In this special event, Hisashi Yoshida, Director of a Shinto ceremony company, discussed the origins of ‘Shouzoku’, garments worn by Shinto priests. Outside of Japan, not much is known about this element of Japanese society, and in his talk, Yoshida spread Japanese culture and knowledge. Currently, traditional techniques and the Shouzoku industry are in decline, while the cultural appreciation and understanding of the garments is also fading. As such, Yoshida aims to spread international awareness of the design industry by sharing and promoting the knowledge and skills of Shouzoku craftsmanship.
The talk was followed by a musical performance by Tokiko Ihara, a Shō flute player, and a display of Shouzoku garments.
A video of the seminar can be found here:
About the contributors
Hisashi Yoshida is the Director of a Shinto ceremony company, Yoshida Shouzokuten Ltd, creating traditional Japanese costumes, specialising in professional garments for Shinto priests as well as dressing and creating ritual Shinto ornaments and furnishings. As a professional “emonja” (a dresser of traditional formal garments), he is deeply involved in Shinto festivals throughout Japan. In October in 2015, he create a “kamon” (a family crest) for sumo grand champion, Hakuhō Shō.
Tokiko Ihara first encountered the shō while training in ceremonial dance at Niutsuhime Jinja, the guardian shrine of Mount Koya. She studied with Hideki Bunno and Yasuhiro Higashi. Ihara seeks to express the light, sound and origins of the universe; she explores traditional Japanese culture, spirituality and universality, growing roots across the world. Her performances are dedicated to shrines and temples, domestically and overseas, often in collaboration with other artists and musicians. The shō is a wind instrument from Gagaku, Japanese classical music that has been performed at the Imperial Court in Japan for several centuries. The shō was introduced to Japan via the Silk Road in the 6th century. Its harmonic unique sound represents light streaming down from the universe and the cry of the Phoenix.