May 05, 2013

Kyoto Art and Antiques

Also during the last week of April and first week of May was the Kyoto Art and Antiques warehouse sale! Anyone in the Seattle area should add this biannual sale to their watch list! It only happens twice a year, in Spring and Fall, and there are tons of great things to find there!

Amid the racks of kimono, most priced at $10, are several rare items like this yogi:

This is also a great place to find affordable tansu.
Sorry, blurry pic... I had my eye on this one because of its massive size. I could probably fit all of my kimono stuff in it! This one was around $3100, and I saw another nice one that was only $1400.

There was a huge stack of kimono design sheets that would look lovely as framed art. There were also bins full of obi weaving samples.

This bolt of fabric was sooo gorgeous, but I couldn't figure out what it was. At first I thought maybe an obi bolt, but it is so soft. The entire thing is very fine embroidery.

Racks of kimono. Unfortunately I did not find any kimono this time that suited me.

There were a few giant banners. These are banners that get flown on Kodomo no Hi. They striked my interest as I visited the sale the day before Kodomo no Hi!

A mikoshi shrine! This is something I never thought I would find for sale! Another strange item I saw was a giant wooden statue of a Japanese demon, as tall as the ceiling, but I was unable to get a picture of it as it was hidden behind boxes.

Here is what I got from the Kyoto Art & Antique sale:

Very shiny gold foil zouri embossed with rangiku. They look like solid gold, they are so shiny!

Seattle Cherry Blossom Festival

At the end of April was the Seattle Cherry Blossom Festival. This year I volunteered to work at the festival, so I did not dress up or get to look around very much. 

My view walking up to Seattle Center, the iconic Space Needle framed by cherry blossoms. Early morning it was rather dreary, but I think the sun did come out later in the day.

 Yoroi on display. There was also another set of armor that people could dress up in and get photos taken.
Tatsuhiko Konno, one of 4 togishi sword polishers in the US. 

I was backstage for the rest of the festival and could only sneak glimpses of the performances from behind the stage. On my stage were taiko groups, buyo dance performances, and several martial arts.
Mary Ohno of Kabuki Academy dancing to nagauta shamisen accompaniment. 

Kabuki Academy dance performance.

The Washington Japanese Queen scholarship candidates, prior to their dance performance.

Judo. This was very entertaining to watch the little kid in the back throwing around full grown adults.

Kodomo no Hi!

Today we celebrated Kodomo no Hi, Children's Day!

Bryan was very excited to wear his origami kabuto helmet. I told him this morning that it was Kodomo no Hi and he immediately fetched the paper kabuto! We decided to go to Point Defiance for the day to visit the beach and Japanese "pagoda" garden after breakfast. He was so dismayed that I left his paper kabuto in the car when we went to the restaurant for breakfast that he decided to wear the restaurant's children's menu on his head as a replacement...

The Point Defiance "pagoda" is used as a popular reception hall for weddings and parties. 2 years ago it was burned down by a teenage arsonist, but the renovation was finally completed a couple of months ago.

The red torii, shrine, and lamps are very lovely. It was a nice spot to take photos and watch the ducks playing in the water.

He wore his kabuto over a baseball cap, to keep the sun out of his eyes, and we found that helped keep it from sliding off his head so often! 

The small shrine in the center of the pond. The asymmetrical shape of the roof is cool!

The footbridge was a bit tricky for him, but his koinobori swam better in the breeze from the top.

It took a few tries to make a paper kabuto that would fit on Bryan's head. I think the newspaper I picked up must be smaller than standard newspapers. I ended up layering a couple sheets of newspaper to make it wider and ended up with a good one! Our practice kabuto was from construction paper, which we later gave to the cat. Kitty cat Matrix was not pleased.

Bryan later gave him a kiss and thanked him for being a good sport.

And we made and colored a koinobori as well during craft time! We had a very happy Children's Day!