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TRADITIONAL JAPANESE CULTURE 1999

T.J.C-1. Calligraphy (20 min.) Traditional Japanese calligraphy is the art of writing characters on white paper with a brush dipped in black ink. The completed work can be regarded as both a type of formative art and the art of lettering. Since calligraphy is an essential part of Japanese school education, it is very familiar to ordinary people. By introducing the history of calligraphy, the processes used to make brushes and ink, the techniques needed to write characters and the significance of their shape, and how a professional calligrapher creates exquisite works of brushmanship, this programme looks at particular the way it can help to

train the mind.

T.J.C-2. Musical Instruments (20 min.)

Japan’s many traditional musical instruments, such as the shamisen, the yoko-bue flute, the tsuzumi hand-drum and the takiko drum, developed as accompaniment to classical ongs and in association with the theatres arts of Kabuku and Bunraku. This programme introduces the history of the instruments and the types of performance in which they are played, and demonstrates how shamisen, taiko and shino-bue flutes are made. It also shows the training of the next generation of performers through school education and looks at the way traditional instruments are being used today, such as the concerts combining Western and traditional Japanese instruments which are opening up fascinating possibilities for the future.

T.J.C-3. Japanese Dance (20 min.)

The various styles of traditional Japanese dance can be roughly divided into four categories: the showy Kabuki buyo from the Kabuki theatre;the more subdued kamigata-mai, which includes elements of the North theatre;minzoku-buyo folk dances;and Ryukyu-buyo, which originated in the Ryukyu Islands, now called Okinawa.

Japanese dance has developed in close contact with the daily lives of ordinally people. sedate mai and more lively odori, both originated from dances dedicated to the gods.

Its two basic concepts, the

In this programme we introduce the history and particular charms of each style of dance, the distinctive forms of expression used, the way the next generation of dancers is being trained, and also how traditions are handed down through local communities performing the Bon-Odori dances of summer festivals.

T.J.C.-4 Japanese Cuisine (20 min.)

Japanese cuisine is attracting ever more attention worldwide.

The key elements behind its distinctive flavours are

two unique types of seasoning, misbean paste and shoyu soy sauce, plus salt and vinegar. Miso is made by mixing cereals such as rice and barley with salt and soy-beans. Shoyu is also made from soybeans.

Salt used to be produced by salt farms taking full rice, is similar to wine vinegar. By introducing the history of Japanese cuisine,

advantage of Japan’s long

coastline, Japanese vinegar, made

from

showing how seasonings

are produced and demonstrating

how

various dishes are prepared, traditional Japanese cuisine.

this

programme

fully

demonstrates

the

tremendous

culinary

and

aesthetic

appeal

of

T.J.C-5. Tea Ceremony (20 min.)

It has been nearly 1,200 years since tea was first introduced to Japan, and our ancestors developed a unique way to drink it:the tea ceremony. The tea ceremony requires not only tea and special utensils, but natural surroundings and ornaments like arranged

flowers.

Participants cooperate to achieve peace of mind and freedom from all the mundane troubles of the world.

This program introduces the unique esthetic world of tea.

T.J.C-6 Kimono (20 min.)

The Kimono, Japan’s traditional costume, is evaluated very highly worldwide for its beauty

And elegance.

Various traditional techniques are used to produce Kimono material,

Including the weaving of different coloured threads and the drawing of patterns on white cloth followed by carful dyeing using a variety of devices. This programme introduces the main techniques in use to create the two basic elements of a Kimono, the material

itself

and

the

Obi

sash.

Both

begin

with

the

spinning

of

silkworm

cocoons

into

raw

silk.

In

the

technique

called

Yuzen, patterns are drawn on the white silk cloth ready for technique, silk threads dyed in a myriad of different colours are There is also a detailed explanation of the procedure involved in the charms of this original Japanese style of formal wear.

a succession of dyeing precesses. In the Nishijin woven together. putting on a kimono and a thorough introduction to

T.J.C-7 Japanese Pottery & Porcelain (20 min.)

Clay has tea sets,

long food

been used in Japan in the form of earthenware, pottery and storage containers, ornaments such as vases, and many

porcelain for utensils for

the production of tableware,

daily

life.

Today

Japanese

ceramic utensils enjoy an excellent reputation worldwide and exports are steadily increasing. are also highly regarded worldwide as exquisite works of art.

Japanese ceramics

In the distant past, simple earthware was used for the household items of ordinary people. Then in medieval Japan,

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