Flowers have bloomed from season to season for the longest time in Japan. They have flowed along the current headed toward the ocean, become a part of the people's coexistence with Mother Nature, and spanned a long history.
The Iemoto Ikenobo flower arrangement has a history of over 550 years. It has responded to the changes of times while protecting the good things in life as well as the teachings of the old.In this day and age when globalization continues to advance, "tradition and innovation" coexist with the "Japanese spirit" that crosses races, generations, and gender and accepts other cultures with an open mind.
At this year's KNF, we will express the world of Hatsune Miku and Sword Art Online through ikebana.
A grave game of life and death that lasts only for a moment, in the short life span of flowers.
In this fall season, ikebana and anime fans alike will have the chance to feel the burning spirit of plants and flowers at Kitano Tenman-gu in Kyoto.
Flower arrangements have always played a significant part in traditional Japanese culture. The roots of Iemoto Ikebono flower arrangement, which boasts the highest number of followers in Japan, go back 550 years and are recorded in the history books.
The ikebana theories were already established by the second half of the Muromachi period, and ikebana was a complex medium meant to deepen the social aspects of morality, faith and education just like a genuine "culture".
In addition, Ikenobo has since been observing the so-called "elegance of plants", or the plants' own beauty. By combining the spirit and culture of Japan with the innate vitality that dwells in these plants' original form, Ikenobo has been representing the world of plants and flowers in line with the times since its very creation.
In occasion of KYOTO NIPPON FESTIVAL 2019, to be held this fall at Kitano Tenman-gu, Japanese culture will surely find a way to present new values to the world.
Kyoto, one of the most popular destinations among foreigners.
The traditional culture of flower arrangement, with its 550 years of history and the more recent anime popular culture.
Both have become increasingly popular aspects of Japanese culture overseas.
These traditional and modern facets of the same culture seem to have nothing in common; yet, they come together at KYOTO NIPPON FESTIVAL 2019, joined in the name of innovation, where a virtual space becomes the stage for real ikebana arrangements.
Ever since I was born, I had a disability in my eyes.
My field of view is narrow, I'm color blind and night blind...
For as far as I can remember, I have been actively interacting with a wide variety of people in various places around the world to learn about cultures and the world itself, in order to broaden my true perspective and not just the scenery that my eyes can see.
My parents encouraged me to start listening to music and touching melodies that I could enjoy with my ears and my five senses.
I played the piano with my senses, spun melodies and drew lyrics.
Once again I'm full of gratitude for being able to make this into a job.
The first time I stood on the Kaguraden stage of Kitano Tenman-gu must have been the first edition of KYOTO NIPPON FESTIVAL.
Under an unfortunately cloudy sky, I played the keyboard in that sacred place, in front of the eyes of the many foreigners gathered in Kyoto for the event.
What I felt at that time was a deep sense of gratitude for being born and raised in the prosperous country of Japan.
I studied in London as a teenager, started co-writing music with Swedish colleagues in my twenties, and later made even more music with creators from various countries including the United States, the United Kingdom and Slovenia. Anyone with some sort of work experience abroad will surely know what I mean when I speak about Japan's goodness, unique culture, generous heart and hospitality.
I feel that someone as myself, who often interacts with foreigners, has the special job to convey and spread Japanese culture to the world.
I think KYOTO NIPPON FESTIVAL 2019 is a crucial event that wonderfully fits the spirit of someone like me, and the idea of bringing our beautiful Japanese culture to the world.
I was really excited about this unexpected collaboration between Sword Art Online and Kitano Tenman-gu.
I was quite impressed by being able to talk about the historical background of Kitano Tenman-gu as if it was an in-game quest. It will always be one of my best memories from the experience.
By the way, I had quite a difficult time!
It took a lot of time to deepen my understanding of certain kanji intonations and scene descriptions (laughs)
I'm also grateful for the strong bond that ties this family: Kirito, Asuna and Yui.
Finally! A message to all those who came to the event: whether you already know Sword Art Online or not, this is a chance to learn so many different things at once. This is exactly what they mean when they say: kill two birds with one stone!
I hope you'll enjoy it!
Thank you very much!
It was a wonderful opportunity to learn about the history and culture of Kyoto while immersed in the world of SAO.
I've been traveling to Kyoto every year for more than 20 years. I was glad to be able to recognize a few places that I'm familiar with.
Asuna plays the teacher's role this time. There are many difficult kanji in her explanations and I had trouble reading the names of certain places while following the script, but I still had a lot of fun! Please enjoy Kyoto while listening to Asuna's voice ☆
I was quite surprised when I heard about a drama CD of a collaboration with Kitano Tenman-gu!
I was really looking forward to seeing how this historical shrine and SAO would mix together!
During the recording, I was in charge of the explanations. Mom and dad ask, and Yui complies! Classic Yui. (laughs)
However, it felt strange having Yui explain Japanese history.
There were many things that I didn't know myself, so I often felt like going to Kitano Tenman-gu just to take a walk!
I think the Kitano Tenman-gu shrine will have a completely different atmosphere if you walk around while listening to the voices of Kirito, Asuna and Yui. Have fun!
My name is Rella and I'm in charge of the "Hatsune Miku x Sankomon" key visuals.
Since the stage this time is Kyoto and Kitano Tenman-gu shrine,
I tried giving Hatsune Miku a Japanese-style fantasy atmosphere by combining the motifs of kabuki,
autumn leaves and the ox. I have traveled to various places in Japan so far,
but Kyoto is exceptional and I think there is no other place like it to have an authentic taste of Japan.
You should definitely take this opportunity to visit Kyoto!
I'm Morikura En and I've drawn the "Hatsune Miku x Kitano Tenman-gu Momiji Garden" key visuals,
and as one of the Roku Gasen I also created "Manifestation (Yoji Kagen 幼児化現)".
I have a connection with Kyoto, and I've been praying to the academic gods at Kitano Tenman-gu for a long time.
I'm very honored to being able to participate in an event like this.
The other day, I took a walk around the momiji garden for the first time and
I found it a beautiful and pleasant space.
I hope you will all take this chance to enjoy the fall in Kyoto.
I'm iXima, the illustrator in charge of the “Hatsune Miku x Nadeushi” key visuals.
I tried giving my illustration a familiar and enjoyable sense of realism,
by portraying a scene where the viewer feels like they're sightseeing in Kitano Tenman-gu along with Miku wearing the event's T-shirt.
I drew this picture in colors that recall Japan, Kyoto and the concept of harmony (wa).
We're about to enter the heart of autumn, the momiji season.
You'll soon be able to enjoy autumn leaves that are similar,
if not better, to the ones I depicted in my illustration of Kitano Tenman-gu.
Don't forget to take a photo with the Nadeushi statue, maybe posing just like Miku!