Opening Reception at Sato Sakura Gallery

Ronin Gallery and Sato Sakura Gallery will come together this November to transcend time and medium in the collaborative exhibition Sakura: An Enduring Tradition. Ronin Gallery will present a collection of 18th – 19th-century Japanese woodblock prints that depict cherry blossoms, while Sato Sakura will evoke the blooms of our modern world through contemporary Nihonga paintings. With each gallery a leader in their respective field, this exhibition provides a rare opportunity to explore such important works side-by-side.

About The Sato Sakura Gallery
From the Sato Sakura Art Museum’s founding in Koriyama City in 2006, to its expansion to Tokyo in 2012, and most recently, the New York gallery in 2017, Sato Sakura strives to create an international appreciation for the allure and diversity of contemporary Nihonga painting.

Interview: European Obi Artist

Japanese kimono and obi are widely regarded as cultural icons of Japan, and the related arts and traditional crafts associated with them are most often found only in Japan. The kimono has declined in the past several decades, and the industry is struggling.

However, there is a push to save the kimono, which includes the globalization of the art and practice of wearing kimono. Around the world, a handful of artists have stepped forward adding their own spin and aesthetic touch to kimono. Three Magpipes Studio is one such artist. They recently launched a beautiful line of handmade obi that stand out. Located in Europe they are bringing a fresh touch to the world of kimono. We recently were able to interview them, and feel that they are worth getting to know.

What drew you to Japanese kimono? How long have you worn kimono? “I was thrown into the kimono world by accident – a friend of mine sent me a package full of vintage kimono from Japan, so I started reading about it and I fell into it completely. It was about a year and half ago, so not that long time ago – but I met so many people on the way that it seems like ages.”

What made you decide to start designing your own obi? “I am an illustrator and fabric designer by profession, I fell in love with classic Japanese dyeing techniques and kimono motives, and I wanted to make something inspired by it. In the end it drifted completely into my own style but still – I gained lots of knowledge along the way and I still have mountains to learn.”

What are some of your favorite classic Japanese themes in terms of symbolism? “My absolute favorite when it comes to wafuku motives is Ebi, I love the ‘old man of the sea’ – it’s something that would be considered funny here, definitely inappropriate for anything formal and yet in Japanese culture, it carries different meaning. I think all the themes I like are like this – something that shows us to look differently at the things we think we know.”

Other than your website, do you sell in person anywhere? “I have only the website/facebook for now. But if someone would be in Kraków (Poland) and would like to see my workshop – I am usually here to sit, drink tea and talk about kimono .”

How long does creating a design for an obi take? Are there any specific considerations that go into designing an obi? “The fastest design I made took me about a week from the idea to sewing – but I am still learning. Once I have the placement of the designs on the fabric drafted, the most important thing is how the colors will act on the fabric I’ve chosen. I am experimenting with different types of fabrics – from chirinmen crepe to thick weaved, heavy fabrics – the amount of details I can put into the design depends mostly on how visible it will be on it. The thicker the fabric weave the simpler the drawing has to be so it doesn’t disappear in the heavy texture.” 

Please visit the artist’s website, and look at their wonderful products.



Chicago Japan Matsuri 2018

The first ever annual Chicago Japanese Matsuri was hosted this past weekend in Newcity, Chicago. Highlights of this Festival include various stage performances of traditional Japanese arts, martial arts demonstrations, shopping, and of course a lot of great food prepared by some of Chicago’s finest Japanese restaurants.  The shopping experience was varied and ranged from lolita and Japanese street fashion to traditional kimono, manga to t-shirts. With free admission, this event drew in thousands of attendees for only 2 days.  Alternative fashion designers inspired by Japanese fashion were in attendance as well: and

Finishers’ Celebration: Great Lakes Taiko Center

Join us for the BIG end of summer party!!! We welcome Great Lakes Taiko Center – Raion Taiko.  The library event is partially funded by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Michigan Humanities Council and completely funded by our major sponsor the Adrian and Blissfield Railroad (The Old Road Dinner Train) and dozens of local business donations.

  • Admission: FREE
  • Date: Aug 2nd, 2018 )Thursday)
  • Time: 2pm – 4 pm
  • Where: American Legion Auxiliary Unit # 325 – Blissfield, Michigan 451 High St, Blissfield, Michigan 49228
  • Hosted By: The Schultz-Holmes Memorial Library
  • Great Lakes Taiko Website:

Japanese Summer Festival 2018


The Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford, Illinois is hosting their annual Japanese Summer Festival this weekend. On display is a wealth of traditional Japanese culture ranging from ikebana and bonsai, to taiko and calligraphy. These displaces are presented tastefully, and intended to be welcoming to anyone wishing to engage with these arts. Further more, there is limited engagements for tea ceremony.