Flying Folk Art

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In Nihonbashi, Tokyo, there is this private museum of traditional Japanese kites at the 5th floor of a building where the Taimeiken restaurant is. These are the private collections of Mr. Shingo Modegi, the former master of the Taimeiken restaurant. His successor Mr. Masaaki Modegi is presently the restaurant master and curator of the kite museum. We truly have to be thankful to these two for sharing this wonderful collection.

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Kite flying is a folk game not just in Japan, but other countries as well. Variations come in the form kite’s craftsmanship. I’ve seen the wau kite in Malaysia with its elaborate detail and moon-like form, very beautiful enough for this cultural icon to be used by Malaysian Airlines as their logo.

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One day, I really have to see for myself these kites actually flying at the festivals in Kelantan, Malaysia or in Shizuoka, Japan. For these kites aren’t just folk games, these are flying folk arts.

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