Japanese Cultural Practices and Techniques
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Amigurumi is a portmanteau of the Japanese words ami (crocheted or knitted) and nuigurumi (stuffed doll). Precursors to the styles which are now fairly well-known in the West are thought to date back to the 12th century.
The ivory is first boiled and soaked in dye then etched with an image. The engraving process produces ivory or white coloured lines as the hard ivory does not deeply absorb the pigment. Sometimes a second colour is used to fill in the engraving.
"Planted in a Container". Roots and branches are routinely pruned so as to achieve a desired shape. The plant will develop to look like a mature tree or shrub while remaining a fraction of the size.
Also known as Sado - "Way of Tea" or Chado. All aspects of the ceremony are highly ritualised with emphasis on hospitality and consideration of the guests. Traditional Japanese sweets are served to balance the bitterness of the Matcha (powdered green tea). The gatherings can involve a light meal or a full course meal which can last several hours.
The art of tearing and arranging coloured paper to form a picture. Dating from the Heian period, this method creates a watercolour effect. Washi (handmade) paper is the preferred medium for this technique.
"Making Flowers Alive". Dates from the 7th century. In traditional ikebana, the use of leaves and stems is kept to a minimum in order to maintain focus on the beauty of the flowers.
"Inserting Ink" The Horishi (tattoo artist) produces the work by hand, using bamboo handles with metal needles joined by silk threads. This tattoo method uses special inks, is labour intensive, time consuming and requires a highly skilled practitioner. Very few horishi work with this technique. common motifs include dragons, Koi, tigers and flowers.
"Golden Joinery" Known also as Kintsukuroi. The damaged item is repaired with lacquer. Powdered gold, silver or platinum is either mixed in with the lacquer or brushed on to the join before it has cured.
While similar to Origami, the cutting allows for more intricate designs. In it's purest form, Kirigami, like Origami, is limited to a single sheet of paper but now many kits contain glue and multiple pieces of paper.
Believed to date back to at least the 6th century and the arrival of Buddhism, aromatic substances have since been widely used in purification rituals and religious ceremonies and even some games and contests.
"Gathering Threads". Cords and ribbons made this way were commonly used on the armour of samurai and their horses.
"Sprinkled Picture" A technique in which gold or silver is scattered in elaborated designs over Urushi (lacquer). Sap is obtained from the Asian lacquer tree and used to produce wide variety of objects such as bowls, dishes, boxes, statues and screens.
All components of the dish to be served are taken into account. Every aspect, from the colours, textures, placement and combination of foods to the type of serving-ware is carefully considered.
For garnishing. Specifically, the intricate carving of fruits, vegetables and other foods creating geometric shapes, flowers and animals. Watermelons are a common feature and accomplished chefs can produce beautiful and stunningly complex results.
Originally, the traditional practice dictated the folding and sculpting of a single square sheet of paper without use of cuts or glue although today multiple sheets and different shapes of paper are acceptable.
Mother-of-pearl and abalone shell are the most commonly used materials to decorate a wide variety of lacquer ware.
"Finger Pressure". A form of therapeutic massage using fingers, thumbs, palms and feet.
Roughly translated as "To Tie" The art of elaborate rope harnesses and knotted restraints for erotic pleasure. A form of B.D.S.M.
"Way of Writing". Also known as Shuji.
"Floating Ink". Various inks are floated on the surface of a shallow water bath and the papers are laid on the top to absorb the colour. References to this method go as far back as the 12th century.
A technique for producing sashimi. The filleting is done so thinly that the slices are translucent.
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