If one were to describe in just in a few words the 100 Japanese kimono exhibited at the Central Exhibition Hall of Tashkent from the 6th of July to the 6th of August, one would think of exquisite, lightweight, beautiful and of unparalleled colouring.
Japan is a country of amazing culture, which opens up differently to each person. Children love its fantasy cartoons, young people learn the subtleties of martial arts, and artists seek to comprehend the beauty of miniature painting. Even tea is brewed and enjoyed in a special way in the country of the Rising Sun. All these facets can be discerned in the collection of Japanese kimono, which appear quite ordinary at first glance.
Kimono is a traditional costume — a straight cut robe with wide sleeves; both men and women wrap it on the chest to the right side. It is sewn from a single piece of fabric. Sashes and braids are used instead of buttons. Traditional kimono is made by hand.
The technique and technology of manufacturing traditional fabrics and accessories has always been associated with art, ethnography and history of the nation; therefore, presenting cultural uniqueness through the prism of traditional dress was a wonderful idea. Besides, many types of Japanese clothing have ancient roots shared by their Uzbek analogues, which is the evidence of productive links that existed between our nations that during the Great Silk Road times. Today, these links are being restored, and the exhibition project is one example of that.
Developing and furthering cooperation in the cultural domain and spiritual rapprochement of the two Eastern nations is the aim of the project. It was initiated by Dr. Tursunali Kuziev, President of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan, and Ms. Yasuko Goto, Secretary General of Gunma Central Eurasia Club.
The project designed to run during 2010-2011, consists of two parts; the first one has already been great success in the Land of the Rising Sun. Residents of different cities in Japan have an opportunity to become acquainted with traditional costume of Uzbekistan, and to look at 150 drawings by Uzbek children, and photographs showing architectural heritage monuments.
The second part of the exhibition ran in our country. During one month Uzbek people introduced themselves to the world of kimono and its accessories. The exhibition deployed at the Central Exhibition Hall featured drawings made by Japanese children: they pictured their family, relatives, friends and even famous cartoon characters dressed in kimono.
Amazing and unique is the world of Japanese culture. Textiles which the kimonos are made of are akin to paintings. On them the exhibition visitors could see the specimens of traditional architecture, beautiful landscapes, striking fantasy subjects and traditional patterns. The exhibition presented kimono for everyday and for nuptials, kimono for men and women, kimono to wear at special ceremonies and at home. Displayed next to the gowns were gheta — wooden sandals, dzori — footwear made of cloth, leather or straw, and kanzasi — women’s hairpins and combs.
All this could not only be touched, but even worn, and many female visitors, with the help of a consultant, took this rare opportunity to put on a kimono and turn into beautiful Japanese women.
The first day of the exhibition ended with a tea ceremony. It was demonstrated by a lady from Japan, who did it slowly, step by step, enjoying her every move and unhurried contemplation of the world. Perhaps, without this ritual the exhibition would have been incomplete. Tea ceremony represents a philosophy, which, together with the kimono display, paints a complete picture of how Japanese people perceive the universe.
Residents of other cities in Uzbekistan will also have a chance to visit the exhibition, which will travel to Samarqand, Navoi, Bukhara, Khiva, Termez, and Nukus. This means that the line will run from heart to heart, from culture to culture, and that from now on, many people on both sides of the project will be looking for similarities rather than differences in one another. And this is what the «100 Japanese Kimono» project was about.