2014 SPHSS Diary – 27

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Day 27/35 – Tuesday July 29th

kitsuke3kitsuke1Kitsuke (and Karaoke). Today the students learned how to wear a yukata (summer version of kimono) properly. The main challenge of course is learning how to tie the obi.

Yukata are made of light thin cotton, with intricate patterns available. They are a very common sight at festivals and other events during the hot humid summer. The Mikawa district n eastern Aichi has long been renowned for the quality of textiles produced, but you can buy good yukata at reasonable prices, or even second hand, and some of the students who had already purchased yukata during previous visits to Japan (but hadn’t/couldn’t bring them with them this time) were able to borrow.

ALC does not have washitsu (Japanese style rooms) on campus, so in the same way that we rent a cooking studio, we rented some washitsu rooms at a local facility within walking distance. Added advantage, there is a Shinto shrine less than 80 meters (90-ish yards) away which was good for the outdoor photos.

kitsuke4kitsuke2Our Kitsuke teacher was Takahashi-sensei. As with the ceramics class earlier in the program, we always make use of the specialist knowledge that only professionals have.

And then the mystery tour component of today’s program. The students had been constantly asking “when are we going to Karaoke?” We had already booked a series of taxis, and with all participants still wearing their yukata, headed for lunch at a local restaurant. The reaction of the Japanese people (both other customers and staff) in the restaurant was wonderful and priceless.

So what do you do in a yukata after lunch? You head to the nearby karaoke hall. The students spent the afternoon singing, and the party was joined by some of the host families. Good times. Most also purchased some purikura as a souvenir.


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