Is the Emperor of Japan mocking the West?

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Is the Emperor of Japan mocking the West? When the Imperial family appears at events wearing formal Western wear, does this represent cultural appropriation? This question occurred to me while discussing the Kimono kerfuffle at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. A second question would be why the change in dress? Did any country and its leaders force upon the Japanese the wearing of western clothing? First, some simple observations. Of course the women of the imperial family also wear kimono … [Read more...]

A Kimono (Irouchikake) Scuffle at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts

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If Claude Monet ever imagined that his 1876 painting “La Japonaise” (his wife Camille in a “Kimono”) would be called racist, he and his fellow painters influenced by Japanese art and culture would be flabbergasted. To make a small correction, the painter’s wife is dressed in an “irouchikake (打掛)”, a gorgeously embroidered and very heavy piece of clothing worn at a bride’s wedding reception. The BMFA is featuring this painting, recently restored, and additionally has on hand similar … [Read more...]

Can you solve this Calligraphy?

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One of our reads asked for help in reading their scroll. The scroll is written on wood, measuring is 200L x 38.5cm. We have asked a few Calligraphy people in Japan, but still awaiting their answers. In the meantime, permission has been given for us to ask for the community in helping to solve this Calligraphy. … [Read more...]