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A kimono is a piece of clothing most often worn by women, but men can wear them too. The patterns on a kimono indicate which season it can be worn in: kimonos with butterfly patterns are for Spring, but bamboo patterns are for Winter kimonos.
Bunraku is a type of Japanese puppet theatre. There are many different traditions of bunraku, and each one has a unique style of puppets, which can be incredibly detailed; some have heads that change into demon faces with the flick of a switch!
Origami is the art of paper-folding, without the use of glue or cuts. Originally the Japanese tradition allowed for cuts – origami gained its ‘no cuts’ rule from the German style of paper-folding. This is also where the tradition of a two-colored square starting point comes from.
Kintsugi is both an art-form and a philosophy. As an art, it involves repairing broken pottery using a lacquer that has been mixed with gold, silver, or platinum dust. As a philosophy, it considers the breaking and repairing of a thing to be part of its history, and nothing to be ashamed of or hidden.
Sumi-e is the art of Japanese brush painting, done with black ink on silk or rice paper. It was thought much harder than using color. Samurai practised sumi-e to hone the skills necessary to a swordsman - the composure required on a battlefield was the same as the tranquillity needed to properly use the ink and brush in painting.
Japanese Street Fashion became a ‘thing’ in the 1970s, but it’s changed a lot since then. In fact, it’s constantly changing; Harajuku, the uncontested heart of the street fashion scene, receives a new ‘generation’ of young people to the subculture each Spring. This means the dozens of different styles are always evolving, and new ones are created all the time.