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StephanieRiann 講師のコラム

My first Japanese cultural experience in Japan ( Dec 2017)

2020年3月5日

Hello everyone, 

Today,  I want to tell you about my first Japanese cultural experience in Japan. 

After moving to Japan in 2017 , I got to see a lot of places and did a lot of camping locally and near Mt. Fuji areas but everything was new to me so everything was fasinating and fun. 

Eventually, I learned about Airbnb experiences through the brother of one of my Japanese  friends I`d met while in Canada.

I decided I wanted to try more local expereinces and meet local people and learn about Japanese culture.  So , I checked out the application and found an experience in Yokohama upcycling old kimono OBI.  I would get the chance to take an old used obi and make it into something new!

So , I went to meet Aiko for the first time. (We have actually meet a few times after this experience by appointment , chatted and kept in touch by instagram  and by chance on the train haha ). Last time we met she said we had what Japanese call GOEN (ご縁 ), of course in English I cant really explain clearly the meaning of this word except maybe  a speical kind of bond. 

When I met Aiko, she taught me how to make OBI into a beautiful table runner and she talked to me about her dream to start a business of upcycling OBI into handbags for women , as well she introduced me to the casual style of tea ceremony ( watching her do the ceremony made my skin get goose bumps. ) 



Later in July 2019 she helped me do a yukata and tea expereince for my mum when she visted Japan. My mother enjoyed it so much ! She loved wearing yukata and thought people should wear this type of clothing all the time , as she felt it was very supportive for her back. 


I`m so happy for Aiko that she pursued her dream and now has her own company with a few other ladies upcycing OBI into beautiful handbags that she sells in many parts of the world now.  You can check out her website here. This is an example of how Aiko`s knowledge of English helped to open up the world to her and her business. I will always wish her the best successes in her endvours to keep an aspect of old Japanese tranditional fashion but modernize it at the same time. 


Cheers for now!

StephanieRiann
 

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