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Fest radiates Japanese flavour

Staff Reporter
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Demonstrations of Ikebana art, judo and shodo gave visitors a peek into the rich arts of the country

School students take a look at miniatures of heritage sites in Japan on display at the Japanese Cultural Festival in Chennai on Wednesday. — Photo: S. Thanthoni.
School students take a look at miniatures of heritage sites in Japan on display at the Japanese Cultural Festival in Chennai on Wednesday. — Photo: S. Thanthoni.

From pieces of colourful paper folded into figures of animals and flowers to the leaves arranged meaningfully, every object exhibited at the ABK AOTS DOSOKAI, Tamil Nadu Centre on Nelson Manickam Road radiates a Japanese flavour.

The two-day ‘Japan Cultural Festival', with an exhibition and demonstrations of various art forms of the country was organised along with Consulate-General of Japan, Chennai. It was inaugurated by Deputy Consul General of Japan Takayuki Kitagawa on Wednesday.

Visitors had a virtual tour of Japan with miniature models of heritage sites. The brief notes on the stunning replicas give interesting details such as ‘Himejijo', a popular structure in Japan that is also called white heron castle because of its white exterior and semblance to a flying bird.

The bonsai trees and the seasons in Japan depicted through the traditional structures were a favourite among children. “I enjoyed seeing the Ikebana flower arrangement and small trees,” said S. Aparna, a class four student.

Various demonstrations lined up during the day from Ikebana art, judo and shodo – a style of Japanese calligraphy, also gave visitors a peek into the rich arts of the country.

Many visitors watched intently as Malathi Pandurang of Sogetsu School of Ikebana deftly cut flowers and arranged them in containers of various shapes. Ms. Pandurang said “It's an art and not just decoration. I have depicted birth, growth and decay of the plants through the arrangements. Every arrangement has a meaning.”

A collection of bonsai trees, which are over 25 years old, formed a major part of the exhibition. Susheela Vergis, vice president of Bodhi Bonsai Association, said it is best suited for growing in apartments. Even shrubs could be pruned to make it look as bonsai trees. They can be grown even in terracotta container and all is needed is an aesthetic mind. The demonstrations scheduled for Thursday include origami and kobudo, a martial art.

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