TEHRAN — Tehran and the city of Kashan in central Iran will host a month-long Japanese cultural festival titled “Japanese Culture Month.”
The Japanese embassy will organize the festival, which is due to open in Tehran on September 19, with contributions from the Japan Foundation, the University of Tehran and several other Iranian cultural centers, the embassy said Monday.
The festival will continue with a seminar on the history and culture of “Kumejima Tsumugi” kimono, which will be held the next day at the Aseman Art and Culture Center.
The embassy plans to invite three experts from Okinawa Island in Iran to give lectures on the history and culture of kimono.
“Kumejima Tsumugi” provides historical evidence that Japan has traded with China and Southeast Asia since the 14th century.
Kumejima-tsumugi is the Japanese silk fabric craft practiced in Kumejima, Okinawa Prefecture. It is the oldest type of tsumugi in Japan, among the approximately two hundred forms of tsumugi, and the oldest kasuri fabric. It is recognized as one of Japan’s Important Intangible Cultural Properties.
Silk production has been practiced in Kumejima since the 15th century, after a local who studied sericulture in China’s Ming Dynasty passed on the techniques. Mulberry plants, the main food of silkworms, are said to grow particularly well on the island.
In the 17th century, the kumejima-tsumugi was part of the tribute paid to the Ryukyu kings, and it was transported to Edo via Satsuma Domain.
An exhibition of the collection of kumejima-tsumugi kimono and photos of the beautiful landscape of Okinawa will be organized on the sidelines of the seminar.
The Aseman Center will host the opening act of a Japanese film festival, however, no film lineup was listed in the embassy announcement.
The second and third parts of the film festival will be held at the Japanese Embassy on September 26, and the fourth part will be held on October 3 at Molavi Hall of Tehran University.
A manga exhibition is another part of Japanese Culture Month, the first part of which will be held at the Japanese Embassy on September 28-29.
Manga are comic books or graphic novels originating in Japan. Most manga conforms to a style developed in Japan in the late 19th century, and the form has a long prehistory in earlier Japanese art. The term manga is used in Japan to refer to both comics and cartoons. Outside of Japan, the word is generally used to refer to comics originally published in the country.
The Japan Culture festival will end with a second part of the manga exhibition, which will be held on October 8 and 19 at Kashan University.
Photo: A poster for the Japan Culture Festival.