Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Call of the Kimono

In Japan, almost every month has a national holiday. This is a recent initiative created by the government to give hardworking Japanese people a built-in day off.

The day is random.
The holiday is random.
And most people don’t actually celebrate, except perhaps by luxuriating in the opportunity to sleep in.

In September we had a day off to appreciate the elderly.
In October we had a day off for Sports Day.
Today is Culture Day—I must say my favorite of these holidays so far.

Culture Day. What does this mean?

Perhaps lounging in pajamas all day.
Perhaps eating sweets.
Perhaps watching traditional performances.
Perhaps participating in Japanese arts and crafts.

For me, Culture Day was a day of seduction.

I let myself be seduced.

My plans to attend a culture fair unraveled when I stepped outside and saw the way the light hit the autumn leaves.

After three days of constant rain, I let myself luxuriate in the sun.

I gave myself permission to meander.

Walking about town, I willingly succumbed to the call of the kimonos, like seductive sirens beckoning me to take their photograph.

Hand-painted silk threads.
Creative color pairings.
Ode to the seasons.

History reinventing itself.

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