The event HYPER JAPAN, that took place at Olympia London, on 15-17 of July, brought to the stage Mr. Noriyuki Ikeda, CEO of WASOUKAN. WASOUKAN is the first kimono boutique in London and, in Mr. Ikeda’s seminar, he told the public about the Spirit of Harmony (和の心/wa no kokoro) represented in the art of making a kimono.
The Japanese believe the Spirit of Harmony exists naturally in all of us and it emphasizes order and the ability to let go of one’s individuality in order to cooperate with others in a harmonious community.
Mr. Ikeda has devoted 10 years to learn everything about the traditional kimono. He explained that the garment is made of only rectangular pieces, so no fabric is wasted in cutting curves. Moreover, kimono (especially in old days) used to be made basically in “one size fits all” and individual size adjustments would be made while dressing it. This way, the same kimono could be passed on for generations and if ever needed to be unassembled, the pieces of fabric could be completed re-used for something else.
During the event, London WASOUKAN’s manager, Ms. Chiaki Tanaka, also came to the stage to show the audience how to properly put on a kimono, step by step, with special attention to the process of tying the obi – the belt that holds the kimono.
For those interested in visiting the London boutique, it is located in 293 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill (W11 2QA). The store also features a Japanese Matcha bar, where you can taste traditional Japanese teas. If you would like more information, you can also visit the website www.wasoukan.eu
Featured Image: WASOUKAN Gallery.