4th Juni-Hitoe (layered kimono) Traditional Dress Workshop
International Student Center held a special workshop on how to wear Juni-Hitoe (twelve layered kimono) traditional dress on December 13, 2017 at Yanagido Hall, Gifu University.
The workshop was attended by around 40 people including international students of the center's Japanese Language & Culture Studies Course and faculties/schools, Japanese students, and teaching and administrative members. Students from the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (IITG) and the National University of Malaysia (UKM), also attended the event. They are studying at Gifu University for the 3rd Winter School Program started on December 6 (until December 21).
Based on the center's concept "Experience the Real," the workshop is considered as an experience-based Japanese culture class for the university students. Five instructors, including Ms. Keiko Ito and Ms. Chisato Sato, who specialize in teaching kimono-wearing, were invited to the workshop. All instructors wore montsuki hakama, formal kimono with a traditional Japanese family crest and a divided skirt. Their dress, together with the traditional court music of gagaku, enhanced the solemn mood in the room.
First, Professor Momoko Tsuchiya of the center talked about the history of Juni-Hitoe as well as basic facts about kimono. Second, as a model, Miss Hell Fiona Sydney Kyra from Austria, a student of Japanese Language & Culture Studies Course, walked into the room. She worn kosode (short-sleeved kimono) and hakama (divided skirt), put on special makeup, and a coronet on her head.
The instructors deftly dressed Miss Fiona in Juni-Hitoe consisting of itsutsuginu (five-layer undergarment), uwagi (outer garment), karaginu (waist-length robe) and mo (long pleated skirt), all the while paying their respects to Miss Fiona, who played a role of okatasama (the royal personage). The international students intently watched her being dressing up in the gorgeous kimono of red and green. At the Question and Answer session, many questions were raised from the participants. They were: "How do people in Juni-Hitoe use bathroom?" "What are the meanings of colors and patterns of Kimono?" Ms. Ito gave answers to every question very politely. Later in a photo session, the participants and instructors took pictures with Miss Fiona who was holding a hiougi (painted wooden fan) in hand.
Juni-Hitoe can be taken off smoothly, as the garments are not laced up. Juni-Hitoe that has been taken off is called an utsusemi (cast-off shell of a cicada) because it looks as if someone is sitting still. Some international students -even men- tried putting on the utsusemi. They actually felt the weight of Juni-Hitoe and took many pictures with one another.
The workshop provided a great opportunity for the participants to appreciate the depth and beauty of Japanese traditional culture, and this innovative workshop contributed to the enrichment of Japanese culture education.
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