For the 14th year in a row, the public were able to experience Japanese art and workshops over three days in the Principality. Monaco-Japan 2020 featured exhibitions with 200 pieces of art by Japanese and Monegasque artists. The free cultural event was organized by Japanese Artists of Reijinsha and the Monaco National Committee AIAP-UNESCO, from Friday 21 February to Sunday 23 February at the Rainier III Auditorium. Highlights included a tea ceremony, a bonsai workshop, a flower-arranging workshop and a kimono workshop. Louis Ducruet, Princess Stephanie’s son, was in attendance for the event’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The flower-arranging workshop taught participants how to handle beautiful and delicate silk flowers and arrange them into beautiful bouquets and wreaths. Instructors wore traditional kimonos, the national dress of Japan.
The kimono workshop featured the T-shaped, wrapped garments which are worn left over right. The kimono has been worn in Japan for over one thousand years and is usually worn with an obi belt, zōri shoes and tabi socks. Various types of kimono indicate the wearer’s age, gender and the formality of the occasion.
The tea ceremony featured the now popular hot drink matcha. Matcha is a finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves. The traditional Japanese tea ceremony centres on the preparation, serving, and drinking of matcha tea, and embodies a meditative spirituality. Matcha used in ceremonies is referred to as ceremonial-grade and is the highest quality available. Ceremonial grade matcha is almost always ground by granite stone mills and is quite expensive, costing between $100 to $140 for 100 grams.
The Reijinsha company, based in Osaka, aims to spread Japanese art and culture to the world on a wider scale, including the traditional arts of calligraphy, sculpture, painting and photography.