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Japanese Weaving Exhibition in London.

If you’re in London, or going there in the next two months, you might want to visit the Japanese Embassy building to have a look at their exhibition Hakata Ori: Weaving Through to the Present.

Hakata Ori is regarded as one of most well-known examples of woven textiles in Japan. Weaving in Hakata (now known as Fukuoka City) is said to date back to 1241 and this year is an auspicious one for local weavers as they celebrate 777 years since the beginnings of Hakata Ori.

Traditional Hakata obi (belts) became highly regarded for their strength and durability, enjoying popularity amongst samurai for the ability to hold their swords in place and also the patronage of the shōgun for many centuries.

This exhibition retraces the history of weaving from this area of Kyushu at the same time as putting the spotlight on its modern weaves. Protecting the heritage and customs of the past whilst preparing for the future is essential for any traditional craft to prosper in modern times. Today, Hakata Ori craftsmen create a broad array of items for display as well as for everyday use.

The exhibition runs until January 31, 2019; the embassy (101-104 Piccadilly, London W1J 7JT) is open on weekdays 9:30 to 17:30, closed on weekends, 25-26 December and 31 December – 3 January inclusive. Admission is free, but photo ID is necessary to gain entry to the Embassy.

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