2016.01.30 (sat)

2016 : 150th anniversary of Japan ~ Italy relations

150 years ago, on August 25, 1866, Japan and Italy signed a treaty which initiated diplomatic relations between the two countries. During its long history, there have been exchanges in many fields such as politics, economy and culture, maintaining good relations throughout the years, and enjoying strong ties to this day.

During EXPO Milano 2015, the Japan Pavilion was awarded Gold Medal in exhibition design. In October, at the closing of the event, there were record numbers of visitors who wanted to see the pavilion, standing in queue for over 10 hours. The people of Milano have always held an interest in Japanese culture. Every year in April, the world’s largest furniture ~ design fair, Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano, is held in this city, with many Japanese companies and designers in participation.

Kokura Creation’s SHIMA-SHIMA collection has shown at Salone three times in the past, and this year for the 55th edition of Salone, we will be at the University of Milano (Statale) location which is coordinated by INTERNI magazine. What better way to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Japan ~ Italy relations, and the 400th year of Kokura fabrics, revived by Kokura Stripes Japan!

Kyoko
Milano, Jan 29, 2016

2016.01.28 (thu)

New Year in Japan

It is almost the end of the first month of 2016 ….. still in time to post some photos taken in Japan this month.

New Year is a time when traditional customs are observed. We get together with family and friends, and enjoy special “osechi-ryori” feasts, which are eaten only during this time of year. Many visit Shinto shrines to pray for good health and fortune.

Recently there seems to be a re-birth of interest in the kimono, and I was especially delighted to see so many young people dressed so beautifully in kimonos.

Special decorations made of pine, bamboo or ropes made of straw are placed in entrances to homes and businesses, creating a festive mood everywhere.

Kyoko
Milano, Jan 27, 2016

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kimono-style couple

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kagami-mochi rice cakes with tangerine on top

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otoso sake with herbs, New Year feast

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chopstick holders with Japanese zodiac symbols

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bamboo decoration

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pine with ropes to protect it from winter-snows

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bamboo decoration

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rope decoration

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entrance to hospital

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shrine

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shrine

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garden in shrine, with straw protection for trees and bushes

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shishimai dance for good luck

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sashimi

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festive foods

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Haneda airport

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Haneda airport

2016.01.02 (sat)

Holiday season in Milano

It has been a fairly warm this winter, a wonderful season to walk around the city to enjoy the holiday illuminations. Here are some scenes from Naviglio Grande canal, and the new Darsena area. There is an ice-skate rink this year, and canoe rides with participants dressed up like Santa. And the many restaurants and casual bars that offer “happy hour”, some on land and some on the canal, are especially festive this time of year.

Corso Como is another nice place to visit, with beautifully decorated shops and restaurants. Milano will be in a festive mood until the end of the first week of January !

Kyoko
Milano, Jan 1, 2016

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darsena

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darsena

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naviglio

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naviglio

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naviglio

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naviglio

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corso como

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corso como