Just like last year , the Sieboldhuis in Leiden organized another "Japan Market", in remembrance of the visit of the Japanese Emperor to Leiden. The Kimono de Jack club of the Netherlands, always on the lookout for an opportunity to gather and wear their beloved kimonos was going to visit the Market.
After several weeks of bad weather , nature finally decided to smile on us : the weather on Sunday the 19th of May was exceptionally good.
Off to Leiden in the land of tulips to meet the Kimono de Jack Netherlands!
The central part of Leiden where the harbour is, near to the place where the Japan Market is held, has some beautifully preserved old houses.
The Dutch have a long history as a sea-faring nation and on a sunny day like this , everybody seems to be out on the water.
The first members of the Kimono de Jack arriving : Jody and Youandi.
Meeting up with ( from left to right ) Linda and Riga.
To the right, Whaizan, Riga's boyfriend.
As soon as we got everyone together , we took possession of the
bridge for our group picture , with a few new faces ( from left to right
: Youandi, unknown girl in a red kimono, Michelle, Linda, Carolien,
Ben, Maaike, Riga and Jody ).
Linda with a modern day samurai ( he made every bit of his elaborate costume by himself !)
Youandi's taiko musubi (lit. drum-knot )
Linda's cho cho musubi (butterfly knot)
Another butterfly knot
Linda and Leyla , who's dressed in lolita fashion , a fashion that originated in Japan in the seventies.
Joining us for the first time in Leiden were Naomi and her daughter.
Naomi's daughter at one of the stands : ah, so many pretty things !
The ikebana (lit. 'living flowers' ) and bonsai stand always has very nice examples of their art on display.
A flowering bonsai !
Last year I didn't get to see Nadine or Charissa from the KDJ perform with the Raiden Yosakoi dance group , but this year I was not going to miss it. Yosakoi evolved from the summer dance awa odori , back in 1954 in Kochi city. In Japan competitions with thousands of competitors are held these days at Yosakoi Soran festivals and it's starting to spread to other countries.
Crowded into a small inner yard in the Sieboldhuis : Charissa (the girl in the middle ) getting ready for the dance. ( Her hair is not dyed green, that's from shooting through a window with a polaroid filter ). The jacket she and the other dancers are wearing is a Japanese happi.
The dancers use naruko ( wooden clappers ) that were originally used in Kochi to scare birds away from rice fields.
It looks like lots of fun
After the dance , the public is invited to join in. I was really tempted but I decided not to join in , to keep casualties to a minimum.
Hey, if I had danced, you wouldn't have had these nice pictures to look at, right ?
For the very young among us , even the simple moves might be a bit confusing..
So you just do the moves you know,
and you smile and skip the ones you don't know, just like we all do in real life :)
In a crowd , no one will notice anyway and the important thing is to have fun, right ?
Another tradition after the dance : a group shout.
The first one apparently was not nearly loud enough, so : once more, with feeling !