Japanese culture shared at UNT

Japanese culture shared at UNT

November 25
20:28 2014

Kaleigh Gremaud / Staff Writer

The Japanese culture fair was held in the atrium of the environmental science building today, showcasing the calligraphy, clothing style and art of Japan.

“We do this to get students interested in taking Japanese language classes by showing every aspect of the culture to students,” integrative studies senior Alexis Bennett said.

The Japanese writing system consists of several thousand kanji, symbols that refer to a particular word or range of words, and dozens of hiragana and katakana, which represent the physical sounds of the language. A booth was set up so students could have their names written in Japanese characters.

Christine Curda, who graduated with a degree in fashion design, helped Bennett run the booth with the Japanese clothing. They had traditional clothing for both men and women that students were able to try on.

“The traditional clothing for women is called a kimono,” Curda said. “It’s a dress that wraps around the body.”

Kimonos are usually one size fits all. To make sure the kimono isn’t too long, it is pulled back and tied in place at the waist. Material is then bunched up at the waist and is flattened and tied into place again. An obi is used as a belt to finalize the outfit. It is wrapped around the body and tied into a bow in the back. It could take a woman 10 to 20 minutes just to dress for the day.

“In the summer, women would have a sheer kimono made out of hemp or silk,” Curda said. “In the winter, they would have thicker kimonos that would be padded with batting made from silk worm skins or cotton or wool.”

The traditional clothing for men is much simpler. It doesn’t require as much time to get dressed.

Geography sophomore Yajaira Prado taught the origami booth. She showed how to make stars from origami paper, which is thin and easy to fold.

“Origami is the art of folding paper,” Prado said. “Large origami figures can be made out of multiple different pieces. The figurines can be anything. Hello Kitty, a dinosaur, penguins.”

The origami figurines can be sold for at least $35 in some stores. People may buy them for decoration.

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