping all the women with the draping.

Interestingly, even today, the garment is considered a very important thing among young Japanese women. “When a woman turns 20, she receives her first kimono as it signifies the coming of age. The function is huge in Japan,” she added. However during the ‘Japan Habba’, Kanako said that they will drape the kimono for whoever wants to get a feel of the garment. The habba is going to be all about getting familiar with the Japanese culture.

So one can witness many traditional Japanese art forms like calligraphy, Sumie (black ink painting), Nigaoe (portrait painting), origami and bonsai workshops and even the traditional tea ceremony.

Norie Oga Nobuko, who teaches the Japanese how to conduct the tea ceremony, said the ceremony changes according to the four seasons.

“This is not something one can learn overnight. This being one of the most formal functions in Japan, men and women take training before conducting it,” she added.
The habba will also see a fun-filled cultural programme where both Indian and Japanese will showcase their skills on stage.  

Tomoko Matsuda, who played the shamisen, a traditional stringed instrument, has learnt bharatanatyam.

She said that being in Bangalore and India for so long, she wanted to imbibe a bit of Indian culture.

Having showcased a few of their traditions, the group is now looking forward to the ‘big day’.  This will be the first time Kato will be attending the ‘Japan Habba’.

“I heard that a lot of students and people from the City are keen to know more about our culture just like how we are keen to learn theirs. So this festival will give us a perfect opportunity to bond,” she said.

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