Attending the Rinpa 400th Anniversary Kimono Symposium

The Rinpa 400th Anniversary Kimono Symposium was held at Kenninji Temple in Kyoto City, Japan on March 27, 2015. Kimono Artisan Kyoto invited me to this symposium as a panelist, so I graciously attended this symposium. Two days after the kimono fashion show in Miami Beach, I departed from Miami to Japan.

I did not have enough time to prepare the symposium. I had felt ashamed to talk in front of other gorgeous panelists. I desperately wrote a draft of my talk in the airplane. When I reached at Kyoto one day before the symposium, I found that our kimono fashion show in Miami Beach was covered by the established newspaper, Miami Herald, which encouraged me very well.

The followings are subjects for discussion:
1. What do you think about the present state of kimono industries and manufacturers in Japan?
2. What are needed for protection and implementation of traditional industries and kimono industries?
3. Do you know if people outside of Japan are interested in kimono? What do you think the possibility of economic impacts by visitors from outside of Japan?

As Mr. Makoto Ogawa from Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry attended this symposium as a panelist, we had a chance to hear an opinion from the administrative office. I was mainly requested to give my opinion about the third subject.

Since I visited Japan for the first time in six and half years, I was surprised that visitors from foreign countries walk abound, and more people wear kimono in Kyoto than I had expected. Even though they may wear kimono made by cotton or synthetic fiber, they wear and enjoy kimono, which surprised me. The interpretation of this image may be divided, but I wanted to discuss other than I had prepared in the airplane.

First, I gave my impression of Japan and Kyoto, which I visited for the first time in six and half years. Then, I gave my opinion about how people in the foreign countries are interested in kimono.
I realize that Kyoto is the center of the kimono market. To enhance the kimono business in the world, Japanese people need make foreigners to enjoy the culture, art, and fashion in Kyoto.
I am not a good speaker in such a symposium, so I am not sure if I was able to share my opinion to the others. Yet I was very interested to hear the talks of the other panelists. I felt very pleased to attend this symposium.

In addition, for the activity to promote kimono in the world, it was very nice to watch the present state of Kyoto. 

Kenninji Temple is famous for the Wind God and Thunder God Screens, drawn and supplied by Sotatsu TAWARAYA, one of the representative Rinpa artists. Now the genuine article is acquired in the National Museum, while the reproduction is acquired in this temple. I feel honored to talks and discuss in front of this reproduction of the Wind God and Thunder God Screen.
I appreciate many supports from members of Kimono Artisan Kyoto and all the panelists of the symposium. I also thank all the audience. 

I put some photos of the wonderful symposium venue in Kenninji Temple.


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