Japanese Kimono – a lost art?…

While interviewing the various artists of Japanese cultural arts for the film, I noticed one very important part of all Japanese arts which isn't discussed as much: the beautiful and exquisite kimono.  To tell you the truth, I tried to "ignore" the kimono for a long time.  Wearing a kimono in the classic sense is not an easy undertaking.  Most modern Japanese don't even own a kimono, and only wear it for weddings or a funerals, which they often rent or borrow.  Generally speaking, buying a … [Read more...]

Yuki Sato Lee, aka Fujima Rieyuki

This past September, Bob and I drove to Los Angeles to interview Yuki Sato Lee, aka Fujima Rieyuki, Japanese buyo dancer. Along with our filmmaker Josh Fong, we met Yuki and her husband, David Lee, for lunch prior to the interview. David is a very friendly fellow, who owned the popular restaurant, General Lee’s, in Los Angeles’ Chinatown, and is an important and active person in the Chinese-American community. Bob and I had interviewed Yuki a few years ago when I was collecting interviews, … [Read more...]

Shigin and Bilingual Pre-School

One of our interviewees in Los Angeles, Patrick Seki, who is a teacher of the art of Shigin singing (the ancient art of very intense singing of Chinese poetry), told us about a pre-school in Lomita, CA, where students were being given the opportunity to learn Shigin! I always thought Shigin was for adults because whenever I heard people perform it, they would be standing straight up, eyes closed, singing at the top of their lungs! (very healthy art form, I've been finding out!) And the singing … [Read more...]