Asakusa event hosted by Yasuneko-Kobo

Six LVC members participated in an event in Asakusa, hosted by Ms. Tabata who is the owner of Yasuneko-Kobo.

Location: Asakusa Amuse Museum 2F
Address: 2-34-3 Asakusa, Taito Ku, Tokyo
Dates: January 2018 (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 7th, and 8th)

Our members played the roles of interpreter (3 for English and 1 for Chinese), model (1 for Kimonos and 2 for “remake” outfits), and supporting staff (2). This number includes some members taking multiple roles.

This time the event was held in the New Year, in lively Asakusa. We LVC members all enjoyed the experience.

I rediscovered Japan’s great culture through Meisen (silk) kimonos. I have read on the internet the word “Mottainai” is now popular worldwide, which describes the importance to cherish, appreciate and take care of things that we have, getting rid of unnecessary waste. Meisen kimonos have this Mottainai spirit by being inherited over generations, and people even created something new from the tattered ones. I am glad to be a part of an event which shares this aspect of our culture. (KT)

I participated in the fashion show on the 3rd, and as an interpreter on the 7th. This time I talked about the exhibition of Chichibu Meisen and how to make Orihon (a folding book made from a long piece of paper). It was very difficult to explain how Meisen is made. Some attendees from the United States were already familiar with dyeing itself that they understood its process just by the word “dyeing”, which includes yarn dyeing, a prior dyeing of thread before, or tie dyeing. I also told them that our previous generations took good care of things, by explaining the effective use of iridescent color and use of the same pattern on both the inside and outside of clothes so that when the colors fade the other side can still be used. Through this experience I felt the importance in having knowledge as well as having English language ability, in order to answer foreigners’ questions, such as the meaning of decorations or the origin of hanging ornaments. (YK)

Thank you very much for the opportunity to model in the event. It was my very first experience and I enjoyed it a lot. I was quite nervous before getting on the stage, though we models encouraged each other and that helped me a lot. Taking part in this event will remain a precious memory for me. (KR)

The event was fun and I learned a lot of new things. Some of the staff explained to young people what Meisen is. As this was the first time for them to hear of this they appreciated what they learned. We encouraged them to also try on Meisen and post these and pictures of other products on Instagram. Some foreigners also tried on some outfits and posted the pictures on Instagram for us. One of the participants from UK was a designer and liked the event very much. We also had a Chinese speaker, a college student majoring in art, and Ms. Kim interpreted for her. (KC)

I have lived in Japan a long time, but I am still learning about Japanese culture and this is the first time I have heard about Meisen. Meisen may sound nostalgic to older Japanese, but it was such a fresh encounter for me being a foreigner. I am grateful for this great interesting opportunity to learn about Japan, and to wear a colorful Meisen haori instead of work clothes. And I am looking forward to joining in future events. (SK)

I participated as a model of “remake” clothes, and as a supporting staff. While most of the exhibited “remake” clothes were made of kimonos, what I put on was a jacket made of a banner flag, which was fun. I hope in future we will have more people come and join fun events like this. (YH)

For the event pictures please follow the link here:Click Here
(You will first see the ladies’ picture. Click on “Later”, and the △ in the middle of the page, then select )

And you can see some photographs of the event.
Click Here
LVC (Language Volunteers Co-talk) provides opportunities to join in events such as above, and to learn about Japanese culture and to utilize your foreign language ability.

If interested, please feel free to contact us for more information.

Yoshie Hutchinson

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