All things Japanese celebrated in town

Department store Notos Galleries Home pays tribute to the Land of the Rising Sun this month with a plethora of events celebrating Japanese culture and style. The Japanese Festival, which kicked off yesterday, is organized under the auspices of the City of Athens in collaboration with the Greek-Japanese Chamber of Commerce. From calligraphy to show fitness, all events take place on Kotzia Square and the department store premises. Kotzia Square welcomes two events tonight and tomorrow: the well-known Haruna dance theater and Sofia Amountzia’s spectacular fitness show accompanied by percussion and Japanese martial arts. Back at the store, two displays will draw the crowds to the eighth floor: one on calligraphy featuring rare 10th and 13th century works stemming from prominent private collections and a stunning, handmade kimono known as the «Uchikake» (hand-sewn with fine silk threads and gold fibers, this unique piece weighs 10 kilos and was created for a single Kabuki performance 150 years ago). But besides heavy history, Japan is all about looking ahead. During the October festival, PlayStation 2 and Nike Motionworks will be presenting new additions to the fast-paced world of high-tech. For those wishing for more interactive participation, the festival offers a series of courses and workshops. You can try your talents in «ikebana» and origami, learn all about the «sadoh» tea ritual, get rid of stress with «amachair and dantae» massage, prepare your own sushi and, finally, explore the art of calligraphy.