29 November 2011

If I had the opportunity.

On the 23 November at 11.00 GMT, I tuned in to listen to a BBC Four broadcast on "Mastering the Art of Kimono".

The programme is about how the art of making kimono is dying because the artisans who make these wonderful garments do not have anyone to pass on their knowledge and skills and the market for kimono is also shrinking as the younger generation are more attracted to the western fashion.

Kihachi Tabata's family scrapbooks of kimono samples date back five generations. Photo credit: Pam Skinner.
Although I know about the plight that Japan is facing with their kimono and obi industry, it was still interesting to hear the artisans point of view.

And it then got me thinking.................

If I had the time, money and opportunity, would I devote my life to learning one of the many kimono techniques for the sake of it.

My creative side is telling me yes since I love learning new things and if it involves textiles then even better!  Something about learning and developing a particular knowledge set which you love is very appealing.  You are studying the area for the sake of learning and in doing so, you are enriching the lives of people.  This is the reason why we have art and music.  Can you imagine a world where there is nothing creative?  And I do not mean finding tax loopholes for help rich individuals or company to avoid tax.

Unfortunately one has to listen to their sensible side because there are many issues to consider.  First and foremost, my partner, I can't bear the thought of leaving him in the UK all on his own.  I maybe a modern woman and he himself would tell me to pursue my ambitions but we are old fashion when it comes to our relationships.  Wherever one goes, the other follows, that is what we are like so going to Japan on my own would break my heart.

However if money was not the problem then this would not be an issue.  My partner is happily devoting his life to maths and so long as he has maths (and the internet) he is happy.

Then there is the language barrier.  I have never been good at learning new languages, or at least I am good at one element but not the others.  Take French, when I was learning it at secondary school, I wasn't not good at listening or writing it however reading seem to be fine.  I have a feeling with Japanese, I will have the same issue.

All of these things do make me wonder because I love blogging, making kanzashi and kimono dressing.  I really do wake up sometimes like my husband and think "can I do such and such?".  Maybe one day I will be able to realise my dream.

If you are interested in the radio programme and here is the link to the page.


I know if you are in the UK, you can listen to this programme over the internet so if you have the chance please do.

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