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Kumihimo: From Defense to Decoration

AKS Gathering, Tampa, FL

Morning Presentation
Friday, October 26, 2018, 8:30 — 9:15 am

This slide lecture presents a history of Japan through the perspective of kumihimo or plaited silk cords.  It traces the historical development of Japanese plaited cords from fossilized remains in grave mounds to the exotic Samurai era when silk cords were used to lace together the warrior's armor.  It also explores the current fashion trends using cords as obijime (an integral part of securing the obi and kimono) as well as decorative neckpieces. In addition to the slides taken in Japan and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, there are also slides taken by a professional advertising photographer in Kyoto, documenting past fashions in kimono and obi. The samurai slides will include the recent exhibit of armor at the Portland Art Museum.