Indulging in Japanese Kimonos
SF State students have rare opportunity to try on authentic Japanese Kimonos
November 16, 2006 7:08 PM
Some SF State students had the opportunity to wear an authentic Japanese kimono and have their picture taken as part of the sixth annual international education week. “Kimono Day,” was sponsored by the Japanese Student Association.
The Japanese Student Association (JSA) has recently embarked on its fifth year at SF State. Its mission is to bring more Japanese culture to SF State and bridge the gap between the more than 400 Japanese students on campus, who lack a strong social network, and people who are interested in Japanese culture.
According to JSA President Ramon Mislang, JSA has 40-50 active members with 200 to 300 on its e-mail list. Mislang said “Kimono Day,” is a great opportunity for SF State students to experience a taste of Japanese culture.
“Kimonos are really expensive to buy, and even if you are economically fortunate to buy one there is a special way to wear it,” said Mislang, 26. “So most people never have the chance to wear a Kimono in their lifetime.”
The Kimono has been a part of Japanese tradition for hundreds of years. Their hand-woven silks with subtle silhouettes and vibrant colors make them not only stunning, but also expensive. A woman's kimono may easily exceed $10,000 and a complete kimono outfit, with kimono, undergarments, obi, ties, socks, sandals and accessories, can exceed $20,000, Mislang said.
Wei Xiao, 22, an international business major at SF State, said she has never tried on a Kimono and wanted to take advantage of the opportunity. Xiao said she has always been interested in Japanese culture.
“I think international awareness is important within the context of globalization,” Xiao said. “This was definitely a good idea because students can experience another culture without actually going there.”
The Kimonos worn Thursday were donated by Nobiru-kai, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing services that help Japanese newcomers adjust to American society.
Manami Tanaka, 42, executive director at Nobiru-kai, said Japanese fashion has become increasingly influenced by Western culture, but the Kimono continues to be a part of Japanese tradition. Nobiru-kai is located in Japan Town, and was founded in 1974. It provides services such as translation and interpretation lessons, cooking classes, and a dressing kimono workshop.
“This is a very good way to introduce Japanese culture to SF State students, which is why we wanted to be involved in ‘Kimono Day,’” Tanaka said. “Since our association is known for Japanese newcomer services, we want Japanese students studying at SF State who may need help to come to our office at any time.”
Erin Broemmelsiek, 19, an SF State student double-majoring in creative writing and international relations, said she has been studying Japanese culture for the past five years, and heard about Kimono Day in her Japanese II class. She brought her roommate along with her to try on Kimonos.
“I just love studying the language and different aspects of the culture,” Broemmelsiek said. “I get really excited about these sorts of things. It’s just a really fun experience, and you get to try something completely different.”
“International education week is important because it raises cultural awareness among students at SF State,” said Hongo, an international relations major at SF State. “SF State is a very diverse campus. Everyday when you walk around campus you see all sorts of people from all over the world, so it’s important that we embrace one another.”
POST A COMMENT
|BACK TO TOP|| |
Copyright © 2008 [X]press | Journalism Department - San Francisco State University